daycare kids showing up w/ processed food. wwyd? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-09-2009, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just started watching 3.5 year old twins and they showed up with a big bag of total junk food! Nasty, cheap mac and cheese w/ 100 ingredients, shrimp flavored top ramen, weird jello fruit bowl things, chocolate pudding snacks, animal crackers with high fructose corn syrup as one of the top ingredients, and tuna and mayo (the only good thing in there). These things are obviously meant to be for lunches, but my 3 y.o dd does not eat this kind of stuff!! She actually wouldn't eat the mac and cheese today "because of the funny taste" (she's used to the good stuff), and I doubt she would eat the other weird snacks either, they would probably just taste nasty to her.
Should I offer the twins the food their mom brought and my dd something else? Should I just not offer the food they brought? My dd is used to stuff like garbanzo beans w/ olive oil and vinegar, lots of veggies, whole grain, sprouted bread, etc.... whole foods. The twins looked a little weirded out when I put out cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks w/ their lunch
wwyd?

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Old 09-09-2009, 06:46 PM
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I would discuss it with their mom. Lots of daycares/preschools (at least in our area) have a non-junk policy.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:51 PM
 
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"junk" is a pretty broad term IMO. The ma n' cheese has dairy and grains (maybe "whole grain!") in it. The choc pudding has diary again. HFCS is not on many peoples lists of nasty junk foods (though it certianly is on mine!).

I guess what I'm saying is you need to approach her from a different perspective. She is probably sending foods she thinks are convenient for you to prepare. Maybe letting her know you are willing to cook a little would broaden her food choices? Or mention that you wouldn't mind serving dinner left overs (that is what DD gets most often at DC).

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Old 09-09-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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I'd talk to the mom. Did you decide on them bringing food from the beginning? I would figure out with the mom if you'll be providing the food or if she will.

Most daycares in this area have it one way or the other unless there are allergies.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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raise your tuition a 1itt1e and inc1ude food/snacks in your price

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Old 09-10-2009, 01:43 AM
 
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Should I offer the twins the food their mom brought and my dd something else?
That's what I would do. Besides do the parents know that you are giving your daughter the food that they sent for their kids?

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Old 09-10-2009, 01:54 AM
 
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I'm in the provide for them camp. Much easier to give everyone the same thing.

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Old 09-10-2009, 02:59 AM
 
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It's definitely something to take up with the parents if you really feel you need to.

I'm sorry, because I definitely don't mean this in a personal way, but when this tone of question comes up on here it just always reads to me mostly like "I want to brag on my child's diet and knock parents who feed kids things I don't like all in one go." The fact is a lot of kids do eat boxed mac'n'cheese, etc, enjoy it, and do manage to thrive on it. Should you bring it up with the parents, I would be very careful ... if you were to handle it privately similarly to how you have publicly ("nasty, weird, funny tasting 'food' vs. my child's sprouted breads and other sundry 'good stuff'") it may not bode well for the future of your career as a daycare worker to these children.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:25 AM
 
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That's what I would do. Besides do the parents know that you are giving your daughter the food that they sent for their kids?
yes, that.

if it bothers you so much, i would do as griffin2004 suggests, and raise your price a bit to include food, and feed them all what you think is best.

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Old 09-10-2009, 08:37 AM
 
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You know, unless you have a conversation with the parents and put it in terms of "you're spending a lot of packaged food...would you like me to cook," I would find undermining the parents' nutritional decisions very insulting. No, I don't feed my kids that way, and no, I don't think it's healthy for the kids to eat that way. But honestly, if my DCP undermined my decisions as a parent that way, I'd be really PO'ed.

I know you have these kids' best interests at heart, and I, like Liquese, don't mean this personally at all. I just think that sometimes we here on MDC think we have the market cornered on parenting, and it's hard to remember that, while we don't agree with the choices other parents make, they're choices that those other parents have the right to make.

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Old 09-10-2009, 10:35 AM
 
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That's what I would do. Besides do the parents know that you are giving your daughter the food that they sent for their kids?
I was wondering this too. You could tell the parents that you're already making dd food and would they like you to cook for their kids? I wouldn't say anything else. It's not your decision what you eat.

And not to be snarky, but what if your dd loved boxed mac and cheese even though she's "used to the good stuff". Would you then be okay with her eating it?

I try to feed my kids good stuff but they love junk too...I don't consider them liking junk food as a failing on my part.

