Summer is (officially) just around the corner, and we’re looking forward to a season full of flavor! It’s the perfect time for picnics, bonfires, cooking on the grill and eating on the patio. Our June curriculum theme focuses on food, cooking and everything in between!
Healthy, organic meals are one of our core focuses in our centers. In addition to feeding the little ones in our care with fresh, flavorful foods, we also create healthy mealtime environments and positive feeding practices. Learn more about our practices- and how you can implement your own at home- below.
Creating a Healthy Mealtime Environment and Using Positive Feeding Practices
Establishing a healthy relationship with food and mealtime starts at a young age, and there are a couple of key ways to start.
In our classrooms, at both breakfast and lunch, we:
- Start in “reposo” (which means rest) before eating. This helps quiet the classroom and get us in a mindset where we’re ready to eat!
- Have assigned seats (each kid’s name is on the back of their chair!) and a specific amount of kids at each table. We don’t want things to get crowded!
- Walk through and discuss what we’re eating- any why it’s so delicious.
- Have a routine- breakfast, lunch and snack are served at the same time everyday, and we always wash our hands before eating.
- Never force food into kids’ mouths.
- Offer lots of different tastes and textures in every meal.
- Do not attach values to food like “bad” or “guilty pleasure”. Food is fuel- and that’s what we want our little ones to take away from every meal!
Our What’s Cooking? Curriculum
Infants will observe the colors and shapes of different foods! Apples can be rojo (red) or verde (green), and lots of times they look like a circulo (circle)! We’ll also do some sensory food-themed art projects- finger painting with yogurt, using our hands and footprints to create different food (like a carrot!).
Toddlers will go through the kitchen, word by word. Fork is tenedor, spoon is cuchara, plate is plato. We’ll even play some games that combine learning the essentials with a food inspired spin- alphabet soup, anyone?
Preschoolers will practice mathematical skills with counting, motor skills with stacking, visual recognition skills with matching. To do all of that, we’ll use different foods! Different pasta shapes, fruits versus veggies, ice cream flavors- all of these things will be on our lesson plans!
Our Pre-K kids even get to be chefs for the day! This is one of our favorite curriculum activities of the year. We take a mini field trip to our kitchen, visit our awesome chefs, review all of what we’ve learned about the kitchen throughout the month, and then help make that day’s meal!