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How to Create a Healthy Eating Policy

By Derek Brooks,2014-05-20 10:42
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The intention of this framework is to be used as a guideline when writing or reviewing your healthy eating policy. It is important that whole staff teams

? Together for Children 2008 Page 1 of 12 Version 2 December 2008

    Part 1: How to create a Food and Drink Policy ............................................................................ 3 Purpose ................................................................................................................................. 3 References/Legislation that inform this policy........................................................................... 3 Suggested background to preface any healthy eating policy ..................................................... 4 Diet and Health ................................................................................................................... 4 Obesity ............................................................................................................................... 4 Oral Health ......................................................................................................................... 4 Points to consider in developing a policy.................................................................................. 5 Aims ................................................................................................................................... 5 Environment / Settings ........................................................................................................ 6 Training .............................................................................................................................. 6 Breastfeeding ...................................................................................................................... 6 Nutrition .............................................................................................................................. 6 Drinks ................................................................................................................................. 6 Rewards ............................................................................................................................. 6 Birthdays and Celebrations .................................................................................................. 7 Policy Implementation ............................................................................................................. 7

    Part 2: Healthy Eating Policy Checkist ........................................................................................ 8 Purpose ................................................................................................................................. 8 References/Legislation that inform this policy........................................................................... 8 Policy Implementation ........................................................................................................... 10

Document Owner

Organisation Together for Children

Title How to create a Healthy Eating Policy

th4 December 2008 v1 First Release th16 December 2008 v2 First Release

     ? Together for Children 2008 Page 2 of 12 Version 2 December 2008

This Guidance is not a substitute for any local arrangements for healthy eating protocols

    already in place. All information will need to be checked for further updates to the

    references and legislation below. You will need to make the following personal to your

    setting.

If parents / carers have any specific concerns about their child’s diet, they should contact

    their Health Visitor or GP.

    Purpose

    The intention of this framework is to be used as a guideline when writing or reviewing your healthy

    eating policy. It is important that whole staff teams are involved with the development of this policy,

    parents/carers are consulted and their views taken into consideration. All staff need to take

    ownership of the policy and procedures written around this framework and have a responsibility to

    ensure they are applied to practice.

This framework has been written to support any practitioner in supporting children and young

    people and families to help develop a healthy eating policy.

This framework consists of prompts and questions to discuss with the whole staff team when

    developing your healthy eating policy.

    References/Legislation that inform this policy

    ? Every Child Matters (H M Treasury, 2003)

    ? Healthy Living Blueprint for Schools (DfES, 2004)

    ? Choosing Health: making healthier choices easier (DOH, 2004)

    ? National Healthy Schools Healthy Eating Standard (DfES/DH, 2005)

    ? Food in Schools Toolkit (DH, 2005)

    ? OfSTED Self Evaluation Framework for Schools (DfES, 2005)

    ? Every Child Matters: Change for Children Outcomes Framework (2005)

    ? Nutritional Standards for school lunches and other school food (DfES, 2006)

    ? Delivering Better Oral Health; An evidence-based toolkit for prevention (DH 2007)

    ? The Early Years Foundation Stage: Setting the Standards for Learning, Development and

    Care for children from birth to five (DfES, 2007)

     and local strategies,

    ? A Whole Setting Food and Oral Health Policy Exemplar for Early Years

    Edition 1-2007. Wirral Primary Care Trust.

    www.healthyschools.gov.uk Healthy Schools

    www.schoolfodtrust.org.uk Schools Food Trust

    www.teachernet.gov.uk Teachernet

    www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/eyfs Early Years Foundation Stage Document

    www.5aday.nhs.uk Five a Day

    www.food.gov.uk Food Standards Agency

    www.dh.gov.uk Department of health

     ? Together for Children 2008 Page 3 of 12 Version 2 December 2008

Suggested background to preface any healthy eating policy

    ? A whole setting policy enables a children’s centre to develop and maintain a shared philosophy

    on all aspects of food and drink. It makes a public statement about how our establishment

    cares for and makes a positive contribution to the health and wellbeing of children, staff and

    other stakeholders. In particular it aims to develop a coherent approach to healthy eating

    activities.

