• Request information from the child’s parent/carer, so you are aware of the child’s dietary requirements before they start at the setting.
  • If a special diet is requested for medical reasons, we request written confirmation of the allergy/medical need from the child’s GP, dietitian or other medical professional to make sure children are not having foods removed from their diet without a diagnosed medical need.
  • We work with the child’s parent/ carer (and medical professionals if required) to write and agree a clear plan of how to manage the child’s special dietary requirement.

This should describe:

  1. details of their special dietary requirements and a clear list of the foods which can and can’t be eaten
  2.  how meals and snacks will be provided (e.g. whether appropriate meals will be identified or adapted from the existing menu, or whether suitable foods will be prepared or supplied separately)
  3.  precautions to take during activities involving food e.g. craft/ messy play
  4.  the action to take in the event of an emergency (e.g. allergic reaction), including names, dose and administration of prescribed medication, and the staff trained to administer it.
  • Ensure that all staff are fully informed (and fully understand) about individual children’s dietary requirements, and how these are being met, so they can ensure appropriate food is provided.
  • Ensure this information is easily available for all staff, for example by displaying details and photos of children with special dietary requirements in the kitchen, and also where food is served to the children.
  • If necessary we will provide staff training to understand different special diets and how to ensure children are provided with food appropriate for their needs.
  • Ensure that staff know how to deal with a severe allergic reaction by:
  • Knowing the warning signs to look out for; it is not always clear, as symptoms may be similar to other serious conditions, but warning signs include difficulty breathing, swollen lips or mouth, or collapsing.
  • If the above happens, do not move them. Call 999 immediately, describe what is happening and explain you think they may be having a serious allergic reaction or anaphylaxis.
  • If the child has a written allergy plan in place, follow the procedure described in it for emergencies. If they carry an adrenaline pen, retrieve it, and administer it as described in their plan.