Healthy, Nourishing Food is Central to Our Childcare Philosophy
Good nutrition sets your child up with what they need to take on the day! More energy, better brain function, and better moods are just a few benefits of having a conscious and health-filled menu at our childcare centre. Read on to discover more about our nutrition principles.
Our recent menu review
We recently had our menu reviewed and assessed by registered paediatric family dietitian and nutritionist, Rachael Wilson from The Food Tree.
Rachael had this to say:
"It was an absolute pleasure working with Oma Rapeti. The children enjoy a truly excellent menu; each day they are offered fresh organic whole foods, with plenty of variety from all the food groups to choose from. The teaching team demonstrate many aspects of exemplary practice when it comes to supporting children to have a good relationship with food. Such as growing their own vegetables and herbs, which the children then help harvest and prepare for meal times."
- Rachael Wilson - registered paediatric dietitian and family nutritionist from The Food Tree.
Sample - Winter 2018 Menu
|Morning Tea||Lunch||Afternoon Tea|
|Quinoa Porridge and Fresh Fruit||Carrot, Lentil and Kumara Stew with a side of Fresh Vegetables||Cheese Scones and a Vegetable Smoothie|
|Fresh Homemade Bread||Chinese Fried Rice with Egg and a side of Cucumber or Carrot Sticks||Kale or Potato Chips, Homemade Sauce and a Vegetable Smoothie|
|Fresh Homemade Yoghurt, Homemade Muesli and Fruit Salad||Mexican Bean Stew||Gluten-free Hand-made Crackers, Hand-made Hummus and Toasted Seeds|
|Homemade Apple Cake (no refined sugars)||Pizza with Grated Beetroot, Carrot and Spinach||Fresh Home-made Yoghurt, Home-made Muesli and Fruit Salad|
More About Nutrition at Oma Rāpeti
At Oma Rāpeti Early Learning Center we believe high-quality nutrition is important for health, well-being, growth, and development.
As much as possible our fruit and vegetables are organically grown and freshly delivered each week.
The children love to get involved in our organic vegetable garden, selecting and growing their own plants.
We enjoy a vegetarian diet.
We cook from scratch using real ingredients like garlic, onion, fresh herbs, dried herbs and spices, organic vegetable bouillon, olive oil, and rice-bran oil.
Our drinking water is filtered.
We use organic flour and rice and other organic dried goods in our regular home baking of low sugar treats.
We cater for vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free, and egg free options.
We make vegetable smoothies packed full of nutrition.
Sugar policy: we have a no sugar policy in place here at Oma Rapeti. Children enjoy home baking with natural sweeteners such as honey used as much as possible.
We ask that parents do not bring in cakes on birthdays, in line with our policy. Our birthdays are celebrated with beautiful birthday trays that the children pick and decorate themselves. Parents are always welcome to join our celebrations.
No preservatives: we make all of our food from scratch, meaning there are zero preservatives.
Meals are served with fresh vegetables like carrot sticks and cucumber, or steamed broccoli trees.
Muesli and porridge is available for any child needing breakfast. Children bring their own lunch boxes on a Friday, we encourage parents and children to make healthy choices. Please let us know if you need any lunch box ideas. Please avoid sending in packaged food as much as possible, or sweet treats such as chocolate and lollies.
We encourage building independence in eating.
Children learn to serve themselves, have patience, pass and share and enjoy this important social time together.
We serve a variety of meals from mixed cultures like...
- Spiral pasta with tomato passata sauce, steamed veggies & cheese
- Fried rice with vegetables, egg & soy sauce
- Wraps with salad, hummus, and cheese
- Sushi with rice, carrot, cucumber and tamari sauce
- Pad Thai noodles with veges
- Mild chick-pea curry with coconut milk
- Fresh rolls with salad, cheese, mashed egg and mayo
- Refried bean and cheese toasted quesadillas
- Pizza with tomato paste and cheese
Extract from a Recent Student Teacher's Final Assignment...
"The centre offers organic, vegetarian, no sugar and low salt foods for all children. The food is amazing, and all the children enjoyed everything. I can see the love that the centre cook puts into the food for the children, and I can see the love that the children have for the kai as they will often have 3-4 servings if they want.
The tables are also laid each meal time and will always have a vase with fresh flowers in, for a lovely homely feeling. All children (including under 2’s) use china bowls and plates, and glass cups. When I asked the teachers about this they said it shows the children that the adults have trust in them to use the plates, bowls and cups which can easily break. The whole 4 weeks I was there nothing got broken – amazing."
- Abby, AUT Student, September 2018