Diet and Health

    ? Children’s health is an integral part of their emotional, mental, social and spiritual well being

    and is supported by attention to these aspects. Diet is central to health and children’s diet can

    be an important influence on their health now and in the future. Nutritional status can have

    immediate impact on the health of children and young people. A poor diet can contribute to

    anaemia, dental decay, obesity, susceptibility to illness and adversely affect general health

    (DfES, 2007) ? The diet of British children has been described as being among the worst in Europe (Vereeken

    & Maes, 2000: cited in Waters and Hackett, 2005).

    ? Good health in the early years helps to safeguard health and well-being throughout life. It is

    important that children develop healthy habits when they first learn about food and activity.

    Growing with appropriate weight gain in the first years of life helps to safeguard against obesity

    in later life.

    ? Poorly nourished children especially those who are overweight or obese often experience

    social, emotional and psychological problems, with the tendency for lower self esteem and

    being less popular with their peers (DH 2005)

Obesity

    ? Nationally the prevalence of obesity in children is rising. The Health Survey for England (2004)

    reported 33% of boys (aged 2-15yrs) and 35.1% of girls were either overweight or obese.

    Tackling this issue is a matter of both national and local priority. The Department of Health has

    set clear priorities to reduce dietary intake of fat, salt and sugar, increase fruit and vegetable

    consumption and tackle obesity (DH, 2005).

    ? As children can spend a significant proportion of their day in an early years setting, the way in

    which these settings promote the healthy eating message can have a major impact. ? The government have identified the importance of adopting a whole setting approach as a key

    element of their commitment to improving children’s health.

Oral Health

    ? An unhealthy diet not only affects childhood health outcomes with regard to general physical

    and psychological wellbeing and obesity, but also tooth decay, which remains one of the most

    common preventable childhood diseases. The majority of children attending a children’s centre

    will have some deciduous teeth (baby teeth), these are extremely important for eating a healthy

    diet and speaking clearly. They affect a child’s appearance and willingness to smile and they

    keep the space for the permanent teeth.

    ? Poor oral health can have a detrimental effect; toothache is distressing for the child and the

    family. The pain may affect other aspects of their daily living: problems with eating, sleeping,

     ? Together for Children 2008 Page 4 of 12 Version 2 December 2008

    concentration and behaviour and may result in young children having teeth extracted under

    general anaesthetic.

    ? Children’s centres are ideally placed to promote a healthy diet and influence the types of food

    and drink consumed. Good oral health practice would be to reduce the frequency and amount

    of sugars in drinks and foods; these should be completely avoided between meals. Fruit and

    vegetables are an ideal snack. It is not recommended that food or sweets be used as rewards

    as this can contribute to poor oral health.

    ? Pure unsweetened fruit juices and dried fruit are nutritious and can be counted as one of the

    recommended ‘5 a day’, however, they have a high concentration of sugar and this can have a

    negative impact on children’s oral health if they are consumed between meals. It is

    recommended that these foods are only served as part of a meal and not as a snack. Sugar is

    less harmful to teeth when consumed as part of a meal as more saliva is produced which will

    reduce the acid in the mouth.

    ? Parents and carers should be warned against the practice of allowing prolonged drinking of

    drinks containing sugar from a bottle or valve type cups. If sugary or sweetened drinks are

    given to younger children, they should be very well diluted, taken preferably at meal times only

    and drinking times should be kept short. An open cup or beaker should be used; it is

    recommended that this be as soon as they are old enough to hold one and should be

    introduced by the age of 6 months old, although individuals children’s physical development

    must be taken into consideration. Bottle feeding should be very much discouraged after the

    age of 12 months. Between meals, milk and water are the only drinks that are safe for teeth.

    ? Many young children bring their dummy with them into the children’s centre. Using a dummy for

    long periods of time after the first teeth have come through can cause a gap between the top

    and bottom teeth.

    ? Dipping dummies in sugary foods and drinks can cause tooth decay. Sucking of dummies or

    fingers may displace teeth. The use of dummies should be restricted to sleep times. It is

    advised to stop the use of a dummy by the time babies are 12 months old.”

    ? All children’s centres are encouraged to offer tooth brushing activities for young children. Tooth

    brushing with family fluoride toothpaste is a simple, widely recommended and practiced

    method of caring for teeth. When done routinely and effectively, tooth brushing can reduce the

    amount of plaque which contains the bacteria associated with gum disease and tooth decay.

