Nutrition and Health Policy
Currently under review.
The purpose of this operational policy is to keep children and adults safe by meeting Licensing Criteria HS19, HS20, HS21, HS22, HS23, PF15 and requirements under the Food Act 2014.
ECE centres have an obligation to uphold the health, safety and wellbeing of children by ensuring the service meets their nutritional needs of children in their care or alternatively encourages parents to do so. ECE centres also have an obligation to ensure that staff know how to prepare and handle food safely.
Our centre takes into account the full nutritional needs of children and tailors this for children under the age of two. We also ask parents to declare any known allergies on their enrolment form. 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;
At High Five we ensure that children receive nutritional food at an appropriate time to meet their health needs and in a safe manner. We are also committed to ensuring a high level of hygiene is maintained while preparing, serving and storing food. We keep records of the food served. Where food is provided by parents, the service encourages and promotes healthy eating guidelines.
● 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.
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. Any shared food brought in will not include peanuts or other nuts, as this is a severe allergy and children/staff at our centre are to be kept safe at all times from these severe allergins.
Our food is prepared using as many whole ingredients as possible. This ensures that processed foods and processed sugars are limited. At special events such as birthdays, families may decide to bring in an appropriate treat to share together. These foods could contain processed sugar, and will be made known to parents and whānau so they can make an informed decision on their food preferences for their child.
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). 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 set meal times but make allowances for children who are demonstrably hungry or for medical/personal reasons, require a specialised diet and eating time.
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.
We provide a full meal service prepared by designated kitchen staff.
And parents may choose to provide food for their child to eat while attending.
Where parents provide lunch for their child, we ensure their lunch box is clearly labelled and that allergy guidelines are followed.
Upon enrolment, parents are required to record any known allergies and/or food preferences for their child. The chef and any staff allocated food preparation responsibilities, as well as all teachers, are made known of these allergies and/or food preferences. If at any time a child had come into contact with food they were allergic to, parents are to be notified immediately via phone.
Allergies with anaphylaxis are handled differently. 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, 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 immediately 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 )
Our children under 3 years of age will have their hard fruit par-boiled or shredded to reduce the risk of a choking hazard for the child.
There will be times that children will be included in the preparation of food as a curriculum related activity. Where this occurs, all the above precautions will be taken. Food Act 2014
Food Safety Training and Competency
New kitchen staff undergo a food safety induction before they prepare food.
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 Check List and Record Sheet.
This policy aligns with the Food Act 2014 checklist and record sheet.
Relevant Background (including legislation/regulation references)
Licensing Criteria 2008, Health and Safety Regulations and associated criteria.
● HS19: a record of all food served during the service’s hours of operation (other than that provided by parents for their own children). Records show the type of food provided, and are available for inspection for 3 months after the food is served.
● HS20, HS21, HS22, HS23, PF15 and requirements under the Food Act 2014.
● NZ Heart Foundation – loading up the lunchbox [PDF; 622kb]
● The Ministry of Health has produced a publication on healthy nutrition for babies and toddlers and Nutritional Guidelines for healthy children. Some foods become potentially hazardous when modified or altered. Dry custard powder is not potentially hazardous, you can store it in the cupboard. However, once it is mixed with water it becomes potentially hazardous, you need to refrigerate it. A can of beef stew becomes potentially hazardous and must be refrigerated once opened.
● There is a list of resources on Food and Nutrition including information on allergies.
● Tosswill, A. (2009). Children and vegetarian eating. Swings & Roundabouts
magazine. June, 22 – 21.
Food Act 2014
Food Regulations 2015
Impacts of Policy on Staff, Parents, Children
Consequences policy will help to avoid the inability of parents, management or officials to obtain accurate information on the type of food provided at the centre in the recent past. It also will uphold the health and safety of children in our centre. It will avoid penalties under the Food Act 2014 regulations.
Alignment with the Centre Philosophy
This policy ensures a healthy and safe environment, a crucial part of creating and maintaining the well-being of children in our care.
Implications and/or Risks
Failure to implement this policy correctly could cause a child in our centre to become seriously ill and damage the reputation of our centre to provide a safe place for children. It could also cause our centre to be fined under the Food Act 2014.
Staff are aware of this policy and are trained accordingly. Whaanau are consulted in any amendments each year. We will consult with parents to decide on how the Food Act 2014 will affect our centre and the options available to parents to ensure that at this centre we can guarantee that children receive nutritional food to meet their health needs and in a safe manner.