Healthy Meals for Kids

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Children’s Aid meals are made entirely from scratch from whole and fresh foods, especially fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Children's Aid meals are made entirely from scratch from whole and fresh foods, especially fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

The Children's Aid Society feeds approximately 1,500 children each day in the early childhood, after-school and teen programs at our community centers. In 2007, we launched the Healthy Meals initiative to ensure that the food we serve children in our care meets the highest standards for nutrition, freshness and appeal. Ninety-five-percent of the children we serve are eligible for a free meal as part of the New York State Child and Adult Care Food Programs (CACFP), and many struggle with food insecurity in their homes. Children in our early childhood programs consume as much as 80% of their daily calories and nutrients while in our care. And for those in the after-school programs at our community centers, we provide a hot supper that is often the most nutritious meal of their day.

Healthy Recipes for Healthy Meals

The Healthy Meals program comprises a set of original healthy recipes for kids and a training program for cooks. Children’s Aid meals are made entirely from scratch from whole and fresh foods, especially fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and they mirror the rich cultural diversity of the families we serve. Working with Council on Environment for NYC, we have also established a farm-to-plate connection to increase the amount of locally grown foods we serve. Healthy Meals constitutes a profound change to the heat-and-serve model of foodservice and to implement it successfully we developed a Cook's Training program to educate our cooks in healthful food preparation and basic nutrition.

Here are some recipes for day care and after-school programs.

Breakfast

Cornmeal Porridge

Banana Quinoa Muffins

Main Lunch Courses

Turkey Bean Tacos

African Fish Stew

Snack

Frozen Banana Pops

Vegatable Dishes

Honey Roasted Carrots

Collards Greens or Kale with Tomatoes

Cauliflower and Potato Mash

Grain Dishes

Modesta’s Rice and Pigeon Peas

Healthy School Lunches

The program has made a deep impact across our community centers. It has improved the taste and nutritional value of the foods we serve, and broadened the palates and eating behaviors of children, teachers and parents in our communities. Now, as the country turns its attention to healthy school lunches, Children's Aid is leading the effort to provide more nutritious and healthy meals in early childhood programs and after-school programs through training and technical assistance.

For more information

To learn more about Healthy Meals, please contact Stefania Patinella at stefaniap@childrensaidsociety.org .