At  Jackson  Child  Care  we  serve  the  following  meals:  Breakfast,  Lunch,  and Snack. Learning through mealtimes is an important part of our day. Meal times open  the  door  for  intentional  learning  across  all  developmental  areas.    Meals are served family  style, which  provides  opportunity  for  us  teachers to ask  the children  open-­‐ended  questions  and  stimulate  conversation.  Mealtime  gives opportunity  to  build  language  and  listening  skills  as  children  share  thoughts and ideas us and with each other.

The  Family  Style  Dinning  kit  is  playing  a  vital  role  in  our  children  growth  in varied  developmental  areas.  The  Kit consists  of  child  size  pitchers,  plates, bowls, eating, and serving utensils.

Our story begins with the role of teaching the children how to set the table and count the number of place settings-­‐ how many plates, cups, spoon, and fork do you  need  to  set  the  table.  This  calls  for  use  of  logic  and  reasoning  in  that  we need one  plate,  one  cup  etc.  at  each  chair.  Fine  motor  skills  are  required  to arrange the silverware and overall setting (also logic and reasoning skills).  The use of a placemat and its arrangement for each child supports spatial awareness along   with   creative   art,   literacy,   and   vocabulary   building   along   with   the strengthening of skills in literacy, language, math, and creative art.

There is a ritual as well as a routine to our mealtime.  First we wash our hands (health and safety).  Next we set the table (social study knowledge).  Then we take our assigned place at the table (social study knowledge).  There is leadership, making decision, and a required overall awareness of the process.  We wait for every one to be seated before eating.  After it is time to extend the social and emotional engagement that includes request to pass the food from person to person  and using the serving spoon, while engaging in conversation with each other, sharing of likes and dislikes.  The plates and bowls serve dual purposes.  We use the plates and bowls for individual serving and eating as well as to hold the food, which means we have to figure out how to pass it without the food falling off (logic and reasoning).

Family Style Dining Kit StoryMeals