Nutrition and mealtimes
Our healthy menus reflect the variety of cultures in each centre’s surrounding community.
Most SDN centres have their own cooks who use local and seasonal produce and avoid using processed foods, preservatives and additives. Many of our centres also have kitchen gardens, so children can play an active part in growing the food they eat.
Mealtimes are important opportunities for learning and connection in our centres and we encourage children to be part of the process of serving meals. Staff will usually sit and eat with the children, creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere at meal times that helps to promote positive attitudes towards food.
We encourage children to drink plenty of water and we offer healthy snacks between meals. Seasonal menus are displayed in each centre and we welcome feedback from families on our menus.
Allergies, intolerances and special requirements
All SDN centres cater for each child’s special dietary requirements including, gluten, egg and dairy intolerances. SDN centres are allergy-aware. All staff are trained to identify and respond to allergic reactions and implement medical action plans.
We respect each child’s likes and dislikes and encourage children to eat a wide variety of food. SDN’s Mealtimes book provides some useful tips for families with fussy eaters. SDN’s Mealtimes family cookbook combines strategies for minimising the stress that can be associated with mealtimes with a range of budget-conscious, gluten and dairy free recipes. Mealtimes was written for families who have children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, but contains useful recipes and tips for all families.
Download the SDN Mealtimes Family Cookbook