Food is a central aspect of a child’s formative years and its lessons go far beyond nutrition and health. At Madrid Montessori we offer delicious food made with the highest quality ingredients possible. We aim to educate our children to know by taste, texture and smell what constitutes nutritious, healthy food and our kitchen is a place where the children are welcome to explore and experience this first hand.
Our nutritionally balanced, vegetarian lunches are made from scratch daily using seasonal and organic ingredients to the extent that is possible. We also make our own fresh bread daily, often with the help of the children, using natural sourdough yeast. We don’t use processed foods with extra fats or sugars and all meals are free of artificial colorings and preservatives. Fresh organic fruit and filtered water are available for snacking in the classrooms every day.
The children eat together in their classrooms and they all help before and after the meal. The tablesare set with fresh flowers, placemats, china plates and glassware. Everyone is encouraged to try what is served every day, even if only a spoonful. Each child has a turn during the school year for a parent to come have lunch in their class, an occasion that offers a special glimpse into the community the children have formed.
We believe each child should be given the chance to understand first-hand where food comes from, how it is prepared, and how waste can be put to productive uses. With this in mind, the children tend our vegetable garden, our compost bin and collect material for recycling. Depending on the time of year, the fresh leafy greens, herbs and vegetables that have been planted, tended and harvested by the children are prepared and incorporated into the lunch of the day.
Our garden-to-table program is very much in line with the Montessori philosophy. It offers them real experiences with seeds, soil, water, sunshine, and the magic that is part of growing food. Thus, children live the process of where their meals come from and they build a natural understanding of how food is linked to the earth, its seasonal cycles and the caring labor it requires.
Just as they help in the garden, children from all age groups work in the kitchen. They knead the bread dough and prepare fruit for their snack. They distribute bread baskets and water pitchers to the classrooms. Our food and garden program is an integral part of the school curriculum: to learn about food is to learn about life. For this reason the fees for our in-school lunches and snacks are included in the school tuition.