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Describe food and drink requirements in relation to current frameworks.

QualificationLevel 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit nameUnit 1.1: Support healthy lifestyles for children through the provision of food and nutrition
Learning outcome: 1. Understand the impact of food and nutrition on children’s health and development.
Assessment criteria: 1.3 Describe food and drink requirements in relation to current frameworks.

The main framework that is related to food and drink requirements in early years and school settings is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

The EYFS, which is the statutory framework for all early years providers, sets several requirements for food and drink. For example, “where children are provided with meals, snacks and drinks, they must be healthy, balanced and nutritious.” (Section 3.47, EYFS).

Other requirements are stated in sections 3.47, 3.48 and 3.49, which include:

  • Before a child is admitted to the setting the provider must also obtain information about any special dietary requirements, preferences and food allergies that the child has, and any special health requirements (section 3.47)
  • Providers must record and act on information from parents and carers about a child’s dietary needs (section 3.47)
  • Providers must be confident that those responsible for preparing and handling food are competent to do so (section 3.48)
  • There must be an area which is adequately equipped to provide healthy meals, snacks and drinks for children as necessary (section 3.48)
  • Registered providers must notify Ofsted or the childminder agency with which they are registered of any food poisoning affecting two or more children cared for on the premises (section 3.49)

As with all aspects of Early Years work, it is important to familiarise yourself with the full text of the EYFS.