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Old 09-10-2009, 01:01 PM
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Whenever my kids see other kids eating trash while they have their healthy snack packed, they would whine for those crackers/cookies/chips/etc instead of eating their snack. So, I would ABSOLUTELY talk to parent ASAP and find a solution that works for both of you. As I said, non-junk policies are VERY common around here (maybe it's just the crunchy Boulder area though), so I wouldn't even think twice as far as bringing it up with the parents, starting it as "One thing that I forgot to tell you....". If they want to pay you a bit extra for cooking it's fine. If not, print (ahead of time and have it handy for the conversation) some ideas of lunches which you consider to be acceptable in your place. Beware of giving it to your daughter. It's SO easy to get a kid into a junk food (since it's often sweet) and it is SO hard to undo it.
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:56 PM
 
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I wouldn't be cool w/ that either as pp said then it gets your kids wanting the cool junk food w/ the nifty packaging. I would just offer to make meals- I would just have a nominal price increase and let them know it is much more convenient and easy for you to just make 1 meal at lunch time then to have to prepare their food and your food- I would just play that angle.

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Old 09-10-2009, 04:36 PM
 
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I would be very careful in how you approach the twin's parents. Make it more of a "I'd like to feed all of the kids the same thing, would you mind if I cooked and fed your children the same things I make for dd? And what kinds of foods do your children like so I can plan to include them?"

I feed ds a pretty healthy diet. He actually wont eat a sandwhich that is on white bread. But I in NO WAY kid myself that is my wonderful parenting. He refuses my mac n' cheese (which is REALLY GOOD) and will only eat Annie's boxed. He beggs for Gushers at the grocery store, and yep, sometimes I buy them an put them in his lunch.

I always get this "feeling" from these sort of posts - and the way they are worded, like yours OP, just rubs me the wrong way. Even as someone who puts healthy eating as a high priority.

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Old 09-10-2009, 04:50 PM
 
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He actually wont eat a sandwhich that is on white bread. He begs for Gushers at the grocery store, and yep, sometimes I buy them an put them in his lunch.
Same here!

I think you aren't cut out to do daycare for non-crunchy people - if I can just be blunt.

What did you and their parents discuss as far as meals?

Maybe (like another poster said) she is sending stuff that she thinks is easy to transport/make/serve. Or maybe that is what her kids will eat.

You have a couple of choices - you can feed her kids what she sends and yours what you make. Or you can make food and serve to all three kids - but be prepared that the twins may not be willing to eat garbanzo beans and sprouted bread. I'd venture that many kids wouldn't.

So you are kind of between a rock and a hard spot - unless you get over them eating mainstream food. I grew up on boxed M & C and Oreos (and lots of other stuff) and lived to tell the tale.

I think you should do a bit of a compromise - offer the twins what you make but don't expect they'll jump on board. And let your dc have a bit of "junk" food here and there.

What I wouldn't do is feed their food to your kid without asking the mom. As a parent, I'd be peeved if I was paying you to watch my kid, sending food for them but it was being eaten by the daycare lady's kid. Now and then no biggie. But all the time isn't really what she is sending it for.
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:58 PM
 
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I had a similar problem when I did home daycare. The mom sent all kinds of junk food. He was 1 year old and he would have a walmart brand nutrigrain bar type thing for breakfast on the way over--which is literally nothing but HFCS and dye. Then he would obviously feel bad--I'm talking arched back screaming, terrible gas, and the worst smelling poop I have ever come across. (As a former daycare worker I've dealt with a lot of toddler poop. )

For lunches his mom sent a bag of processed things also, everything from the not-so-terrible HFCS animal crackers to sugar free jello pudding cups.

I wasn't sure what to do. At first I just didn't say anything and I fed him some of his food and some of our food. But I felt so bad for him because he was crying a lot and pooping often, even spitting up/throwing up when he would lean over while playing. I casually mentioned to his mom that he didn't seem to be feeling well and asked her if she had considered something he was eating was bothering him and she FREAKED out. I said it very gently and non-accusatory.

I have since decided to never do home child care again.

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Old 09-10-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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I do home daycare and totally understand where you are coming from because it happened to me. Kids bringing in all SORTS of things that I just don't buy or serve my own children. And when you are doing daycare it's not like this is a "once in awhile let loose at a birthday party" thing, it's day in and day out. So what I did is told the moms that I was having a hard time with all the kids doing the "your kids want my kids' food, my kids want your kids' food" and no one is eating. I told them that in order to stop all the mealtime fighting and make my days easier I was going to have to switch to providing the food. I asked the moms to just bring a little fresh fruit for everyone to share if they wanted to bring something. So usually they would send along anything from a melon to a couple apples or a bag of strawberries. It works really well for me and I highly recommend it. The moms were actually pretty excited to not have to pack snacks and lunches at all anymore.

