Family Style Dining

Lunches at The J are served family style because there are so many benefits to sharing meals, family style, even when at school.  Having soft music playing and a lovely table set with placemats, flowers and real plates and silverware sets the tone for an elevated experience.  The children develop their fine and gross motor skills and hand eye coordination as they serve themselves: passing bowls, using serving spoons and pouring liquids. And they learn to listen to their internal hunger cues when deciding what size portion they wish to consume. 

The teachers act as role models, sitting with the children and tasting all the foods, as they share pleasant conversation and a lovely mealtime experience.  Everyone has the opportunity to practice social skills such as the patience required to wait your turn and saying please and thank you

When everyone shares the same food it’s a springboard for discussion of flavor, texture, likes and dislikes.  It’s also an opportunity to expand your child’s repertoire in terms of what foods they’ll try because if even one child in the room likes something it makes it more likely that the other children will try it.  All of this promotes healthy eating habits and attitudes toward food.

While it’s certainly not mandatory to order the hot lunches, we encourage you to try to order them as much as possible so that this experience can be as communal as possible.  However, should you choose to send lunch from home, no worries.  Your child will simply serve themselves from their lunchbox and participate in that way.  We’ve included a brief clip below so that you can see what this looks like in practice in a 2 year-old classroom at another school.

Hot lunches are available for purchase everyday.  Our caterer, Janet Rojo of La Vianda Catering, always prepares healthy balanced meals, using locally sourced and organic food whenever possible and never fries anything.  Each meal will follow best nutritional practices – containing protein, fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low saturated fats and no refined sugars.  When packing lunch from home please try to follow these guidelines as well.

Challah on Fridays
Each week, you can pre-order challah from The J for Shabbat.