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  1. #1
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    Default What do your kids eat at Child Care?

    DD (nearly 2) is enjoying her childcare centre, and we love the 4 carers in her room. One thing bothers me though - the meals they serve. They have fruit for morning tea, which is great, but for afternoon tea they serve things like jelly and custard, fairy bread, or those frozen cheesy pastries. Basically party food every day!

    I'm surprised other parents haven't complained, as it's in an affluent inner city suburb where I imagine most parents are very health conscious. I feel a bit embarrassed to bring it up however as everyone there is so lovely and they take such good care of my DD.

    Their cook quit a couple of months ago and they're having trouble finding another one, so in the meantime each carer has been taking turns to cook.

    Is it worth moving DD to another centre because of the bad food or should I stick with what is otherwise a good centre? The other nearby ones seem really healthy! I just don't want to upset her by changing her now she's been here for nearly a year. She's going to an ELC at a nearby private school for 3 + 4 year old kinder so it'd be just one more year of Childcare.

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    bambino is offline Autistic Today, My Genius Tomorrow
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    When Ds was at daycare, afternoon tea was always "special".

    They would have pikelets, cheese and crackers, raisin bread with butter, cake if it was a child's birthday, jelly and custard, peaches and ice cream etc....

    Breakfast, morning tea and lunch was always healthy. They just treated them at afternoon tea and in moderation.

    Honestly, it's not worth moving them from the centre over afternoon tea, especially if you happy with the centre and its staff.
    I wouldn't say it's "bad" food, unless they are serving lollies!

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    I would say something about it. I'm pretty sure they have to serve healthy food as part of accreditation. The centre my DS goes to, I was a little reluctant to send him for a while, because when i used to work there the food wasn't great. It was made off site by a catering company and everything tasted like it came straight from a jar. But the 2IC (also the leader in DS's room) put together a menu to show that they could provide freshly cooked healthy meals for just as cheap as the slop they were serving. Now they have: morning/afternoon tea is either muffins, toast, pikelets or fruit, cheese and crackers. Lunch they have delicious stuff- curries, veggie soups, rissoles, fish cakes, stews, etc. Always with a good amount of veggies. For dessert they get yogurt or tinned fruit, maybe once a week they have custard or jelly.
    It seems weird to me that your centre serves things like custard for arvo tea- that must be so much more of a hassle for staff in the rooms to sit everyone down, put bubs on babies, serve into bowls, clean everyone up and then wash all the dishes. At our centre they just plonk a couple of plates on the tables and the kids serve themselves with tongs, then the most mess they make is maybe a few crumbs.

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    I would speak to the Director before moving her. Moving seems a bit extreme.

    in the short term, can you provide your own afternoon tea, even if its just crackers & cheese or yoghurt?

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    I don't think every day is at all in moderation for that kind of food...

    OP the other thing that would bother me about that is that I would feel worse about giving DS treats when he is with me, if I knew he was eating junk at CC all the time. I like to take him to a nearby cafe for a babycino and a little cupcake about once a week after CC, I wouldn't do it if i knew he'd just had a bowl of jelly!

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    Could you send your DD with a packed lunch instead?
    The centres i've used that supply food have only ever served nutrition lacking meals. We are vegetarians so they don't really tend to cater for us. My kids got meals consisting of a bowl of white rice, capsicum and rice, etc..

    The centre my DS is at now you have to supply all food but they have a no packaged/no processed food rule. You could look for a similar centre if it really bothers you?

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    I'd speak to the centre and if it's not going to change, maybe send your own afternoon tea?

    At my DD's daycare they have fruit with toast or crumpets in the morning, lunch is normally a pasta dish with vegetables or some sort of casserole or rice and afternoon tea is fruit with mixed sandwiches.

    They only have treat foods when it's a birthday or a special occasion like christmas or easter.

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    that would gives me the willies too. Could you say 'we are so happy here and appreciate all that you for my child, and I know you have struggled recently with cooks. But we are trying to limit my dd's treats to just the weekend and wonder if this could be accomodated?'
    I like the idea of packing something else.
    good luck!

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    OP, if you Google NCAC fact sheet nutrition, you will see how accredited centres must provide or encourage healthy meals and snacks. Ask your director to see their food policy. I think it's important to say something. Don't be embarrassed. They shouldn't be serving food like that every day, i'll bet there are kids there that go to CC 5 days a week and eat NOTHING but junk all the time.

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    DD's daycare has fairly nutritious menu's however i have noticed that their afternoon tea is the 'junkiest' meal. However I have never seen fairy bread or custard or stuff like that on the menu it is usually muffins or a bowl with dried fruit, cheese and crackers...

    OP, its up to you but I think I would just have a word to the centre especially if its just a temporary situation while they dont have a cook.


 

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