Heartland daycares switching to healthier lunches - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland daycares switching to healthier lunches

PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) -

Like most schools, daycares are switching to healthier options for their little ones.

While the switch is a little more expensive, one Heartland daycare director said it's well worth it.

"Tomatoes, green beans, and peppers,” one child said as he fills his plate.

These kiddos are having all the good stuff for lunch.

Here at Imagination Kids Preschool in Perryville, “kid-friendly food” takes on a whole new meaning.

"At lunch we have meat, a fruit, a vegetable, a bread, and then they have their low-fat milk,” Director Jaimy Brown said.

The center now follows the Eat Smart guidelines.

"Non-processed, not chicken nuggets or fish sticks and stuff like that, everything, even pizza, we make our own pizzas,” Brown said.

Brown said the Eat Smart program is not required and they get no extra funding for making the switch. Even though feeding all fresh food costs more, Brown said it's well worth it.

"When they are eating healthy it’s just really rewarding to see them picking and choosing healthy choices and they're used to doing it here, and they start doing it at home as well,” Brown said.

Not only to the kids get to pick healthy food at the table, but they also pick their own veggies from their back yard garden.

"Look, it's turning orange, we can pick it in a couple days I bet,” Brown tells one child as they help water the garden.

So from the dirt to the dish, these kids are learning about fresh, nutritious eating from the very start.

"Giving them the building blocks to set it up for the rest of their lives,” Brown said.

Brown said with all the changes coming to the school lunch programs, it's best to start children on healthier meals early on.

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