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Old 09-10-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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I'd ask them to send food that is ready to eat only.....or just have you make the same thing for all of the kids. I would so not be willing to cook food that kids brought in their lunch for them, and then cook again for the rest of the kids. That's asking too much.

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Old 09-10-2009, 05:14 PM
 
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I had a similar problem when I did home daycare. The mom sent all kinds of junk food. He was 1 year old and he would have a walmart brand nutrigrain bar type thing for breakfast on the way over--which is literally nothing but HFCS and dye. Then he would obviously feel bad--I'm talking arched back screaming, terrible gas, and the worst smelling poop I have ever come across. (As a former daycare worker I've dealt with a lot of toddler poop. )

For lunches his mom sent a bag of processed things also, everything from the not-so-terrible HFCS animal crackers to sugar free jello pudding cups.

I wasn't sure what to do. At first I just didn't say anything and I fed him some of his food and some of our food. But I felt so bad for him because he was crying a lot and pooping often, even spitting up/throwing up when he would lean over while playing. I casually mentioned to his mom that he didn't seem to be feeling well and asked her if she had considered something he was eating was bothering him and she FREAKED out. I said it very gently and non-accusatory.

I have since decided to never do home child care again.
That's a pretty extreme reaction. All you have to do is have a "No OUtside Food" policy in your handbook. Totally solves it.

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Old 09-10-2009, 05:17 PM
 
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Should you bring it up with the parents, I would be very careful ... if you were to handle it privately similarly to how you have publicly ("nasty, weird, funny tasting 'food' vs. my child's sprouted breads and other sundry 'good stuff'") it may not bode well for the future of your career as a daycare worker to these children.
This.

If you addressed the issue to me like you did in this post, you might as well hold up a sign beforehand that says "this will not end well".

Any why is your kid eating their food anyway?
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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I'm sorry, because I definitely don't mean this in a personal way, but when this tone of question comes up on here it just always reads to me mostly like "I want to brag on my child's diet and knock parents who feed kids things I don't like all in one go." The fact is a lot of kids do eat boxed mac'n'cheese, etc, enjoy it, and do manage to thrive on it. Should you bring it up with the parents, I would be very careful ... if you were to handle it privately similarly to how you have publicly ("nasty, weird, funny tasting 'food' vs. my child's sprouted breads and other sundry 'good stuff'") it may not bode well for the future of your career as a daycare worker to these children.
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You know, unless you have a conversation with the parents and put it in terms of "you're spending a lot of packaged food...would you like me to cook," I would find undermining the parents' nutritional decisions very insulting. No, I don't feed my kids that way, and no, I don't think it's healthy for the kids to eat that way. But honestly, if my DCP undermined my decisions as a parent that way, I'd be really PO'ed.
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I would be very careful in how you approach the twin's parents. Make it more of a "I'd like to feed all of the kids the same thing, would you mind if I cooked and fed your children the same things I make for dd? And what kinds of foods do your children like so I can plan to include them?"

I always get this "feeling" from these sort of posts - and the way they are worded, like yours OP, just rubs me the wrong way. Even as someone who puts healthy eating as a high priority.

I agree with all these posts. If my DCP approached me and critiqued my way of feeding my kids, I'd be mad. There was a point, not too long ago, during the winter where fresh produce was really expensive where DH was layed off and I was working minimal hours. I had to be really stingy with the fruit and veggies. I could buy a huge case of mac 'n cheese for $3.99. I could get a box of granola bars for 99 cents. If someone had critiqued the food choices of my kids, I would've happily changed it if they paid for the food.
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:02 PM
 
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Here's an idea: ask if it's ok to switch to lunches prepared and served by you, and raise your fee by a couple dollars a day. Present the idea in the interest of convenience for everyone and so the kids all can eat the same thing.
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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But just because the OP serves her child "healthy foods" doesn't mean the daycare children are going to eat it. If the OP wants to raise her daycare costs and do lunches for all the kids, she needs to be more adaptable to the way the other children eat. Chances are if they eat a standard american diet they aren't going to readily accept chickpeas and olive oil for lunch.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:20 PM
 
