Meals and snacks


When children sit and eat together, it’s a chance for them to interact in a more informal way with staff members, for staff to model prosocial behavior, and for children to socialize with each other.

Parents are responsible for bringing in meals and drinks for infants and toddlers. Preschool children must bring a meal and drink. In all preschool classrooms, First Circle provides morning and afternoon snacks, and water to drink.

We choose a variety of snacks that are low in sugar and fat. EEC requires the weekly snack menu to be posted. We keep a supply of meals and snacks on hand for children whose parents have forgotten to bring them from home. We also supply paper plates, bowls, cups, utensils, and bibs, but parents are welcome to supply their own.


Meals and snacks are scheduled for the children’s developmental stage. Educators should follow these guidelines when serving meals and snacks:




For the health and safety of the children, we must prepare and serve food and drink in a safe and sanitary manner. All First Circle staff are trained in food health and safety. We follow these guidelines and require that parents do too:


Ask parents to note in Procare Engage any food preference or intolerance, any change in patterns or schedules at home, and any other information that can help us best support their child.

If you’re assigned to the infant classroom, record what was offered, what time you started and ended the feeding, and how much was consumed. Note any preference or intolerance, and any observations related to developmental changes in feeding and nutrition.


Mealtimes are an opportunity to completely focus on the infant and have quality one-on-one interaction. Hold children to drink their bottle, and when they are ready to hold their own bottle, support their learning to feed independently. Feed infants in a highchair. Sit with them either to help feed or support their self-feeding skills. You should make lots of eye contact, smile, speak softly, narrate what is happening, tell a story, or sing a song.



Toddlers and preschoolers eat as a group and follow a group schedule. However, if a child is hungry and a snack or mealtime is not scheduled soon, offer them a choice from the foods they have brought to meet their individual needs.

Parents are asked to supply food based on their child’s schedule. All food for the day must fit into the child’s lunchbox or a separate insulated container. We do not have additional refrigerators in all classrooms.