We operate a snack-cafe system from 9.30-10.30am, to enable children to make choices when to eat. The menu changes every day and we have a 3-week rota. The snack is laid out in a buffet style for the children to serve themselves. Milk and water are available for the children to pour their own drink, this is to encourage independence. Children are consulted on the foods that they like and also encouraged to try other foods. We discuss with the children at snack-time where the food comes from and why it is a healthy food choice. The menu is available to read on the HEY/Nippers Nutrition display board.
Water is available at all times. The children have a water cooler that they can access independently and are particularly encouraged to do so in warm weather and after exercise. Research suggests that dehydration can reduce both mental and physical performance and that children should be encouraged to drink as their thirst mechanisms are less developed than adults. (Therefore, children should be encouraged to drink water even if they are not thirsty). Headaches, irritability and sleepiness are often sign of dehydration.
For further information about children’s health and healthy recipes visit www.nhs.uk. and www.kidshealth.org