At Orchidale we encourage our children to be independent learners this includes mealtimes. Our staff team ensure these times are relaxing and are more of a social event where children can reflect with the staff on what they have doing throughout the day. We have a beautiful dinning room, where children can practice self serving and are encouraged to understand the process, from setting the table, pouring their own water, self serving meals, scaping plates and washing up after themselves. Our children take pride in learning these life skills which in turn builds self esteem and confidence.
At Orchidale we believe that children even as young as one year old can benefit and start to practice these abilities for example pouring their own water from a jug and using a cup without a lid, this also helps with transitions through the nursery.
All age children are encouraged to use metal child size knives and forks. We also use china plates as well as drinking glasses to give each child the experience of real world items.
Our staff at Orchidale sit with the children at mealtimes and role-model good table manners.
We promote healthy eating across the nursery offering fruit and vegetables at snack times which the children can self select. We believe that by asking the children to serve their own portion size at lunch and tea times they will be more encouraged to eat what they have selected. Children even at this young age are able to register when they feel full so by controlling their own food intake will have a positive effect on their well being. By promoting this healthy eating to our children we are also ensuring food waste is kept to a minimum.
One our aims at Orchidale is for our children to start to understand the importance of a healthy balanced diet.