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Help, ideas? Issue at DS's daycare...
Old 05-17-2016, 01:18 PM
  #1

DS's daycare has decided to experiment with their menus.

I'll say right off that I'm not opposed to having kids try new things....my problem is that these kids are 2 and they are making entire lunches (or most of them) new things. And they are things that anyone could tell you that most kids won't eat.

Example: egg salad, long stem beans, honeydew melon; today it was ham salad sandwich, pickles, and oranges.

Today DS took a bite of his sandwich after being encouraged (again no problem with them encouraging him to try new things) and threw up all over his plate. His gag reflex kicked in. Teacher said that she gave him more fruit, but none of the kids ate lunch today. At the end of the day, other teachers commented that many kids were hungry and overly agitated.

The simple solution is that we could pack his lunch on days when they are experimenting (tomorrow is hummus, spinach and tomatoes). However, about a month ago we were informed that we can't pack a lunch for our children unless we have a dr. note. They are citing allergies...but seriously, I work in a school. We deal with allergies and kids bring packed lunches. My dad runs an entire corporations food service program and thinks that the rule is ridiculous. I really think they just don't want to deal with packed lunches. Plus, the form that you have to have the dr. fill out makes them list the allergy or condition that prevents them from having school lunch. I don't see our dr doing it.

I'm beyond mad and kind of at a loss. I was told to talk to the director...but when I said that I didn't think I'd get very far (when we complained that they took his 2nd nap away at 1yr old, he told us we could leave if we wanted to), they said that other parents were saying the same thing. They guy is a bit of a jerk and doesn't care what parents want or what is appropriate for kids.

What should I do? What would you do? I really like his teachers. He's learned a lot. He is well taken care of and safe there. My only problem with this place is the guy in charge. Again, I'm not against healthy lunches. I just think that it is possible to make lunches healthy without making them things you know kids won't eat.


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Old 05-17-2016, 01:52 PM
  #2

I'd be finding a new daycare. The director clearly isn't worried about what's best for kids (or your son) and he's not going to listen to your concerns. I'd he doesn't listen to your concerns about the relatively small things, what happens when a major issue occurs?

That said, I'm not a parent so I could be overreacting. I know how hard good, affordable daycare is to find. Im curious to hear what actual parents have to say.
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Okay
Old 05-17-2016, 02:05 PM
  #3

I admit right out front that I am critical of some things about daycare. I was trained in Early Childhood Education when that was a double major and we had tons of child development and child psychology. Not really the teacher's fault, but they are just not trained that way now and can work in daycare without that degree, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

The teachers and directors don't know what they are doing. Teaching kids to eat new foods is to introduce the foods with things kids are already familiar with and only a taste at a time, then repeat. Most do a 3 bites and then they do not need to eat more of it, but can have more if they like. Also new foods should be offered slowly, not every other day and only one new thing at a time.

Personally, I think new foods should be offered at home, not really at school. My grandson eats a wide variety of foods because he was introduced to them by family members introducing authentic cultural foods and friends also introducing their cultural foods which we know tastes really a lot better than what is offered as school foods. Being surrounded by other kids making faces and saying yuck rather than people who love the food is not the way to go in my opinion.

Can the parents talk to the director about this? You can't be the only one who would like a change.
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Old 05-17-2016, 02:31 PM
  #4

I appreciate your thoughts. I tend to overreact, too. The problem is that we pulled him from another daycare (after I found him covered in formula in a crib more than once). It was really hard to find a new one. We looked after the nap issue and found that all facilities in our area have the same rule. We looked at some in homes and the ones with openings had WAY too many kids!

We love his teachers. We know there are great things about this place....we just dislike the director. DH wants to wait it out. DS will be out for most of the summer and DH hopes that other parents will take on this fight and it will be fixed before we go back. Maybe he's right.
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Old 05-17-2016, 02:45 PM
  #5

Egg salad, beans, melon, hummus, etc all seem okay to me. I had to look up ham salad. Not my taste but maybe it is a regional thing? Do they offer alternatives? Even bread with butter if they don't want the sandwich? I can understand your frustrations but I probably wouldn't jump to a new daycare just yet. We've had our boys at two daycares and I've noticed that both have tried to change their menu at some point to try something new.

My son's daycare offered very nutritious and not typical kids foods. We found my son ate more there than he did at home. He was less picky because he saw other children eating it. The few things he wouldn't eat were all meats. The daycare staff always offered him the vegetarian alternative and he ate it up. I actually think introducing new foods at daycare is a good idea -- positive peer pressure!


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Old 05-17-2016, 03:28 PM
  #6

I get trying new foods. Cool idea if it were done correctly, in small portions and as an "extra" at first.

But are deviled ham sandwiches even healthy? Didn't they say processed meats are bad for everyone and isn't that just really processed meat and mayonnaise? What's the point of that?
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Two Thoughts...
Old 05-17-2016, 03:29 PM
  #7

1. Contact the other parents who are also complaining. Every one of you needs to send the director an email/have a conversation with the director. If he gets twenty emails/has twenty conversations, he is likely to take notice!

If things do not change after that, post it on Facebook about how a bunch of you spoke with the director and got nowhere. Let social media do the job it was met to do!

2. If you child has a gag reflex, then I would think your doctor could fill out the paperwork to reflect this. Then you can begin packing you child's lunch each day.
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:42 PM
  #8

I would be looking for a different daycare myself. Talk about inflexible.

