The Importance of Food Presentation and Taste in Catering to Child Care Centres
The secret to successfully catering to child care centres is to acknowledge the importance of food presentation and taste in each meal we deliver to the centres. Experts have long known that humans eat using their eyes first and then their mouths. This simply means both adults and children will not eat the meals when they lack visual appeal. Once the food entices the visual senses, it must next give off a pleasant aroma since our sense of smell influences how we perceive the flavour of foods. Children at day-care centres can be particular about what they will eat each day. We make it our mission to provide meals that encourage children to consume all the foods in the meals.
How to Create Visually Appealing Meals
Combine different colours of foods in the meals. For example, a meal may contain slices of red apples, orange carrots, green beans, brown in the way of meat and cream-coloured vanilla pudding. Placing all these colours together on one plate or a tray will delight the visual senses. Children will be eager to consume, or at least, try the foods in the meals with all these colours.
An Effective Way to Add a Pleasant Aroma and Taste to Meals
Adding herbs and spices to the meals creates an enticing aroma and delicious flavour to the foods that we prepare. Examples of some of the seasonings that we may add to our meals for our catering in child care centres include oregano, onions, garlic, soy sauce, salt, pepper and even parsley when the recipe calls for it. We are careful not to overdo, though, as too much seasoning can scare the children away from certain foods. Our expert chefs flavour the food just right for young palates.
Another way to ensure that meals are aromatic and flavourful is to start with quality food items. Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, quality meats, low-fat dairy or dairy substitutes, and other high-quality nutritious foods go into our meals. We never hold over our meals from one day to the next. All meals are made fresh each day.
Hearty Health succeeds at catering to child care centres because we understand the importance of food presentation and taste in the meals that we deliver each day. Along with all this, we include only quality products in each meal. When your centre receives meals from our company, you know that your children receive the best regular and allergen meals that we can produce daily.
Children who suffer from food allergies are constantly at risk of consuming the exact foods they are sensitive to today. Food allergies range from eggs to peanuts. For this reason, in-depth food labelling in allergen meals is a necessity with childcare catering. Here at Hearty Health, we label all our allergen meals accurately to ensure that no child suffers a reaction to one of our meals. We understand that reactions to an food allergen can vary from mild to life threatening, and this is why we ensure the safety of our allergen meals.
Trace Amounts Will Set Off Allergic Reactions
Only trace amounts of certain food allergens will set off allergic reactions with children. For example, a minute amount of peanut dust has caused almost deadly issues for kids. Today, we also understand there are allergies to wheat, soy, eggs and even dairy in some cases. We are quite diligent with our labelling on our allergen meals to ensure the children with food allergies can consume our foods safely.
No Hidden Ingredients
The proper food labelling does not allow for hidden ingredients. Each meal label includes all the foods and substances that we include in our meals. Parents often face this dilemma when they take their children into a restaurant to eat since the restaurant may not always accurately explain all the ingredients in their dishes. As a childcare catering company, we understand that if we slip up, it may mean the life of a child. We will not mislead the educators or parents with inaccurate labels.
Food Allergens Appear in Various Forms
Parents and educators should understand all the forms that food allergens that may appear in meals. One example of this is peanuts that may show up as hydrolyzed peanut protein, arachic oil or even nutmeat along with other food products. Milk allergies include everything from all types of milk to lactose. Eggs may be in the form of albumin, fat substitutes, and mayonnaise or meringue powder. Wheat comes in forms such as flour, cracker meal, pasta, farina and more. We think you can understand why the correct labelling in allergen meals is so critical for the health of children. Childcare centres should not disturb the labels on the meals to ensure that the right meals go to the children with food allergies.
We Ensure No Cross Contamination
On top of the correct food labelling in allergen meals, we ensure that conditions are such that they prevent cross contamination from happening during the preparation of our allergen meals. We keep all peanut products far away from the meals for children with those allergies for just one example. This goes for all the other types of allergen meals that we deliver daily.
Today, we understand the way to prevent a number of our current health issues is to eat a vegetarian diet daily. For this reason, it is important to teach children good vegetarian eating habits. They should understand the basics of changing to this type of diet along with other important information.
