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Swapping daycare so food is supplied


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#1 Noodlez

Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:35 PM

I love our daycare, I trust the staff and my DD (almost 2) is happy and settled there. But they don’t provide food and I’m struggling to know what to send her everyday. It’s a a constant source of stress and I constantly feel like I’m being judged because what I pack is not ‘good enough’. I found a leaflet on healthy lunchboxes in her bag the other day no idea if it was given to everyone or just given to me :-(

DD is extremely fussy with food, she refuses most food and barely eats at all.  We are still breastfeeding and I think this plays a part but I don’t know how to even start weaning her given she is so attached to boobs.

We regularly see a pediatrician, who is not concerned about weight or growth she is tracking along at 50th percentile for both. She also has regular blood tests to check vitamin and iron levels due to medication she is on and everything is good.

The food she does like she will only have sometimes. The food she doesn’t like feels endless. I also struggle with the whole -concept of lunchbox food, they won’t heat anything, nothing is kept in the fridge. It’s also another task to do at the end of a long day of work.

Am I the only one who hates having to pack lunch for daycare? Am I better off swapping to a daycare that does provide food?

#2 lozoodle

Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:40 PM

My kids are past daycare age, but I still hate packing lunches, it does my head in!

Honestly... If you are otherwise happy I wouldn't move centres. The centres that provide food aren't all that marvellous anyway its not like they are having super healthy wonderful meals as much as they like to make you think they are. Its not sh*t either, but I'm sure its no worse than your lunchbox.

Try not to let it bother you, its really hard getting kids that age to eat properly! It will pass, just do what you need to survive right now :)

#3 Living Type

Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:42 PM

I hate hate packing school lunches but I don’t think I’d swap daycares where my child is settled and happy in these circumstances. Have you Spoken to the daycare about it? They might have some suggestions about what to pack.

#4 Jennifaraway

Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:59 PM

DD3's daycare provides morning & afternoon tea but we have to send lunch. I use a bento box style because it's actually easier to send a variety of food (also handy if we run out of bread - I can send crackers etc instead).

DS6 was at the same place. He's a fairly picky eater - the list of things he will eat is easier to remember than what he won't. He had much the same thing every day - vegemite sandwich, cheese, cucumber, capsicum, strawberries, yoghurt, or variations of. Luckily it looks healthy! He still has much the same at school - Every Single Day. In a good insulated bag with a good ice brick/gel brick it stays cold all day.

I actually found it better to send his lunch to daycare, because at least I knew he would eat the food. Peer pressure would NOT have worked to make him eat cooked lunches, so he would probably have gone hungry. He started there at almost 2yo and wasn't very verbal.

You can always talk to her daycare teachers about it if you think they're judging what food you send. But they probably aren't!

#5 SeaPrincess

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:03 PM

When my children were little, I had booked days in a daycare that did provide meals and I regularly used occasional care that didn’t. I feel your pain - packing lunches was the worst part of it!

In your position, I would have a look around. You don’t have to make any decisions unless you find one you really like.

#6 blimkybill

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:11 PM

I think having carers you trust and who genuinely look after your child, and a settled child, is worth a LOT and I wouldn't trade it for the lunch issue. Yes, packing lunch boxes is a pain, and I am sure it feels worse for you because of your fear of being judged over your DDs picky eating. But hold your head high because you know your child and that you are doing your best for her. You can't force her to eat things she doesn't want to eat. And it doesn't matter if she eats the same lunch every day.
The risk in a centre that cooks, is a child who eats very little at all. I have seen plenty of centres that cook "healthy" food full of veges, very low in fat etc, but many of the picky eaters just don't eat it. Some kids do well copying their peers to eat, many remain picky and just go without.

#7 Goldenash

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:11 PM

Wow. I dont know any day cares that dont provide lunch. Personally that sounds hideous - one of the things i love about day care is not having to worry about packing food.

I think for a picky eater having to pack a lunch sounds hard.  The fact that lunch is the same for everyone does help in getting them to eat other foods and is less work for staff.
That said i have one picky eater who refused lunch for the first 3 years at day care and would just eat a large breakfast and extra 3pm sandwiches. So perhaps it makes no difference.

Ignore the leaflet. Pciky eaters are hard.


Entirely unhelpful. Sorry!!

#8 BornToLove

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:21 PM

My DD is also picky and one thing I liked about our old child care was that she ate everything the provided. DD would not eat any meat for us but always took seconds of their shepherds pie, meat loaf and a chicken meal they made 🤔

However, I would suggest talking to the staff about food and your child. Let them know the struggles you have been dealing with and if they have meal suggestions that they think your child may like so you can add it in rotation.

