When I first envisioned our school, one of the aspects that gave me feelings of most happy anticipation was the idea of school made lunches. Our first year, when we had 12 children, I would make lunch every day with 3 different children. Now that our school has grown, we have an assistant who works specifically in the kitchen and in the garden with the children.
We rotate our three lunch chefs every week, and at 10:15 every morning, they wash their hands and head into the kitchen. We've arranged it so that every week one five year old, a four year old, and a three year old work together. This way, the oldest child has the most opportunity to help the others.
They first set the tables with tablecloths, plates, forks and spoons, cups, and then set up the dish washing station. Then they put on their aprons and help make lunch. Their tasks are given depending on their level of skill- cutting, peeling, grating, washing, tearing, spreading, measuring, taking out refuse to the compost bins, sticking fruit cores on the tree for the lizards and birds. What I love about the kitchen work is that it is real life practical life work.
My dream would be to have a community supported agriculture system to get our produce from, but living on a dry and windy island makes that kind of implausible. Our menu incorporates lots of fresh vegetables and fruit for dessert every day, and we try to vary it from week to week and include input from our parent community which includes a lot of international families.