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Nutrition

Our menu is designed in accordance with the needs of children’s development by Professor Deniz Ertem, the head of the Department of Pediatrics, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at Marmara University. We use fresh and natural products, which enable us to help children develop healthy eating habits while providing them with delicious and healthy foods.  In MIA Kindergartens, in line with the philosophy of “Eat Healthy, Be Active, Learn While Having Fun”, our students are not only served healthy meals, but they also adopt the habit of eating healthy, which is a part of our curriculum.

The MIA Nutrition Team

A menu that is suitable for child nutrition and development has been prepared for MIA Kindergartens by Prof. Dr. Deniz Ertem, one of the prominent scholars in the field of Child Nutrition in Turkey. This menu has been prepared by taking into consideration the appropriate distribution of protein, carbohydrate, and fat the foods contain in line with the age groups of the children. It also meets the vitamin, fiber, and pomace needs of the children in a balanced way.

 

Professor Dr. Deniz Ertem

The head of the Department of Pediatrics, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at Marmara University.

Background

Pediatrician since 1995

Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition expert since 1999

Publications: Countless international publications on child nutrition and children’s health.

Dietician Sabiha Keskin

Graduated from Hacettepe University, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics in 1986

Worked at Marmara University, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics for over 20 years. Currently working at Academic Hospital.

Provided consultation thousands of children throughout her career and prepared menus for many prominent schools in Turkey.

Healthy Diet Practices

Our school offers vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables (i.e. carrot, zucchini, etc.) in the meals during the day at least 4 days a week. Vitamin C-rich, fibrous, and fresh fruits and vegetables (i.e. celery, tomato, orange) are served every day. Fresh vegetables (i.e. cucumber, green pepper) and fruits (i.e. apple, apricot) are served in breakfast and snack times at least three times a week.

While cooking, baking, or buying foods such as bread and pasta, we pay extra attention that they are made of wheat flour. While cooking, we only use butter and olive oil.

In our school, there are at least 3 or 4-hour intervals between meals. That way, the children enjoy the most important meals of the day on time, when they are actually hungry. Since the short physical activities done before the meal stimulates the release of the growth hormone, they increase the feeling of hunger as well.

To make eating a loved and expected activity for students, the meals are served in shapes that catch the children’s attention. For example, the broccoli on the plate can be said to be the trees from the story told just before the meal. We serve the least liked foods with the most liked ones, and thus, we enable the children to discover new tastes.

Chicken dishes are not cooked in our school.  We serve meals that contain red meat, fish, yoghurt, and legumes as the protein source. Along with foods with protein, we also serve foods that are rich in Vitamin C because they increase protein absorption.  Also, while serving foods with protein, we pay special attention to not serve them along with foods that contain calcium because those foods decrease iron absorption.

We definitely do not use sugar in our school; instead, we use the date syrup we produce in our school.  Since the daily salt need of preschool students is between 2 and 3 grams, we do not add salt to meals. The only liquids we serve to our students are water, milk, sugar-free lemonade, and natural teas.

Food Safety

ISO 22000, an international food safety standard, aims to achieve food security and safety. Our school is one of the few ISO 22000 certified kindergartens.  ISO 22000 ensures the safety of the food chain by eliminating the weak links and minimizing food-borne hazards. ISO prevents the biological, chemical, and physical hazards that may occur in the production by using a systematic and preventive approach to food security.

Before the food service, samples are taken from all foods prepared for the day and kept for 72 hours in +4°C refrigerators. If needed, the samples are analyzed by independent laboratories.

The running water is tested every six months by accredited laboratories.

Our cooks undergo a yearly health examination for infectious diseases, and each of them has a hygiene certificate.

Natural Foods

The children are not given snacks such as wafer, candy, packaged biscuit, or potato or corn chips because of the additives in them. Similarly, ready-to-eat products such as packaged soup, chicken or beef bouillon, ketchup, and mayonnaise are not used because of the additive agents in them, such as MSG and soy protein

We pay extra attention to use unprocessed and additive-free ingredients in the kitchen.

We produce our own whole wheat bread at the school. We make our own yoghurt on a daily basis from high.-quality milk and yeast.  In our school, only the eggs of pasture-raised chickens are used. Also, we cook most of our meals using marrowbone juice.

We wash the fruits and vegetables using the Cesa branded ozone fruit and vegetable washing machine The natural ozone water kills the bacteria and microbes and thoroughly cleans the remnants of agricultural chemicals and additives on the products.

Healthy Cooking Methods

We use healthy cooking methods in order to preserve as much of the mineral and vitamin of the foods as possible.

The vegetables are cooked with little water in a short period of time, and in order not to lose their vitamins, the water used for cooking is not disposed of. The cut vegetables are cooked in a short period of time in boiling water. In that way, the vegetables are served without losing their vitamin C and antioxidant functions.

Pasta and grains are cooked in little water and by desiccating. Thus, the loss of B vitamins is prevented.

The dough is fermented while baking bread and cookies, increasing the amount of zinc, protein, iron, calcium, and vitamin B.

In our industrial kitchens, we only use double-bottom steel pans and CE-certified polycarbonate utensils. Because double-bottom pans perform better in terms of vapor and gas permeability, they better preserve the mineral and vitamins of the ingredients.  All our glasses and plates are chosen from products produced from CE-certified polycarbonate, the safest material for the children.

Healthy Diet and Curriculum

Healthy nutrition is a very important part of our curriculum. With our expert team, we adapted to Turkish the curriculum developed by the United States Department of Agriculture to be used to teach preschool children how to eat healthily. In our lessons and during meal breaks, we effectively implement the curriculum by using songs and games to inform the children about the importance of a balanced and healthy diet. The children plant different vegetables in our garden and observe them grow, and later, those vegetables are used in activities related to food.

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