Seasonal Nutrition Program
To eat in harmony with the seasons is to be in connection with the earth, your body, and the rhythms of life. At Zia Playschool we promote healthy nutrition and culinary aesthetics at a young age when experiences are most poignant. We use gentle taste training, fun food games, and the understanding that everyone is born with a unique palate.
At this time the heat of the summer rises through the trees in a process called thermal accumulation and we are gifted with the quintessential colors of autumn. The fall harvest brings cool relief from the heat of the summer: grapes, pears, apples, squash and pumpkins...the seasonal bounty is an easy muse for cooking. Nutritious foods such as seeds, nuts, and grains that will prepare us for the winter are highlighted in our meals. Dishes such as butternut squash tart, ratatouille, and slow-cooked soup will grace our table at this time. Snack might consist of sliced apples or pears, cheese, and homemade bread.
The winter cuisine includes cruciferous and root vegetables as well as the sustenance of nuts, grains, and meat. As our bodies increase in dryness with the cold and wind of the season we favor foods such as bone broth, stews, baked casseroles, and other warm, comforting meals because these tend to replenish our depleted reserves of moisture. More sweet, salty, and sour tastes are also incorporated to keep the body adequately heated to balance the uptick in mucus production that you will notice in young children but which actually happens in all of us. By following a diet that is in harmony with nature we help our children's immunity during the sometimes intense flu season.
The harvest of spring is mostly of roots, sprouts, and bitter greens. Water becomes excessive during this time as snow melts and rain falls more frequently, creating a more humid environment in our own bodies. Foods which are light, dry, and warm are favored now to counter-balance the excessive mucus production which the body is working to diminish alongside the earth's rising temperatures. Sandwiches, salads, beans, light soups, crudites and popcorn are some of the items which will be featured. Root cellar vegetables, fermented foods, and sprouts encourage a broadening palate as children take an active part in learning where there food comes from and how it travels from soil to kitchen to plate.
*Please note that due to the small size of our program certain items cannot be eliminated from our menu including gluten and meat. Nut allergies and dairy sensitivities can be accommodated.