Poplar Pre-School (CIO)

Allington, Maidstone, ME16 0DE



Lunch is part of the afternoon session and your child will need to bring in a packed lunch. We have put together the following information to give you a few ideas.

Below are details of the daily procedure and guidance for you:
• When your child arrives in the morning, they put their lunchbox on the table by the kitchen in their room. Please put a ice block in their lunch box/bag to help keep it cool.

• Please make sure that your child’s name is clearly marked on their lunch box and drink bottle, water is also available at the pre-school.

• Before lunchtime the children will go to the toilet and wash their hands after and then go into their room to find their lunch boxes.

• We try to encourage children to eat their sandwiches, carbohydrate/protein based food first as this provides them with slow release energy for the afternoon.  Please ensure that the food you give them is something they like. Don’t make lunches at pre-school a time to try new things. If your child does not like sandwiches please provide a suitable alternative such as pitta bread, wraps, pasta salad or rice for example.

• After the lunch is finished the children put their lunch boxes with their craft boxes and go out to play. If the weather is bad an indoor activity is provided which is not structured in the same way as the rest of the session so that the children have a break from learning.

Packed lunch contents

The following advice is taken from The Children’s Food Trust:

  • Children should have a balanced packed lunch from each of the food groups
  • Fruit and Vegetables: One portion of fruit and one portion of vegetables - Can you cut up grapes and tomatoes into smaller pieces (length ways) to reduce the risk of choking.
  • Protein: Meat, fish, egg or other non-dairy protein, such as hummus, lentils or chickpeas
  • Oily fish: sardines, salmon or tuna for example
  • Carbohydrate: Starchy food, such as bread (of any kind), pasta, rice, couscous, noodles or potatoes
  • Dairy: Milk, cheese, yoghurt or fromage frais
  • Drinks: Water, pure fruit juice (No added sugar) – No Fizzy drinks please


Packed lunches should not contain:

  • Sugary drinks in cartons, bottles or cans
  • Confectionary – sweets or chocolate
  • Chocolate spread as sandwich filling
  • Nut based products (Allergy risks)


The amount of food suggested above will seem a lot for many of the children, and it is just to give you all some ideas. Please don’t feel that you have to put everything in. You know your child’s eating habits, but we find most children don’t eat a large amount at this time. 

For many of the children, eating lunch at pre-school is the first time they have eaten away from parents/carers, we try to make it as trouble free as possible and an enjoyable experience for the children.

Thank you