Secondly, fill out the form yourself. Sign it. Use your maiden name. I once had my medical forms sent to my dad using DR as his title because the office would send them to another dr office for free, but not give me a copy. (I was moving across the country.) Are they going to call the office and ask? Who has time for that?
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:46 PM
  #9

I have to say that I'm with mamacanteach. I was always very grateful to my DD's daycare and preschool providers for giving her food that was not typical American children's fare. Both were run by immigrants (daycare by a family from Egypt, preschool by Sri Lankan immigrants). I went back to check their websites for menus and they serve both a meat and vegetarian options. Beans and rice, sloppy joes, beans, melons, fish, etc.
I credit these people with making her a very flexible eater, much more than her cousins.
I'm curious though.
What kinda food would you expect? And do they do snacks?
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:48 PM
  #10

Is there someone over the director you can contact? The owner? I agree with the gag reflex your doctor would probably write what was needed.

You could always call the ombusman for daycare about children not eating lunch. I would think they had the ombusman number posted, if not ask the director for it


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Old 05-17-2016, 06:00 PM
  #11

How long have them been trying this menu? Do they offer snacks or alternatives? I might wait it out if it has only been a short time they have been doing this. This might be solved soon on its own.
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:12 PM
  #12

I am all for healthy choices for kids, but these are absolutely not typical kid friendly foods. I could see introducing one of them each week or introducing something with other things on the plate they will eat, but not the way they are doing it. Like some others said here though, I would be more concerned about the director who seems not to care about what the kids need and parents want. I agree that I would fill out the form. I also like the idea of contacting other parents and as a group letting the director know how you feel about this drastic menu change.

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Food
Old 05-17-2016, 06:19 PM
  #13

Your child has a right to have a full meal. I get what they are trying to do but they way they are doing it is ridiculous. Hummus, spinach, and tomatoes for a kid that has never eaten those things will not work well.
Is this a corporate daycare? You could complain higher up.
I personally would have my dr. complete the form. They shouldn't have to give a reason because you have the right to feed your child.
I worked at a daycare and never wanted my kids to have to eat their unhealthy food. I had private sitters for them but I always packed their lunches. Ham salad is not healthy and I would worry about the fillers in it. My kids ate hummus but most kids that age didn't know what it was.
I would look elsewhere also because of your comments about the director. A person that doesn't care about the parents or the kids is not a person you want in charge of your child.
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Naps
Old 05-18-2016, 01:52 AM
  #14

Just curious about the naps - what's the rule against a 1 year old having more than 1 nap? What's the rule about naps that all of your local day cares enforce?
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to answer your questions
Old 05-18-2016, 08:18 AM
  #15

No alternatives are offered. This is what makes me mad -since we are absolutely not allowed to pack a lunch either. So, yesterday he ate oranges only for lunch....because he threw up on his bun. I suppose he could have eaten the bun if he hadn't gotten sick on it.

The nap rule is because that is how "daycares do it". I think it is so they can more easily give workers breaks and lunches. It is absolutely not about what is best for kids...but what is best for staff. We did look into other daycares when this happened and his sleep regressed at home...but the only ones that would let him have more than 1 nap after 1 year old were in homes and we weren't impressed with their operations.

I know that others are complaining. I know that workers are complaining.

I'm not sure we're ready to find a new daycare. As I said before, we did that once for a much more severe reason and it was a rough process.
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:07 PM
  #16

If naps could be whenever the kids wanted it, they would need another room or two just for naps and staff to fill it. Kids have to be watched , and the minimum teacher/student ratio doesn't change because a kid is asleep.It is easier to schedule the naps. Otherwise a teacher would always have to stay behind with one or two nappers while the other teacher was short handed on the playground, etc.
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:41 PM
  #17

How sad! Hungry children are not happy children. One nap a day at one year?? I think my child's daycare had two naps a day umtil he was three, and he took one when he got home.

I loved my son's daycare. They had tiny ham and cheese sandwiches, all kinds of veggies, and one day a week they had one new item. One week it was a meatball, another it was cantaloupe. They were offered food, rather than forced to try. If they didn't try the new thing, no big deal, they'd try again another day. They also cooked their own food as opposed to reheating frozen things.

Maybe a dr would write a letter about the correct ethos for introducing new foods for the director.
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Please talk to the director
Old 05-19-2016, 10:47 AM
  #18

I understand what you are saying because of how he dealt with things in the past, but this is unreasonable. I have worked at many different centers and can say that while food was not necessarily "kid food" it was recognizable by all ages. Sometimes it seemed more like dinner to me, but for the most part there were always 2 options the kids would eat. Fruit and bread....sure, sure you could complain that isn't great either, but it is certainly better than nothing and it was made up for at snack (always a variety) and dinners at home. Also, it wasn't every day, just a few days.

Also, to address the nap thing, every center I've ever worked at transitioned kids to the "toddler" room soon after they were walking and one side was for approximately 15-20 months (give or take) they all did one nap. Yes, part of it is staff, but part of it is also that there are kids ready for one nap and there are kids who aren't. They can't really keep walking babies in with crawling babies as it is a huge safety issue with such a difference in gross motor skills. Such a bummer, I know, but the director was right in his mentality of "this is how it is". I don't agree with it and hated seeing the little ones so sad while transitioning, but they took HUGE 3+ hour naps mid day instead of splitting them up once they settled in. And they were happy as clams then....just took time.

I would just make sure that you are told what your son did and did not eat every day so that you are aware of exactly how much he ate. The change in food may come from a new food service or complaints from other parents that food wasn't healthy enough. Give the director a chance to at least attempt to explain...then start looking at option.s

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