Hello Choklits Community,
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new menu for the Autumn season at Choklits! As dedicated early childhood educators, we understand the importance of providing healthy and nutritious meals to support the growth and development of young children. That’s why we’ve based our new menu on the ‘Menu Planning Guideline for Long Day Care’ document from Nutrition Australia, ensuring that every meal is balanced and packed with essential nutrients to help keep our children full and ready to learn all day long.
Part of our role as educators is not only providing wholesome and natural foods for our children, it’s also about teaching and promoting good eating habits from an early age too. That’s one of the reasons we grow some of our own herbs and vegetables and have a program called plant-to-plate which teaches children about the joys of gardening and encourages them to try new foods. Our talented chefs then take the fresh produce straight from the garden and incorporate it into the dishes, making each meal a unique and exciting experience for the children.
We believe that healthy eating habits start young and are essential for a happy and healthy future. If you’d like to get involved with your children at home, set up your own veggie patch and start growing your own crops, these 7 steps from our maintenance manager Ryan will help:
- Choose the location: First, choose a suitable location for your veggie patch. It could be a small corner in your backyard or even a pot on a balcony. Ensure that the area receives ample sunlight and is easily accessible by your little ones.
- Prepare the soil: Next, prepare the soil for planting. Remove any weeds or rocks, loosen the soil with a garden fork, and mix in some compost to enrich the soil. You could even get the children involved in this step by letting them help with the digging and adding compost. If you’re using a pot buying the appropriate soil from your local gardening store is a quick and easy way to get started
- Select the plants: Select the plants you want to grow based on your family’s preferences and the season. Start with easy-to-grow vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, and radishes. You could also add some herbs like basil, mint, or parsley.
- Plant the seeds: Show your children how to sow the seeds by digging small holes in the soil and placing the seeds inside. Make sure to follow the instructions on the seed packet regarding spacing and depth. Cover the seeds with soil and water them gently.
- Care for the plants: Water the plants regularly, and once they start growing, show your children how to weed around the plants to prevent competition for nutrients. Encourage them to monitor the plants’ growth and help them identify the different stages of plant development.
- Harvest and enjoy: Once the plants are ready, harvest them with your children, and show them how to prepare and cook the veggies. Involve them in the kitchen and let them help with washing, chopping, and cooking. Enjoy the fruits (and vegetables!) of your labour as a family!
- Reflect and learn: After the program has been going on for a few weeks, take time to reflect with the children on what they’ve learned and accomplished. You could even make a scrapbook or art project to document the progress of your plants and their development.
We hope that our new menu will further inspire our children to explore new flavours and appreciate the goodness that comes from fresh, whole foods. We’re also looking forward to sharing more about gardening adventures on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
If you have any questions or feedback on our new menu, please feel free to reach out to any of the Choklits Chefs.
Enjoy Autumn and happy eating,