Café is a tasty and nutritious supplement to help our children start their day at Maple Street.
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Each menu is a list that you can print and take with you to the store.
As part of your membership responsibilities, as part of your membership responsibilities, each family is responsible for cafe duties twice per year. One or two families from each class buy and deliver snacks for the children each week. Over the year, each family generally does Café duty twice, one alone and once paired with another family. The Café organizer from your class will send out a schedule to your class via email. When it’s your family’s turn to bring snack, you’ll get a list of what to buy.each famliy is responsible for providing food for your child’s class for one week out of the year. When it’s your family’s turn to bring snack, you’ll get a list of what to buy.
Deliveries of food should be made on the Thursday or Friday before your scheduled week, whichever day your family prefers, so that it is available for the teachers to prepare and serve the following Monday.
If you need to trade your date with another family, please make arrangements to find a substitute family to trade with. Once an arrangement is made, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The committee chair will not make arrangements for you.
Café should provide a suite of foods that satisfy each of these goals:
Café foods should provide a healthy balance of nutrients and should not consist of artificial ingredients or high levels of salt or sugars. When specifying fruits and/or vegetables for café, we encourage families and teachers to think about the locally grown and season produce. Fruits and vegetables that are in season and available locally/regionally will be more flavorful and healthy (as well as having a lower carbon footprint). For example, instead of serving berries in the fall/winter we should ask for apples and oranges.
Café can be a place where our children are exposed to new flavors, textures and ingredients. We should encourage children to try a variety of grains by serving crackers made from quinoa, millet, rice and other non-wheat grains. Exposure to foods from other countries and cultures can also provide a fun experience for our children.
Many fruits and vegetables have very high levels of pesticides and herbicides that cannot be removed even with rinsing or washing. We should only serve produce that has been found to have low levels of pesticides or should serve organic versions of high-pesticide produce. For example, the produce with the highest levels of pesticides are: celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, cherries, kale, grapes, carrots, pears, plums, and raspberries*. These fruits and vegetables should only be served if they are organic. If this is not feasible, then lower-pesticide produce should be requested (avocado, pineapple, mango, kiwi, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, bananas).
Additionally trans fats (hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils) are unhealthy and actively discouraged by Department of Health code, so we want to stay away from them completely. The same applies to some sugars and artificial sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, aspartame (Nutrasweet), saccharine (Sweet and Low), and sucralose (Splenda). If the label looks like a chemistry list then you probably don’t want to eat it!
Finally, we want to remember that we abide by an allergy policy in our family handbook, and that to keep children with life-threatening food allergies safe, current school policy is to keep foods containing sesame, peanuts and tree nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.) out of school and to notify teachers when students bring eggs and foods containing eggs and dairy to school, so allergic students can eat lunch at a separate table.
Maple Street parents have varying levels of income available to spend on café foods. While each of the above goals is important, we must allow some flexibility for our families who may not always be able to buy organic, for example. Our café menus should provide lower-cost alternatives to high-priced items that can still achieve the goals of nutrition, variety and safety.
*Pesticide info from http://www.foodnews.org/fulllist.php