By Alex Mitchell
As many of the readers of this blog know, the YWCA provides healthy meals and snacks from our Rainbow in My Tummy Program for our children in our Child Care, After School, and Drop-In Child Care. Rainbow in My Tummy was created by the Verner Early Learning Center and is a way to help child care centers feed their children healthfully while still adhering to government guidelines. We stick to whole grains, mostly fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and low fat dairy. Almost all of the food that comes out of our kitchen is made from scratch by our stellar kitchen staff every day. So what does it take to feed almost 200 kids? Read on to find out!
Many days start with shopping and unloading deliveries of the week’s food. Our cook, Anna Rector, organizes everything to make sure the week goes smoothly, while Alex Mitchell, Child Care Nutrition Coordinator, picks up items from Ingles and Sam’s Club.
Once everything is organized and put away, it’s breakfast time! Anna dishes out all kinds of breakfast goodies, from oatmeal to scratch-made muffins, to bagels with cream cheese. We always start our days out with some kind of fruit and ice cold milk!
On this Friday, the day doesn’t slow down as Anna and our morning Kitchen Assistant, Famia Carson, are hard at work to get lunch ready. Famia makes sure all of the breakfast dishes are cleaned up, while Anna finishes up lunch prep.
Once-a-week, Alex bring a new fruit or vegetable to the classrooms for Farmer’s Market Friday. This week the kids get to try yellow bell peppers. Farmer’s Market Friday is a great way for the kids to try and learn about different fruits and veggies.
Once Farmer’s Market Friday is over, it’s time to serve lunch. Famia is delivering turkey meatballs, whole wheat rolls, spinach salad, and fruit salad Yum!
After lunch is served and the children nap, the kitchen staff is still hard at work. Kitchen Assistants, Betty Eddings and Elaine “Pinky” Burton, help get snacks ready for Child Care and After School.
Snack time! Our children are enjoying berries and yogurt for their snacks. The kitchen staff stay busy by cleaning up and shutting down the kitchen so it’s ready for the morning.
It takes a lot of time and dedication to get healthy meals and snacks to our children. Every day, our Rainbow in My Tummy Kitchen staff works tirelessly to make sure everything runs smoothly and gets done!