Nutrition for Children at Sunshine Village School
For children to learn, absorb, and develop effectively, they first need an appropriate and scientific diet. This is likely a concern for many parents when choosing a school for their child. Is my child getting enough nutrients? Does the school provide a reliable source of food? The following article will clarify the topic of nutrition for children at Sunshine Village for parents.
Scientific Eating Regimen
Nutrition for children is a priority at Sunshine Village. We understand that a child’s nutritional needs are significant when their physical and mental activity needs are adequately met. The practice of “rewarding” or making eating conditional only makes children lose interest in eating, become fearful of it, or, if forced, may lead to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. At Sunshine Village, we foster a culture of self-feeding and autonomous eating. This means eating according to the child’s needs, ensuring that, with the collaboration of families and the school, children will naturally eat without adult assistance or coercion.
Forcing children to eat can create discomfort and fear, affecting digestion. Numerous studies published in scientific journals such as the American Journal of Cardiology and research from psychological organizations indicate that these emotions can make the stomach function inefficiently, leading to cardiovascular problems and adversely affecting the immune system.
Using Natural and Clean Food at Sunshine Village School
Regarding the daily meal ingredients, Sunshine prioritizes the use of clean and traceable products to ensure the nutrition for children at Sunshine. We use organically grown vegetables and fruits, free from harmful chemicals. Pork is carefully selected from a well-raised herd, ensuring it is free from antibiotics or growth hormones. The rice used for the children is brown rice, which contains more nutrients (vitamins, minerals, protein) than regular white rice. Importantly, we minimize the use of various cooking oils and industrial spices. Instead, we use raw sugar, Tamari soy sauce, natural sea salt, traditional fish sauce, etc., for food preparation.
We do not encourage children to drink cow’s milk at school due to the potential hormonal and weight-related issues. Sunshine Village substitutes cow’s milk with plant-based milk. Parents can bring milk for their children, but it should not exceed one box per day.
Every week, the school sends a menu to parents for them to keep track of their child’s eating habits. In the morning, after breakfast, the children drink plant-based milk or fruit juice. Before lunch, the children engage in mindfulness exercises to calm their minds, promoting better digestion. After the nap, they have their snack time. Snacks include homemade cakes, light snacks, plant-based milk, or fruit juice.
The meal process starts with children setting their tables and spreading their napkins. The food is set up buffet-style, allowing children to choose how much they want to eat. The teachers often tell stories to encourage children to eat vegetables, and they recommend eating vegetables first before enjoying their favorite dishes. Children can serve themselves as much as they want. Sunshine Village’s experience shows that, after a few days, children become self-disciplined, sitting at the table, eating according to their body’s needs without being forced to eat more or less.
Before eating, the children collectively express gratitude to Mother Nature for what they have. We emphasize building awareness of preserving and respecting meals, as well as being thankful to Mother Earth for providing for them. This habit helps shape the children’s gratitude and appreciation for the environment.
Parents are welcome to visit the school during mealtime. Additionally, they can participate in learning how to feed their children alongside the teachers at the school.
P.S: We will invite parents to attend a workshop on natural nutrition. The workshop will be presented by a Nutrition Specialist and Health Coach. Parents will gain valuable knowledge to provide proper guidance for their children.