What to Expect From a Preschool Daycare Menu: learn more about the SimplySmart Kitchen

Understanding what your preschooler will be eating at daycare is important when choosing where to place your child. Checking what your provider offers as part of the daycare menu should be in every parent’s checklist. For most children under the age of 4, this is the place where they may be spending most of their time. It’s crucial that they receive well-balanced and healthy food options. A Montessori daycare is responsible for making sure that your child eats well. All licensed daycares in Ontario must follow the nutrition guidelines set by the Ontario Government.

Daycare Lunch Menu – The Main Meal

The main meal at your preschooler’s daycare facility will be lunch. Upon interviewing various providers, parents should be asking to see a sample of a weekly daycare lunch menu. This will give you a sense of how the food is prepared. You should also ask how much or little your child will be eating. Another important question is if the facility follows the nutrition guidelines for daycares. In the SimplySmart kitchen, our preschoolers are provided with a fresh lunch and two snacks prepared on-site by our chef. The menu is nut-free and has been developed with Canadian food guidelines. We also take pride in offering a balanced menu providing all the essential nutrients.

Healthy Menu Items on the Daycare Menu

When evaluating your options, look for the following healthy food and healthy alternatives on the daycare menu:

  • A good variety of fruits and vegetables
  • High protein foods such as eggs, fish, chicken, tofu, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, cheese, greek yogurt
  • Whole grain pasta, pitas, breads, crackers
  • Water, milk (almond/soy)

For example, here is a SimplySmart’s healthy menu at our brand-new downtown Toronto location.

As shown bellow, preschoolers are offered a wide variety of healthy food options throughout the week. SimplySmart serves two nutritious snacks in addition to a nutritious lunch. Our staff first serves a light morning snack as drop-off time is early and many of the children may not have had an opportunity to eat anything. Next, we provide a hot or cold lunch where our catering company incorporates all the essentials to keep the children going. Fruit with every meal works as a backup in the event that a child doesn’t like the lunch or snack dish. Then, in the afternoon, snacks are offered again, while still keeping up with a similar food pattern and following the nutrition guidelines set by the government.

Special Diet – Healthy Alternatives

If your child requires a healthy alternative due to cultural, allergies or any other medical reasons, a preschool daycare like SimplySmart will work with our families to accommodate their needs upon registration. We encourage all parents to consult with the staff and discuss their likes and dislikes and any other concerns you may have about your child’s eating habits while in their care. One thing to remember is that teachers cannot force a child to eat, they can encourage them and if a child refuses to eat they can try to eat fruit or have some milk.

Healthy eating routine

Parents can develop a healthy eating routine at home in order to enable a child to enjoy the nutritious meals provided at daycare. This would include eating at a table as a family instead of feeding your child prior to eating yourself. Removing any distractions like phones, televisions etc. during meals and allowing your child to focus on eating. Talk to your child about the food and the ingredients and why it is important to eat and demonstrate for them. This helps them eat with other children at the daycare and a smooth transition to the lunch routine.

Looking for a Preschool? Join SimplySmart Today

If you want to join a community created to help parents, we would like you to consider thinking of SimplySmart Child Care Centre & Montessori for your preschooler and family needs. We accept subsidies for your child’s early learning.

To learn more about our Play-Based or Montessori programs, please visit https://simplysmartchildcare.com/play-based-or-montessori/.

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