Healthy Eating Essentials
One major element of our health and fitness initiative, Grow Fit, is nutritious eating. Menus are planned by our Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and meals are served family-style to encourage positive table manners, sharing, and getting along with others.
Washing Hands, Cleaning Tables
- All children must wash their hands and go directly to the tables to eat.
- Teachers clean tables a few minutes before the start of the meal and sit with the children while they eat.
- Children serve themselves from a common serving dish, using age-appropriate utensils.
- Bowls of all components are on all tables (including pitchers of milk).
- Children pass serving dishes from person to person and decide the amount of food to eat.
- Teachers can encourage children to take a serving of each component.
Proper Portions, Healthy Choices
All schools must comply with USDA portion sizes and nutrition requirements, while we cut all foods to appropriate small size, according to child’s age. In addition, we are proud to:
- Limit sugar: Dessert-based snacks have been eliminated, sweetened beverages (including fruit juice) are never served, and healthy beverages are offered at all snacks and meals.
- Serve fat-free or 1% pasteurized milk (for children over 2) at breakfast and lunch.
- Never serve fried foods.
- Provide leaner proteins. Leaner cuts of meat provide children the protein they need for growth, while limiting dietary fat and cholesterol.
- Make fruit and vegetable options available at breakfast, lunch, and snack time.
- Offer 90% whole grains at breakfast, lunch, and snack time. We continue to request new products from our food vendor and manufacturers to move closer to 100% whole grains.
- Include vegetarian lunch options.
- Expose children to a wider variety of foods through more multicultural items. This can prevent them from becoming picky eaters and lead to healthier lifelong choices.
All schools that care for infants (6 weeks to 12 months) must provide a comfortable setting for mothers to breastfeed their child. In addition:
- All infants must eat “on-demand,” according to their own needs, as well as individual schedules listed in the Infant/Toddler Care Plan completed in collaboration with families.
- Parents/guardians must sign for each new food item on the Introduction to Solids form before being served to an infant, 0 to 12 months.