Did you know that the levels of food allergy and intolerance are higher in children than in adults? This is especially important to consider within an EYFS setting. Whilst in your care you are each child’s eyes, ears and voice. Not being able to eat a certain food is one thing when you are a very small child…KNOWING what you can and can’t eat is entirely another.
If you work within an EYFS setting you will be aware of the latest legislation with regards to allergens. Essentially the legislation (put into practice in 2016) requires ALL food businesses, including childminders who provide food, to make information available on the presence of 14 specific allergens used as an ingredient in the food served. This information must also be easily accessible to guardians or parents.
We understand this can be a lot to consider and is hugely important to get right so we thought we’d share some of the information we share within our EYFS Nutrition and allergens course.
1/ always check and re-check your allergen information. Often food manufacturers change ingredients in their products so, what may have been okay one week, may not be the following. Do not assume the ingredients remain the same.
2/ ensure the information is easily available AND up-to-date. If an ingredient changes always re-send information to the relevant parents and re-publish that information. Just because you know you’re doing the right thing doesn’t mean your paperwork will reflect that.
3/ Ask the question in show rounds and settling in sessions so you can plan, prepare and re-assure.
4/ Look for hidden allergens. Often allergens can lurk in the simple, stock items oils, sauces etc. Check ingredient labels on absolutely everything.
5/ avoid cross contamination when preparing all foods
If you want to know more about nutritions and allergens our course could help you. All the info and how to book can be found right here.