You can be sure that at Anne Sullivan Preschool and Kindergarten the lunch is going to be a home-cooked meal based on the nutritional needs of young children. Their growing bodies and active play make it essential that they are well nourished. It is also important that children establish healthy eating habits early in life.
Children establish food preferences and dietary habits during the first six years of life. This is also the time when children are reluctant to try new foods and are therefore called “picky eaters.” That is why providing healthy and nutritious lunches and snacks and introducing children to a variety of foods is an important part of the preschool program.
Children’s eating behaviors, food preferences and the willingness to try new foods are influenced by the people around them. Anne Sullivan School not only serves nutritional lunches and snacks, the teachers model eating behaviors and establish good manners. The children enjoy the company of their peers and lunch time is a social time as well.
How do we encourage “picky eaters?” Consistently offering a variety of foods helps most children overcome the natural tendency to reject new foods. The first step is familiarity. The children see a new food in the serving bowls and are encouraged to serve themselves a little. Studies have shown that after at least twelve times, a child may try and then accept a new food. It also helps to see their friends eating with such gusto and helping themselves several times.
At Anne Sullivan School lunch is a time of learning and establishing life-long healthy habits. It is a fundamental part of the early childhood curriculum.