Variety is the spice of life, although we know that young children like to stick with familiar tastes and textures for the most part. We value the opportunities snack and lunchtimes offer to encourage children to try new things, develop social skills and learn about healthy eating and healthy routines for life.
At snack time, children have the opportunity to experience a range of foods although fresh fruit and veg is always on offer. Developing independence and manners form an essential part of the snack and lunch routine so children are encouraged to help themselves to water from dispensers throughout the day (never fear, adult supervision is on hand and we build to independence!). Snacks range from noodles to breadsticks, veg sticks and dips and everything in between. Snack isn’t always provided solely by the adults though – our children are often involved in baking and creating snacks not only for themselves, but for others too. Snacktime can often give us golden opportunities to develop children’s tastebuds for culturally different foods.
Lunch is provided by the school kitchen and cooked fresh to order allowing you to choose your child’s meal with them each morning. They may alternatively bring a packed lunch from home. There is a clear routine for lunch with children sitting on benches at tables, just like they will when they join school. They wait for everyone to be served before beginning and clear their plates away independently at the end; separating cutlery, waste and cups. We use proper plates and bowls on a small tray.
Our youngest children, who may have just turned two,are supported by an adult throughout lunchtime and we build carefully towards independence – moving at the pace of the child. Special diets, children’s preferences and individual needs are of course catered for – this is all part of our home from home approach.
An essential part of the Early Years Curriculum is children’s physical development. We seize every opportunity to work on this in subtle ways – mixing batter, lifting a variety of weights and kneading all helps to develop the essential muscles your child will need later in life to hold a pencil, sustain writing and be adept at these skills.
We love baking and making with the children and are often inspired by parents posts from home on our Tapestry home/school link system.
Every one of our routines throughout the day encourages children’s independence. From washing hands for snack or lunchtime, visiting the sniffle station for a tissue, helping the teachers take the register, counting lunch choices or dressing for outdoor play, your child will become more independent than you ever knew possible!
Of course, we can only get there with lots of encouragement, support and occasionally a helping hand! They won’t be left to flounder but will flourish in our care.
If the weather allows, we have our snacktime outside. In the winter this has been hot chocolate or soups and in really hot weather (we’re still waiting for some!) ice lollies, flavoured ice cubes and cold drinks.
We make the most of the grassy steps and emerging meadow on our amphitheatre where we can watch nature. We’re fully equipped to help children’s independent health and self care with outdoor washing stations, water dispensers and shaded areas.