Month: September 2015


It’s time to think about spring and summer planting. One of the educators calls a meeting of the children. Over the year they have learned all about our garden, about the processes and purposes of planting, watering, weeding, caring. Of the rich harvest we can wash and chop to include in our cooking programme. Gardening is a labour of love and turns into nourishing food. The children also delight in the flowers and scents that come with gardening, wanting to grow plants for beauty and enjoyment as well as food. They embed rich literacy, numeracy knowledge, scientific understandings and artistic skills and ways of seeing as they interact with the garden. They know by now that it is right for them to come together at decision time, to give voice to a year’s worth of memories about gardening. The educator reminds them how much fun they had in early autumn, harvesting sunflowers that had been planted last year. She flicks back to photos and the children share stories. They cheer approval at the idea of planting more sunflowers but we remind them that by the time our next sunflowers grow they will have moved on to the next house, the children there will have moved on to school. “These sunflowers will be for next year’s children” an educator articulates for them, “for them to enjoy as much as you did.” The children wholeheartedly agree with this plan. Perhaps they realise that moving on to another house will also mean findingRead more

Children’s Eating

Children’s Eating Making sure your children’s diets are healthy, balanced and nutritious can be a difficult task at times. When your child spends a day at Flinders we are providing them with 50% of their total daily food requirements, so we share your concerns. We work hard at developing a menu which provides children with their daily nutrients, recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, 2013, and which is varied, interesting and diverse. We strive to make mealtimes at Flinders a happy, calm time to share food with peers and Educators, but also a social time, to share conversation and develop appropriate mealtime behaviour and manners. Children’s mealtimes are also times at which carers are supporting children to establish healthy attitudes to food, attitudes which will shape attitudes to food and diet as they grow into adults. This is a big responsibility and achieving these goals can be difficult. Educators feel your pain. Rosie, our wonderful cook and Alex from Sturt House recently attended a course offered by Nutrition Australia with the intention to gain more knowledge and ideas about creating nutritional menus for long day care settings. The Dietician taking the course briefly referred to some interesting research by Dietician Ellen Slatter, MS, RDN, MSSW, which we have looked at and which sits well within our centre’s philosophy. We would like to share it with you. It is called The Division of Responsibility and it presents an approach to help you make decisions about how your child eats,Read more