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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Six months ago, I came to MDC for advice on what to do when daycare serves crappy food, in spite of being on the federal food program. Got great advice, got a doctor's note in order to bring DS's snacks and lunch every day.<br><br>
Problem is: he's started grabbing everyone's food but his own. He's 17 mos, and in a room with other toddlers (everyone walks, most are pre-verbal, all under 2). They sit around a table together with the food in front of them, and everyone just sort of dives in to the pile in front of them, and their neighbor's piles too. DS is the only one with a plate, b/c it's a container I bring from home.<br><br>
Today, he didn't touch his lunch. But he ate handfuls of tater tots, fish sticks and chocolate chip cookies. (Yeah, it is REALLY crappy food at daycare. We're still looking for better, but haven't found anything yet. Today the center I visited was serving the kids cheese puffs and soda for snack. Ugh. They actually had cheese puffs listed as a "second vegetable" on the menu. WTF???)<br><br>
I don't want to isolate him or punish him with healthy food, and he's too young for me to explain it to him. They can't really serve him separately or at another location, because all the kids swarm to the food tables.<br><br>
You all were great the first time around with this dilemma--anyone have ideas/suggestions for what to do at this age/stage?<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>franklinmarxmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11555110"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Today, he didn't touch his lunch. But he ate handfuls of tater tots, fish sticks and chocolate chip cookies. (Yeah, it is REALLY crappy food at daycare. We're still looking for better, but haven't found anything yet. Today the center I visited was serving the kids cheese puffs and soda for snack. Ugh. They actually had cheese puffs listed as a "second vegetable" on the menu. WTF???)!</div>
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I am on the food program, and I am almost positive most of those things are not creditable.<br><br>
Certainly not the soda and cheese puffs. The fish sticks are, but only certain brands. Tater tots are, but only one of that "type" of food per week.<br><br>
I know... I was no help. I'm still just kinda shocked here.
 

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the usda food program is horrendous.<br><br>
i specifically looked for an in home daycare that does NOT participate in it. low and behold...the ones that didnt participate are the ones that serve the healthiest foods!
 

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I can't afford to not be on the food program....but here is today's menu....<br><br>
Breakfast: Milk, oatmeal, applesauce<br><br>
snack: Milk, graham crackers<br><br>
Lunch: Milk, ground turkey with tomato sauce (sloppy joes), fresh pineapple and canteloupe, green beans, whole wheat sourdough buns (homemade)<br><br>
snack: string cheese, grapes<br><br>
I think part of the problem is that you're in a center instead of a home. They have a "swarm" of toddlers. In my home, a 17 month old would still be in a highchair.....he wouldn't be able to reach other people's food. So even if you didn't like my menu and chose not to participate in the food program....he wouldn't be able to grab food from other children.
 

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TBH, other than isolating him, I don't know that anything can be done. With DS, that's what we had to have done. Yes, I was told how he "blamed" the teachers by giving them mean looks, but he has food allergies. It's not worth a hospital trip so that he can have Cheetos. Still at that age, it's tough to police everyone and have them not grabbing each other's stuff, so it was our only option.
 

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We have been in two different centers (both where people bring lunches from home) but the absolute rule at both is that children can eat ONLY their own food. This is because of food allergy issues, parent preferences, and not wanting to spread germs.. I might try to approach it from the food allergy/sanitation perspective and see if you can get some buy-in on this.<br><br>
Also, at our current center at least, meal time is an opportunity to teach table manners, practice pouring and serving oneself, cleaning up, etc. It's not a free for all. I don't see any reason why grabbing other children's food and eating it shouldn't be gently corrected, just as you help children when they grab another child's toy. It's a reasonable expectation.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Diane B</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11558351"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We have been in two different centers (both where people bring lunches from home) but the absolute rule at both is that children can eat ONLY their own food. This is because of food allergy issues, parent preferences, and not wanting to spread germs.. I might try to approach it from the food allergy/sanitation perspective and see if you can get some buy-in on this.<br><br>
Also, at our current center at least, meal time is an opportunity to teach table manners, practice pouring and serving oneself, cleaning up, etc. It's not a free for all. I don't see any reason why grabbing other children's food and eating it shouldn't be gently corrected, just as you help children when they grab another child's toy. It's a reasonable expectation.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: Very wise mama.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies so far.<br><br>
As for exploring other options, we have. We have visited 4 other daycare centers, and all have equally bad food options and a lower quality of care. We have interviewed 10 in-home providers, all of whom have worse quality of care (two were smoked, all included a minimum of 2 hours of TV per day, the licensed ones were at the state max of 10 kids under 5 for one caregiver).<br><br>
We are going to look again, because some centers only take kids once they turn 18 mos. If we're lucky, we'll find one that doesn't serve food at all--and everyone brings their lunch.<br><br>
In the meantime, any more suggestions?<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>franklinmarxmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11558805"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In the meantime, any more suggestions?<br><br>
Thanks!</div>
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get on their @ss about serving healthier food. i would just complain a whole lot i guess.
 

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Yikes.<br><br>
We use an inhome provider who's on the USDA program. The kids eat meals she cooks herself. She does have 2-3 toddlers (depending on the day), but they all have these nifty little wooden high chair types things they sit in, so no food grabbing. My son's got a dairy allergy so he needs seperated.
 

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Keep looking.<br><br>
I was shocked that the centers here when I looked when DD was coming up on 12 months. The food was crap - and the care wasn't much better.<br><br>
I started looking again for something for the fall when she'll be 21 months. And that opened up the centeres that start at 19 months (no infant room - so different criteria).<br><br>
I still didn't like the small centers. They seemed to be at the edge of what they could handle - like only having 1 extra person, that sort of thing. But I like 2 large centers (4 or 5 rooms). The one we chose actually has a cook (who is a chef) so the teachers don't have to prepare the food. Everything is cooked from scratch. They use whole grains and offer multiple options for each meal.<br><br>
When we saw their menu, instead of the afternoon snack being veggies and dip (hummus) OR cheese and crackers (whole grain), it was BOTH. That way kids had choice.<br><br>
So - I would keep looking. Start looking at the older centers. The main thing we liked was that the one we chose has 2 admins and 2 floats and 1 'sub'... So on a normal day - there will be the regular teachers and 4 extra people to help out as needed. And if anyone is sick - they at least have 1 sub they can call in instead of depleting their 'help' pool.
 

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In the short term, rather than work on the food issue, maybe you could convince them to change the way it is served? It can't possibly be healthy to have a swarm of toddlers on the food. So, there is germ sharing, plus not teaching proper table manners, plus the risk of choking if they are truly moving around, plus no way to regulate who eats what. If they served individual plates and then gentley taught "no sharing", wouldn't that be better for everyone? Maybe you could get another parent or two on your side for the other benefits so it wasn't just you asking for something "again"?
 

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I just noticed your location. Assuming that's correct, I think it's the best you can do. Perhaps in L'ville downtown you'd be better off, but the quality of childcare & education (all lumped in my mind) is one of the reasons we're leaving the area. We've had no better luck.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nataliachick7</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11558099"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">the usda food program is horrendous.<br><br>
i specifically looked for an in home daycare that does NOT participate in it. low and behold...the ones that didnt participate are the ones that serve the healthiest foods!</div>
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I am a home daycare provider and totally agree with this. I was going to get licensed and in the program and a few classes in realized my care and food would really go downhill so I talked to the parents and none of them really wanted the food program implemented for the same reasons and we couldn't do the types of activities that we do (which aare a lot more fun) if I was licensed.<br><br>
Tina
 
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