Recently the New York Times did an article about children being picky eaters and it mentioned the “6 Food Mistakes that Parents Make.” While we can’t control what children eat when they are with their parents, we do have a big responsibility to make sure our customers are being served a healthy offering each day at our seven Day Nursery centers.
To find out more about our food program I went to our expert Patty Fisher. Patty is Day Nursery’s Director of Curriculum and Accreditation and she heads up the team planning the menus of what we serve in our centers. She told me that Day Nursery uses a 6 week menu rotation to offer as much variety as possible while still keeping the favorites that children love. Patty just wrapped up meetings with our cooks to fine tune this rotation and to work more fresh vegetables into our meals. Not only do we have to make sure each child gets the proper portion size of each menu component, Patty has to balance the meal to make sure it contains all the proper components to meet the guidelines of the federal food program (CACFP) which we participate in. Another factor that has to be taken into consideration is the age of the child being served. For example, when the preschoolers are eating fresh carrot sticks, the younger children are having the same fresh carrots, just cooked and diced to an appropriate size. Patty and the cooks have also been working on modifying our baking recipes to use less sugar. In many cases, this means adding applesauce to the baked goods.
Day Nursery Clarian Center Director Rene Withers says no matter what you offer, there will always be some children who don’t want to try it. “Some of this comes from what they are familiar with from home. We continue to offer new foods to children and sometimes they surprise me. About half our children love spinach and every day I find more children who love cottage cheese.”
If you want to hear what parents across the county are saying about the “6 Food Mistakes Parents Make” follow the link at the top of this post. There is a lively discussion going on.