Good Nutrition Is Fundamental
Good Nutrition is Fundamental for Creating Strong Learners.
At My Little School House we believe that eating goes beyond a physical necessity for children. It is also a source of pleasure and well-being; a sensory, social and emotional activity; and a great opportunity for learning. Instilling healthy eating habits in children goes further than the food they eat (or in many cases don’t eat). We understand that giving children healthy choices and positive experiences, when it comes to food, will help them develop and keep a healthy life style as they get older.
Fresh and Homemade Foods
We serve healthy and nutritious meals and snacks. Our homemade recipes exceed the requirements dictated by the USDA for child care programs. We have recently begun to make our own BBQ sauce to eliminate the additives and preservatives found in most bottled BBQ sauces. We are eager to teach children healthy eating habits at a young age so that they may carry these values with them as they grow into adults later in life. We do our very best to accommodate children’s allergies and offer our same high quality food without the risk. Here are only a few of the healthy food choices we have made:
We choose food made with whole grains: bread, rice, pasta.
Only the freshest fruit pass by our kid’s mouths!
Veggies are always fresh or frozen.
We serve chicken and turkey in place of red meat.
With so many peanut allergies we had to eliminate peanut butter from our menu however we did not want to sacrifice the protein. Sunflower Butter crossed our path and we are hooked- high in protein without the risk.
Low fat cheese- shredded, sliced, cottage- you name it we buy it low fat.
We limit sugar intake each month by substituting high sugar foods, like maple syrup, with fresh fruit.
Organic Fruits and Veggies
Recently more and more studies have shown a connection between pesticides used on fruits and vegetables with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Studies show that children with higher levels of pesticides Cleaning Fresh Fruitin their bodies were 35% more likely to have ADHD. This was a statistic we were not willing to accept so we acted fast and made the switch to organic fruits and vegetables. Because organic foods are not exposed to the same chemicals and pesticides as regularly grown produce, we are now able to limit the chances of children being exposed to harmful chemicals.
We are an extension of your family so when we eat meals we sit down as a family and eat. Teachers and children sit together at our tables and food is served family style. Children serve themselves using child sized serving dishes and utensils and enjoy passing the food from one friend to another. Parents are always amazed when they see their toddler pouring their own milk or serving their own rice!
Water is an essential component in teaching children about good eating habits. Upon enrollment we ask that each child brings in their own water bottle that they will have access to throughout the day. This way, whether they are outside, in the classroom or in the gym they will always be able to rehydrate themselves. Water helps protect your child’s precious organs, helps regulate their body temperature and detoxifies their body from any unwelcome inhabitants! :)
Children are a busy people! Constantly in motion and always on the move- they burn more calories in an hour than most adults burn in a day! Because of this we felt it so important to provide them with many opportunities throughout their day to refuel themselves with essential nutrients to keep their energy level up. It is proven that children that are offered healthy meal options throughout their day, opposed to just once or twice, are much more likely to stay focused on the tasks at hand and what they are learning. We are proud to offer a snacks at 10:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. in additional to a healthy homemade breakfast and lunch.
The 80/20 Rule
Allowing parents to live guilt free~ We understand that parents are busy and running here and there and do not always have time to cook homemade dinners for their families. In this day the drive thru window often passes dinner to our kids. So for them we believe in the 80/20 rule. If we can provide children with healthy, fresh food for 80% of their meals they are sure to develop healthy eating habits later in life. We wanted to take the burden off of you and provide your kiddos with the healthiest options while at My Little School House so your evenings could be stress free.
Milk… it does a body good!
We understand that milk is vital in helping children develop good bone growth and big muscles! But we want our milk to be filled with vitamins and minerals and not hormones or unnecessary chemicals, particularly the growth hormone (BGH). BGH is a hormone that is given to cows to keep them healthy and increase milk production however, studies show that BGH could lead to potential health risks and unnecessary early puberty. This is why we choose milk that is 100% hormone free. Refreshing skim milk is offered to children that are 2 ½ and older for breakfast and lunch while our infants and toddlers enjoy whole milk.
Serving size plays a huge role in making healthy choices. Children need to learn early on to listen to their bodies and stop eating when they are full. Just because a food tastes good does not mean we should keep eating more and more of it. Hours of research have gone into what amount of food children should eat and we do our best to follow these guidelines. While we do not want any child to go hungry we feel that it is important teach them the various sensations around eating such as what feeling hungry and what feeling full is like.
In March of 2011, the Administration from all of the My Little School House’s sat together and decided unanimously that the time had come to serve (not just the best but...) the best of the best to the children in our care. That met adding organic chicken to our menu. Why is organic chicken a better option for children? I am so glad you asked! In order for a chicken to be labeled “organic”, there are certain protocols. The feeds that are given to an organic chicken are made from organic plants which have been grown and processed in such a way that harmful chemicals are taken out of the equation- in other words, no pesticides or other harmful sprays were used.
Organic birds are kept free-range, having continuous daytime access to clean pastures as opposed to non-organic birds which are fed chemically laced feed and locked up day and night in a shed with 40,000 of their closest feathered friends. Non organic farmers use antibiotics and growth stimulants to increase their animals’ chances of survival and fats for heavier weight. These chickens reach slaughter rate at six weeks when it would normally take four months. These hormone residues in food can increase the risk of breast cancer and other reproductive system cancers among women and may promote prostate cancer in men. These growth hormones are also causing our children to reach puberty at a much earlier age.