Different Types of Vegetarian Diets
Since people differ in their preferences, there are different types of vegetarian diets today. It depends on how much a person desires to eliminate all animal products from their diets as to which version they select to follow each day. Schools should teach information on all the forms to kids to ensure that they understand the difference between them. Below, you will discover information about each one.
Different Types of Vegetarian Diets
Semi Vegetarian – With this diet, children eat mainly a plant-based diet with the occasional inclusion of meat products.
Lacto Vegetarian – In this version of vegetarianism, kids will consume no poultry, meat, eggs or fish, but they will eat milk, cheese and other dairy products.
Lacto Ovo Vegetarian – Children who follow this diet will eliminate fish, poultry, meat and dairy products from their diet, but will consume eggs.
Vegan – Of all the vegetarian diets, vegan is the strictest since it only includes foods from plants.
Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
When children eat a vegetarian diet from an early age, they decrease their risk of hypertension, as they grow older. They also maintain low cholesterol levels easier throughout their lives. In addition, these vegetarian kids will develop less cancer. The vegetarian lifestyle reduces the risk of obesity on top of all these other benefits. In other words, children who eat one of the types of vegetarian diets will realise better overall health.
Children Must Receive All Necessary Nutrients
We must point out that children have special nutritional needs for their young bodies to develop properly. Their needs require close attention with a vegetarian diet since the nutrients from meat and poultry sources will not be present. The following are the some of the nutrients that require such close attention:
- Calcium is in certain leafy green vegetables such as turnip greens along with certain fortified food products that qualify as vegetarian fare
- Iron for vegetarians is in foods such as peas, beans, cereals and spinach
- Protein sources for vegetarians include nuts, beans and soy products
- Vitamin B12 is vital to neurological development and is in foods such as soy milk, nutritional yeast and cereals for those who wish to depend on vegetables for their nutrition
Teaching children beneficial vegetarian eating habits will lead them to a life of better health compared to traditional diets that depend heavily on animal products. Parents and schools should teach the children the right foods to eat to adhere to this type of lifestyle.
Children spend a significant amount of their time in childcare facilities. In part, this is why it is important to promote proper nutrition in child care centres. A number of benefits come from taking this action, such as the ones in the following info.
Exposes Children to a Wide Range of Healthy Foods
Day-care centres have the ability to expose the children in their care to a wide range of healthy foods. Since they are in a group situation, children will often try foods at the centres that they will not eat at home for their parents. Through this, they will expand upon their food likes and have less foods that they dislike.
It Teaches Correct Eating Habits
Promoting proper nutrition in child care centres helps to teach children correct eating habits. Educators can explain why children should eat fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains in place of junk foods. They also will set the example by eating healthy in front of the children. Gradually, the children will accept the facts into their daily lives without issue.
Trains Parents in Proper Nutritional Concepts
As parents read the centres’ food menus, they will learn new ideas for feeding their children at home. The educators also can bring the parents in on the menu planning to teach the parents proper nutritional habits. When parents improve the nutrition at home, it increases the success of the efforts that childcare centres make with the children in their charge during the day.
It Prevents Childhood Obesity with the Addition of an Exercise Program
When the day-care centres add an effective exercise program to their promotional plans for proper nutrition, the centres help prevent childhood obesity. Inactivity and poor nutritional habits are the reasons that childhood obesity is on the rise today. Through focusing the children in on the importance of eating healthy and exercising regularly, the childcare centres decrease how many children will become obese during their lives.
It Keeps Children Healthy and Energetic
Centres should provide adequate nutrients for the children to be healthy and energetic throughout the day, so they can learn their lessons without feeling the pangs of hunger. Research has proven that children who eat correctly think clearer and learn easier throughout each day than those with poor nutritional habits do daily. As a result, children become smarter faster with proper nutrition.
All the benefits above are why promoting proper nutrition in child care centres is so important. Centres can opt to prepare the food entirely on their own today, but an easier and better way is to hire an expert childcare catering company to supply their needs. A catering company such as this has the expertise to deliver the best-quality foods to the centres for the children.