    However brushing teeth immediately after a meal containing sugar should be discouraged, if

    possible allow 30 minutes to pass before tooth brushing takes place.

Points to consider in developing a policy

Aims

    What are the aims of this healthy eating policy in relation to:

    ? Raising awareness of nutrition

    ? Encouraging and developing skills of parents/carers and children to be able to make

    informed food and drink choice

    ? Helping develop positive attitudes to diet, health and oral health

    ? Developing healthy eating and drinking activities that can benefit children, staff, parents,

    carers and other associates

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    ? In order to achieve the aims of this healthy eating policy, how will x Children’s Centre strive

    to meet the following targets:-

Environment / Settings

    ? Promote healthy lifestyles through healthy eating and drinking

    ? Present consistent, informed healthy eating messages

    ? Ensure that planned activities and the drink provision throughout the day present a

    consistent message.

    ? Work with parents/carers around the provision of healthy food and drinks by making healthy

    eating information available, such as this New Horizons healthy eating policy, approved

    leaflets, posters to inform healthy choices.

    ? Support and encourage good table manners and social eating skills.

Training

    ? Organise opportunities for staff to receive information on healthy eating, oral health, food

    safety and hygiene, first aid, health and safety.

Breastfeeding

    ? Support the promotion and practice of breastfeeding according to the breastfeeding policy.

    ? Provide helpful and friendly staff that has an awareness of the needs of breastfeeding

    mothers and their babies.

Nutrition

    ? Promote good nutrition and oral health as recommended in the Early Years Foundation

    Stage (DfES, 2007)

    ? Where food is provided from home, offer guidance and information on nutritious and well

    balanced options to parents / carers.

Drinks

    ? Ensure that age 0-1yr; Children under one year of age should only drink milk as a drink, as

    breast or formula.

    ? Ensure that age 1-2yrs; Children between the age of 1 and 2yrs should have whole milk.

    ? Ensure that age 2yrs and over should have Semi-skimmed milk.

    ? Ensure that children will have access to plain drinking water (not flavoured or sparkling) at

    all times and will be encouraged to drink plain water so that they remain properly hydrated.

    Staff will aim to ensure that children are provided with regular drinks (i.e. milk and water) in

    adequate quantities for their needs.

    ? Offer pure unsweetened fruit juice containing less than 5% sugar.

Rewards

    ? Ensure children are rewarded with praise, stars and stickers (or other non food based

    treats). Food and sweets will not routinely be used as a reward.

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Birthdays and Celebrations

    ? Take into account ethical, religious and medical dietary requirements of children and staff

    when appropriate and possible.

    ? Encourage ideas for culturally appropriate ways to celebrate cultural and religious

    occasions will be discussed with parents/carers.

Policy Implementation

    ? Who is the designated person responsible for the implementation of this policy? Do they

    have the relevant training and qualifications? ? Are all new staff aware of who is the designated person?

    ? Is awareness of this policy part of all staff induction, training, reviews, supervision and

    communications from children’s centre management?

    ? How do you inform and involve parents about this strategy?

    ? How do you inform and involve partner agencies about this strategy? ? What other policies does this policy link to?

    ? How is this policy reflected as a linked policy within other relevant policies? ? How will this policy be strategically enforced and supported through any strategic themed

    groups including joint working groups across partner agencies?

What document change history is written into this policy document which includes: -

    ? When this policy was adopted

    ? When this policy is due for review/has been reviewed

    ? The status of the policy, whether draft or final

    ? Who was consulted in the writing of this policy: - staff, parents, other partner agencies ? Who has given authorisation, signed and dated the sign off of this policy

     ? Together for Children 2008 Page 7 of 12 Version 2 December 2008

Purpose

    This checklist is written as a reflective tool for practitioners, to enable them to self evaluate their

    policy. All staff should take ownership of this process in order to develop their own awareness of

    the policy and related procedures enhancing their professional development and establishing their

    responsibility to ensure it is implemented effectively

References/Legislation that inform this policy

    .

