Food is not just about eating. It’s a social and often playful, sensual activity that might start when we plant a tomato seed together.
We encourage children to make connections between the plants and animals around us and the food we eat as well as thinking about how food is made by making it ourselves and talking about those who produce it through initiatives such as Fair Trade.
Staff and children who wish to make bread every morning. This is baked and eaten with dairy-free spread, often with fruit, during mid morning snack and may be available in the afternoon.
Afternoon snacks vary through the week and might include, fruit and dried fruit, vegetable sticks, cheese, home made scones or cake.
Water is always available and milk is available at snack time. Children who go to Nature Kindergarten may have a small cup of hot chocolate.
Children may make one chocolate krispie (cornflakes and a small piece of melted chocolate) to take home at the end of the day.
We ask that parents do not bring or leave snacks in children’s bags that are left at Centre. It is important that staff are aware of all food in the setting in order to ensure children with allergies are not exposed to danger.
We understand families need for home time snacks and invite you to make a donation in exchange for a snack
Well-balanced meals are prepared by Edinburgh Council. They include a vegetarian option and always cater for dietary needs. We are working with Council catering providers to ensure meals are developed with young children in mind.
Children going to Nature Kindergarten eat a lunch provided by the Centre, which usually includes soup, bread and fillings and fromage frais.
Parents are welcome to provide packed lunches for their child but we ask that you provide healthy food, do not include food with nuts, and especially do not send in fizzy or sugary drinks or sweets.
We do not use nuts (including peanut butter) in any food provided by the Centre.
Mealtimes are social occasions where children learn important skills. We encourage children to lay tables, serve themselves food and pour water, and to clear away dishes afterwards.
All children are given a choice about what and how much they want to eat. We have found that children are influenced by others to try new foods. We never insist that children eat their lunch. They are encouraged to ‘try just a little’ of foods that are new or disliked.
If your child’s appetite is poor and/or they have not eaten very much, we will let you know when you pick your child up.
The Centre provides healthy snacks and lunches for children attending Nature Kindergarten. We take into account the cultural and dietary needs of individual children, including food allergies.
Bottle-fed babies are fed on their own in accordance with their rhythms and not as part of a prescribed routine. We support mothers to come in and feed their babies throughout the day. We can store breast milk in our freezer if that is more convenient for you.