A healthy body means a healthy mind! We strive to keep our students as healthy as possible at Endeavor Montessori by providing nutritious, chef-prepared meals and snacks every day.
We incorporate the following concepts into our nutrition plan:
- Minimal processed foods: We serve a variety of meals and snacks that include many kinds of fruits and vegetables and avoid using process foods with additives in our recipes.
- Limited amount of sugar: We encourage healthy and naturally sweet treats like yogurt and fruit and use a limited amount of added sugar in our recipes.
- A balanced diet: Growing children need a balance of whole proteins, grains, vegetables and fruits so we incorporate them all into our menu. To account for healthy proteins, we incorporate many legume/pulse-based foods, such as lentils, into our recipes. For our grains, we tend to use brown rice, in preference over white rice, and quinoa, because of its high protein and vitamin content.
- Healthy alternatives: We carefully craft our recipes to include healthy alternatives for many commonplace foods. In order to avoid an excess of fatty meats, for example, we tend to incorporate other soy-based foods such as tofu and tempeh into our recipes, which are high in protein, calcium, iron and fiber.
- Vegan baked goods: Dairy and eggs are eliminated from the recipes for our baked goods such as banana breads, pumpkin breads, zucchini breads, cobbler, and carrot cake. Alternatives such as applesauce, banana, and flax meal are used in their place because they provide the natural binding properties while also adding extra fiber, calcium, B6, potassium, and Iron.
- Nut sensitive environment: Due to the severity of some nut allergies, we limit the use of nuts in our recipes. We find healthy replacements, such as sunflower seed butter, to use in place of nut spreads.
- Organic produce: We use between two to four vegetables each day and we use fruits regularly in our snacks. Because we offer so many fruits and veggies in our meals, its important that we use organic produce as much and as often as possible in order to optimize healthy eating.
- A diverse palette: While American style foods figure into our menus regularly, we are intent on developing an international palette for our children. A typical week’s meal plan could consist of foods from a variety of countries or regions. For example, we may serve yam and sunflower stew (West African inspired), polenta (Italian), succotash (American Indian), Ital stew (Jamaican), and sweet and sour tofu (Southeast Asian).
In addition to promoting healthy habits, our staff at Endeavor Montessori is dedicated to encouraging children to use manners and form bonds with others during meal time. We believe that meal time is the perfect time for children to gather together and strengthen their relationships with their peers. That’s why we serve meals “family style,” to create a sense of community and foster friendships within each classroom.