Step into Aurora Early Education Doncaster and you’ll often be greeted with the aroma of freshly baked bread or pastry. Just past our foyer is our commercial kitchen, manned each day by our friendly chef and kitchen hand. The kitchen sits at the very center of the service.
The choice to include a central kitchen in Aurora early learning centre Doncaster was a conscious decision informed by Auroa’s philosophy of Connect, Care and Create.
“In many cultures, the kitchen is the hub of the household. We see Aurora as a home away from home and having the kitchen at the center of our space supports the natural parallels between Aurora and your home,” says Sheela, our Co-Founder and CEO.
Food Practices at Aurora Early Education
The central kitchen is physical evidence that we embed respect and an appreciation for food. This respect for food is built on in a multitude of practices in our rooms with children, for instance;
The Aurora Food Blessing
We say a Food Blessing eating valuing the meal that is about to nourish us, the hands that helped prepare it, and the natural sources that created it. Our Food Blessing encourages us to express gratitude and generosity in a respectful manner.
Tucker Bush Garden Program
Our knowledge of Australian Native practices are ever growing. The Bush Tucker program is one that helps us learn about and care for native plants that have been used for food and medicinal purposes for thousands of years. This boosts the children’s knowledge of where particular foods come from and what care it needs to grow. It also opens our minds to the variety of ways we can use plants for its benefits, respect the culture it is embedded in and thus create a diverse and sustainable environment.
Understanding of food program
Food is something we cannot live without, therefore learning to build healthy eating habits at the earliest stage will help children treat food with its true purpose in mind. Our educators enhance the children’s understanding of food and how we can respect it as a source of sustenance through our educational programs. Our day care centre food programs are designed to facilitate children’s growing understanding of food through cooking experiences with the chef and teachers. Children can then build on their math, science and comprehension skills.
Learning responsibility and good hygiene are also achieved through quality food and cooking experiences embedded in the program.
A Multisensory Food Experience
The Doncaster Kitchen leads out to our piazza, a biophilic space creating a multi-sensory experience for children to explore and use to build on their knowledge.
Being able to see their food being prepared in the kitchen from the foyer or Piazza everyday helps children understand the work and effort it takes to get their food prepared for them. Smelling the food cooking helps them build their tastebuds and flavours. And through our cooking activities and experiences, children learn about different textures and treatments of food which ultimately supports their intellectual development.
Kitchens are known to create a sense of connectedness among the home environment, and that same sense is felt in our centre. It brings staff, families and children together with excitement for food that warms the heart. Indeed, the kitchen is not just at the center of the service, but is its heart.