Our four-week rotating seasonal menus feature whole foods which are prepared daily on-site by our in-house kitchen team and exceed all of the guidelines in the Child Care and Early Years Act. The menus were designed by a Holistic Nutritionist in consultation with a Registered Dietitian specifically for Learning Garden Childcare.
Food has a significant impact on a child’s development, health, happiness, and well-being and we strive to provide the highest quality ingredients possible. We have created a nutritionally dense menu, featuring a variety of healthy seasonal food, organic and locally-grown when possible, globally inspired from different cultures.
Our daycare lunch menu is not only healthy, it’s delicious. We promote a healthy eating child care environment that fuels both the body and mind.
By cooking on site, we can guarantee that our food is always fresh, tasty, and healthy.
Please take a minute to read an introduction by our Holistic Nutritionist and view a Sample Menu.
First off I’d like to introduce myself. I am Louise Van Blyderveen and my holistic nutrition title, CNP, stands or Certified Nutritional Practitioner. It is a diploma achieved at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition here in Toronto. As a holistic nutritionist, I am focused on achieving optimal health through a whole food diet and balanced lifestyle. Much of our health depends on what we choose to eat and as adults, it is an active choice we make every day. Children, however, do not have this choice. Daycares are a large part of a child’s upbringing, especially during their critical development years, and so it is crucial that your children are given a nutritionally dense menu which will ensure they thrive.
I’m excited to share some of the concepts behind the new menu we have been busy developing. It was a challenge creating something nutritionally dense that children would enjoy considering all the parameters we needed to follow. We are required to follow Canada’s food guide and incorporate all 4-food groups: dairy, cereals, vegetables & fruit and meat. We couldn’t incorporate nuts because of allergies, which also eliminated most seeds due to the fact most are processed in the same facilities.
So how does a holistic nutritionist go about creating a healthy diverse menu with theses rules? I strongly believe in fermented foods, so for dairy we have incorporated a lot of yogurt into recipes or have yogurt based dips/sauces made from scratch as condiments. All creamy salads are made healthier by replacing most of the mayonnaise with plain yogurt and made sweeter using fruit and maple syrup i.e. Curried Chicken and Apple Salad Sandwich. For grains, we have switched entirely to whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta or brown rice. We have also rotated in new grains such as quinoa and bulgur on a more regular basis. For high protein sources, we have cut out processed meats and in some recipes cut down on the amount of meat, including more plant-based proteins such as beans or tofu. We have created a few meatless days where the meals are high protein and as delicious as ever. Some examples of these meatless lunches are Black-Navy Bean Veggie Burger with Baked Sweet Potato-Parsnip Fries or Crispy Maple-Chili Tofu Bites with Quinoa Veggie Medley.
Aside from these new introductions, we have loaded the menu with fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs and some spices. Our goal was to include fresh vegetables or fruit into every meal and snack. Vegetables and fruit are some of the most nutritionally dense and diverse foods we can ever eat and so it is important to introduce children to a rainbow of these foods early on in hopes that they develop an appreciation for all food.
Through these various changes we have created a nutritionally dense menu, which will give your children a nutritional edge during their crucial development years. We hope that you and your children enjoy the new menu at Learning Garden Childcare!
|Breakfast Burrito – Scrambled Eggs & Organic Salsa
|Chicken and Vegetable Soup, Broccoli and Cheese Quiche, Fresh Fruit
|Cinnamon Cream Cheese Apple Pinwheels
|Overnight Banana Oats with Cinnamon
|Tomato and Cucumber Salad, Moussaka, Fresh Fruit
|Baked Zucchini Loaf
|Fruit Yogurt with Homemade Nut-Free Granola
|Maple Glazed Carrots, Chicken Risotto, Fresh Fruit
|Homemade Tofu Hummus with Veggies and Rice Cakes
|Whole Wheat Toast with Hard Boiled Eggs
|Quinoa Veggie Medley, Maple-Chili Tofu Bites, Fresh Fruit
|Wild Salmon & Cucumber on Stone Wheat Thins
|Homemade Flourless Sweet Potato Muffins
|Whole Wheat Rolls, Chicken and Sweet Corn Chowder, Fresh Fruit
|Chocolate Chip, Banana and Oatmeal Protein Bites