Healthy nutrition is not only about what is actually on the plate, it is also about education: sparking children’s interest in healthy food. That is why we eat and drink together at the table. The nutritional policy is based on the guidelines of The Netherlands Nutrition Centre and the principles of a varied offer with daily fruit and vegetables and a limited use of saturated fat, sugar and salt.
KinderRijk has opted for a vegetarian diet. At the moment, the hot meals at the daycare centers (three alternating days a week) are already vegetarian. The choice for a fully vegetarian diet is in line with this. Another important reason for this choice is sustainability; a diet with fewer animal products is beneficial for the environment.
We offer products within the Wheel of Five (used by the Netherlands Nutrition Centre), such as crispbread, yogurt, muesli, wholemeal bread, cottage cheese, peanut butter without salt and sugar and various types of (raw) vegetables. In addition, we offer a few products as sandwich fillings that do not fall within the Wheel of Five (so-called daily choices), such as jam, apple syrup and vegetarian meat products.
When occasionally offering extras, for example during parties and (cooking) activities, choices are made that are in line with the food policy as much as possible, but do not always fully fall within the Wheel of Five.
Drinking water is best. The point is that children learn to drink water when they are thirsty. If they need energy, they should get it from food and not from drinks. Tea and dairy are also on the table.
Healthy habit formation
With its nutrition policy, KinderRijk contributes to healthy habit formation, in which not only healthy food is central, but also eating together, discovering together and enjoying together. Every child is different. And just like character traits, pleasure in food and preferences for certain tastes are personal. KinderRijk wants to contribute to healthy habit formation.
The emphasis in our nutrition policy is on healthy nutrition and the importance of eating times. The eating moments are social events in which we stimulate interaction with and between children in a pleasant way and attention is paid to learning and discovering through play.
Hot lunch at the nursery
At the daycare center we offer a warm, vegetarian lunch on three alternating days a week. The sandwich meal is offered on the other two days. The biggest advantage of the hot lunch is that children, because they see others eating, are also willing to taste new things.
The hot meal is always freshly prepared with seasonal ingredients. As a result, children have already consumed their portion of vitamins and vegetables, and you can safely offer vegetables one more time in the evening, but a sandwich is also fine.
Specific nutrition requested by parents
In consultation with parents, KinderRijk wants to meet dietary or allergy wishes. A condition is that the replacement foodstuffs meet the guidelines of the Nutrition Center and that any preparation method for the pedagogical staff is feasible in practice. KinderRijk expects parents to buy these foods, that are not part of the standard range of food, themselves. These products are not reimbursed by KinderRijk. The location manager is ultimately responsible for decisions about special nutritional arrangements.