A healthy diet is one of the most important preconditions for the optimal growth and development of children, as well as the forming of a healthy grownup. Therefore, we strive to help the children adopt life-long healthy eating habits.
The children’s diet in our kindergarten is planned and carried out according to current food standards and norms set by ‘The program of health care, hygiene and nutrition in kindergartens’ (NN 121/07). We also carry out a self-inspection system of food safety – HACCP in food processing, food handling and distribution. The kitchen is regularly inspected by the Food Control Centre at Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology at the University of Zagreb.
What makes us different from other kindergartens is dining in a modern and pleasantly designed cafeteria, where the children have the possibility to choose their menu at a self-service line, which encourages their independence in everyday activities (choosing food, serving, using cutlery, personal hygiene) depending on the age and individual needs of a child.
One factor that is unique is how we engage children in the process of food preparation. The very environment and a non-conventional approach have a positive effect on children, increase awareness in all participants, provide a multidimensional approach in the process and help in acquiring positive eating habits. The menus are planned weekly and are placed in parents’ corners to enable them to keep track of their children’s diet and coordinate with their diet at home. The choice of menu fulfils children’s needs in terms of quality and quantity that is required for a specific age group, feeding time and the preparation of meals and liquid intake. It is important to us that the menus are full of variety with the use of seasonal ingredients.
Menus for children with special eating habits are carefully planned (intolerance and allergies to certain ingredients, celiac disease and so on). Another unique factor which sets our kindergarten kitchen apart from others is its flexibility and active involvement of parents in the process of diet planning, so special emphasis is placed on taking into account parents’ demands when it comes to religious (halal, kosher) and ethical considerations (diet according to blood type, raw food, vegetarian diet) in determining the choice of food .
Three meals are provided during the day: breakfast (9:00), lunch (11:30) and snack (14:30), and if there is a need to provide an additional meal for a child, the kitchen is open the whole day. Moreover, fresh fruit and liquids are provided throughout the whole day.
HEALTHY DIET CHARACTERISTICS
(According to recommendations and guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, also based on the energetic and nutritional needs of kindergarten children)
• whole grains and their bi-products
• whole milk and dairy products
• fermented products and probiotic products
• fresh home-grown seasonal vegetables
• fresh home-grown seasonal fruit
• dried home-grown fruit
• easily digestible meat
• fresh herbs
• spices – sunflower oil, olive oil, apple vinegar, lemon, honey and other spices
• enough liquid intake – water, juice
• well-balanced and combined diet
• visually pleasing food and dining table