We believe in fostering a life-long love of healthy living. Children’s meals, which include breakfast, lunch, and snack are all organic and made at the school. We plan meals with the children and they are involved in the cooking and preparation when appropriate. We talk about each ingredient and where it comes from and the process of cooking and eating together with the children. Much of the vegetation we use is locally sourced and our menu is largely plant-based, with beans, tofu, and seafood options for protein. We partner with local farmers and resources that provide fresh, organic produce, which benefits healthy agriculture and small business.
Many of our food items are made from scratch including our loaves of bread (gluten-free options), date syrups, cheeses, and sauces. River East School is a sugar-free school which means we use only natural and healthy sources to sweeten meals. For birthday celebrations we spend days creating specialized meals or desserts that are all organic and sugar-free with the children for their celebrating peers. This exploration alone brings a multi-faceted component to cooking and deepening friendships. The children love this process and with it comes the quiet but authentic application of academic concepts like math, science, and storytelling.
Based on our main menu, our nutrition program is customized for each child and we work with families to discuss food history, sensitivity, and goals as well as healthy habits. We discuss nutritional milestones or questions, if any, during parent conferences alongside other important issues such as cognitive and social development. This emphasis on health and awareness is based on current scientific research regarding the importance of food as well as timeless traditions revolving around food, family, and community.
Parents receive a sample of the weekly menu along with documentation on what explorations are happening in our kitchen classroom or surrounding the subject of health, nature, and wellness. In the past, this menu has included a chart made by the children each week graphing the eggs produced by our well-fed and much-loved school chickens.