Food and drink policy

We consider meal and snack times an important part of the day. These times present a social experience for children and staff, which helps the children to learn about healthy eating, their needs and those of others and about appropriate social interactions such as sharing and manners.

We aim to provide a variety of nutritious and balanced food which caters for the children’s individual dietary needs and meets the standards set by Ofsted and environmental health.


Young children can often have strong preferences for one type of food or another, and may show signs of allergy towards certain foods.

To ensure that food meets the requirements of the maximum number of children and that it is of the highest quality the following procedures and policies will be followed:

  • Menus are prepared weekly, including the five food groups
  • Portion sizes are reflected in the number and age of the children at each setting
  • All food will be checked at the time of use to ensure that it is not past its use by (or best before) date
  • That all menus will reflect the diversity and cultures of the children attending the setting
  • All food will be checked for a complete list of contents to identify any other ingredients that may be on our special dietary requirements/allergy list
  • Vegans/vegetarians/those with special dietary requirements will be provided with similar looking meat-free alternative to pork, chicken etc
  • Beef or beef products will not be provided
  • No food with nuts or traces of nuts will be used
  • Any other specific dietary requirements are a matter for agreement between the nursery and the parents
  • All staff preparing food will have their food hygiene certificate

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that adequate and nutritional meals and snacks are provided, as these are essential for a child’s well being.

All parents/carers are requested to complete the dietary requirements form. This information will be transferred to the kitchen and to all staff caring for the child.


Abacus Childcare Settings provide whole cow’s milk for all children.

A Soya alternative will also be provided for those children who have a dairy intolerance or a medical reason why they cannot have cow’s milk.

Parents/carers must provide formula milk.

Parents may bring in bottles already made up or a tub of formula for the staff to make up as and when needed.

Staff are only able to make bottles by following the instructions on the packaging. No alteration to these instructions can be permitted.

If formula is made away from the recommended guidelines on the packet or tin, then the bottles must be prepared at home and brought into nursery.


Fresh drinking water is made available to all children constantly throughout the day.

Water is offered at all meal times as part of the menu.

All requests from a child to have a drink are responded to, and a drink is provided immediately.

Individually labeled beakers with lids and water bottles are available at snack time and throughout the day. The children are made aware that drinks are available and they are encouraged to locate their own bottle/beaker if they are able to.

Snack times are generally around 10.30, 2.30 and 5.00.

Water is always provided when the children are going to the park & on trips.


Parents are requested that if they wish to provide food and drink for their child/ren we will not allow food containing nuts, nut oil, or any food cooked in nut oil on the premises. This is to safe guard those suffering from nut allergy and to follow company policy.

Children are encouraged, and provided with access to their drink as normal with the exception of carbonated drinks and hot drinks, these will not be allowed.

We do ask that all containers brought in from home are clearly labeled with their child’s name and what is contained inside.