Connect with Head Start:  
 
1-888-893-6891
headstart@geminus.org
 

NUTRITION

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Head Start’s mission is to promote healthy nutritional lifestyles.  Nutrition education is provided on a variety of topics for both children and families.  Each child will have a nutrition assessment to collect specific information and identify any nutrition needs or concerns.

Menu and Meal Time Information  Family style meal service is used in the Head Start program.  Children will serve themselves all menu items from the bowls, platters, baskets, and/or pitchers provided.  The children are encouraged to taste all foods, but they are never forced to eat anything they do not want.  One goal of the program is to introduce the children to a wide variety of foods.  Food experiences allow literacy, math, science, and social skills to be developed.  Healthy habits are also established in the classroom with daily tooth brushing and an emphasis on hand washing and other habits that help reduce the spread of illness.

Teachers and guests in the classroom will serve themselves in the same manner.  Portion sizes for adults will be the same as those for children.  Teachers will sit with the children during meal times, model appropriate eating behavior, and initiate conversations, similar to a home setting.  Teachers will also use this time for learning so that nutrition education is incorporated into the routine of meals.  Parents and other family members are encouraged to volunteer in the classroom and participate in meal times!

The menus for the program are approved by a Registered Dietitian who ensures that the meals are nutritious, attractive and tasty at the same time providing 1/3 of the Recommended Daily Allowance for nutrients for preschoolers.  Menus will be posted on the health board at each site and copies will be provided for parent to take home.  The menus follow the guidelines for CACFP (Child and Adult Food Program) and are generally as follows:

Breakfast (3 menu items)

  1. 6 oz. 1% Milk
  2. 12 cup fruit or fruit juice
  3. 13 cup cereal, 1 pancake, small bagel, or muffin

 

Lunch (5 menu items)

  1. 6 oz. 1% Milk
  2. 1.5 oz meat, cheese or eggs
  3. 14 cup rice or pasta, or 12 slice bread
  4. 14 cup vegetables
  5. 14 cup fruit

Snack (2 menu items)

  1. 12 cup fruit or fruit juice
  2. Pretzels, crackers, yogurt, or granola bar, etc.

 

 

 

 

Head Start children are served the following meals and snacks based on the program in which they are enrolled:

AM Session:  Breakfast and Lunch; PM Session:  Lunch and Snack; Full Day:  Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack

If a child arrives late to the center, they will still be offered a nutritious breakfast or lunch.

 
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