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 you arrive in the morning, please put your child’s lunchbox on the table by the kitchen in their hall. This enables us to put the boxes in the fridge to keep their food fresh until lunchtime.
• Please make sure that your child’s name is clearly marked on their lunch box and drink bottle.
• After song time the children will go to the toilet and wash their hands after which they go into their hall to find their lunch boxes.
• We try to encourage children to eat their sandwiches first as the bread provides them with slow release energy for the afternoon. 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
- 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 (Allery 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.
- We will always encourage children to eat their 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.
- Can you cut up grapes and tomatoes into smaller pieces (length ways) to reduce the risk of choking.
- Once a child has finished their lunch they will put their lunch boxes with their craft boxes and go off to play.
- We recommend that an ice pack be put in the lunch bag to keep food cool.
- Please make sure that your child’s name is clearly marked on their lunch box and drink bottle. Water will be available.
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.