Sunday, 4 November 2012

Meal Times in Pre-School

Meal Time in Stockholm Nursery, Sweden

In this Stockholm Pre-School, at certain times during the day the children know that the restaurant is open and they choose the right time for them (when they feel hungry) to sign themselves out of their group area to go and eat.

There are always staff in the restaurant eating their own lunch alongside the children, the other staff are in are in the group rooms. The restaurant is set up with a buffet style arrangement. I arrive with my colleagues, we serve our own lunch and sit at a table. We are soon joined by some of the children  (some as young as two years old). who have already served themselves. They choose what food they would like, how much and where they would like to sit.

When they have finished eating they take their plates to another area and they scrape the leftovers from their plates, into a bin. There are two large bowls of water one with soapy water the other with plain water, the children wash their plates and their cutlery and they rinse them too. Staff are available for those children that need some help with this task.

The atmosphere is calm, the children clearly know what they are expected to do. The sound of children's chatting is like a bubbling brook..and there is kind of graciousness present with the movment in this room. Its a very relaxed occassion, I have never experienced anything quite like this in a pre-school before.
The lighting is low ( tea lights and fairy lights are carefully placed along the buffet area). There are cloths covering the tables and fresh flowers in a small vases in the centre of each one.  The tables are adult height. The childrens chairs have tall legs and a step too for easy climbing to the seat.

The staff tell me that every day the selection of salads and raw vegetables available is the same, the only change is the main dishes. Diet and healthy eating is very important, they ensure that children have well balanced meals with a high raw food content too..

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarden by Robert Fulghum
All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.
ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do
and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not
at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the
sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life - learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play
and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic,
hold hands, and stick together.

Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup:
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody
really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even
the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die.
So do we.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books
and the first word you learned - the biggest
word of all - LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any of those items and extrapolate it into
sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your
family life or your work or your government or
your world and it holds true and clear and firm.
Think what a better world it would be if
all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about
three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with
our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments
had a basic policy to always put thing back where
they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you
are - when you go out into the world, it is best
to hold hands and stick together.

© Robert Fulghum, 1990.
Found in Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, Villard Books: New York, 1990, page 6-7.

If you would like to learn more about how they work in these Swedish pre-schools why not join me on my next visit or speak to me about a workshop at your nursery, please like this page on face book and correspond with me directly

Follow me on twitter!/tracyseed
Visit my website

I recently came across this fun resource for children about healthy eating and thought you might like it to......

No comments:

Post a Comment