When it comes to food, many parents worry about what their children are eating and not eating; if they are receiving the appropriate amounts of protein, nutrients, veggies etc… We want you all to feel empowered by our food program. That includes helping to ease some potential concerns you might have by highlighting a few meaningful ways in which we will encourage our amici to embrace new dishes and flavors. One of the most important things to remember, especially during the beginning of our school year, is that repeated exposure to new foods WORK. Studies have reinforced that often children have to try new foods several times before he/she “likes” it, and that children are “new-food-phobic” by nature. When children become involved in the process of preparing meals, they innately become interested in eating what they’ve created! That is why we feel so strongly about getting them involved in the cooking process. The more invested and involved your kids feel with the food they eat, the more adventurously the will eat!
As a school and community, we cook together, garden together, share experiences and discuss trying new things. Through the use of family-style serving, children will practice “the power of choice” by learning how to serve themselves appropriate serving sizes, combinations, and placements of food items; while incorporating “discovery bites” —everyone must try a “discovery bite”— reinforces open-mindedness.
In this environment, the children are made part of the dining experience by working in the kitchen, edible gardens, setting up the dining room, and enjoying a family style meal with their amici. Children get to make choices like: “Salad with or with out dressing?” “Would you like a big scoop or a little scoop, on the side or on top?” “would you prefer broccoli or carrots, or both?” is both encouraging and empowering. *Note that the option is which veggie, and not an option for no veggies*