Ask any of our tamariki what day it is and you’ll most likely get an answer with “it’s hummus day” or “It’s soup day.” In fact all our days of our kindergarten week are signified by a lunch meal. It gives children a connection to their day that is sensory, they arrive and smell the rice cooking, or bread rolls baking. It’s deeply nourishing and we aim to provide children with wholesome, organic or bio-dynamic food from a vegetarian menu.
Catering for a wide variety of dietary needs, we see that it’s important for tamariki to have a sense of wellbeing, belonging and togetherness around kai. Personal preferences are put aside to allow for connection. There is always something on the plate that invites tasting and trying new kai. Tamariki watch friends and kaiako, sitting and enjoying nutritious meals and it isn’t long before meals are met with enthusiasm.
Much of our day is wrapped around the gathering in our wharekai. Around 10.00am, we have morning tea. At approximately 11.30am we come together again for a shared lunch and the kindergarten day concludes with an afternoon snack at 2.15pm before the children leave at 2.30pm.
The sharing of kai is an important part of our day, and tamariki are invited to help in the preparation and serving of our meals. Before we eat, we share the following karakia to give thanks:
Whakapaingia enei kai
E homai ora
O matou tinana
We welcome parents and caregivers to join us whenever possible for lunch. Having a parent pop in to share our kai and share in our lunchtime brings great delight for tamariki. Just let our kitchen helper know in the morning to expect you, so that we can prepare an extra plate. It really is a special part of our day.
To encourage tamariki to develop manaakitanga (a sense of responsibility, kindness and generosity), once tamaiti are 4 years of age, they are given the task to help hand out the bowls and plates of food at lunchtime. This task is held with great reverence by tamariki.