The preparation of food and snack time is a vital part of the Waldorf Early Childhood Curriculum. Nutritious, whole grains, seasonal fresh produce, protein and letting the children be involved in the preparation of the food are one of the essentials in the kindergarden classes.
Food is such an important part of this early education that the children know the days of the week by the food of the day: Rice Day or Soup day, are much more familiar for them than the less meaningful and abstract Monday, Tuesday, etc. This is the way, from the food, that children understand the rhythm of the week and learn to think sequentially in that way.
The preparation of the snack can help children to make connections with the natural world. it is very important that we help the children understand where our food comes from. For example, it is a complete different experience to open a jar of applesauce and eating it than the experience of going to the orchard, picking the apples, cleaning and peel, core and slice them, stirring the cooking pot, and then eating the applesauce. ( The Waldorf Kindergarden Snack Book).
Many teachers and families choose to follow the cosmic rhythm of the daily grain ( see “The Grain of the Day” page).
The community snack: these are snacks, like stone soup or applesauce, where each child contributes their own vegetable or fruit to the pot. It is a loving way to make connections with others in their school or in their community. For example, on Tuesdays and Thursdays we used to make extra soup and bread for the maintenance people who take care of our class.
One last consideration about snack. Several teachers have added more proteins, such almonds and cheese, to their snacks. They feel that their children were more grounded and focused after they added these foods to their snacks menus.