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Rolling Snack


Guest sandcastles
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Guest sandcastles

I work in the Foundation Stage room in a day nursery and we are going to try rolling snack in the very near future. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on where to start? And what are your opinions on it??? :o

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Sorry, feeling dense today - what exactly do you mean by rolling snack? We have freely accessible snack during the morning and afternoon free play sessions, is that the sort of thing you mean?

 

BTW, welcome aboard! I'm sure you'll soon be as hopelessly addicted as the rest of us lol

 

Sue

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Hello and welcome Sandcastles :D

We started rolling snack this september at pre-school 2 - 4 year olds. I was really keen to start it. We ask parents to bring in a healthy snack as when we tried it before at normal snack time it was just too expensive. They name it and put it in a cool bag when they come in. We have a snack board with the childrens names on. When they arrive they put their names in the 'I have brought my snack today' space on the board. That way we know who has or hasn't brought snack. We keep a supply of spare snacks for those who forget.

After half an hour a member of staff will announce that the snack table is open. It has been really successful. You can see at a glance who hasn't had snack as when they come to the table the children take their name off the board and put it in the tub. Water is available at the table or milk for those that have it is kept in the fridge in beakers with a straw. Older children can help themselves and a member of staff will help younger ones. Staff will remind children about snack through out the morning and towards the end will ask them if they would like to have snack.

Parents have been really positive and many have commented on how the children enjoy it. A parent was worried that at school they can't choose when to eat but i just said that as they are so young at pre-school it was so much better for them as they could choose when to have snack and not be stopped from playing etc.

HTH

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We started our rolling snack bar in May and it has been a great success. We use the group observation sheets with each child's name on (children with allergies are always typed in red) and when they have had their snack, thier name is ticked off, we can also see at a glace, who hasnt had a snack.

 

I have attached the letter that we sent out to parents when we first introduced it (adapted from examples posted on here)

Snack_letters.doc

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Guest sandcastles

sorry, freely accessable snack is what i meant its called all sorts of things. Is there any setting that provides the fruit for the children if so how long you do you have the rolling snack bar going for without the fruit going dry?

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We provide everything, but as we're a DN, it's expected. We have, as policy, lists of allergies etc and stick to them. As we have dairy-free children, we only offer milk at mealtimes when we have more control, to avoid disasters!

 

Any queries, shout! :)

 

Sue

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We provide fruit for our children and it is presented in one of those multi section dishes with a lid. This means we can replace the lid if necessary during hot weather.

We open our snack bar for around an hour - an hour and a half (depending on how quickly the rota helper gets it ready!)

 

Out of interest Jenni, why no Kiwi? I know children can be allergic but we have children allergic to melon, plums and so on but we still offer to others.

 

We have introduced a laminated chart with children's faces and 'I can't have...' so that new staff, rota helpers etc can see at a glance who has allergies.

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hi all, we have a rolling snack bar in place, we think it is great as it is a small social grouping thing! we offer the children a choice from three items fruit, biscuit, or bread stick/crackers/toast etc.. we also offer the the children milk shake which they make them selves, selecting the powder and spooning it in then pouring ( should have said spilling!) the milk then mixing it all up. Each child can have two choices of snack per visit. We have two bowls underneath the table for the children to clear away their left overs & place their cups, place mats have been made with each child's name on them. This works well as a quick check list to whom has eaten or not. Names are moved by the children when they attend & leave the snack bar. We use hand cleaner stuff instead of hand washing as there is not a hand basin near by. Try it with a small group first we only have four at a time. The first few times it will be a bit of a muddle with the children unsure of what is going on, spilling the milk etc.. but stick with it coz it does work we wouldn't like to change ours now although we arte considering extending the rountine to washing up cups at the end... we'll see!!!

