We began our marvellous mealtimes journey 2 years ago and what an experience it has been! It’s been fabulous to see all of our wee people and #fabfalkirkfolk return to ELC over the last few weeks. It’s also been heartening to see our #MarvellousMealtimesFC approach being implemented across the authority with some fabulous environments and experiences being developed for children.
As expected there have been a variety of different questions and queries around the implementation of marvellous mealtimes in our current circumstances.
It is important, as always, to consider spaces, experiences and interactions when implementing the marvellous mealtimes approach. You can access our updated values here.
While implementing marvellous mealtimes you may wish to consider some of the following points:
- Does each bubble have their own eating area? Are these areas relaxed, nurturing and homelike?
- While a full self-service model can’t be operated at this time, do children still have choice in choosing foods and drinks?
- Do children still have the opportunity to be social during snack and mealtimes, sitting with friends and familiar adults?
- Has time been taken to consider the experience of snack and mealtimes? As a rich experience children should be able to choose their own plate and cup and use this for lunch. Serving children grab and go bags as they are is not suggested, children should still have the opportunity to use a plate and glass as part of the mealtime routine.
- Is lunch a staggered experience? Consider having children in smaller groups, rather than everyone eating lunch at the same time. This enables practitioners to spend meaningful time with children at one of the most social times of the day.
- Cooking and baking are regarded as continuous provision and, where possible, this should continue. The way we provide this experience will have to be adapted and assessed differently across settings. For example children should experience this in small numbers and should have access to their own ingredients and tools.
This is a marvellous mealtime moment from Easter Carmuirs ELC. The space they have developed lends itself to ensuring a warm, welcoming and relaxing space for children. The use of real crockery, cutlery and additions such as flowers demonstrate the quality of the experience and the high value practitioners place upon it.
Continue to share your marvellous mealtime moments using the #MarvellousMealtimesFC
Please just get in touch with your cluster link if you have any questions regarding marvellous mealtimes!