Snacks:  The Center provides nutritious morning and afternoon snacks prepared by the cooks/housekeeper of the program. Milk is provided with snacks and lunch. Snack menus are posted on the website and in each classroom.

Lunches:  You must provide lunch for your child daily. If your child’s lunch contains perishable items, please place the labeled container in the refrigerator. Remember to label lunch boxes, bags, containers and lids. Uneaten lunch foods will be left in the child’s lunch box unless the food is very messy. This allows you to determine the amount/types of food that fit your child’s appetite. Only microwave safe containers will be warmed up; lunches in containers that are not microwave safe will not be warmed. Please remember to use a small, compact lunch box to ensure all lunch boxes can fit into the refrigerators.

Healthy eating habits are part of the Center’s policy. Please do not send items such as chips, fast food, candy, gum, chocolate, soda pop, high sugared fruit punch or drinks, high sugar cupcakes and other pastries, or marshmallows to the Children’s Center. As a guideline, if the first ingredient listed on the container is a form of sugar, please leave it for home snacking. Experience tells us that if a child’s lunch contains these items, s/he tends not to eat much of the other foods you send.

The CCC follows NAEYC criteria (5.B.14) and Title XX11 Licensing requirements (101227) which states that the following items are not served to children under 4 years old: hot dogs, whole or sliced into rounds; whole grapes; nuts; popcorn; raw peas and hard pretzels; spoonfuls of peanut butter; raw carrots or meat larger than can be swallowed whole. We recommend that foods be cut into pieces no larger than 1/4-inch square for infants and 1/2-inch square for toddlers/twos, according to each child’s chewing and swallowing capability. No food should be served which is a size and/or consistency that could cause choking. If there is a concern about the appropriateness of an item, the Lead Teacher will communicate her/his concern directly to the parents. This is applicable to both food provided by the program, as well as food brought from home. We recommend that foods from home (such as chicken tenders, fish sticks, and other food) be cut to the age group requirements.

For parents of infants and toddlers according to state licensing requirements, (101427.j) all food items brought from home such as (bottles, food containers, Ziploc bags, pre-packaged foods) must have your child’s name and the current date on it. The easiest way to do this is with masking tape (or with individual labels that you may already have for your child’s belongings). The classrooms have masking tape and a marker. This is to ensure that the proper food gets served to your child and that it is always fresh.

Allergies: As standard practice, we inquire with all families and staff about allergies when they begin in our program. Staff are notified and notices are posted in the classrooms and kitchen to inform anyone in the center of the allergy in the room. If necessary and physically possible, the allergen is removed from the center or the area in which the child or staff member frequent. Alternate snacks can be provided in the event of food allergies.

The Center has a “no nuts” policy. This policy will include but is not limited to peanuts and peanut butter. For example, it includes walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamias, pistachios, and any kind of food that may include any type of nut. While we know the policy may come as a surprise, let us assure you the decision was not arbitrary. The reason behind the decision is literally a matter of life and death. A few children in the Center have a life-threatening allergy to nuts.

Birthdays:  You are welcome to come celebrate your child’s birthday with the group. We want children to connect feeling special with healthy foods, and the Center will provide your child’s favorite snack on their birthday. We will put candles in their snack, sing Happy Birthday, read stories, and, in general, make your child feel special.