In Germany, kids can go to kindergarten starting at age 3 and generally move on to elementary school at age 6. Our local kindergarten offers full day (7 AM to 4:45 PM) care and a combined approach to food throughout the day. At lunch the kids get a hot meal catered from a food service. At parents night I sampled various dishes provided by the catering company and was surprised at the nice selection of food – fish stews, casseroles, veggie stir fries, pastas and soups for example.
In the morning, each child is expected to bring a fruit or vegetable to share. We bring in whole food and then the teachers cut up and make fruit and veg platters for morning snack. Finally we prepare a ‘brotzeit’ box (translated literally as “bread time”), filled with snacks for morning and afternoon breaks. The only rule is no candy! Effectively Jack ends up with 3 main meals each day (breakfast and dinner at home, lunch from the catering company) and two snack times.
Our normal brotzeit box contains a half a sandwich, then 2-3 other snacks like raisins, fruit pouches, fruit bars, dried sausages, cheese, fruit or veg, crackers, pretzels or cookies. Lately I noticed Jack was getting a bit bored with the lunches so I did some searching around for something to break up the monotony. These Rise and Shine Energy Bars did the trick! They are also nice for bike rides and hiking as they are high energy but light to carry. We did substitute Multi-grain Cheerios for the puffed rice cereal as that was what I could find and we are not a gluten free household so fine for us.
Beard and Bonnet is a gluten free and vegetarian recipe blog and although I am neither on a gluten free or vegetarian diet, there are many intriguing recipes on the site so I plan to give more of them a try.