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Little Sweet Peas

June 29, 2017

Dining Services announces the beginning of a new program, the Children’s Place Nutrition Program. 

Over the last month, Claudia Engelmeier, director of Dining Services, Alyssa Hammitt, Dining Services dietitian, and Meghan Deering, dietetic intern, collaborated with Children’s Place staff to discuss nutrition learning opportunities, create curriculum, and kick off the program. Children's Place is UMD's licensed daycare center for kids between the ages of six weeks and the first day of school.

Dining Services will visit the Children’s Place’s Toddler and Preschool classrooms once a month to share about a food group and create a recipe. They began the Children’s Place Nutrition Program with a Preschool tour of the Main Production Kitchen.

UMD Children's Place toddlers eat food

Children enjoy the fruits (or veggies) of their labors.

Tom Linderholm, Dining Services executive chef, led the tour, which began with the children giggling as they put on hairnets. 

“The children were awed by the size of the walk-in refrigerator, walk-in freezer, and bread oven,” said Meghan Deering. “Their final stop was the loading dock to see where food orders are received. The size of the garage door was the final highlight.”

This week they headed into the classroom for their first nutrition and cooking lesson. The goal was to introduce the five food groups and create an Italian Quinoa Salad. 

“The toddlers touched, tasted, smelled, and observed each of the salad ingredients before dumping them into a bowl and mixing them together. They were adventurous in trying the ingredients and final product. They enjoyed the ‘squishy’ texture and yummy taste of the quinoa,” said Alyssa Hammitt.

The preschoolers learned about MyPlate and creating a balanced meal. “They followed recipe steps, cut fresh produce, measured salad dressing, and mixed their salad together. It seems like there are some future chefs in the classroom!” Alyssa said.

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