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3.7.6 Nutrition and Diet


This procedure applies to all Looked After children.

Arrangements must exist for promoting the nutritional and dietary needs of all Looked After children.

The arrangements may be outlined in the child's Placement Plan and must always be included where the child has special dietary needs or, where the child has a problematic relationship with food (e.g. overeating, under-eating, eating disorder), the Placement Plan should include the strategy for dealing with this.

Children must never be deprived of food as a punishment. If they are disrupting a meal, they may be asked to leave the dining table, but their meal must always be kept for them and served to them in an appetising way once their behaviour makes this possible.

Children should never go to bed hungry. If they arrive at the placement late in the day or return having Absconded late at night, they should be offered a snack and a hot drink before they go to bed.

The arrangements should include the following:

  1. Meeting each child’s nutritional and any dietary needs;
  2. Meeting any requirements to take account of the child’s religious, racial and cultural background;
  3. Giving children the opportunity to experience the food of a diverse range of cultural traditions
  4. Agreeing times and associated procedures for meals, e.g. washing up arrangements;
  5. Encouragement for the child to eat with other children in the home and the staff/carers;
  6. Whether and, if so, how children will be encouraged and supported to help with menu planning, budgeting, food shopping and preparation of meals;
  7. What facilities are available for the child to have access to the kitchen to prepare snacks etc. for themselves and the supervision or otherwise required.
  8. Whether and, if so, how children will be taught skills in preparation for independence.