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Reno Child Care Center Incorporates Food into Early Childhood Education

Reno Child Care Center Incorporates Food into Early Childhood Education

Incorporating Food into Early Childhood Education
Noah’s Ark Child Care Center incorporates healthy food into their education with a full food program and a cooking curriculum. Their highly-trained staff cooks with the children to help the young ones learn about the science and math behind cooking.

Noah’s Ark Child Care Center has been serving meals to children at the center since 1972. Food safety is a priority; the entire daycare is a peanut-free zone and has Washoe County Health Department’s Certification for Food Service.

The center’s meals program provides relief to busy parents. Breakfast is served between 7:00 and 8:00 A.M. to children who have not eaten and a mid-morning and afternoon snack sustains busy children throughout the day. Thanks to a consistent menu, parents know what their children are eating on a daily basis and can balance this with family meals. Families with dietary restrictions can provide food substitutes if needed.

The balanced meals help children develop healthy eating habits as they grow up. Instead of sugary snacks, children have fresh fruit and are introduced to new vegetables like jicama, cucumber and seasonal vegetables. “We strive to make Noah’s Ark a second home where children can grow and learn,” explains Director, Colleen Petrini. “Meal time is a fantastic opportunity to help children socialize and expose them to new types of foods they may not experience on a daily basis.”

Cooking is a fundamental component of the child care center’s curriculum. Food preparation helps children learn about science while getting messy and having fun. Lessons may include making playdough, cutting snowflakes out of tortillas, or watching marshmallows melt in hot cocoa. Holiday and cultural celebrations also have a focus on food as the children learn about ingredients, taste and history of cultural food choices.

About Noah’s Ark Child Center

Noah’s Ark is a non-profit out-reach mission of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Our childcare program has been in operation since 1972. Noah’s Ark began in a small space with only 15 children and over the years has grown to encompass 115 children and an expanded faculty. In 1987 the “educational wing” of the church was built by St. Paul’s with the Ark to accommodate youth programs of the church and the growing child care population. St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, hand in hand with Noah’s Ark Child Center, reaffirms daily their commitment to the needs of the community, childcare and childcare excellence. We welcome you to our Noah’s Ark family.


Colleen Petrini, Director

Noah’s Ark Child Center

1660 Grandview Ave., Reno, NV 8950


Phone: 775-747-3775