Early Childhood Education Center ECEC Nutrition and Menus Info
- Do you worry about your child eating too much fast food?
- Is he a picky eater - preferring chicken nuggets 7 days a week?
- Do you feel that sometimes she thinks that meals are to eaten out of a bag or a box in the rear seat of the car as we struggle to meet the demands of our busy lifestyles?
- Do you stress about manners and 'sitting down at the table' to eat?
As busy working parents ourselves, we understand that you cannot always provide the healthy, from scratch meals that we want to serve our children. Parents of the ECEC are reassured in the knowledge that the children are served a variety of delicious, healthy, homemade, attractive meals every day. The ECEC provides meals and snacks that develop a taste for fresh fruit and vegetables, a healthy appetite for a variety of recipes, and an atmosphere that encourages trying new foods and making healthy choices. At the ECEC we aim to eliminate unhealthy fats, sodium, and preservatives found in most processed or fast-food.
The Early Childhood Education Center participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) through the United States Department of Agriculture. This program recognizes the relationship between good nutrition and the capacity for optimal development. The CACFP program assists the Early Childhood Education Center financially to provide all children who attend ECEC with well-balanced, nutritious meals and snacks including breakfast (7:45-8:15), lunch (11:00-12:00) and snack (2:00-3:30).
|Breakfast||Milk, apple slices, cereal||Milk, bananas, blueberry squares||Milk, orange slices, oatmeal||Milk, strawberries, biscuits w/apple butter||Milk, mixed fruit, honey bran muffins|
|Lunch or Supper||Milk, homemade pizza, vegetable sticks, applesauce||Milk, breakfast casserole, California blend veggies, melon||Milk, white bean chicken chili, cornbread, fruit salad||Milk, meatloaf, bread/butter, mashed potatoes, lima beans||Milk, tacos, lettuce, tomatoes, refried beans, Mandarin oranges|
|Snack||Water, pretzels, cheese cubes||Milk, banana bread||Milk, cereal||Water, crackers, pickles, cold cuts||Water, peanut butter sandwich, apple slices|
All meals are served in proportion to the developmental stage and needs of the child. Our dietician carefully plans and prepares each meal to promote healthy eating habits, creating a palate for new foods, and to offer variety. Menus are reviewed twice annually to take advantage of seasonal foods. ECEC only serves Vitamin D milk and Parent's Choice formula with Iron. Infants are fed iron-fortified cereal, and strained food as recommended by the developmental needs of the baby. Infants are only given formula or breast milk from bottles. Juice is offered in sippy cups and spoons are introduced when developmentally ready for food. Menus are posted on the Parent Information Board.
Staff and children's hands are washed before handling utensils, plates, cups, or food. The children assist in setting the table and then serve themselves 'family style.' Teachers eat with the children, role modeling healthy eating habits, social skills, and conversation. Children are encouraged to use manners, remain seated and engage in appropriate conversation until the majority of their peers are finished. After the meal, children assist with clean up by rinsing their plates, cups, etc. and stacking them. Infants are held while eating from a spoon and while taking a bottle. Bottles are never propped and NEVER in a crib.
All children's teeth (or gums) are brushed (or cleaned) after breakfast and lunch to promote good habits for a lifetime!