I am the Nutrition Chairperson at Isaiah’s pre-school. (The same one Aiden went to as well.) I’m in charge of planning snack for 30-40 kids every day of the week. This month I got to work the kitchen for my work day and I absolutely loved it. We normally split up the shopping for the week, but I did all the shopping this month because I really wanted to get a feel for what was being bought, eaten and wasted.
I tried a couple new recipes with the children and not everything went over well, but that’s OK. One thing I learned from being in the kitchen this month is that when I would set out a more varied spread, more items were eaten. I do this at home with my own children. Aiden and Isaiah always have a varied snack, of several little bites. I feel that less is wasted that way and it is no more extra work for me.
At school we normally would set out, just oranges for fruit, or just cucumbers, I would see more food waste coming back and going into the compost bin. Last week and this week I changed it up and followed my own way of snack for my household.
Take today for instance:
The plate consisted of apple slices, orange slices, watermelon, pine apple, and cucumbers. We set that out first and the kids get their fill, then our carbs and protein come out. Today it was sweet potato fries, and organic mac n cheese. This plate fed a table of 5 children. They each could have two apple slices, two orange slices, a couple slices of pine apple and a few cucumbers as well. They asked for more watermelon of course and we dusted off a whole one today!
This gave children who LOVED oranges a chance to eat as many as they like, and those who aren’t a big orange fan had a choice to eat something else. Today the compost bin was full of peels and very little waste. I love days like that.
My goal for the rest of this year and next is to incorporate more and more in season fruits as well as get some shelves built in our tiny tiny kitchen and get some great locking, air tight storage bins to keep some of our bulk buying in. We have an excellent opportunity to start buying amazing organic bulk items from the Isla Vista Co-op.
This is an exciting opportunity for both SMPCW but the IV Co-op as well. By SMPCW supporting the Co-op by buying locally grown produce, we are also supporting the farmers who sell to the Co-op, and those farmers helping us provide a healthy, locally grown snack for our children. Its a wonderful community feeling that I am happy to be apart of.