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Last week I brought my son to daycare for the first time in his life (he's 2.5). I need to go to work one day a week and someone I know referred me to her former nanny who just opened her own daycare. She's very young, but seems responsible and kind. In her contract, she specifies that children are not to bring their own meals and snacks, because it is unfair to the other kids. She also states in the contract that she will make accommodations for food allergies if necessary.<br><br>
Well, my son has no allergies, but we do eat very healthy food at home. Meaning no processed foods, no canned foods except homemade (because of the effects of BPA, especially in small, immature bodies), and as much organic produce, meat, and dairy as we can afford. My largest expenditure every month is on food, because it's that important to me.<br><br>
Well, I called her just before we were to come, and asked her what she was serving that day. She said hot dogs and some kind of canned vegetable plus a fruit and milk. She also would give the kids a choice of fruit for snacks. My neuroses got the better of me, and I asked her if she would mind me bringing our own milk, juice and fruits. She agreed, although reluctantly, and I couldn't help but feel that I had offended her. Meals are included in the price of the care, and I know she has made the effort to participate in the federal program that subsidizes meals at day cares.<br><br>
Later, when I picked up DS, and asked him what he ate for lunch, he couldn't tell me, because he'd never had a hot dog or macaroni and cheese before! I think the day care provider must think were from some other planet that he's never had them before!<br><br>
Anyway, I cringe at the idea of asking someone to bend the rules for us. And I am conflicted between sucking it up and letting him eat and drink these things once a week (after all, most everybody else does), or sticking to my convictions about food quality. What would you do?<br><br>
BTW, this provider was also unfamiliar with the concepts of bed sharing or anything else related to attachment parenting, which I found out when I explained that DS might have trouble sleeping on a mat on the floor, because he sleeps with us at home. This was met with a rather perplexed expression, but she seemed to take it in stride. I just don't think it's my place to try to "educate" this young woman on the concepts of a natural diet. Although, I did bring her an issue of Mothering Magazine to give her a little bit more insight into our style of parenting.
 

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I have 2 ways of thinking<br><br>
1 Its once a week, try to "help" by bringing parts of his lunch for him<br><br>
2.Find another sitter...check the in your tribe area here..if your lucky you might stumble on a mother that could use the extra income..that's what I would do personally<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies//2cents.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="2 cents">
 

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If it's important to you, I'd keep shopping around then.<br><br>
Everyone says like "one time a week won't hurt him" and I actually technically agree with that - but then there's the slippery slope. And there is a slippery slope. I know because I've slid right down it.<br><br>
For example, DD didn't know what a marshmallow was until some lady at the park offered it to her. My DH took her there and he doesn't feel quite like I do about it, and he didn't feel like he wanted to decline. So, yeah, now she knows marshmallows. Even if I say no to her all the time, she will see marshmallows at, say, her cousin's house and ask for them. She'll go to the grocery store with my mom and beg her to buy them. I'm the only one in the world who would ever say no to her, and I have immense social pressure (even from people on MDC) to just let it go, it's no big deal.<br><br>
That's just one example, trust me, it's her whole diet. I let her eat all kinds of crap that other people expose her to, that she would not have even asked for, because I don't want to be the horrible witch mother who creates a nutcase because I'm always telling her no. But I wouldn't have had to tell her no if other people didn't introduce this crap to her. There's no way to win, especially if you're on your own and your husband doesn't care that much.<br><br>
Anyway, if I did it over again I'd risk being a whack and nip that in the bud. If you don't like serving hot dogs and mac cheese in your house, then I'd make the effort to find a provider who will serve the food you want. Cause your kid will learn all about hot dogs and macaroni and ask family and friends for it and so on, and then you either have to give in or be the heavy. Yay. If the kid isn't exposed to it in the first place, you're not being the heavy.
 

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I'm with laohaire. Find another DCP. This one just doesn't seem like a good fit for your family.
 

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Find someone else. I know, know, know that you will hear a million times that "it's just once a week", but that once a week can completely change a child's attitude about food. I have seen it in my own nephew. Stick to your guns. Find a new DCP.
 

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Holy moley, I thought I was going to be the sole dissenter. Where are you guys on all those other threads where everyone tells the mama to take a chill pill and let grandma or whatever feed the kiddos whatever they want!? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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We're the few dissenters that get beat up on and we never all stumble on the same thread at once. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Next time I'm getting beat up, can I PM you guys for help?<br><br>
Feel free to PM me and I'll come rescue you.
 

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I would find someone else to watch him if it's that important to you (and it would be to me, too). I can see her point how it's easier for her to serve them all the same things, though.
 

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It would give you a lot more options if she allowed bringing your own food. Maybe she would be interested and ask questions to learn more too. But if she's firm on the "no bringing food" then I also would look for another place.
 

