This broad subject is about special diets associated with:
- Allergies and intolerances
- Requirements associated with their faith
- Emotional eating barriers – reactions to being near certain foods, fussy eaters like foods touching one another etc
- Personal taste, choice and preferences – pace they eat, how they eat, how they like their food to be presented, likes and dislikes etc
With this in mind, families will be very much informing you! Have a clear process in which these are recorded and acted upon, ensuring the carer / parent knows how to update you on any changes or new additions.
Knowing everyone tastes and requirements is a difficult task, so why not raise the profile of your hard work and understanding:
Celebrate Difference: share a wider understanding of different faiths and cultural connections to food.
Raise Awareness: where can parents / carers access support should they feel their child has any issues, such as food intolerances or emotional reactions?
Food Board Exchange: encourage parents to share their knowledge, via a section on the notice board. This could pin up recipes, what products to buy and where from if their child has a common food intolerance etc
Food For All Event: Do a small event where parents can try the foods the children eat, showing the diversity you have to cater for and label them. This in turn is good PR. It helps parents / carers see the efforts you go to and demonstrates best practice, value for money and most of all you care.