Food & Nutrition

At Little Trees, our menus are developed by a nutritionist and are regularly checked, reviewed and appropriate to the season.

For example, our winter menu will consist more of casseroles, hot pots and warm hearty meals whilst our summer menu has pasta bakes and ploughman’s salads. Healthy eating habits will be promoted, social skills developed and encouraged during refreshment and meal times.

Food offered will be fresh, nutritious and well-balanced:
• foods which contain high proportions of fat, sugar or salt will be avoided
• the use of foods containing additives, preservatives and colourings will be minimised.
• we include a variety of foods from the four main food groups:
a)    Meat, fish and protein alternatives
b)    Dairy foods
c)    Grains, cereals
d)    Fruit and vegetables

Drinks will be available at all times:
• full fat pasteurised milk or water will be offered
• whilst we discourage children drinking juice or cordials, for those children that will not
drink anything else, we ask that parents provide this.

All dietary requirements will be respected including:
• personal
• medical
• religious

Diets and eating practices of all cultures will be positively valued, giving children an opportunity
to identify with the familiar and to learn to enjoy and respect other traditions.

Mealtimes

• where possible adults will sit with children to encourage good habits and conversation.
• children will sit in small groups
• all snacks will be served on plates/dishes
• children will be provided with utensils that are appropriate for their ages and stages of
development and that take into account the eating practises of some cultures.
• children will be allowed to eat and drink at their own pace
• children will never be left unattended while eating/drinking
• all menus including snacks will be displayed for parental information

Parents and carers will be asked not to provide their children with any snacks, food or drinks in nursery. Our chef will make everything your child needs on site. We understand children can be fussy eaters and for those that might not eat a meal, then an alternative will be offered where possible. This may be a sandwich or a bowl of cereal, to prevent a child going hungry. Children that dislike certain dishes, will be offered an alternative after discussion with parents and that it is clear that the child genuinely dislikes the meal. 

For babies during the weaning process

Food will be offered when parents have already done so at home. We will follow the parents lead with offering pureed foods and slowly introducing lumps and different textures. A daily diary is kept for each baby on Famly and will include information on how they have done with snacks and meal times. Formula bottles will be made following the manufacturers guidance. 

All bottles, teats and cups are washed and sterilised after each use. Drinking cups for babies under 1 year of age use cooled boiled water.
• Food preparation areas are cleaned before use as well as after use.
• There are separate facilities for hand washing, food washing, and washing up.
• All utensils are clean and stored appropriately.
• Waste food is disposed of daily
• Cleaning materials and other dangerous materials are stored out of reach of children.
• Children do not have access to the kitchen or service rooms.


Reporting of Food Poisoning

Food poisoning can occur for a number of reasons. Not all cases of sickness or diarrhoea are as a result of food poisoning and not all cases of sickness or diarrhoea are reportable. Where children and or adults have been diagnosed by a GP or a hospital doctor to be suffering from food poisoning and where it seems possible that the source of the outbreak is within the nursery, the manager will contact the Environmental Health Department and the Health Protection Agency, to report the potential outbreak and will comply with any investigation. If the food poisoning is identified as a notifiable disease under the Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988 the nursery will report the matter to the relevant inspectorate.

Food Hygiene

We maintain the highest possible food hygiene standards with regard to the purchase, storage, preparation and serving of food. We are registered as a food provider with the local authority Environmental Health Department who inspect annually. Staff responsible for the handling of any food have a current and valid Food Hygiene Certificate and will wear the appropriate clothing. Children and adults will wash their hands prior to handling food, mealtimes and snack times. We will do everything we can to avoid cross contamination which includes bacteria/ hair/ dirt/ personal hygiene etc which is a legal requirement;

•    Hair must be tied back, under a hat or hair net.  
•    Hands must be thoroughly washed before and after each task, as well as after visiting the toilet or touching their face etc. Gloves must be worn if the staff member has any form of nail varnish/ gel or extensions to ensure there is no cross contamination. Gloves must therefore also be changed after every task. 
•    Aprons are always worn (cloth ones)
•    Disposable aprons can be used for ‘messy’ tasks like butcher or pastry.