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I just started watching 3.5 year old twins and they showed up with a big bag of total junk food! Nasty, cheap mac and cheese w/ 100 ingredients, shrimp flavored top ramen, weird jello fruit bowl things, chocolate pudding snacks, animal crackers with high fructose corn syrup as one of the top ingredients, and tuna and mayo (the only good thing in there). These things are obviously meant to be for lunches, but my 3 y.o dd does not eat this kind of stuff!! She actually wouldn't eat the mac and cheese today "because of the funny taste" (she's used to the good stuff), and I doubt she would eat the other weird snacks either, they would probably just taste nasty to her.
Should I offer the twins the food their mom brought and my dd something else? Should I just not offer the food they brought? My dd is used to stuff like garbanzo beans w/ olive oil and vinegar, lots of veggies, whole grain, sprouted bread, etc.... whole foods. The twins looked a little weirded out when I put out cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks w/ their lunch
wwyd?
If I were to start doing daycare, I would have to provide the food myself, adjust my fee for the difference, and hope that "organic", "healthy", etc. would be selling points.

I think that food and DCPs is a common situation. Our DCP used to moan and make comments because my dd arrived with organic yogurt, oatmeal, fresh fruit, pasta and wraps instead of the usual fare. She felt as though I were somehow insulting her or the food she bought in bulk at SAM'S Club for the kids whose parents paid the extra $5/day for her to provide meals. For me, it was just cheaper to provide my own, and, of course, I wanted my child to have what I served at home. We eventually found a common ground where I would bring in big 10# bags of organic raisins and 20# bags of apples for the kids (and not charge her for it so it was $$ in her pocket) and I would pay the extra on the days where she would order in pizza.

I think it would be a challenge to approach an individual parent and that if it happens once, the chances that it can happen again with other parents is high. I would consider -- if it's at all feasible on your end -- providing the meals and having the parents provide the snacks, or just providing all of the food yourself.
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Old 09-12-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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if she had considered something he was eating was bothering him and she FREAKED out
She was feeling guilty about what she was giving her kid.
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Old 09-13-2009, 02:12 AM
 
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You know, unless you have a conversation with the parents and put it in terms of "you're spending a lot of packaged food...would you like me to cook," I would find undermining the parents' nutritional decisions very insulting. No, I don't feed my kids that way, and no, I don't think it's healthy for the kids to eat that way. But honestly, if my DCP undermined my decisions as a parent that way, I'd be really PO'ed.
Ditto that.

You could always gently suggest healthier alternatives to the junk too, ie: Annie's mac n' cheese rather than the day-glo orange stuff, fruit canned in it's own juice,

I'll also ditto someone else's sentiment that I wouldn't feed your child the other children's food without asking their parents if sharing is ok.

I've found over the years (I've been a mom for 12 years now) that people are generally more accepting of my parenting practices if I'm not looking down my nose at theirs.
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Old 09-13-2009, 02:22 AM
 
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She is probably sending foods she thinks are convenient for you to prepare.
She might be sending foods that she feels she can afford.

OP - do you have any idea what her finances are like? When money is tight, especially if people aren't used to cooking from scratch, boxed mac & cheese, and cheap ramen can be really appealing - they fill the kid up, and they don't cost much.

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Old 09-13-2009, 02:31 AM
 
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I think the following three points are worth considering:

1. Why is your kid eating their food?
2. You should prepare for all the children, as that's normal child-care stuff.
3. There is really not a good way to tell their parent(s) that you think this stuff is junk, so the best thing to do would be to offer to cook at a lower cost.

However, there are a couple of other points.

One is that children used to the easy calories and easy taste of starch, syrup and salt may not like healthy food, and you don't want to be sending them home hungry. That could be a challenge.

The second is that while I understand that not everyone can afford real food, that doesn't mean it's some kind of lifestyle choice. It's a health issue. Three meals like that a week would seriously affect a person's palate, and thus food choices, and thus, health. So I don't think it's overreacting to demand decent food.

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Old 09-13-2009, 02:35 AM
 
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I think this is just one of those things that you have to be willing to put up with if you're going to be caring for someone else's child.... You need to do what the parents want done, and if you're not comfortable with that, you need to find different kids.
I'd feed the kids what the parents send, and feed your own child what you want him/her to eat. It may not always be easy, but it comes with the package of providing care with your child in tow, too.
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Old 09-13-2009, 03:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
She was feeling guilty about what she was giving her kid.
Or it is also possible that the mom was feeling attacked and accused by her daycare provider.
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