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Snack Time


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A new member to the forum posted in introduce yourself and said that "the powers that be" in the school she is just starting at have decided to do away with snack time-they felt it was a waste of time!

I thought it would be interesting to find out what people thought about snack time. Do all settings provide a snack? Do you feel it has a purpose? Do you do it just because it is what has always happened or other groups have snack time? I know that some of our local schools now receive fruit and vegetables to give to the children-if you are involved in this what do feel about it? Does it work-do the children enjoy what they are given etc?

Stockport, as a health authority, are developing a healthy eating policy for schools and pre-school to use. I just wondered what the opinion is out there.

Linda

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Snack time to our pre-school is one of the most important parts of the morning. I feel children learn so much from it. Although it is primarily addressing their P.S.E. needs it can include every other learning goal.Whether it is helping to prepare it, counting the correct items of food allowed on that day, matching them to the number letter or word,pouring a drink , cleaning up after themselves or talking about the food. Children are more confident to confide when in a small group. Some children may not have had breakfast. It gives all children the opportunity to try different foods. Some children may not eat fruit at home when they are introduced to it they find that they like it. I can write this in their newsbooks. Parents will then put it in their childs packed lunch. Snack time is relatively stress free( unless a child overfills their cup or washes it up too enthusiastically) the adult present will listen,chat and observe(mentally). If for any reason our plan "goes out of the window " I know I have addressed the curriculum every day. For our group it would be silly to miss all those golden opportunities.

The children look forward to snack time . We can never forget to open the snack bar because they remind us at 10.00 to open up. At Chrismas we had entertainment (travelling pantomine ) followed by Father Christmas but they still asked for snack-time!!

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I'm a Reception class teacher, and I feel that snack time is really important to us too. I read with awe the interesting threads about snack bars - I'd love one in my class but don't think I can swing it in this particular school!

 

We all sit down for 15 minutes before playtime, the children give out drinks, and they either have fruit brought from home or a couple of slices of apple provided by us, so it's not a big deal, but it's about the only time of the day when we can have a chat to each other, in a civilised way, without having to worry about the learning objective!!

 

At my previous school we used to sit at tables to have a drink and have a choosing time 'at tables' for 15 mins after it. That was a very active class in a rather deprived area, who wouldn't usually sit at a table by choice, but they really enjoyed it for that short period each day, and there were boys who used to love to sit and draw/write in the writing corner who would have never gone there otherwise! The adults would sit at a different table each day, so sometimes the children would be with an adult, sometimes left to enjoy the company of their peers. I loved that half hour of the day - it was real quality time!

 

I really worry, also, that if we don't give the children a drink, they are quite likely to go all morning without thinking of having one, and that is not good for their health!! I have one girl who has only 1 kidney, and she has a drink in the afternoon too, though we don't all stop for this. Next year we might though, and I'd love to introduce a rest time in the autumn term too, though again I'm not too sure how well this would go down!

 

I would add, on Fridays we don't get our snack time as we have whole school assembly to go to - and the children (and I!) really miss it!

 

Sorry to have gone on a bit, but I think it is a really important part of the day, however you organise it!!

 

Dianne xxx

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Dianne,

Do the 14 National Standards apply to schools. I know they were trying to enforce them in schools. They cover a lot of Health & Safety issues. No 8 says that children must be provided with regular drinks and food in adequate quantities to suit their needs.

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Hi

It's interesting to read what other people think of snack time. About a year ago in my pre school we abandoned the sit at table type snack time where we had to clear away the toys to make room for it. It was taking up too much time, and the quick drinkers had to wait for the slower ones. We changed to a snack bar which is open for about 45 minutes and the children come up when they want to. They enjoy the independence of it, and can come along with their friends or on their own. They can stay as long as they want or wizz through it. We have found that they haven't missed out on the socialising at all. In fact our school has just introduced their own snack bar after seeing ours at work. It also means that we don't have to tidy away the toys.

 

We try and ensure that all the children get a drink, but if they really don't want one then it is no big deal, they can if they want to.

 

We have found it works for us, but I guess if you already have a good system going then why change it.

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bubblejack. no, the standards are for different types of care(as far as I understand) so no general rules for school. I agree that snacktime is a very important part of the day. We charge the Parents and then provide snack in FS1. When the children go into FS", we do the same for the Autumn term and then after Xmas, the parents provide the snack. We still eat it together before playtime! I just love the days we have toast in FS1- the smell is great! We have a whiteboard in each snack room and write up what we are having - sometimes with a picture. <_< Chris

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Thank you for all your replies-everbody has the same attitude as I do that snack time is of great value. I too feel that it is primarily a PSED area but that it is a time that can also be used for everything else. We talk about healthy eating, drinking milk, eating cheese, fruit and vegetables etc. Maths is a great one-we cut the toast into squares, rectangles and triangles. We have some savoury snacks which are all different shapes and they quite often sort them and count them without any prompting!!

It is such a lovely time to sit quietly and have a chat amongst friends-even the quietest children can find something to say at snack time.

Thanks again.

Linda

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