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 an 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.
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.
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
No sugar added 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
Corn, Peas, Broccoli, Green Beans, Spinach, Oriental mix
Canned or Jarred Veggies
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, GF Oats, GF crackers, GF breads/muffins/baked goods
Flours for homemade baking include Coconut, Almond, Hazelnut, Cassava / Arrowroot flour
Some examples of our favorite fare choices are:
Am snacks - one option plus a serving of fruit or veggie
Summer Lunch ideas
Winter Lunch Ideas
PM snacks one option plus a fruit or veggie serving