The Daycare is lucky to have Sandra Bee, a nutritionist and in-house chef who prepares fresh meals daily. Sandra’s philosophy on food starts with balancing nutrition with meals that children will enjoy. “I don’t think it makes sense to make a meal that is so healthy that the children are not interested in eating. I find that by adding ground or pureed vegetables into soups and sauces it ups the nutrition factor while still appealing to the kids. We do offer baked goods but almost all are baked in house so I can control the ingredients”.
As the Daycare provides active programming all day for the children, meals are organized to maximize the energy a child has with the nutrition they need to continue with the day’s activities. This includes:
- Morning snack (helps complement those that didn’t have a big breakfast)
- Hot Lunch
- Afternoon snack
- Crackers and bread sticks (available for children who are picked up later in the day)
All snacks contains foods that cover 3 categories in Canada’s food guide. Also, no juice is served and fresh fruit is provided at least twice a day. Water is always available for hydration. In addition, Mondays are known as ‘Meatless’ Mondays are all meals are vegetarian that day.
Toddlers and infants are served homogenized milk while the rest of the daycare is given 2% milk (the alternate milk option is soya).
The Daycare does not serve foods containing pork or nuts and almost all of the meat is Halal and if not a halal alternative is offered.
Some of the favourite meals of the children are anything with pasta and the homemade chicken nuggets as well as curries and different kinds of rice dishes. One of the favourite vegetables is surprisingly broccoli. The Daycare also recognizes different cultural celebrations from around the world and provides meals resembling foods that would be represent on these special holidays.
Sandra’s Advice to parents: Never underestimate your child’s palate. Children all over the world eat a diverse menu and what might be considered ethnic food to you is not to someone else’s child. Also remember it can take up to 21 times introducing a food before someone truly knows if they like it. Don’t give up on the first try.
Questions on the Daycare’s food program or for Sandra can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org