At Micklands Pre-School we provide a Lunch Club for the children and we ask parents to provide a healthy packed lunch including a drink.
Our Lunch Club runs from 11.45am to 12.15pm each day and it is run by our designated Lunch Club Assistants. In addition, there is always an NVQ Level 3 practitioner with paediatric first aid training on site at lunch time. The operation of Lunch Club is overseen by the Pre-School Supervisor and Deputy Supervisor.
The cost of each Lunch Club session is currently £2.00. Lunch club fees must be paid half-termly in advance. Please note that Lunch Club fees have to be paid for every Lunch Club session booked for the half term (even if the child is unfortunately unable to attend a session due to illness or any other reason) as they are directly used to pay for the running costs of the club.
We understand that some children at this age can be fussy with eating, especially when it comes to eating a healthy, balanced diet. So, here are a few useful and practical ideas on how to pack a healthy lunch box for pre-school:
- We encourage parents to prepare the lunch freshly on the day of the lunch club session to ensure maximum freshness and to comply with food hygiene regulations. Try using an insulated lunch box and always include a small ice pack to keep the food as cool and fresh as possible. Please remember that we are unable to reheat any food.
- It is important to make sure that food is wrapped well and that fruit and salads are washed prior to being packed.
- As well as being nutritionally balanced, your child’s lunch box should be interesting and attractive too. Try and involve your child in deciding some of the contents of their lunch box, for example, which piece of fruit they would prefer, or whether they would like a sandwich or a salad. The chances are, if they have helped to prepare their lunch, they will be more interested in eating it.
- It is important to avoid putting too many items in the box. This can be overwhelming for children and discourage eating. We advise a maximum of 5 items including a drink.
- To add interest, you could try cutting the sandwiches into shapes. Does your child want triangles or squares today? Your child could help you do this; you could even use some cookie cutters to make the sandwiches extra special. Take time to try different breads, for example, bagels, pitas, rolls, or even oatcakes, rice cakes or crackers. Some great fillings for sandwiches are cheese, ham, chicken or tuna.
- If your child isn’t fond of sandwiches, why not try a salad including pastas or even cous cous. Other options may be a sausage /vegetarian cheese roll, breadsticks and a dip or a slice of cold pizza providing that the rest of the lunch box is nutritionally balanced.
- Children love snack sized foods so try thinking small. Cherry tomatoes and grapes are brilliant as long as they are chopped in half to avoid any choking hazards. Slice or chop bigger fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, melon, carrots, peppers or cucumber. This makes them easier to hold in little hands and your child can also use them to dip in some yoghurt or vegetable dip.
- Small boxes of dried fruit and raisons are always a favourite; you could even try small pots of fruit in natural juice or yoghurt coated fruit flakes.
- Choose a different ‘extra’ everyday to add some variety. Suggestions of these could include yoghurt, fruit loaf, cheese sticks or cubes, malt loaf or a pot of sugar-free jelly.
- Avoid giving treats such as cakes and crisps every day; try once a week or alternate days and only one at a time. We do discourage packed lunches that consist largely of crisps, sweets, cakes, sugary drinks or biscuits and we reserve the right to return this food to the parent as a last resort.
- Water is best; alternatively try pure fruit juices or as a last resort, a carton of milk. Milk can at times be too filling and then discourage the rest of the packed lunch from being eaten. We provide the children with the option of milk or water during our snack times at 10.30 am and 1.30 pm. Please remember to provide a drink in your child’s packed lunch as we only offer water during lunch club.
- Please note that Micklands Pre-School is a permanent “nut free zone” and the packed lunch you provide for your child must not include any nuts, or anything containing nuts or nut products.