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April 3, 2012

Doodle Bugs! Standard of the Week: 04/2/12

We often refer to the MSA indicator that “Teachers consider the curriculum to be everything that happens during the day…” – mealtimes are a perfect example of this, and are such an important part of the learning process.

It’s important for teachers to sit with children during meals. Teachers are welcome and encouraged to eat lunch at that time; if they choose to do so, they should eat what the kitchen manager brings (not lunch from home). Sharing the same meal at the same time promotes healthy habits and is a terrific opportunity to model manners, try new foods and other essential skills.

For your reference, the ECERS scale notes the following regarding mealtimes (this is just an excerpt, not all indicators are listed):

A rating of (7) EXCELLENT includes:

  • Children help during meals (ex. Set table, clear table, clean up a spill).
  • Child size serving utensils are used (We do not have children serve themselves food, but can certainly encourage use of a small pitcher to pour drinks).
  • Meals and snacks are times for conversation.

A rating of (5) GOOD includes:

  • Most staff sit with children during meals and group snacks.
  • Pleasant social atmosphere.

A rating of (3) MINIMAL includes:

  • Well balanced meals and snacks.
  • Non-punitive atmosphere during meals/snacks.
  • Sanitary conditions maintained.

A rating of (1) INADEQUATE includes:

  • Meal/snack schedule is inappropriate (hungry children are forced to wait).
  • Negative social atmosphere (ex. Staff enforce manners harshly, force child to eat, chaotic atmosphere).

Please monitor your team’s current level of practice and identify areas of improvement. Encouraging teachers to share their meal with the children benefits everyone!

A copy of this SOTW will be posted for parents to see and in the faculty lounge. As always, thank you for your attention to these essential doodle details!

View the current SOTW as a .pdf here: 040212_Lunch