Reviewed: July 2014
High Five EEC - Nutrition and Health Policy
Early childhood is a time in a child’s life where they develop positive habits and attitudes towards food and eating. At High Five we provide a healthy food environment.
Meal times are an important time of day where children can learn life skills such as; independence, self help skills, knowledge on how to keep healthy, participating as a group member, manners and respect for others.
High Five inspires and promotes respectful values in all aspects of life, and has an important emphasis on forming warm, caring relationships between staff and children.
Well-being Goal 1: Children experience an environment where their health is promoted.
Belonging Goal 3: Children and their families/whaanau experience an environment where they feel comfortable with the routines, customs and regular events.
- We provide a nut free environment throughout both High Five centres, this includes all nut/peanut based products (eg: nutella, muesli bars, peanut butter, foods cooked in nut based oils). However at times when no one has allergies to peanuts the senior school may be invited to bring these items in their lunch boxes. You will be advised.
- Meal times should be a fun and relaxed time spent together. It is important for children to practice good manners while at the table eating and drinking, this is something that we role model to the children.
- All meals and snacks meet the quality objectives from ‘The nutritional guidelines for Under Fives”. The menu will include at least fifty percent of the recommended serves in each food group.
- The centre will ensure the cook has an up to date Safe Food and Hygiene certificate.
- The menu rotates on a four week cycle, and copies of this are available to parents and are displayed attractively in reception.
- Activities focusing on food and nutrition will be incorporated into the centre’s daily programme.
- Foods high in fat, sodium and sugar content are kept to a minimum, or just special occasions.
- High Five Early Education Centre provides a morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and late snack for the children.
- Manaaki House (the Over 2’s Centre) has a healthy lunchbox day once a week in preparation for school.
- In respect for the diverse cultural practices within New Zealand we always sing a karakia before each meal time. This teaches children to appreciate and thank all the elements involved in the growing, and production of their food.
- Children will be encouraged to learn about and sample food from other cultures. They will also be encouraged to learn about where their food comes from.
- Children’s food likes and dislikes will be respected, and staff will allow children over 3 years to help serve food to others under guidance.
- An adult will sit with the children at the tables during meal times to assist with dishes and plates as required (mainly at Awhina House, which is the Under 2’s Centre).
- Children are encouraged to help with food preparation, to set and decorate tables and to clear tables after eating (age dependant).
- Children under 6 months old are to be held while being fed, and are to be fed no infant formula unless it has been approved by a parent or guardian. If you have the opportunity to nurse a child while they are having a bottle, we recommend this.
- An adult will ensure that all children and adults have clean and dry hands before eating.
- Parent/s / whānau must advise the centre of their child’s intolerances, allergies and/or food preferences on a regular basis.
- An allergy list is kept in the kitchens for staff and the cook to check every day before offering food to the children. Centre managers are responsible for updating the allergy/intolerance list. Teachers are responsible for passing on any new or updated information.
- No child is left unattended while eating or drinking.
- We encourage children to drink water throughout the day. Children are discouraged from sharing cups or water bottles.
- Children can have a drink of water or snack on request throughout the session/day.
- Children will be offered a small glass of milk once a day, with a meal or snack.
- For health and safety reasons, children/teachers/adults are expected to sit while eating and drinking.
- All eating areas have a whiteboard which is used for recording how much food each child has eaten.
- There is no eating and drinking in areas where children are sleeping.
- We do not provide honey to children under one year old (as advised by Plunket recommendations for young children).
- When baking with the children as part of the curriculum, healthy options will be offered.
- Regular physical activity will be a part of every child’s day at High Five.
- The celebrations of birthdays and other special days are encouraged. Parents will be encouraged to bring healthy food from home. Sweets and other party food will not be encouraged. These guidelines will be noted in a handbook and discussed on child’s enrolment.
- Parents will be consulted on any major decisions regarding the food served at the centre, and will be asked to comment on the menu in our annual parent questionnaire.
- In respect to Tikanga Maori and the Treaty of Waitangi, all children, staff, parents and whanau are to sit on chairs at meal tables while eating. (Sitting on meal tables is prohibited.)
- We support breastfeeding mothers through providing suitable space and surroundings for feeding times.