MEALS AND NUTRITION
We believe in fostering a life-long love of healthy living. Children’s meals, including breakfast, lunch, and snacks, are all organic and made at the school. We plan meals with the children, and they always have an open invitation to join the cooking and preparation process. We emphasize the importance of pausing to focus, notice, and wonder about each ingredient, how it grows, where it comes from, and how it made its way to us. The process of cooking and eating together with the friends is at the core of River East School.
Much of the vegetation we use is locally sourced, and our menu is mainly plant-based, with beans, tofu, and wild, sustainably caught seafood options for protein. We also offer vegan options with every meal. In addition, we partner with local farmers and resources that provide fresh, organic produce, which benefits healthy agriculture and small business.
The majority of our food items are made from scratch, including our loaves of bread (with gluten-free options), date syrups, cheeses, jams, and many, many sauces. River East School is a sugar-free school which means we use only fruit, such as bananas and dates, to sweeten meals, snacks, and treats. We spend days creating delicious, raw desserts for birthday celebrations with the children for their celebrating peers. This exploration alone brings a multi-faceted component to cooking and deepening friendships. The friends love spending time in the kitchen, and with it comes the quiet but authentic application of academic concepts like reading, math, science, storytelling, and experimentation.
SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS WORKING WITH DOUGH IS A POWERFUL EXAMPLE OF EXPLORING EARLY MATH CONCEPTS IN THE KITCHEN...
Young children learn best when they are doing, playing, and able to relate – cooking checks all these boxes. It provides an experience where concepts become meaningful and that is when the highest level of learning takes place and knowledge is retained.
Cooking together presents an opportunity that is more about noticing and wondering rather than teaching. At RES, we utilize the kitchen as a place to build children’s intuition and help to create a strong foundation for a multitude of skills that they will carry with them throughout their lives.
The individual child connects directly to critical learning of science and mathematics through the exploration of one’s emergent identity.
TAKING TIME TO PAUSE AND NOTICE.
Collecting multi-colored eggs from our beloved chickens; Mart, May, and Snowy.
It has become a daily routine for the friends- pausing to observe and notice the subtle differences between the eggs before hypothesizing which chicken laid each egg.
Based on our menu, our nutrition program and meal plan can be customized for each child.
We work with families to discuss food history, sensitivity, and goals, as well as healthy habits. We share nutritional milestones during parent conferences alongside other vital issues such as cognitive and social development. This emphasis on health and awareness is based on current scientific research regarding the importance of food and timeless traditions revolving around food, family, and community.
Parents will receive an email with our weekly menu before the beginning of the school week. The menu will also be posted inside the school. Please always feel free to reach out to Dina with any food-related questions or recipe requests!