At UKC we believe that children in their first five years of life are developing rapidly and require a nutritious and safe diet for their intellectual, behavioural and physical development. Education and fun learning activities in relation to healthy eating is also important for children's development.
To support this we have qualified cooks who work in partnership with nutritionists and the munch and move program (A NSW Health Initiative) to create a 4 week rotating menu full of healthy and appetising meals which provide at least 50% of the children’s daily required nutritional needs. This includes breakfast (offered before 7.30am) morning tea, a substantial freshly prepared lunch, afternoon tea and supper all prepared and cooked for us on the premises daily by our wonderful trained cooks. Our 4 week rotating menu is always available for you to see and is displayed weekly in each room for you to review. Educators record how much your child has eaten throughout each day on our daily meal and sleep charts that are displayed in each room at the end of the day. Please note that in the health and safety interests of all children at the centre including those with known food allergies and intolerances, we do not allow food brought in from home to be consumed at the centre. This excludes a whole piece of fruit or vegetable to be shared for morning and afternoon tea and cakes brought in to celebrate birthdays, however these need to be completely nut free.
For children with food allergies and intolerances where a letter from your doctor or nutritionist can be supplied, UKC will work with families to provide individual nutritional and safe meals which are similar to the meals offered on the menu. Through exceptional circumstances where UKC cannot meet the specific dietary requirements of children with a food allergy, provisions can be made for the family to supply their own food in close consultation with the director and cooks with a small fee reduction offered by the management committee.
Annually a dietician from Blue Mountains District Hospital reviews our menus and provides us feedback which we incorporate into our meal planning. We also work in collaboration with NSW health’s munch and move program that we are a member of the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Cooks Network through. As a part of our menu reviews we invite families to share favourite meals with us and ask for their input and feedback. Where possible we also aim to provide meals that reflect the culture of those in our community. Our cooks prepare each meal daily using fresh ingredients and undertake food handling and menu planning courses to ensure current research is reflected. All staff that serves food has also been trained in safe food handling to eliminate the risks of transmitting food borne illness. We also believe that it is important for children to learn about ‘every day foods’ and ‘sometimes foods’. We explore these concepts regularly throughout the program and children participate in many cooking experiences throughout the year.