Healthy eating is increasingly recognized as one of the factors affecting health and learning. As professionals in the field of early childhood, the employees of La Boîte à soleil have the responsibility to teach children the concept of good nutrition (through programming, and offering food and special culinary events that are designed to introduce the concept of healthy eating for children). In support of healthy nutrition we monitor all the food that is brought into the centre and distributed to children to ensure their food safety (allergy, intolerance or restriction).
We ensure good nutrition for children by preparing balanced meals in collaboration with a dietitian from the Niagara Region Public Health Dept. The snack and meal menu and any changes to these menus are displayed at the entrance of each centre. A nutritious snack is served in the morning and in the afternoon (a snack is offered to children in the after school program. Lunch box snacks are not allowed in the centre). A hot meal following the recommendations of “Canada’s Food Guide” is served at lunch time.
Any food brought to the centre (for special occasions like parties, graduation or special activity) must come from a store or a commercial distributor. Packaging should be sealed and the ingredients must be listed on the package. Candy, chips, gum or chocolate products should be avoided. Sweets and pastries that have nuts and peanut products are prohibited in the centre because of severe allergies (Tim Horton’s products are prohibited).
If your child has a food allergy, you must complete the form “Food Allergy” and discuss the situation with the Supervisor. A list of children’s food allergies is displayed in the kitchen and in the dining room to ensure that no child receives a dish which he/she is allergic.
NB: It is very important to notify staff of any dietary restrictions your child has. La Boîte à soleil will accommodate these children to the best of our abilities by removing unwanted foods from their diet and substituting them with other ingredients.
- Examples of restrictions we can accommodate: pork (or other meat), eggs, milk, soy.
- Examples of restriction we cannot accommodate: wheat, gluten.
In the event that we cannot accommodate a food restriction (listed above or an allergy requiring an Epipen) parents always have the opportunity to make lunch for their child. La Boîte à soleil will continue to provide appropriate snacks for the child.
Our new menus have been created in collaboration with a dietitian from the Niagara Region in order to offer healthier choices to your children and to conform to the Canada Food Guide. As an example, we have eliminated juice, replaced bleached flour with multigrain flour or oatmeal, cut the sugar, the salt and the fat (lunch meats, pastries, creams etc.) and have added vegetarian or semi-vegetarian meals. For parents who are interested, a recipe booklet is available through your daycare supervisor for only $5, and the proceeds go to help support the daycare. These are Madame France’s secret recipes that kids will eat up… and they work!!!