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I'll be the one to admit that if I loved everything else about the daycare, I'd let it slide b/c "it's just one day", and wouldn't negate all the healthy food my kid got the rest of the week. However, if you feel strongly about it (understandable!), and she won't let you break the rules by bringing food, then I agree with finding someone else. I guess food would have been something I would have gone over before choosing a daycare and signing a contract - so, it wouldn't have caught me off guard the first day. Everyone's version of healthy is slightly different - so if mac'n cheese from a box and canned fruit is a no-go for your kid, it's something to mention during the interview process.
 

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Food is an important issue with me, so I wouldn't let it go. If she seemed reluctant about your subsitutions then I would keep searching for another child care provider.
 

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whether you should "let it go" or not really is up to how strongly food is to you. I personally would not allow my child in that type of environment because with my kids it definately is a slipperly slope.<br><br>
Coming from a former DCP I also would not allow a parent to bring in food for many different reasons. Some being totally out of my control, for instance some food subsidy programs require that the children be fed from a standardized menu and if during an inspection it was found other food being provided you can lose the funding/reinbursements.<br><br>
In my situation I had the opposite. I feed mainly organic homemade food. Meaning yeah we have "chicken nuggets" but literally its real chicken baked with real whole wheat (home made) bread crumbs. I had one family who couldnt believe the strange (real?) food I served and asked if they could bring their own i. e meaning things like pop tarts and kool aid in sippy cups. Unfortuantely it was better that we didnt set up child care because what they were looking for in a provider and what I wanted to achieve and provide for my child care families didnt match up.
 

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As a daycare provider- see my recent daycare menu thread.. I know it is hard to make everyone happy. I have been serving the SAD crap because it is all actually approved by the food program ( you wouldn't belive the crap they count , poptart for a grain as an example) and most parents want their kids happy and they feed them that at home.Luckily I am getting new families that appreciate organic and healthy foods and I am revamping my whole menu soI can actually eat some of the lunch with the kids. I wouldn't touch half of it before..LOL<br><br>
Now this is going to cost me alot more but I can eat the lunch and serve it to my own kids for dinner (they are at school for lunch)<br><br>
So maybe if you ask her for a weekly/monthly menu and see what she typically serves, MAYBE it was a fluke day. But if it is all crap I would talk with her about possibly updating her menu or find a new provider more on your wavelength food wise.. if she is on the fod program,no outside food is allowed, but you can offer to send in a bag of fruit or veggie tray to share the day your child goes.. She may go for that idea..
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>laohaire</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15382806"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Holy moley, I thought I was going to be the sole dissenter. Where are you guys on all those other threads where everyone tells the mama to take a chill pill and let grandma or whatever feed the kiddos whatever they want!? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"></div>
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This is the nutrition forum. Most of those questions come up in the parenting forum.<br><br>
But feel free to PM me.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>laohaire</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15382693"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If it's important to you, I'd keep shopping around then.<br><br>
Everyone says like "one time a week won't hurt him" and I actually technically agree with that - but then there's the slippery slope. And there is a slippery slope. I know because I've slid right down it.<br><br>
...</div>
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this.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all of the input. So here's the thing; so far this is the only DCP I've found that I would even have considered. She's just starting up, so she has VERY few kids at this time (DS was the only one there last week!), she accepts drop-in's, she's only $23/day, and she seems very level-headed and even-keeled. Plus DS likes her. Drop-in daycare is very hard to come by around here, and usually they've already got loads of kids. I'd be hard-pressed to find any DCP in this area that is going to fulfill all of my criteria.<br><br>
After reading all of your responses, I think what I need to do is to talk with her about this, and see what kind of compromises she can make on the issue, if any. I did talk with her about food at the interview, but it was something like this: "Yes, I serve healthy, balanced meals. Always a fruit and a veggie, plus milk or juice". I should have probed a bit more at that point obviously, but I didn't. I guess I've been eating this way for so long that I forget that my idea of "healthy and balanced", could be WAY different than someone else's! Plus, in the back of my mind I was thinking "I'll just send his lunch with him if it doesn't meet my standards". It wasn't until later at home that I read the contract regarding food. If there's no budging on the issue, I'll keep looking.<br><br>
Thanks all!
 

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I would be concerned about the food. Sure it is just once a week but toddlers are so funny about food. Give them ice cream once and they will decide that is their diet from then on.<br><br>
You have to TOTALLY GET RID OF THE ICE CREAM before they will give up on it<br><br>
I think I would ask more questions about what a balanced diet means, maybe she can share her meal plan? To me a canned vegetable is not healthy (which is what I was raised on in the winter so now I am anti-canned veggies <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">)<br><br>
I don't know that I would make it my hill, but I would look at it more closely. I wouldn't want my child to be given hot dogs very often.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>laohaire</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15382890"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Next time I'm getting beat up, can I PM you guys for help?<br><br>
Feel free to PM me and I'll come rescue you.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 
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