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hi

I'm really interested to read all of your comments and am glad it seems to work. I'm mum to a 3 year old with every allergy going and because she's going to a school with rolling snack I'm pushing for her to get a statement. Kiwi is one of the worst things - easiest to react to apparently. Also, melon causes problems and even if she sits next to a child drinking milk she'll react to it. I know she's extreme but she's causing a real headache for the staff - issues such as keeping the table completely clean, sitting her away but not excluding her but the main problem they are going to have is how on earth to supervise her and make sure she doesn't go near the area without them knowing - one mistake and she'll go into anaphylactic shock. I think ongoing snack is brilliant but can also be very very dangerous. Let me know how it goes.

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hi Janine, we use a different back ground for a child's placemat whom has food problems. Your daughters case is very hard to manage for you, your daughter and staff. Could your daughter have her own pot of snack brought in from home? then staff will know what she is eating or if near the table to be aware. This is very worrying to think sitting next to some one could trigger an attack. Are the staff trained to adminster her medication? We under took training to give the staff and family knowledge that we where doing all that we could and knew how to react when needed. I think educating your child from the start is the key to this but children will explore and also need to be able to relax and not worry about who is eating or drinking near by. Please let us know how it is handled as this is a senerio that could effect many of us. All the best.

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Guest sandcastles

Thank you all for your tips and ideas i look forward to putting them to the test! keep your comments coming in its interesting to read what others think!I will keep you informed as to how we get on. :D

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Hi

 

I know recommendations are to have snack available throughout the day to avoid the old "it's snack time, time to tidy up" which can stop a child who may be very foccused on an activity. However, we have decided to only have a 'self service' snack available twice a day for a period of around half an hour and to let children know it is available so they have time/notice to halt their play or get to a point where they can stop for a snack. The thought behind this limited snack time is to protect their teeth - ensuring that they do not have sugars from fruit constantly in their mouths. So far it seems to be working fine.

 

Monica

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We have no kiwi fruit due to an allergy and we did have an incident of children swapping lunch boxes, so to reduce the risk it was decided to not have it at all. This week though, I have seen a peanut butter sandwich, a packet of tutty fruities and various other inappropriate foods appearing in certain children's lunch boxes!!!???

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We have had a free access snack table for some time now and find it works really well, but there are always those children who sit and scoff everything whilst others rarely visit at all. The snack items are mainly provided by the parents on a rota basis which also works well (better if I actually remember to send the notes out!!).

Anyway, one of the most successful things (and one which we will definitely use the day Mrs Ofsted appears on the doorstep) is called an apple lathe....... its a copy of a 17 or 18th century machine which you bolt onto the table. There is a handle to turn and on the end of the handle are 3 spikes which you ram up your apple stalk. Then, when the children (very supervised I must stress) turn the handle the apple moves closer and closer to a blade (safe) and once in contact it starts to peel the apple as the handle turns. At the same time there is a blade shaped like a circle which the apple also goes through and unbelievably, by the time the apple reaches the other end not only has it been peeled in one long curly strip but the core has been removed and the apple has been cut into a long spiral!

It is hard to describe here but its great! The children are completely hooked and even the most reluctant child can be drawn into snack time, just by turning the handle. Almost without exception they eat the apple and the skin!

One little boy was so fascinated his mum searched on e-bay (apple lathe) and managed to get one much cheaper than mine! (mine was about £30 at one of those food festivals when you are drawn to buy by the salesman but it was worth every penny). Good for Knowledge & Understanding as a historical object too!

You can use it for potatoes too I am reliably informed!

 

Ooh, forgot to mention that I have just read the new Standards (published Sept/Oct 06) and it mentions that water at the snack table needs to be in a lidded jug. Did you know that? Actually, its not a bad idea as we have one little boy who persists in tipping his drink back in the jug.....

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Guest sandcastles

we have a drinks table in the corner of the room with a jug of water(with lid!!)and cups on. It is available all day for the children to help themelves to. was a disaster at first as the children were more interested with play with the drinking water than that in the much bigger water tray! it is now a success and has reduced the number of children's own beakers coming in. :o

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  • 2 weeks later...

I used to work in a nursery which had a wonderfully run rolling snack time.