    ? Every Child Matters (H M Treasury, 2003)

    ? Healthy Living Blueprint for Schools (DfES, 2004)

    ? Choosing Health: making healthier choices easier (DOH, 2004)

    ? National Healthy Schools Healthy Eating Standard (DfES/DH, 2005)

    ? Food in Schools Toolkit (DH, 2005)

    ? OfSTED Self Evaluation Framework for Schools (DfES, 2005)

    ? Every Child Matters: Change for Children Outcomes Framework (2005)

    ? Nutritional Standards for school lunches and other school food (DfES, 2006)

    ? Delivering Better Oral Health; An evidence-based toolkit for prevention (DH 2007)

    ? The Early Years Foundation Stage: Setting the Standards for Learning, Development and

    Care for children from birth to five (DfES, 2007)

     and local strategies,

    ? A Whole Setting Food and Oral Health Policy Exemplar for Early Years

    Edition 1-2007. Wirral Primary Care Trust.

    www.healthyschools.gov.uk Healthy Schools

    www.schoolfodtrust.org.uk Schools Food Trust

    www.teachernet.gov.uk Teachernet

    www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/eyfs Early Years Foundation Stage Document

    www.5aday.nhs.uk Five a Day

    www.food.gov.uk Food Standards Agency

    www.dh.gov.uk Department of health

     ? Together for Children 2008 Page 8 of 12 Version 2 December 2008

    Does the policy include: YES/NO

1. All relevant services within the Children’s Centre need to been reflected

    in this whole setting policy

2. All statements regarding Diet and health, Obesity and Oral health

    relating to children up to age 5 years, pregnant women and all adults using

    the Children’s Centre been fully researched with up to date good practice

3. Awareness raising of nutrition

4. Encouragement and development of skills of parents/carers and children to

    be able to make informed food and drink choice

5. Development of positive attitudes to diet, health and oral health

6. Development of healthy eating and drinking activities that can benefit

    children, staff, parents, carers and other associates

7. Promotion of healthy lifestyles through healthy eating and drinking

8. Consistent, informed healthy eating messages

9. Planned activities and drink provision throughout

    the day that present a consistent message

10. Work with parents/carers around the provision of healthy food and

    drinks by making healthy eating information available, such as this

    New Horizons healthy eating policy, approved leaflets, posters to inform

    healthy choices

11. Support and encouragement of good table manners and social eating skills

12. Opportunities for staff to receive information on healthy eating,

    oral health, food safety and hygiene, first aid, health and safety.

13. The promotion and practice of breastfeeding according to the

    breastfeeding policy

14. Provide helpful and friendly staff that has an awareness of the needs of

    breastfeeding mothers and their babies

15. Promote good nutrition and oral health as recommended in the Early

    Years Foundation Stage (DfES, 2007)

16. Where food is provided from home, offer guidance and information

    on nutritious and well balanced options to parents / carers.

     ? Together for Children 2008 Page 9 of 12 Version 2 December 2008

     YES/NO

    17. Ensure that age 0-1yr; Children under one year of age should only

    drink milk as a drink, as breast or formula

18. Ensure that age 1-2yrs; Children between the age of 1 and 2yrs should

    have whole milk

19. Ensure that age 2yrs and over should have Semi-skimmed milk

20. Ensure that children will have access to plain drinking water

    (not flavoured or sparkling) at all times and will be encouraged to

    drink plain water so that they remain properly hydrated. Staff will aim

    to ensure that children are provided with regular drinks

    (i.e. milk and water) in adequate quantities for their needs

21. Offer pure unsweetened fruit juice containing less than 5% sugar

22. Ensure children are rewarded with praise, stars and stickers

    (or other non food based treats).

23. Food and sweets will not routinely be used as a reward

24. Take into account ethical, religious and medical dietary requirements

    of children and staff when appropriate and possible

25. Encourage ideas for culturally appropriate ways to celebrate cultural

    and religious occasions will be discussed with parents/carers

26. If parents / carers have any specific concerns about their child’s diet,

    they should contact their Health Visitor or GP.

    Policy Implementation

27. The designated person responsible for the implementation, review and

    evaluation of this policy is named throughout where relevant

28. They have the relevant training and qualifications

29. All new staff are aware who the designated person is

30. This policy is part of all staff induction, training, reviews, supervision

    and communications from Children’s Centre management

31. It is clear how parents will be informed about this policy

32. It is clear how partners will be informed about this policy

     ? Together for Children 2008 Page 10 of 12 Version 2 December 2008

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