Food and play cooking activities 

Food safety and nutrition procedures

         Food for play and cooking activities

Some parents and staff may have strong views about food being used for play. We are sensitive to these issues. For example, children who are Muslim, Jewish, Rastafarian, or who are vegetarian - Parents’ views will be sought on this.

§  Food for play may include dough, corn flour, pasta, rice, food colourings/flavourings.

§  Food for play is risk assessed for allergens and for children with specific allergies.

§  Staff are constantly alert to the potential hazards of food play, in particular choking hazards and signs of previously undetected allergies.

§  Dried food that is used for play should be kept away from food used for cooking.

§  Foods that are cooked and used for play, such as dough, have a limited shelf life.

§  Cornflour is always mixed with water before given for play.

§  Cornflower and cooked pasta are discarded after an activity; high risk of bacteria forming.

§  Utensils used for play food are washed thoroughly after use.

Children’s cooking activities

§  Before undertaking any cooking activity with children, members of staff should check for allergies and intolerances by checking children’s records.

§  Children are taught basic hygiene skills such as the need to wash hands thoroughly before handling food, and again after going to the toilet, blowing their nose or coughing.

§  The area to be used for cooking is cleaned; a plastic table cloth if available.

§  Children should wear aprons that are used just for cooking if available.

§  Utensils provided are for children to use only when cooking, including chopping/rolling boards, bowls, wooden spoons, jugs, and are stored in the kitchen.

§  Members of staff encourage children to handle food in a hygienic manner.

§  Food ready for cooking or cooling is not left uncovered.

§  Cooked food to go home is put in a paper food bag and refrigerated until home time.

§  Food play activities are suspended during outbreaks of illness.