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Food and Nutrition Policy

Food and Nutrition Policy
(Health and Safety)

Responsible to: Management
Applies to: High Five Community

Date Effective: 01/2021

Review Date: 01/2024

Our Approach

Children will receive nutritional food at an appropriate time to meet their health and dietary needs, in a safe and inclusive manner. Special attention and care will be taken in regards to food allergies, intolerances, and preferences. High Five is Halal friendly with a focus on whole foods and cooking items from scratch. A high level of hygiene is maintained at all times while preparing, serving and storing food. Where food is provided by parents for celebrations, the service encourages and promotes healthy eating and disclosure of ingredients to adhere to all children’s dietary needs.


  • To have a high standard in upholding the health, safety and wellbeing of children by ensuring the service meets the nutritional needs of children in their care or alternatively encourages parents to do so.  

  • To ensure compliance with the Ministry of Education’s changing food regulations

  • Ensure that all staff know how to handle food safely 



  • Our centre takes into account the full nutritional needs of children and caters for all tamariki 

  • Breastfeeding mothers and children will be supported at High Five by having use of the private whaanau room for feeding and expressing. They are also welcome to come in for feeds during their child’s day

  • Our food is prepared using as many whole ingredients as possible to lead to healthy bodies and minds. Processed foods and processed sugars are limited and natural sugars are used in moderation as a substitute in treats. 

  • Teachers intentionally engage children in healthy living activities each week. These can include gardening, cooking, stories on healthy foods, being active, etc. 

  • The following foods will not be served at High Five as they are a choking risk for tamariki, as outlined by the Ministry of Health. 

  • Staff will follow the age appropriate guidelines for food preparation for all children, no matter what area of High Five they are in (i.e. If a 2 ½ year old is eating in the senior school, their food will still be prepared in accordance to the 1-3 year old preparation guide)

  • All children are to remain seated while eating kai/food

  • All children are to be supervised while eating at all times

  • 1 First Aid trained staff member per 25 children will be present

  • Kaiako will encourage children to keep their mouths closed while eating and to sit up right

  • Food will be prepared in accordance with the Ministry’s guidelines on how to reduce the choking risk in high risk foods

  • Where families and whaanau provide food for their child, they are encouraged to bring in foods that are developmentally appropriate for their child’s age and stage .

  • High Five will support families’ aspirations around feeding as much as possible. And where not possible, we will work with families to support them in this area

  • It is up to the parents’ discretion what foods they deem developmentally appropriate for their child when sending in food in a lunch box (senior school lunch box day)

  • Special events such as birthday celebrations are a time when food is provided to share. Children with known allergies are supervised when selecting from any shared food. We will have conversations with families upon enrollment to ensure their wishes are respected during shared kai times.  Please note that our centre is peanut and nut free. Please make sure that any shared food brought in will does not include these ingredients. 

  • Food brought into the centre from home to share for celebrations will need to have ingredients with it in order to help us cater to all tamariki and whanau (if it’s your home baking, a written list is okay)

  • If shared food is being brought from home for a celebration families are asked to please let the child’s teacher or centre manager know at least one day in advance to prepare 

  • Shared food being brought in from home will need to exclude choking hazard foods as outlined here by the Ministry:

a. High-risk food to exclude

Exclude the following foods. They have the highest risk of choking on, and are either not practical to alter, have no or minimal nutritional value, or both:

  • whole or pieces of nuts

  • large seeds, like pumpkin or sunflower seeds

  • hard or chewy sweets or lollies

  • crisps or chippies

  • hard rice crackers

  • dried fruit

  • sausages, saveloys and cheerios

  • popcorn

  • marshmallows

  • High Five keeps a record of all food served during the service's hours of operation (other than that provided by parents for their own children, which will be provided on the day via storypark). Our records show the type of food provided, and are available for inspection for three months after the food is served.  We do this by keeping a record of the daily menu and where food is provided by parents to be shared, a list of all of the food provided for children is kept. 

  • We have “rough” set meal times but make allowances for children who are demonstrably hungry or for medical/personal reasons, require a specialised diet and eating time. A rolling kai will be available for our infants and older tamariki if they miss meals due to their sleep routines.

  • High Five is guided by a range of resources available to help ECE services make healthy and informed choices about food provided to children, and to encourage parents to do the same.

  • Lunch box day for the senior school happens each Wednesday. When food is provided for children to eat while attending the centre, please ensure their lunch box is clearly labelled and free of peanuts and nuts.

Handling Allergies

  • At enrollment we find out information regarding any allergies, intolerances and food preferences so we are better able to care for childrens’ needs and have an action plan in place if one is needed

  • The chef and any staff allocated food preparation responsibilities, as well as all teachers, are made known of any allergies, intolerances or preferences. If at any time a child had come into contact with food they were allergic to, parents will be notified immediately via phone and their action plan will be followed

  • Allergies with anaphylaxis are taken very seriously. We are a peanut and nut free centre. This includes nut butters as well as they are spreadable and easily transferred onto other equipment. In the event that a child or staff brought in peanuts and/or nuts, or products containing them, a teacher who is able to (not affected by the allergin) would immediately remove the food and seal it away from children and staff. The parent would be informed and upon pick up would collect that food. They would then be reminded of our policy. 

  • Our centre provides milo/milk periodically for children but encourage children to choose water as their primary source of hydration.  An ample supply of water that is fit to drink is available to children at all times, and older children are able to access this water independently (HS21)

  • Children are encouraged to be included in the preparation of their food to support their learning and involvement within High Five, if these opportunities appeal to them. When this occurs, hygiene before, during and after food preparation will be diligently enforced

Food Safety Training and Competency

  • New kitchen staff undergo a food safety induction before they prepare food at High Five 

Readily perishable food

  • Potentially hazardous food is food that will support the growth of harmful microbes (poultry for example).  Staff follow safe food handling practices whenever potentially hazardous food is handled, stored, and transported to ensure it remains safe and suitable as is required by the Food Act 2014.  

  • We provide a full meal service that includes readily perishable food and is prepared by designated kitchen staff.  We therefore are subject to a National Programme 2 under the Food Act 2014.  The requirements under a National Programme 2 (receiving, storing, cooking, cooling and reheating perishable food) are outlined in the Food Act 2014 Checklist and Record Sheet.

Relevant References

We adhere to the following licensing criteria requirements:

  • HS19: Food is served at appropriate times to meet the nutritional needs of each child while they are attending. Where food is provided by the service, it is of sufficient variety, quantity, and quality to meet these needs. Where food is provided by parents, the service encourages and promotes healthy eating guidelines.

  • HS20: Food is prepared, served and stored hygienically;

  • HS21: An ample supply of water that is fit to drink is available to children at all times, and older children are able to access this water independently;

  • HS22: Children are supervised while eating;

  • HS23: Under-2 year olds and Infants under the age of 6 months and other children unable to drink independently are held semi-upright when being fed. Any infant milk food given to a child under the age of 12 months is of a type approved by the child’s parent.

  • PF15: a designated place set aside for the children to sit and eat

Licensing Criteria 2008, Health and Safety Regulations and associated criteria.


Review in three years unless circumstances lead to an earlier review. 

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