 

We split the children into six coloured groups (a good even split of all ages per group). Then we made laminated name cards in the coresponding colour and stuck them to the wall in colour groups using self-adhesive velcro.

 

We THEN bought sets of cups from IKEA in the six colours and put those out on a snack shelf. There was a basket on the snack shelf too for the names and a bowl for dirty cups.

 

The children would put their name in the basket, take their coloured cup and pour their own drink and have their snack.

 

It worked wonderfully well but does need a few things to make it work; a wall big enough to take all the children's names, somewhere to keep the basket and cups someone to be constantly checking to see who still has to have their snack.

 

The table would take four children and we would keep the snacks coming all morning, chopping fruit as and when needed.

 

There were two of us with 30 children and no additional help and we never found it a problem. The big plus was having only one intake in September. This meant that by the following July the children had snack time off to a tee!

 

We would offer two drinks, water (always) and one of either watered down orange/apple juice, milkshake freshly squeezed juices etc. Snacks were fruit, digestive biscuits (treats!) and ritz type crackers with dairylea! Making me hungry just writing it!

 

Unfortunately the nursery I am at now wants the rolling snack to work but the staff seem to think that one week is sufficient to see how its going. I'm working on them!!!

 

Good luck and sorry this has been so long winded!

 

Fluff x

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Guest sandcastles

Thank you for that! I received a write up of rolling snack from a nursery in my area and it does seem to work for them. I am really looking forward to giving it a go in the new year, we are in the process of putting together resources. how long would you recommend that it goes on for? :o

 

Jo

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We have a snack area, which has a large table and chairs. We have a fridge in which we keep the children's milk and a water cooler. Straws and plastic "glasses" are available for children to get from shelves beside. We put out bowls of fruit every day and the children just help themselves. There are washing up bowls and a bin in the area and the children clear away after themselves.

When we first started this system of "snacking" we had picture cards attached to the wall with velcro and the children posted their cards when they had their snack. We could see who hadn't had their snack at the end of the session. However, we don't bother with the cards now, as children just get their snack as they want it, and don't seem to take more than their fair share anyway. (and if they do, well we just watch them a bit more closely the following session and re-enforce the importance of sharing, fairness etc)

Sometimes we have "special" snack, perhaps something the children have made like soup, sandwiches etc and we all sit down together, with tables pushed together, or have it "picnic" style

We find that managing snack this way works really well, not nearly as stressful as "it's 1/2 10 and it's snack time" and the children are so much more independent.

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Hello,

We started our new free access snack system today.... for a first attempt it worked ok, definately needs lots of adult input at the start but hopefully in a couple of weeks we should be fine... I'll let you know! We have fruit but as our children are 3 and 4 each piece is whole so no problem about it drying up, a few requested apples to be peeled early on but now they eat them whole, peel their own satsumas and bananas independently.

One thing that was useful today was a picture sequence of snack routine to follow, it made it easier to remind those who needed prompting.

Good luck,

Han

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hello,

I am in a preschool and before summer we always had a group snack time, children would bring in their own snack but we had problems with children bringing in peanut butter sandwiches and parents not labelling their child's snack so it would get eaten by someone else. So we decided to provide snack. We started with group snack but the time it takes to get them all to the bathroom and wash their hands, and make snack for all thoses children(20 perday) it was a complete nightmare. So after a week or so we started cafe time. The cafe is open from about 9.45-about 11.00, children have to get their names and put them up on the board(velcro dots)wash their hands, get a plate and sit down. We offer fresh and dried fruit and toast, crumpets, crackers, english muffins etc. not all everyday usually a selection of two or three foods. These are made as required throughout the morning. This does require an adult to be in the cafe all the time though. We soon realised we could not do this ourselves and put out a plea for parent helpers. We now have a parent everyday (fingers crossed) they run the cafe and things are working well. The children clear up and wash their own plates too!