I also second getting a bento box style lunch container. DD always seems to eat more when there is a variety of small amounts of food (she is a snacker). You can also fill the majority of the compartments with things you know your child likes and add one or two things to try (ie the healthy things childcare wants you to send).

#9 Flaxen

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:30 PM

I had used childcare that was a provide own lunch for the kinder room, but it luckily got sold to a big group that's policy refused to have outside food for allergy reasons. Yay!
But now were in primary school years, I have a list on the fridge of healthy food ideas, (I make sure I have most of those available) and it really helps when I hit a mental block at 7am, and it greatly reduced my morning stress.

#10 Mands09

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:54 PM

Our centre provided food but they limited the number of serves kids could have cause you know, that’s money. My kid was always without fail starving when he got home despite having the maximum number of serves.

I wouldn’t trade centres if you trust the carers and it’s otherwise a good centre.

#11 Whattothink

Posted 15 July 2019 - 11:54 PM

I wouldn’t trade either.
Lunch boxes are the worst!
I like pp idea for bento box style. Cook up some savoury looking mini muffins - chuck a bit of sugar in them so she’ll eat them.
Cut up cheese - bit of fruit - crackers etc.
Have it all cut up and ready on Sunday, freezer etc. then it’s all good for the week.
Mini sandwiches in shapes etc can also work well.
No guarantee she will eat the food they serve at an alternative daycare either.

#12 Noodlez

Posted 16 July 2019 - 10:28 PM

Thank you all!! I will try our bento box again and will talk to daycare again about my concerns.

#13 JomoMum

Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:51 AM

View PostLiving Type, on 15 July 2019 - 09:42 PM, said:

I hate hate packing school lunches but I don’t think I’d swap daycares where my child is settled and happy in these circumstances. Have you Spoken to the daycare about it? They might have some suggestions about what to pack.

Agree. Ask them what the other kids have their lunchboxes for suggestions.

There nothing wrong with some sandwich, biccies and cheese, fruit whatever.

2 year olds are typically difficult to feed. If she’s making the choice not to eat most things, and it’s not affecting her health, let her do it.

Our now 5yo went through stages of not eating at daycare (food supplied) even when they made him a vegemite sandwich or something very plain. The teachers would get so hung up about it. I made it clear that at 3 or 4 years of age (it started at 2.5), if he’s choosing not to eat and go hungry, then I was happy to just let him. He can deal with the hunger pains. He was eating a well balanced breakfast and dinner so not much I could do.

#14 seayork2002

Posted 17 July 2019 - 09:04 AM

I would not change daycare just because of that but the first day care my son went to had a cook there and they had all sorts of yummy food, they pinned up the menu each week.

DS is a very fussy eater but more often than not had more bits they made because they all ate together so he joined in.

we still fed him dinner at home but was very thankful that he discovered new food there

#15 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 17 July 2019 - 10:21 AM

View PostLiving Type, on 15 July 2019 - 09:42 PM, said:

I hate hate packing school lunches but I don’t think I’d swap daycares where my child is settled and happy in these circumstances. Have you Spoken to the daycare about it? They might have some suggestions about what to pack.

Same. I would imagine the leaflet is given to everyone.

My kids often used to get leftovers at daycare (not rice) same as  I took to work!

Edited by WannabeMasterchef, 17 July 2019 - 10:22 AM.


#16 iwanttosleepin

Posted 28 July 2019 - 08:35 PM

I would definitely not change daycare because of the provision of food.

One thing I find that helps is a list of ideas on the fridge. And then a pile of little bits and bobs in the freezer.  My youngest is almost 5 (and very fussy) but I have 2 at school so I may as well make lunch for all of us.

Some ideas I have and use regularly:
chocolate protein balls
pikelets
hummus and crackers
olives
cheese stick
salami stick
a boiled egg (my DS loves to peel them himself)
squeezie yoghurt
mini pizza
banana muffin
carrot cake muffins
cut up fruit (my Ds only eat strawberries, grapes, apple and mandarin)
half an avocado with a spoon (the only vegetable he eats)
sandwiches with peanut butter or ham (crust removed and cut into quarters)
wraps with avocado cut into little bits
cold pasta with cream/cheese sauce
cream cheese and crackers

My DS is very picky - the only meat he eats is ham and salami.  the only vegetable is avocado.

#17 Noodlez

Posted 14 August 2019 - 10:16 PM

View PostWannabeMasterchef, on 17 July 2019 - 10:21 AM, said:



Same. I would imagine the leaflet is given to everyone.


The leaflet wasn’t given to everyone as we have pigeon holes for notes, the leaflet was left in her bag.

