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Nutrition

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Full Day Programs: Lunch and Snacks

Morning and afternoon snacks and a nutritious midday meal are prepared for infant, toddler and preschool children by an on-site cook, who is required to complete the Food Handler’s course offered by the Public Health Department. Menus were created in consultation with a dietitian, in accordance with Canada’s Food Guide. Weekly menu plans are posted in the Parent Information Area in each program. The Umbrella cooks meet regularly to review and adjust menus according to the seasons. If infants require food that is not part of our centre menus (e.g. formula, pablum, etc.) it must be provided by the parent and clearly labelled with the child’s name.

Extended Day Programs: Nutritious Snacks 

Morning and afternoon snacks are prepared for children in extended day programs by program staff who have completed the Food Handler’s course offered by the Public Health Department. Weekly menu plans are posted in the Parent Information Area in each program. A group of Supervisors and Program Leaders plan and review snacks twice a year.

Kindergarten and School Age Children attending Full Day Programs

Kindergarten and school age children attending a full day program on PA Days or during school breaks bring a bagged lunch unless otherwise stated. Milk and fresh fruit will be provided by Umbrella staff members unless children are on a field trip/excursion. Nutritious morning and afternoon snacks are provided daily by staff.

The lunch should be brought to the school in an insulated lunch bag containing an ice pack to keep food at a safe temperature. All food that needs to be served warm should be packed in an insulated thermos. The lunch bag and all containers must be clearly labelled with the child’s name. 

Parents are requested to pack a healthy variety of foods based on information from Canada’s Food Guide (e.g. lunch should consist of servings from four different food groups: meat and alternatives, milk products, breads and cereal, fruits and vegetables). Staff members will encourage children to eat the most nutritious items from their lunch bag before any treats are consumed (e.g. cookies, candy, etc.). 

Please do not allow your child to bring any nut-contaminated items into the program. Umbrella staff members will ensure the health and safety of all children by checking the contents of lunch bags to ensure all foods are safe to be consumed, removing any foods containing nuts/peanuts and substituting with another food item, if necessary. Should a child bring an item containing peanuts to school, the item(s) will be wrapped and stored in the office. These items will be returned to the family at the end of the day.

Allergies and Dietary Restrictions / Bringing Food from Home (applies to all age groups)

Program Supervisors/Program Leaders will review our policies on Bringing Food from Home (WBH_2.2) and Anaphylaxis Management (WBH_4) with you during the enrollment process.

If your child has allergies or any dietary requirements or restrictions, please notify the Program Supervisor or Program Leader in your child’s program.

A list of dietary restrictions/allergies will be posted in the food preparation area and in the area where food is served.

While we cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment, Umbrella—in accordance with ‘Sabrina’s Law: An Act to Protect Anaphylactic Pupils’—shall make every reasonable effort to:

  • reduce the risk of exposure to anaphylactic causative agents in classrooms and common areas;
  • ensure that personnel are aware of which students within the centre population have been identified as being at risk to experience severe anaphylactic reactions;
  • implement procedures necessary to intervene effectively in the event of an anaphylactic emergency (Anaphylaxis Management Policy – WBH_4.2).

Please do not send any food/drink for your child to the program that contains any centre allergens. Umbrella staff will ensure the health and safety of all children by checking any food sent/brought from home to ensure all foods are safe to be consumed (e.g. have not passed their expiry date) and will remove any foods containing centre allergens, substituting with another food item if necessary. Should a child bring an item(s) containing centre allergens to the program, the item(s) will be wrapped and stored in the office and returned to the family at the end of the day.

If food/drink is sent/brought to the centre from home because of dietary restrictions/allergies in order to replace food items provided by Umbrella, the items should be in their original packaging and clearly list the ingredients. If that is not possible, a list of ingredients must be provided for the item(s), in case they affect the allergens of other children or staff. Expiry dates will be checked by staff.

When food is sent to the centre, it should be in an insulated lunch bag containing an ice pack to keep food at a safe temperature. All food that needs to be served warm should be packed in an insulated thermos. It is important that the lunch bag and all containers are labelled clearly with the child’s name and food items are kept in the original container(s), if possible.

Kindergarten and school age children attending a full day program on PA Days or during school breaks must bring a bagged lunch, unless otherwise stated. Milk and fresh fruit will be provided by Umbrella staff members unless children are on a field trip/excursion. Nutritious morning and afternoon snacks are provided daily by staff. If a child forgets their lunch, the Umbrella will attempt to contact the parent to see if they can bring the child’s lunch. If not, the Umbrella will provide a lunch for the child for that day.

Parents are requested to pack healthy foods/drinks based on information from Canada’s Food Guide (e.g. lunch should consist of servings from four different food groups: meat and alternatives, milk products, breads and cereal, fruits and vegetables). Staff members will encourage children to eat the most nutritious items from their lunch bag before any treats are consumed (e.g. cookies, candy, etc.).

Peanuts and Other Nut Products

Due to the increased frequency and severity of peanut allergies, Umbrella programs have become ‘Nut-Reduced Zones’. We do not serve food that may have come into contact with peanuts or other nut products. Please respect the children or staff affected, and do not allow your child to bring any nut-contaminated items into the program. For some individuals, this could be a matter of life or death. 

Please note that Umbrella staff do everything in their power to ensure nut-free facilities but cannot control all possible sources of nut contamination.

Special Events and Celebrations

We love to celebrate occasions such as birthdays and special holidays! Public Health regulations prevent us from serving food that has been prepared in someone’s home so staff members will plan special events and celebrations in collaboration with children and families.

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Umbrella Family and Child Centres of Hamilton - Serving Hamlton for over 30 years

310 Limeridge Road West, Unit #9
Hamilton, Ontario L9C 2V2

(905) 312-9836

info@umbrellafamily.com

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