Swedish Approach to Dining

At Spateston Early Learning and Childcare Centre, mealtimes play a vital role in supporting our children’s learning and development. We recognise the importance of the opportunities it provides and the learning that stems from it. Mealtimes encourage children’s participation, communication and language development. Our approach ensures children are receiving a high-quality and positive dining experience.

To ensure we promote this, we provide a homely environment with a calm and relaxing atmosphere in which the children feel safe and secure – an extremely important part of early years’ development. This encourages children to feel comfortable and has social interactions within their small groups, supporting them to build relationships. Early social interaction is particularly beneficial for a child’s development, and the right environment supports children to develop strong language skills, creativity, communication and confidence.

Children’s independence and involvement in the process is key throughout. Our open snack allows children to choose where they can come and go when they are ready. At snack and lunchtime, children independently serve their own food and drink, and have responsibility for cleaning up after themselves. Children are consistently provided choice throughout to ensure they feel valued and respected. Our approach to learning encourages children to become independent decision-makers. Allowing children to make their own decisions empowers them and builds upon their confidence. Life is defined by the choices we make, and it is important that we equip our children with the necessary tools to make their own decisions.

Children are involved in producing many healthy items for our snacks and lunches. They are responsible for looking after our allotment and using the produce to bake and cook recipes for our meals. Our children make bread or scones which are used for daily snacks. This experience allows children to understand the cycle of agriculture and provides them with knowledge about where food comes from. Children also show a great willingness to try new foods that they have been involved in the development process.

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