Kids in day care are spending a good portion of their day under the supervision of someone else. In most cases, this means that up to 3/4 of their daily food requirements are being met by the day care center. We are aware of how concerning this is to parents and go to great lengths to ensure that all of the children are being provided with a variety of healthy foods with high nutritional value. Starting at breakfast and right until the last snack time, our young children are treated to a number of different foods.
Breakfast – The first meal of our day is served within a half hour of opening time. We understand that parents are busy getting ready and getting out the door, and often don’t have the time to make a healthy breakfast. As this is the most important meal of the day, we always serve a fresh fruit like bananas, melon or strawberries, hot oatmeal or cold cereal and wheat pancakes. We also have eggs once a week with hash browned potatoes. All breakfast meals are served with fresh squeezed juice or organic milk.
Lunch – We have a lot of opportunity with lunch to provide kids with a healthy meal that they love. We try and keep it to finger foods, and have gotten very good at using a no-oil “deep fryer” for things like chicken nuggets, fish sticks and even fried chicken drumsticks. This kind of deep fryer crisps the food on the outside, without the use of fatty cooking oil. We ended up doing our research and found a great one on CrispyandGolden.com. Raw vegetables like chopped salad or carrots is the accompaniment along with a slice of bread and organic yogurt for dessert. In place of yogurt we will sometimes serve a fresh fruit or for a real treat, organically made brownies.
Snacks – Kids eat best when allowed to graze during the day, which is why we have two snack periods; one in the morning at one in the afternoon. We serve sugar free juices, raisins, dry cereals and crackers with peanut butter. One of our counselors is also very good at making home made trail mix, which the kids always look forward to.
Appealing to a kids palate in a healthy way is not as difficult as you might think. With an open mind, most are willing to try anything so long as it looks appealing. That, we have learned, is the key. If you make foods that look good enough to eat, the kids are going to eat it.