Home-based Early Learning Program

Added Advantage 

Serving London, Ontario 

My Nutritional Philosophy

Healthy eating is an important part of every child?s day. In the interest of developing a healthy attitude towards food and nutrition, I strongly believe in allowing children opportunities to help prepare meals, as age appropriate and interest dictates.

 

Tasks can range from washing fruits or veggies, measuring and adding ingredients for baked goods, stirring dishes and eventually even helping with chopping.  The ability to explore, touch, smell and hear new foods increases children?s desires to taste new foods and develop a wide palette for increased nutritional value.

 

It also increases self-help skills, pride in preparing a good meal and confidence to try new things. As five children underfoot in the kitchen can be a challenge to 'maintain the interest of all' the children take turn being the 'kitchen helper' on a daily basis while the others can engage in quiet activities or a few minutes of Treehouse in the adjacent room.

 

Our weekly menus are posted Friday for the upcoming week, have a focus on wholesome and nutritious snacks & meals and can accommodate any food allergies or restrictions your child may encounter and involve input for the children.  

 At the end of each week the children and I will work on planning next weeks menu together! Using 'picture cards' to help them work with me to choose a balanced meal plan that inspires them to want to try the items they have chosen and put together. A great way to learn about nutrition as well as early literacy skills in writing our choices down. I will then post the upcoming menu on the website for parents to be able to plan their menus at home as well ... to avoid the same lunch and dinner incidents ... not that most kids mind having the same thing twice.

 

Close communication with parents is important to ensure that all the children?s nutritional needs are met on a daily basis. Upon enrollment your child?s current likes and dislikes in relation to foods will be integral in developing the groups weekly menus to ensure that there are favorite foods from all families represented. I always welcome new favorite family recipes.

 

Children are encouraged to try foods offered but never forced to eat. Children who choose not to eat are encouraged to stay at the table and keep us company - as often sitting and watching peers enjoying new and tasty foods helps children find the courage to expand their own palettes! Unfortunately I am not able to accommodate choosy eaters by cooking a 'separate' meal for them. Meals and snacks offer a wide variety of options of food groups and are served at regular and routine intervals in the house. It is my belief that a hungry child will eat something of what is being served  - eventually - they will not starve themselves.

 

I also believe in keeping a written record of children?s daily food intake as it helps create a picture of continued efforts to try new foods, ensures proper balance and monitors any negative reactions to new foods...this information is recorded in my daily log so that I can look it up for parents at need.

 

Birthdays and other Special Occasions

Your child?s birthday is a very joyous occasion and deserves celebration!

Children are always excited to share the celebration with their daycare friends ? upcoming birthdays will be recorded on each family?s monthly ?Events calendar?.

Prior to the special day the birthday child will be able to select the nature of their birthday celebration from their special treat (cupcakes, cake, ice-cream sundae, etc.) to any special activities they would like the day to entail (within given financial parameters of course

We will make and prepare the treat for celebration day. Parents are encouraged to come in and join in the fun if able.


Food items served

Fresh Fruits Served

Apples, Bananas, Oranges ? navel and Clementine?s, Pears, Kiwi, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Watermelon, Pomegranate, Plums, Pineapple, Peaches, Mango and seedless Grapes 

Canned Fruits served on occasion

Sweetened in juice mixed fruit salad, peaches, pears, mandarin oranges and pumpkin puree

Fresh Veggies served raw or steamed/sauteed with meals

Carrots, Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes, Celery Sticks, Sweet Peppers, Mushrooms, Broccoli and Cauliflower, Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Bean sprouts, Asparagus , French Beans, Onions, Sweet Potato, Spaghetti squash, butternut squash, acorn squash, Avocado

Frozen Veggies

Corn, Peas, Broccoli, Green Beans, Spinach, Oriental mix

Canned or Jarred Veggies

Diced Tomatoes, Stewed Tomatoes, Tomato puree, Salsa, Pickles, Olives

Protein / Meat

Chicken, Pork, Beef, Fish ...Tuna / Cod / Salmon, Eggs, Black beans, chickpeas, nut butters, gluten free sausage