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My wonderful sister (Im so proud!) has written a great book called 'Snack time' (Jenni Clarke) it is one of the Featherstone Education Key Issues series. This book has lots of info. re rolling snack etc. She also had a page article in Nursery World last week about healthy snack time.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Teri :)

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Guest sandcastles

how does thr rest of your routine work around rolling snack? i.e we have a 15-30 min focussed circle time with the whole group? which at the moment would fall right in the middle of rolling snack. :o

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We start our session with our 'circle time', so it doesn't interupt snack time/snack time doesn't interupt it!

 

I'm in a full day care preschool taking children from 2 years till full time school, so we have a wide age range, we also have some children in for the morning session only, some for pm only & some for all day. We're in a 'social priority' area, ie poor, so we provide all the snacks ourselves & only provide fruit & milk & water. (My son's preschool give the children squash or milklshake & I hate this!)

 

We used to provide milk or water but let parents bring in a drink if thier child wasn't keen on milk or water - this started becasue we had a couple who were intolerant of milk so parents brought an alternative. When you have to prepare 20 drinks for children who each have something different, it's rather time consuming!

 

But we needed to change because we had a few who found the old snack time very hard: All tidy up, come to the tables, go one table at a time to wash hands, wait for your own drink, wait for your fruit, & wait till most people are finished before going to get ready to go outside.

 

So we changed gradually: first we told parents no more squash etc - milk or water only unless the child was milk intolerant in which case we accept milk substitute only (ie soya milk, rice milk, special formula milk), so the children still all sat together but it made drinks a lot quicker to prepare so we wern't tied up for so long preparing snack, & a lot quicker to give out ("Fred, do you want milk or water? Lalitha, do you want your milk or water?"). Better, but some were still finding it too much rigid routine.

 

This was a month before half term, so after half term, we bit the bullet & changed to rolling snack time. Children come at at 9.15, at 10.15 the snack bar opens: we wash the table & go back into the kitchen to get the jugs & the cups & are greeted by 6 children sitting ready waving hands in the air to show they've washed them. We have the name cards ready for the children who are in that session, so ask them to find their name (appropriate help given), give out cups & take the the jugs round the table, asking each child if they want milk or water.

 

There's a big sign by the table in red that tells us who doesn't have milk or should have a substitute. We have one little boy who should have rice milk but his parents don't always bring it in & we have to make sure he cannot get the jug or finished cups or her will dringk the milk form them. So we hang onto the jug & put it on the adjacent filing cabinet out of reach when they've all got a drink, empties go there too.

 

We usually offer apples or raisins & these are ready in little bowls so the children shouldn't put anything on the table! Of coursse, some have to be stopped from eating raisins off the floor...

 

When they've finished, they go back to play & someone elase comes. A few need a reminder, & sometimes refuse. We've got a water dispenser so they can help themselves anytime.

 

We do sit them all together for birthdays & have 2 fruit platters to help themselves from: apples, grapes, etc. We have checked with parents & if there are intolerances either omit the fruit in question or do 1 platter without it & 1 with.

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  • 2 years later...
hi all, we have a rolling snack bar in place, we think it is great as it is a small social grouping thing! we offer the children a choice from three items fruit, biscuit, or bread stick/crackers/toast etc.. we also offer the the children milk shake which they make them selves, selecting the powder and spooning it in then pouring ( should have said spilling!) the milk then mixing it all up. Each child can have two choices of snack per visit. We have two bowls underneath the table for the children to clear away their left overs & place their cups, place mats have been made with each child's name on them. This works well as a quick check list to whom has eaten or not. Names are moved by the children when they attend & leave the snack bar. We use hand cleaner stuff instead of hand washing as there is not a hand basin near by. Try it with a small group first we only have four at a time. The first few times it will be a bit of a muddle with the children unsure of what is going on, spilling the milk etc.. but stick with it coz it does work we wouldn't like to change ours now although we arte considering extending the rountine to washing up cups at the end... we'll see!!!

Hi

Found your article interesting .We are currently changing to a rolling snack system but are worried that the children will not be able to wash their hands.I see that you use hand cleaner ..is it ok with Ofsted?which do you use?just the stuff you buy at the supermarkrt? would be interested to know. regards Bev Brookes

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