A Tiny Lab is a local daycare in the heart of the North End. They focus on fostering an emergent curriculum philosophy, where children’s ideas, observations and questions lead to in-depth, project-based learning. They place an emphasis on nutrition and incorporating healthy habits in kid’s daily lives, and shop weekly at Pete’s Fine Foods for fresh, local and organic produce.
We chat with Director Jillian Farris to learn more about their approach to healthy living, and the nutritious recipes and foods they love.
Why is healthy eating a large focus of the program at A Tiny Lab?
Healthy eating is one of our foundations at A Tiny Lab. We believe that during this time of rapid human growth, it’s essential for us to nourish both the minds and bodies of young children, which lays the foundation for early learning.
How are meals incorporated in the daily schedule at A Tiny Lab?
Our menus follow a vegetarian diet and are created around healthy, fresh, local and whenever possible, organic foods for snacks and lunches. We serve our meals family style with teachers eating alongside children for a communal, ‘family style’ eating experience. We hope that our menus and offerings help to establish healthy eating habits in children that will stay with them after their time spent with us.
What are some of the kid’s favourite snacks?
One of our favourite days is ‘Smoothie Thursday’ and the kids love our Dragon Smoothie – blueberries, spinach and bananas from Pete’s Fine Foods. Another big hit is our Beet Hummus we make in the winter, with Tap Root Farm’s beets from Pete’s Fine Foods.
We love that A Tiny Lab has a designated chef – what’s next in terms of food?
We’ve thought of creating A Tiny Lab cookbook as a fundraiser for our centre. We receive many requests from families, and many from other child care centres and parents through our Instagram account asking for recipes, tips, and advice for cooking and eating with young children. As a relatively new, start-up business, we currently don’t have the time or resources to commit to that project. However, we are currently creating a food blog accessed through our website which will highlight our recipes, ingredients and images of the kids that we’re excited about.
An exciting food highlight for the kids is when the weekly Pete’s Fine Foods’ truck arrives and delivers our food order for the week. Usually our Toddlers are outside playing when our driver comes, and it’s a very exciting time!
A Tiny Lab is a day care located in Halifax, NS. Follow them on Instagram @ATinyLab, or visit their website at http://www.atinylab.ca.