Dairy / Dairy replacements

Yogurt, hard and soft cheeses, homo milk / almond milk / coconut milk, eggs

Grains / Flours

Potato, Rice, GF pasta, Oats, GF crackers, GF breads/muffins/baked goods

Flours for homemade baking Coconut, Almond, Hazelnut, Cassava / Arrowroot flour

Sample Menus ideas

Some examples of our favorite fare choices are:

Am snacks - one option plus a serving of fruit or veggie

  • Cold cereal – rice crispies, Shreddies, corn bran, alphabets, cheerios, etc
  • Pancakes / Waffles / French toast
  • Warm Oatmeal
  • Toast/Bagels/English muffins with PB or Cream Cheese or Cinnamon
  • Eggs … mini quiche, scrambled in mini pita pockets, hard boiled, Omelets, A bird in the nest (toad in hole)
  • Cereal Bars
  • Yogurt / Cottage Cheese
  • Mini Muffins … Pineapple coconut, peanut butter banana, apple raisin, pumpkin raisin, carrot raisin, raisin bran, cranberry lemon etc.
  • Cheese cubes

Summer Lunch ideas

  • Cold Chicken, Pita bread & Fruit Salad
  • BBQ Hamburgers, Home fries, Grilled veggies & Orange slices
  • Tuna Salad Wraps & Fruit kabobs
  • Meat & Cheese Pizza’s, Raw Veggies & Dip & Applesauce
  • Cold Turkey, Caesar Salad & Peaches
  • Roast Beef Slices, Potato Salad & Red Applesauce
  • Tuna Melts On English Muffin, Vegetable Salad & Pears
  • Egg Salad Sandwiches, Cold Veggie Tray & Pineapple
  • Greek Chicken Salad with Pita and Hummus, Mixed Fruit
  • Taco Salad With nachos, ground beef and cheese & Mixed Fruit
  • Chicken Breasts, Baby Spinach Salad, Pita Bread & Oranges
  • Greek Pasta Salad, Feta, Tomato & Melon
  • Roast Beef Wraps, Coleslaw, Carrots & Mixed Fruit
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Veggie Tray with Dip & Pears
  • Ham Salad Wraps, Potato Salad, Carrot sticks & Oranges
  • Kabasa & Cheese Kabobs, Crackers & Fresh Fruit tray
  • Cold Tuna Noodle Salad, Sliced Tomatoes & Banana
  • Chicken & Veggie Wraps, Carrot Raisin Salad & Strawberries
  • Cold Roastbeef, Macaroni Salad, Sliced tomatoes & Banana
  • Peanut Butter Banana Dogs, Apple / Carrot Salad & Melon slices
  • Tuna Salad in a Pita, Cheese & Tomato, Sweet Pickles & Apple
  • Chicken on a Bun, Cold Pea & Carrot Salad & Kiwi
  • Turkey on a Bun, Pasta Salad & Mango
  • Meat / Cheese Tray, Coleslaw, Rice Crackers & Mixed Fruit
  • Cobb Salad,Crackers, Strawberries
  •  Sanamoa Chicken Salad with Garlic toast  

Winter Lunch Ideas

  • Chicken Rice Casserole, Mixed Vegetables & Pineapple
  • Sloppy Joes, Cheese & Tomato, French Fries & Orange
  • Fish Sticks, Sweet Potatoes, Corn & Fruit
  • Meat & Cheese Pizza’s, Raw Veggies & Dip & Applesauce
  • Penne with Turkey Sausage, Caesar Salad & Peaches
  • Chicken Nuggets, Mashed Potato, Corn & Red Applesauce
  • Tuna Melts On English Muffin, Vegetable Soup & Pears
  • Franks & Beans, Toast, Vegetables & Pineapple
  • Turkey Stew, Peas / Carrots, Bread / Bun & Mixed Fruit
  • Vegetarian Chili with Nacho Chips, Vegetable Sticks & Fruit Salad
  • Homemade Soup, Ham Sandwiches & Apple
  • Pork Chops, Rice, Vegetables & Pineapple
  • Veggie Filled Lasagna, Garlic Bread & Oranges
  • Beef Stew, Potatoes, Carrots & Fruit
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Vegetable Soup & Pears
  • Ham, Scalloped Potatoes with Onions & Oranges
  • Swedish Meatballs with Rice, Broccoli & Pineapple
  • Tuna, Noodle & Cheese Casserole, Stewed Tomatoes & Banana
  • Shepherd’s Pie, Mixed Veggies, Bread & Butter & Apples
  • Cheeseburger Macaroni casserole , Stewed Tomatoes & Banana
  • Mexican Bean Pie, Rice, Salad & Pineapple
  • Tuna Melts, Cheese & Tomato, Sweet Pickles & Apple
  • Chicken on a Bun, French Fries, Corn & Kiwi
  • Greek Pizza, Veggies & Tatzikki Dip & Applesauce
  • Ravioli with Meat Sauce, Tossed Salad & Peaches
  • Thai Turkey Stir-fry, Egg Noodles & Mango
  • Tuna Rice Casserole, Peas / carrots & Pears
  • Sausage, Pancakes, Broccoli & Red Applesauce
  • Pork Chops, Peas / Carrots, Sweet Potatoes & Mixed Fruit
  • Cabbage Roll Casserole, Garlic Bread, Grapes
  • Chicken Carbanera with Caesar Salad and fruit

