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March 16, 2022

National Nutrition Month, a Conversation with Tierra Encantada’s Nutritionist

Our nutritionist helps maintain one of our core values at Tierra Encantada- our healthy organic meals, served daily to every child in our centers. He plans menus, trains and communicates with our cooks, purchases ingredients and finds suppliers. We sat down with Alex and learned why serving organic breakfasts, lunches and snacks is so important.

Q: What is Tierra Encantada’s approach to childcare meals?

Alex: “Our healthy, organic meals are one of our most important offerings at Tierra Encantada, and for good reason. Physical, emotional and mental benefits come with eating balanced meals. There are the benefits we teach kids- that good food gives you energy, fills you up and makes your plate colorful. There are also long lasting health benefits! Those include having healthy eyes, teeth and skin, strong bones and steady brain development.”

Q: Why is meal time so important for young kids?

 “Getting kids to eat is another part of nutrition. Colors, textures and smells can all contribute to what a child or infant may be interested in eating. We work in a variety of textures, colors and smells to encourage diversity in the palate and help little ones get used to trying new things in general. 

Q: What is your favorite part of the job?

“Coming up with the menu is always fun! I get to include foods from lots of different cultures, find new food for the kids to try (like quinoa, couscous or tofu) and plan special holiday meals. Communication with the cooks is really important for Tierra Encantada kids to get the best out of their mealtimes, and for me to plan a great menu. The cooks let me know what the kids love, what they always ask for seconds of (for example, huevos rancheros is a really popular dish with our preschoolers!). This helps me adapt menus and make decisions when considering new recipes.”

Q: How do you see your role as a part of the bigger picture at Tierra Encantada?

“Our goal is to provide the best food experience that we can for every child, from our youngest infant to our oldest Pre-Kindergarten kid. I do everything I can to achieve that goal. I’m proud of the food we serve in our centers (I wish I was having Roasted Chickpea Carrot Soup for lunch this week!), and I’m excited for what’s to come for our nutrition program at Tierra Encantada.”

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