Explain the role of the Early Years practitioner in meeting children’s individual dietary requirements and preferences

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 1.1: Support healthy lifestyles for children through the provision of food and nutrition
Learning outcome: Understand individuals’ dietary requirements and preferences.
Assessment criteria: Explain the role of the Early Years practitioner in meeting children’s individual dietary requirements and preferences

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As an Early Years practitioner, it is important to be aware of the individual dietary requirements and preferences of the children in your care. This includes understanding any allergies or intolerances they may have, as well as any cultural or religious considerations that need to be considered.

In order to meet the individual needs of each child, you will need to establish good working relationships with their parents or carers. This will involve communicating with them on a regular basis to discuss their child’s progress and any changes that need to be made to their diet.

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It is also important to plan, prepare and serve meals and snacks that are nutritious and appealing to children. This may require some trial and error, but it is important to remember that every child is different and what works for one may not work for another.

It is crucial to keep a record of each child’s food and drink intake. This will help you identify patterns in a child’s eating/drinking habits and support you in passing on accurate information to parents and carers.

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Any concerns related to a child’s health and wellbeing should be reported to a supervisor, including concerns related to healthy eating (e.g. if you suspect a child may be malnourished or dehydrated etc.)

By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that all children in your care receive the individual attention and support they need to thrive and develop.

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