PM snacks one option plus a fruit or veggie serving

  • Mexican Pinwheel Wraps
  • Cream Cheese and Cucumber Wraps
  • Homemade Cookies …. Oatmeal raisin, PB, Ginger snap Cookies, Hermits, Macaroons, etc.
  • Cheese cubes and crackers
  • Pita triangles & Pate
  • Pita triangles & Hummus
  • Fruit kabobs and yogurt dip
  • Deviled Eggs and Apples
  • Mini muffins … cranberry lemon, Zucchini carrot, Banana Chocolate chip, Cherry Oatmeal surprise
  • Mini cheesecakes …. Graham wafer and flavored cream cheese with raspberries stuck on top
  • Rice Crisp Squares and fruit puree
  • Mini Ice- cream Cones with banana sliced into cone
  • Vanilla pudding and mandarin oranges
  • Homemade Bits and Bites
  • P&B crackers and Apple slices
  • Ants on a log
  • Veggies and various Dip
  • Pretzels and spinach dip
  • Peanut butter banana dogs
  • Nachos with salsa
  • Popcorn
  • Ambrosia Salad - cottage cheese, yogurt, coconut, pineapple, mandarin oranges, cherries, marshmallows
  • Monkey Bread - homemade bread dough cubed tossed with cinnamon, sugar, pecans and baked
  • Pickle & Cheese  trays
  • Baked Fruit crisps with Whip Cream (Apple, Strawberry Rhubarb, Mango)
  • Pumpkin Custard 
  • Chocolate Avocado pudding 

 

Other Menu Tidbits
  • Cows milk or Almond Milk in a cup is served with one 'meal or snack' per day ... usually lunch but sometimes with a snack that 'needs it' instead. If another alternative milk source is still required parents are welcome to provide what is needed for the day in a bottle or sipper cup container...unfortunately my fridge does not have space to store multiple days worth of alternative milk.
  • Program no longer serves 'juice' on a regular basis. Water in a cup is served on demand throughout the day as well as at all meals and snacks.
  • When ever possible meal menu items are made from scratch to accommodate my own and others food allergies. So for all muffins and baked goods are homemade to be gluten free. Chicken nuggets or fish sticks are generally breaded by hand by being dipped in egg with a spiced, gluten free option, such as crushed rice crispies or cornflakes and then pan-grilled. Meatballs are made from either ground chicken or beef, seasoning and are gluten free and so forth.
  • Fresh fruit/veggies are bought as the ideal option - when fresh fruit/veggies are not available due to 'seasonal issues' flash frozen fruit without additives will be served. Where neither of those options are available for a fruit canned fruit in its own juice will be used.
  • Bread/Cracker options are available in both whole wheat/grain or gluten free options as needed to accommodate food allergies.
  • All pastas served are gluten free brown rice pasta - except Ravioli as I have not been able to find a Canadian source
  • The program can accommodate and work around most food allergies however my home is not and cannot be a NUT free home ... as many of my gluten free flours contain nut based grains. If a child has an anaphylaxis nut allergy or develops a serve nut allergy alternative care arrangements might need to be made to ensure safety at meal times.