The Willow School offers a full food program of quality meals and snacks for children 12 months and older. Food prepared at the center meets or exceeds guidelines described in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the state requirements for food service. Meals are prepared fresh daily and include fresh, whole and organic ingredients as much as possible. All milk, dairy and eggs are organic. The menu is vegetarian and utilizes protein sources other than meat and poultry.
The school’s food program includes the following:
- Morning Snack – Served around 9:00 – 9:30 am morning snack is a heavier, breakfast type snack that will provide necessary nutrition and energy for the busy morning hours.
- Lunch – A freshly prepared lunch is served at 12:00 noon to children who are 12 months and older. The school works with each child to introduce new foods and to ensure nutritious and pleasant dining.
- Afternoon Snack – Served around 3:30 after nap, afternoon snack includes fruit/vegetables, grains and proteins.
Families of infants (children between 3 and 12 months) are responsible for bringing breast milk, formula and appropriate food for their child. The educators work closely with each family to create and maintain an infant feeding plan and introduce new foods according to each child’s development. “Baby” food may be store bought or prepared at home. All bottles and baby food jars and/or containers must be clearly marked with the child’s name and date.
Meals at the school are served “family-style” and include the participation of the children. At meal time, the tables are set with plates and flatware. The food is placed in small bowls from which the children can help themselves. Good table manners are modeled and encouraged.
If your child has a food allergy, you must notify us in writing so that we can make appropriate substitutions. The written notification should list appropriate food substitutions and must be updated at least annually. Food allergies can be life threatening and each child with a food allergy should have an action plan for emergency care completed by the family physician.
Severe Food Allergies or Special Diets
In order to ensure the safety of children with severe food allergies (extreme and rapid reactions, allergic to many foods, etc.) or those requiring a highly specialized diet (gluten free, strictly vegan, kosher, etc.), the school reserves the right to request that families bring their child’s food that has been prepared according to individual needs.