I did listen to the advice to not change daycares because of the food but  after today I’m not so sure.

Today they questioned the inclusion of half a blueberry muffin in her lunchbox.

Mind you she also had a vegemite sandwich on wholemeal bread, fruit (strawberries and blueberries), a banana, vegatables (cucumber, tomato), grated cheese and a thermos full of pasta. This is her lunch most days fruit, vegetables, sandwich, pasta/ravioli etc and a blueberry muffin or banana bread or piklets.

Not the healthiest or greatest lunch maybe but it’s things she might actually eat. She is extremely fussy to the point I’ve even seen a speech therapist to assess her eating ability. She is also still breastfeeding in the morning, and evenings which probably doesn’t help much either. To top it all off she is on medication for epilepsy that may affect her appetite.

She is tiny, she needs to eat, she needs the calories. I offer her everything but there is so much she will not eat. It’s a no to eggs, rice, avocado  yoghurt, most meat, most vegetables, meatballs, tuna the list goes on and on.

Most days they tell me she didn’t eat much today, some days she barely eats anything. She says no to the food as soon as she sees the thermos or the container. There is no changing her mind, she is stubborn and she knows what she wants. I have told them that I am struggling with ideas on what to give her I have asked for suggestions and all they are worried about is a stupid blueberry muffin that she actually does eat???


Maybe I don’t get it right, maybe her lunch could be better, maybe they have a point. But I feel so judged and so unsupported to the extent I broke down in tears in the phone to DH when telling him what they said. As much as I like the daycare don’t think I can keep her there.

#18 Lou-bags

Posted 14 August 2019 - 10:28 PM

I would ask to speak to the manager or owner about how the staff are making you feel. Tell them everything in your last post, and ask that they be told not to speak to you about her food again except to let you know what she ate and what she didn’t.

You’ve got enough going on without that added stress!

#19 ipsee

Posted 14 August 2019 - 10:30 PM

My DD was underweight and the Paediatrician suggested chocolate milk and custard. Maybe tell them the muffins are on medical advice! It could be worth having a meeting with the director about your DD's restricted diet and getting them onside.

I would be so upset too. I was similar when a health nurse started lecturing me about how modern women cant cook, and all baby needed was some meat broth from a stew but I was probably too finicky to cut up meat !? I can cook - that was not the problem.

I can see why this is getting to you - have you checked out any centres close by? I guess the worry is you will end up somewhere where they supply food and she still doesn't eat it.

#20 Mrs Claus

Posted 14 August 2019 - 10:31 PM

What’s the likelihood of her eating what a different daycare cooks? My kids had the same thing everyday at daycare but there was more chance of them eating it then say a pasta dish etc.

#21 Ellie bean

Posted 14 August 2019 - 10:33 PM

I’d be really upset too. That lunch is fine. I’d ask to speak to the centre operator.

#22 Noodlez

Posted 14 August 2019 - 10:39 PM

View PostLou-bags, on 14 August 2019 - 10:28 PM, said:

I would ask to speak to the manager or owner about how the staff are making you feel. Tell them everything in your last post, and ask that they be told not to speak to you about her food again except to let you know what she ate and what she didn’t.

You’ve got enough going on without that added stress!

The owner was there when the preschool teacher passed on the message from my DD’s room leader. I told them to me it was more important that she kept up her calorie intake than worrying about what she actually eats. The owner agreed with me but the preschool teacher went on to suggest ‘maybe she can have it at home or how about I try not including the muffin for a couple of days’  I think it was really inappropriate how it was raised.

#23 Lou-bags

Posted 14 August 2019 - 10:41 PM

Yeh that’s not good enough! I’d speak with the owner again, and say that you’re considering pulling your DD out due to the teachers judge mental attitude

#24 Noodlez

Posted 14 August 2019 - 10:47 PM

View PostMrs Claus, on 14 August 2019 - 10:31 PM, said:

What’s the likelihood of her eating what a different daycare cooks? My kids had the same thing everyday at daycare but there was more chance of them eating it then say a pasta dish etc.

To be honest I doubt she would eat what is prepared at another daycare, I would be happy to pack alternative food for her if needed. But I think it would just take some of the pressure off me and maybe they would believe me when I say a blueberry muffin is not really such a bad option considering everything.

I’m really sad it’s coming to this, my DS now 8 went to the same daycare and they have been really good with DD.

#25 Ellie bean

Posted 14 August 2019 - 10:50 PM

I’d probably get a doctors letter about her diet and ask for a meeting with just the owner
I’d be upset but what you should be is angry. Like really furious. Because what they are saying is ridiculous.




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