Freshly made, organic and natural, whole grains, seasonal ingredients, vegetarian options daily, delicious family-style meals, and children’s participation in cooking! A major part of your child’s healthy development comes from nutritious meals. We serve a morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack along with organic milk (at meal times) and filtered water. Many options are available for you to modify the menu to accommodate your family’s needs.
FAQs and General Information
Cost: Included in your child’s tuition is a morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack. Tuition remains the same whether you participate in our meal program or choose to pack your child’s snacks and lunch. No discounts are given for providing your own food or beverages.
Breakfast: We do not offer breakfast, however, children can bring their breakfast from home to eat or finish eating here as long as it is labeled and requires no prep/cooking. If doing this, please arrive before 8:30am so there is time for your child to finish eating before our Circle Time begins.
Beverage Offerings: By law, for the nutritional well-being of children, we offer 1% milk and water with meals. Our milk is organic and lactose-free. While one cup of 100% juice is allowed, we only do this if we make our own juice as a group project or for a special celebration.
Infant Food: All food from home, including jarred baby food (store bought or homemade), formula, breast milk, bottles, infant cereal, and any other food from home must be labeled with your child’s full name. Breast milk, formula, and pureed baby food must be provided by the parents. Avalon will provide solid foods per the food plan that is established at the start of care. The following foods MUST be introduced at home successfully before being introduced at Avalon: Eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, wheat, and soy. No shellfish is ever served at the facility.
Food Offerings: Meat is either organic or all-natural (free of hormones and preservatives). Vegetables and fruits are also organic and seasonal as available. Whole grains for breads, pastas, noodles, and crackers are served and organic when possible (noted on the menu). Vegetarian proteins are grain or legume based – NO soy beans are used. All food and beverage offerings are always provided to you ahead of time, at least a week in advance in menu format. Substitutions may be made for the same item category if the food becomes unavailable. (e.g. celery instead of carrots served for the vegetable portion.)
Little Chefs: Children are always invited to help prepare and serve the food under our constant supervision. Everyone helps clean up afterwards. Children (even tiny tots) get to practice cutting with kid-safe knives as they help cut up fruit for snack time or clean and cut the lettuces we grown in our garden. This empowerment and responsibility helps them develop table manners, healthy eating habits, and a strong sense of community as they care for others. We typically serve food “family-style” for preschoolers (2years+), where children serve themselves food from serving plates, but COVID-19 precautions are now in place where meal prep is done by a teacher wearing a mask and gloves.
Holidays and Cultural Festivities: We provide a variety of ethnic foods and celebratory foods for nearly every holiday and cultural festivity. Please let us know if you would like to add your heritage events to our calendar and share the important traditions you have at home. Food during these events may include a small portion of “sweets” that traditionally are served.
Food Allergies and Food Intolerance:
- NUTS: This facility may have and serve products that contain nuts; to reiterate, we are NOT nut free (sorry). We do serve sun-butter or almond-butter instead of peanut butter; however, peanut butter may still be on the premises.
- SOY: We do NOT serve edamame, tempeh, tofu, soy milk or any other soy bean product due to allergies. However, we are not a soy free facility because there may be soy ingredients in foods and sauces on hand (like soy lecithin or soy sauce).
- SHELLFISH AND FISH: No shellfish is given to the children, but salmon and other fish are. Fish is always wild instead of farm-raised.
- GLUTEN: If your child has celeriac-disease or a major gluten intolerance that is outlined in specifics by your child’s pediatrician, we can work together with the menu to coordinate which meals are served by us and which are provided by you.
- DAIRY: Allergies and intolerance vary by product and amount, so we will coordinate with you about the menu or options to find the right solutions for your child. We serve lactose-free, organic milk anyway, but you may provide your own milk and other alternative products to be served per the plan we collaborate on.
- MISC./OTHER ALLERGIES AND INTOLERANCE: Please contact us to discuss any concerns of questions you have about other issues or those not covered here.
- If there is a life-threatening food allergy your child has, an EPIpen (Epinephrine) must be provided and have a current prescription (not expired) and be prescribed directly to the child.
Religious and Ethical Practices:
We respect and support your right to practice your lifestyle choices and will do our best to accommodate your child’s food plan. Because religions and ethical practices have many interpretations and differences, we will work with you one-on-one to figure out the right meal plan for your child.
It is up to you to provide us, in writing, the specifics of food and beverage standards that you wish to uphold. As long as it does not require fasting, we will make sure your child is supervised so they do not eat or drink anything you have let us known about in writing.
We offer vegetarian (no meat, but does include dairy products) snacks and lunch daily; however, we do not guarantee a vegan menu even if some meals are. For vegetarian meals, cooking ingredients and tools are not mixed with those that have been used for or with meat. Please let us know the specifics of your child’s diet as there are different types of vegetarian practices (some allow eggs, some fish, etc.). You must let us know, in writing, if you wish for the vegetarian menu. There are no additional costs involved. If the vegetarian menu has ingredients that you do not approve of, you must let us know ahead of time in writing that you do not want your child to eat that meal and will have to provide a substitute lunch and/or snacks for that day. We will work with you ahead of time (menu’s are published a month in advance) to coordinate any such needs.
Food from home:
Family Child Care Homes are more regulated than public schools, which means that even food from home must meet certain criteria: (1) food from home must be labeled with your child’s name (either on a package or lunchbox), (2) must have proper nutritional requirements for a meal met (snack has to have 3 different food group servings and lunch must have servings from 5 food groups (grains, protein/meat, vegetable, vegetable or fruit, and dairy (no juice allowed)), and (3) it must not contain high-sugar treats or candy. These standards are per California’s licensing requirements and the 4Cs Santa Clara Food Program I participate in for healthy food. If these requirements were not meant, I would have to substitute or provide the missing/inadequate portion per the menu item for that week.
Besides the above criteria, the food from home must not require cooking or food prep because those activities are reserved for the school menu items. If you forget to send your child lunch and/or snacks, we will default to the normal or vegetarian lunch offering noted on the menu with consideration to the health information sheet you provide upon registration. We cannot deny your child food, so while late drop-off of a lunch is okay, it has to be within the standard serving time of meals or a substitute meal or snack will be provided to your child.