Health and Nutrition
Good healthy eating habits provide a foundation for health and wellbeing. Why is this important? Well, a healthy child is a happy child. At the Garden’s childcare centres our in-house, qualified chefs prepare delicious, nutritious morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea every day. It would be a lie to say that the staff and children don’t wait (im)patiently for their lunch to arrive.
Our food philosophy
It’s simple. We provide our children, with nutrient-rich foods that are unprocessed and seasonal. This includes a range of fruit and vegetables. All menus meet the nutritional guidelines allowing bodies to thrive (and importantly provide heaps of energy for playtime).
Fussy eaters at home?
Did you know that fussy eating is part of normal child development; it’s a way of exerting independence and exploring different options? That’s why our chef’s focus on meals that are fresh, colourful and tasty enough to tempt even the fussiest of eaters. By exposing children to a variety of delicious tastes and textures we further nurture healthy eating habits.
These are some of the ways we get fussy eaters to embrace new foods;
- Involving children when preparing meals. Need a tossed salad? Why not let the kids do it. That’s right, by incorporating games into meal times we often get even the fussiest of eaters to embrace new flavours.
- Washing fruit and veggies – we often include children with washing vegetables such as carrots. You’d be surprised how children are more likely to eat food they have helped prepare.
- Make food attractive – by including many shapes and colours we make eating fun.
- Incorporating stories into meal times – remember the very hungry catterpillar? On Monday she ate an apple, on Tuesday she ate two pears…
- We keep offering new foods – some children will see foods 10-15 times before trying them and that’s ok.
- We don’t use treats as a reward for healthy eating. By rewarding healthy food with a treat (like chocolate) children have a tendency to become obsessed with the treats (and not the healthy food).
- We incorporate eggs from our chook houses and vegetables from our gardens. What’s tastier than a carrot you harvested yourself?
A final note
We always try to remind ourselves that children have different tastes from grown-ups. They are so busy exploring the world that there’s little time for food. And whilst many children will be ravishingly hungry one day, they might not want to touch food the next. That’s simply because their growth cycles impact their appetites.
Food allergies and anaphylaxis
At all of our education centres, we enforce a strict no-nut policy, coupled with special management plans for children with allergies. We also adhere to cultural or religious diets as required by parents.