As those working in the early years sector will be aware, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework requires providers to take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well – and providers must be confident that those responsible for preparing and handling food in their setting are competent to do so.
This includes preparing food hygienically, providing meals that are healthy, balanced and nutritious, as well as making sure that food is prepared appropriately for babies and children of different ages, for example mashed, pureed or cut into appropriately sized and shaped pieces where it could be a choking hazard. The EYFS learning and development requirements also state that children must be helped to make healthy choices in relation to food.
A number of organisations have produced guidance that supports providers, parents and carers in building a sound knowledge of how to prepare food for children in the early years – and how to make sure that meals provided are healthy and safe. Early years practitioners may find it useful to refer to this guidance when reviewing policies surrounding food and drink in their setting, or when inducting new members of staff to the EYFS requirements.
We have brought this guidance together on the Foundation Years website and have set out further details on the content to support providers and practitioners in meeting the food and drink requirements set out in the EYFS.
We would welcome any feedback on whether bringing this guidance together on one page is useful, what you might like to see on this page in the future and if there are any related free resources that you would like to share.
Please send your feedback and resources to [email protected].