NUTRITION & MEAL SERVICE POLICY
In an effort to respond to parents comments on our survey regarding food service. We have ordered a variety of new food items and have been rotating those lunch and snack items into our daily menu planning. In addition the chefs have prepared NEW menus to reflect diversity and the new items being purchased. We felt it is important to let parents know our food service program and policies and all that we do/have done to provide healthy meals for your child!
Some of the NEW items purchased and reflected in our menus are:
Yams - for Sweet Potatoes fries & Yam treats
Russet Potatoes (vs. frozen FF or boxed mashed potatoes)
Brown Rice (vs. white rice)
Wheat/Multi-Grain Crackers, pasta, tortillas, Annie’s/Natures Organic Mac-N-Cheese, etc.
Wheat Tortillas (vs. white flour tortillas)
Whole Pintos & Black Beans (vs. canned re-fries & baked beans)
Frozen Corn (vs. canned)
Frozen Green Beans (vs. canned)
NEW Frozen Fruits; Blueberries, Strawberries, Mangoes & more Mixed Fruit-variety
Fresh Fruits; More Strawberries, Watermelon, Blueberries, Blackberries & seasonal
NEW Frozen Veggies; Asian Veggie mix, Corn, Green Beans
Fresh Veggies ;Snap peas, Green Beans, Organic spinach, Zucchini & seasonal
Onions – For whole beans recipe & other during the month
Discovery Tree provides natural, healthy foods with little or no added salt, sugar, trans-fats or preservatives. When parents provide lunch or snacks for their child (at our Citrus Heights & Fair Oaks locations), they must be consistent with our food policy. Children at D.T. are offered a choice of foods at meal and snack times. Offering a variety of food, encourages the child's ability to naturally select foods that are healthy and fosters a sense of control in the eating process.
Healthy snacks are provided twice per day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. The children participate in snack preparation and cooking each day. Snacks are comprised of a variety of tastes usually comprised of; one serving of protein, carbohydrate, fruit-vegetable and/or fruit juice and water for hydration.
Children at the Fair Oaks and Citrus Heights locations bring their own lunch to school in thermal lunch boxes/cases. This arrangement allows our families the opportunity to provide for their child's individual tastes and family traditions. To meet the family’s needs for food preferences, allergies, vegetarian, all organic or kosher diets, the parent provides lunch, thereby, being able to monitor and control the bulk of their child's diet. Utensils, napkins, and cups are available if needed, ‘Healthy” items requiring refrigeration or heating, are taken care of by staff.
The Downtown locations provide lunch programs for Toddlers and Preschoolers. The toddler menu ‘mirrors’ the pre-school menu, however, the foods may be prepared in a different fashion, i.e. menu selections cut into small pieces, carrots steamed and chopped, rather than the raw/sliced veggies and dip, enjoyed by pre-schoolers. Discovery Tree does not provide separate, individual meals for a child on request (if they choose not to eat or do not like a portion of the planned menu). Discovery Tree does modify snack and menu selections for children with diagnosed and documented food allergies. Special dietary needs, (kosher, vegetarian, religious reasons, medical diets, etc.), must be accommodated by that child’s family with Director approval and in accordance with our healthy foods policy.
Discovery Tree serves snacks and meals ‘family style’. As development allows, children are encouraged to serve their own foods, pour their own beverages, and buss their space. Spills and drops are O.K. – practice and patience in a safe environment helps the child attain these skills: a child’s self-esteem is more worthy of protection than furniture and flooring!
Meals and snacks are nutritionally balanced and offer children a variety of tastes and textures and utilizes ‘Organics’ as much as is reasonably available in BULK .Bread, muffins and crackers are a mix of regular or whole grain, fruits and veggies are fresh, dried, frozen, or canned, and dairy is fresh or frozen. Our menus and recipes avoid foods made with high amounts of sugar, salt, trans-fats and preservatives. The menu does not distinguish any food as ‘dessert’ – no food is served as a reward for eating. Parents, grandparents and siblings are welcome to join Discovery Tree at the noon hour to share lunch with their family.
Discovery Tree trains the cook to follow the menu as posted as much as possible, however with multiple staff planning and preparing ‘snacks’ throughout the day-there are times when a staff member has used the contents required for a specific ‘lunch menu’. When the menu is changed the cook posts a daily change/menu on chalk board outside kitchen door.
Lastly, Special Day Snacks : Parents may bring a special ‘healthy’ snack to share with other children on a special occasion. Please inform the Director or Lead Teacher about any birthday or special event that you may want to celebrate at the school, who will approve (or advise) the appropriateness of the snack/occasion relating to DT policies, also, we have a list of healthy snack recipes if needed or requested. Because of children with severe allergies, special diets or family preferences, you must include the ingredients label from any food brought in for your child’s special snack.
Discovery Tree Schools