Redefining School Lunch
As most parents know, introducing toddlers and preschoolers to new foods - in particular vegetables and seasonings - is a daunting task. But in the Venice YMCA Preschool, 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds are enjoying whole wheat pasta, broccoli, sweet potatoes and zucchini and plenty of fresh, whole fruit.
All of the children enrolled in our Y preschool are served free lunch daily from our SKY Café, which also feeds lunch to middle schoolers enrolled in SKY Academy.
“They eat from the same menu as the older kids,” said Denita Browning, YMCA childcare director. “The kids are quicker to try new foods here with their friends than they may be at home with mom and dad.”
Browning said several parents who were sending their children prepackaged “Lunchables” meals are overjoyed to see their children enjoying more nutritious food.
“Plus, because lunch is free, parents save money on food, and for some, that means not going on food stamps,” Browning said.