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Nutrition & Meal Time Policy

Meal times should be a happy and social occasion for children and staff and a time for social interactions and enjoyed. Offering children healthy, nutritious and balanced meals and snacks which meet the child’s individuals needs and requirements. Children will be offered a healthy breakfast, snack, lunch and tea that attend the setting depending on arrival and departure times. Menus are planned as a four weekly menu and some options may change depending on weather or activities and will be documented on child’s daily report to what and how the child has done with their meal or snack.

Food and drink


  • Each menu reflects cultural diversity and variation, incorporates seasonal produce and reflects children’s preferences and input from families. Menus are clearly displayed, and copies are available to parents and families. 

  • Each menu avoids large quantities of fat, sugar, salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings and we provide children with a homecooked healthy and heaty meal or snack option. 

  • The quantities of food offered to children reflect the portion size appropriate to each child according to their age.

  • The setting does not allow parents to provide packed lunches, or, foods from home, except for special events and celebrations due to health issues.

  • Fresh drinking water is always available and accessible, it is frequently offered, and intake is monitored. In hot weather children are encouraged to drink to keep themselves hydrated.

  • Babies are encouraged to drink from free-flowing cups from six months and drinking from a bottle is discouraged from one year. 

  • Milk and water are always offered during meal and snack times. 

  • Bijou nursery supports each family with weaning their baby by providing a variety of purees and foods suitable for baby led weaning and are given same meal but blended. 

  • Bijou nursery discourages parents from bringing in formula made at home as food hygiene and timings as can only be kept for 2 hours, we encourage parents to bring in formula to keep at the setting or unmade portion in sealed container with child’s name.

  • Bijou Nursery avoids all recipes containing nuts and parents are asked to refrain from providing foods containing nuts for special events and celebrations for consumption by children such as birthday cake. 

  • The nursery provides healthy, nutritious and portable food and drink for trips.

  • Food is only purchased from reputable suppliers, who supply written evidence that they are an organisation fit to supply food.

  • Bijou Nursery is registered with Vale of Glamorgan Environmental Health Department and the current food rating is clearly displayed.

  • All staff who prepare and handle food are competent to do so and have received food hygiene training, which is updated every three years. 

  • In the unlikely event of any food poisoning affecting two or more children on the premises, regardless of whether this may have arisen from food offered at the nursery, we will inform Ofsted as soon as reasonably practical and in all cases within 14 days. We will also inform the relevant health agencies and follow any advice given.




Allergies and Special diets 


  • Nursery can only provide a separate meal for those children with allergies, religious or medical needs, unfortunately we do not have the facilities to provide for individual preferences.

  • Children with allergies and dietary requirements are sensitively respected and meals are provided according to their individual needs and are served on a separate plate to avoid cross contamination, but where possible will look the same as the other meal to avoid children feeling singled out.

  • Dietary/allergy lists are clearly displayed during each mealtime. 

  • Parents/ carers of children with special diets are asked to provide detailed information, in writing. For children with allergies parents/carers must provide a doctor’s letter confirming their child’s needs. 

Staff practice and procedures


  • During mealtimes an adult will sit with the children and they refer to the dietary/allergy list to minimise risks and ensure child safety. When appropriate staff will sensitively discuss with children about the potential risks of sharing foods.

  • Staff set a good example during mealtimes by demonstrating and encouraging good table manners, and children are encouraged to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.

  • Mealtimes are organised to encourage social interaction and staff are expected to support children in developing their independence through making choices, feeding themselves and serving food.

  • Staff support children to make healthy food choices and encourage children to try a variety of foods from different cultural backgrounds. 

  • Cultural differences in eating habits are respected. 

  • Children not on special diets are encouraged to try their food. If a child becomes distressed about not liking a food, it is removed without fuss.

  • Withholding food is never used as a punishment and deserts will always be offered to children.

  • Children must be given time to eat at their own pace and are not rushed.

  • Staff promote positive attitudes to mealtimes and food through play opportunities and discussions. 

  • No child is ever left alone during mealtimes and when eating.

  • Staff will provide parents with a daily written record of what their child has eaten. Special occasions and bringing cake into nursery We realise that many families would like to bring cake and other goods in for the children to celebrate birthdays or other events. All cakes or other goods brought into share with the children must also be accompanied by a clear and full ingredients list so that we can be sure that the food is suitable for children with individual allergies. 

  • The food brought in must first be given to the cook to check the allergens against the children in attendance before being given to the children. If we are uncertain, the food will not be given.

  • If a child is unable to have the food due to an allergy or special diet, an alternative will be given for that child by the cook. We are unable to accept any foods that contains any kind of nuts

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