Children should have wholesome meals throughout the day for optimum health and proper nutrition. Plus, nutricious quality meals for child care centres are important. Actually, supporting children’s health is a significant characteristic of a quality child care. For many children spend most of their day at a daycare.
Food plays a significant role in a child’s eating habits, growth and development. Child care centres should strive to have menus that meet a large amount of a child’s daily nutritional requirements. There should be an assortment of foods that includes fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins. Moreover, children can be picky. So taste and texture is important.
For optimal health and development, children need to eat quality foods. Junk food should rarely be served or avoided altogether. For instance, water or milk is a healthier alternative to beverages like soda. Cakes, cookies, chocolate and other sweets can be substituted with fruits and raisins. Nutricious quality meals for child care centres generally limit or exclude unhealthy foods and serve wholesome alternatives.
Meals and Snacks
Daycare mealtime provisions can differ. Some centres do not offer food, while other daycares provide both meals and snacks. There are also centres that serve a healthy breakfast. Nonetheless, if a centre does not provide food they can support families that have healthy meals for their children.
Displaying a menu is an important aspect of child care centres that provide meals and snacks. The menu is a great guideline for parents, staff and cooks. In addition, menus that are displayed allow parents the opportunity to offer feedback.
Supervised and Relaxing Mealtimes
Mealtimes should always be a positive experience for children. In fact, the atmosphere and attitude of the staff is vital to the development of healthy eating practices. A child should be relaxed when eating. As well, workers should be a source of inspiration by encouraging positive attitudes to healthy food. Children learn by example.
Additionally, mealtime should always be supervised to ensure maximum safety. Children also need to be seated quietly when eating.
Food needs to be the appropriate size and texture for the age group. To avoid discouragement or choking, food should be easy to chew and swallow. For instance, hard foods like tortilla chips or nuts should be avoided. These foods are difficult for a child to swallow.
Providing nutritious quality meals for child care centres is easy. Meals and snacks include a variety of foods like vegetables, fruits, breads and grains, meat or meat alternatives and healthy beverages. Menus should also center on adequate proteins, carbohydrates and fats. As well, total calories should be within the age group and level of activity.
The cost to stock, cook and prepare meals for children are often too much for child care centres to bear, that’s why child care catering services become invaluable for ensuring that children receive the best food available at a price that centres can afford. While not all catering companies serve the same type of meals, the quality of the food is what’s most important to child care centres. Fortunately, child care centres can turn to Hearty Health – a child care catering company that focuses on alternative meals that are highly nutritious, healthy and tasty.
The Importance of Promoting a Healthy Diet for Children
The importance of promoting a healthy diet for children should always start in the home with mom and dad; however, child care centres also play an important role in developing early eating habits, which is why the food they serve is so important for the kids and to their parents. So, what kinds of foods promote healthy eating habits for children?
While most catering companies do-it-all, their menus of foods aren’t specially geared towards children’s nutrition. Hearty Health is unique among food catering companies, because they specialise in serving food meant just for kids. With a selection of culturally diverse dishes, the food offered on their menu far exceeds children’s recommended daily intake. Fresh meals are prepared in a state of the art commercial kitchen, and then these can be delivered daily as scheduled, or online as needed.
Child care centres can rest assured that the meals delivered for the children in their care are prepared by professional chefs; chefs who know just what kids need to eat and then flavour it in a way that kids like. It’s not fun to eat the same food all the time, and diversity in food that children eat is good for them, because it allows kids to experience different types of food and tastes.
For example, when children experience food like vegetables cook and prepared in new and different ways than they are used to, they are more likely to eat these more regularly at home. In this way, by using all natural and fresh ingredients, while changing the menu of food with every season, children are promoted to eat healthier.
Healthy children are happy children, and when a child receives the right amount of vitamins and nutrition, their bodies and brains will develop to reflect their diet. And that is very important. Learning also becomes easier when children receive a healthy diet, and that makes parents happy. What children eat on a regular basis is important, but parents can’t be around every waking moment to make sure that their children eat healthy.
That is why promoting a healthy diet for children now is so important, while they are still young. So, when they get older they will know how to eat healthy on their own.