Health and Dental Hygiene Policy

Healthy Eating 

I take pride in my healthy food and drink provision. 

Meal times are an important time of the day and we all sit together to eat. Children are supervised constantly when eating. 

I am committed to offering children healthy, nutritious food which meets their individual dietary requirements as advised by their parents.  All food is freshly prepared, using best quality ingredients where possible and presented well.  Portion sizes are realistic and children are never asked to clear plates as I am aware of the risks of over-eating. 

On special occasions food is often used as part of a festival, birthday or celebration and I sometimes offer children food which might not be considered healthy such as cakes for a birthday party. If parents have a concern about this they should let me know.

As part of induction, I ask parents about their child’s dietary needs. I consider likes, dislikes, allergies, intolerances, religious and cultural needs when planning menus.  I keep this information regularly updated. If I am told that children need food at times other than my usual meal times or different from my usual menu items to accommodate medical needs, I will make arrangements to support them.

Fresh drinking water is provided in age-appropriate cups on a tray which is accessible for all the children; outside water is provided in a ‘help yourself’ dispenser and the children use open cups or sports bottles depending on preference.

The kitchen is suitable for food preparation and cleaning is robust. I am registered with the local authority as a food provider. I have facilities for sterilising baby bottles and equipment if requested by parents.

I am registered with the Local Authority Environmental Health Department as a food provider and update food hygiene training regularly. I use the guidance ‘Safer Food Better Business for Childminders’ from the Food Standards Agency. 

The guidance ‘Example menus for early years settings in England’ is useful for advice about menu planning and food allergies and I am aware of the EU requirement to be able to inform parents, if asked, about the allergens in their child’s food. 

I am aware of the requirements under the Public Health (Infection Diseases) Regulations 1988 regarding food poisoning and the requirement to inform Ofsted, acting on advice given by the Health Protection Agency. I retain food receipts for the recommended 3 months period and f I have to make a report, the information will be recorded. 

I teach children about healthy eating and drinking as part of the daily routine. Children help to buy, prepare and cook food and enjoy helping in the kitchen. Risk assessments help to keep children safe in the kitchen and when they are cooking.

Dental Health 

I am required by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to support your child to learn about and care for their teeth, gums and oral health. 

We also aim to follow good practice guidelines at all times, for example:

  • I do not offer food or drink containing high levels of sugar.
  • Most food is cooked from fresh and where possible it is made with reduced sugar.
  • I ask children to sit down when drinking and offer water in age appropriate cups to protect their teeth.
  • I provide healthy snacks, drinks (milk and water) and meals – I will provide you with a copy of my menu on induction and periodically if it changes. Pudding is usually something with fruit. 
  • Children get most of their sugar from carbohydrates and I balance their intake through the day, so they have plenty of energy to play.
  • I buy the healthiest food options I can and check labels for sugar content. 
  • Dried fruit is high in sugar and I offer is occasionally at meal times or in low sugar cake.
  • Dummies are known to cause lots of oral health and dental problems so they are only used as a comforter for sleep and removed once your child is settled.
  • I encourage children to chew because this helps them with speech and we offer foods such as vegetable sticks and small pieces of hard fruit, cheese, bread crusts etc. 
  • With older children, I make best use of national and local healthy teeth campaigns to support their understanding of dental and gum health.
  • If you let me know when you make an appointment to go to the dentist with your child, I will talk about it with them here, role playing, story telling and reading books. 
  • If we provide special occasion food for a birthday or special day, it is as healthy and tooth friendly as possible. 

Tooth brushing

There is a national supervised tooth brushing program available from the Department for Education. If you struggle with brushing your child’s teeth at home, please talk to me if you want me to introduce tooth brushing in the setting for your child. 

If you have any concerns about your child’s dental hygiene, please let me know.