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Snacks and meals are provided by MCDLS. Eating is a social activity that we enjoy. Good eating habits are acquired through imitation, practice, encouragement, and guidance. It is important that children enjoy the foods they eat.
Some guidelines we use that help children develop healthy eating habits include:
• Food served in a relaxed atmosphere, which allows for social interactions with peers and adults.
• Snack and meal time provides a time to be together and for setting good examples. Children are marvelous imitators.
• Cooking experiences give children a sense of accomplishment. Children will have opportunities to help prepare snack.
MCDLS does not feed cow's milk to infants younger than 12 months, and it serves only whole milk to children of ages 12 months to 24 months. Children 2 years and older are served 2% milk; children with allergies can be served a milk substitute with a doctor’s note. Families may choose to have their child served Organic milk and/or Soy milk for a monthly fee of $25.00 a month. Please contact your head teacher or the director if you are interested in substituting one of the organic options available for dairy (milk) products.
MCDLS shall not offer foods that present a choking hazard to children younger than three (3) years of age, including, but not limited to, the following:
Whole grapes, hot dog rounds, hard candy, nuts, seeds, raw peas, dried fruit*, pretzel nuggets, chips, popcorn, marshmallows, spoonful of peanut butter, and chunks of meat larger than children can swallow whole. Hard pretzel sticks and hard, small, traditionally shaped pretzels are high-risk foods for choking incidents. * To clarify: raisins are a dried fruit and cannot be served to children under three years of age.
Staff cut foods into pieces no larger than ¼-inch squares for infants and ½-inch squares for toddler/twos according to each child’s chewing and swallowing capability.
Infants and toddlers often swallow pieces of food without chewing. Chicken tenders, fish sticks, and other foods will be cut according to the age group requirements. If this cannot be done, these foods will not be served regardless if the program provides the food or if it is brought from home. Staff will err on the side of safety regardless of whether a child has had problems chewing or swallowing.