Nutrition and Menus
We believe children need a healthy diet in order to support their optimal development and learning. Our food program has a mix of fresh, 100% natural, locally sourced (when possible), preservative-free food in all of our foods purchased from Fresh and Local Foods Inc., and foods that we prepare in our own commercial kitchen. We have eliminated trans fats, MSG, and sweets from meals served and avoid processed foods.
At the Maryland and Annex campuses, we serve breakfast at 8:30 a.m., lunch at 11:30 a.m., and afternoon snack at 2:30 p.m. Our school age programs serve breakfast before school and afternoon snack at 3:00 p.m.
Children are served breakfast, lunch and snack in Family-Style meal service in the Toddler, Junior, and Preschool classrooms. This encourages children to utilize self-help skills, gain independence, and listen to their body’s hunger and fullness signals. It also helps them learn to make healthy food choices, and to develop the important social skills associated with mealtime. Teachers help serve meals to children in the Infant and Wobbler rooms until children are old enough to manage serving themselves. Staff sits and eats with children, modeling correct mealtime manners and habits for the children, and facilitating relaxed conversation about things the children are interested in. Teachers also talk with children about the foods that are being served. Children are encouraged to try all foods being offered but will never be required to eat foods that they choose not to.
Infant meals are served consistent with the infant’s eating habits. Peninsula Children’s Learning Center offers two choices of USDA approved iron-fortified formula or can serve parent-supplied breast milk. The Center also offers iron-fortified infant cereal at 4-12 months and commercial baby food at 6-12 months. Older infants may also be served meals from the Center’s kitchen.
The Center participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), a federally-funded program that provides meal reimbursement to Peninsula Children’s Learning Center for some of the costs of serving nutritional meals and snacks appropriate for the ages and nutritional needs of children. CACFP-approved menu cycles are posted in each classroom. We abide by the USDA Civil Rights policy that states:
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)
“If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint form, found online at www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8330; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.”
If you have questions about this program, please contact our Compliance Coordinator Adrienne Finnegan at 503-280-0534, ext. 10.