If your child goes to daycare and doesn't like the meals they fix would you expect them to be fed something else?

Kayla - posted on 10/15/2011 ( 52 moms have responded )

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It is my opinion that if your child doesnt like what the daycare makes for lunch and dinner there should be an alternative something as simple as a peanut butter sandwich. My son is two and very picky eater, I dont deny that. But when I pick my son up from daycare and I have to some sort of snack with so he doesnt cry all they home bc he didnt like what they have so he feels like he is starving. To me as a parent it is aggrevating. When he doesnt eat what we make at home then I dont make him anything else but to me that is different. When im paying a company to take care of my child I think it is wrong. Am I the only one who feels this is wrong or is my opinion wrong?

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Carolie - posted on 10/16/2011

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No judgement, just answering your question and offering my opinion. Thanks for asking the question! I think discussions like this are good for all of us, to learn different points of view.

I think if the daycare is providing food that is nutritious and that most of the kids eat and enjoy, that they are doing all they are supposed to do. Keeping a supply of alternative food, even something as simple as a peanut butter sandwich or cheese and crackers, is an added expense. Would you pay for the added expense, or would you expect the expense to be shared by everyone equally (or shouldered by the daycare, which means everyone pays, eventually)? And where do you draw the line? You think a peanut butter sandwich or cheese and crackers would be reasonable to expect them to keep on hand, in addition to the food they already serve. What happens when somebody's child is vegan, and can't have anything made with milk or eggs (so no cheese) and another child is allergic to all peanuts (so no peanut butter) and one has celiac (so no gluten or wheat products) and another ONLY eats fruit and another ONLY eats chicken nuggets and pizza? Where does the line get drawn? Who is to say what's reasonable to ask for "because their child doesn't like that" and what's unreasonable? Obviously allergies have to be accommodated (so kids don't die!) but what else? Choices like vegan diet? Macrobiotic diet? Pickiness? Texture issues (a lot of autistic kids can't handle "squishy" foods, for example)?

Most "really picky" kids will eventually eat if they are truly "starving". I mean, you don't hear about starving children in poor countries saying "oh, I don't like this bowl of rice porridge, food relief people. Can I have something else?" If your doctor is worried that your child is truly having a problem not getting enough nutrition, then your daycare should make an exception to their rule and allow you to bring in food for him. But if it's just pickiness, and you don't make him special food at home when he doesn't like what's for dinner, then I think you should either switch to a daycare where you can pack his lunch, or pack a snack each day, and hope his hunger overcomes his pickiness.

Just my two cents. Best of luck!

Leanna - posted on 03/04/2013

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As a daycare provider, I specifically plan out our meals for the week. When I was first starting out, I did offer other things for the children who did not want to eat what I served, but the problem that I ran into, was that the other children would decide that they wanted that as well. Thus, I would end up wasting an entire meal. Also, when you have to offer certain foods, such as those on the food program, it can get pricey to offer extra meals. I stopped doing this, and eventually the children either ate what we had, or they did not eat. They will learn, and it is up to the parents to help support the provider. Not work against them. If you still stick to the schedule of not feeding him right away when you pick him up, he will figure out that he needs to eat. Your child needs to learn this. Sorry.

Kate CP - posted on 10/17/2011

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Okay, I had the same problem with my daughter's previous school. She didn't like the food so I packed a lunch for her. Then they told me I wasn't allowed to do that.

Know what I did? Pulled my kid out of the school and sent her to a different school. They are breaking the contract by not providing a nutritious meal for your son OR allowing him to eat a lunch by letting you pack your own. Pull your son out and find a better day care.

Michelle - posted on 10/15/2011

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Unfortunately they can't cater for each childs individual likes and dislikes. If they make something different for your child the others would probably want something different as well.
You say you don't make him something else at home so why expect it when they have a lot more children to feed at the same time? Maybe see if you could supply his lunch instead.

Amy - posted on 10/15/2011

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No I would not expect them to make my child something else to eat. If you don't do it at home why do you expect them to do it there? Besides what if they make your son a sandwhich and then 3 other kids decide they want what he's having, so then they have to make 3 more? If you really don't like the policy then you should find a daycare that let's you provide your own food.

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Ev - posted on 03/26/2013

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I have to agree with those that think it would be harder for a daycare provider to offer alternate choices to those kids that do not like what is offered to them. I am talking about picky eaters here and not those that have allergies, diet restrictions, or special nutrition to take care of.

I see a lot of kids not eat their food because its not what they like. Plain and simple. They are used to getting whatever at home. You can tell what they do like to eat by what they do eat at meals in the daycare or by what parents will tell you they eat at home over the weekend and then you understand why they won't touch their plates at daycare. If it is not chicken nuggets, pizza, fries, or other fast food kinds of things or junk, I know a lot of kids in the past and even now that won't touch the meal because they are not made to try it at home. I do know of some kids that are picky that are made to try it at home and still refuse to eat it. But the school can not afford to make a new set of meals for those kids to eat because it is not within the budget. Just like people who live in a home with their families, they have so much money to use for food. They get what they can afford to eat and that is it. Its because of the budget that daycares can not give alternatives.

Also, a lot of daycares can not allow a lunch from home unless it is ordered by a doctor as a need of the child. A lot of the time if a child brings in a meal that the others do not have then the others want that stuff too and its not fair to them to watch one other child eat a lunchable or kids meal from a fast food place while they have mac and cheese. Or its not fair to watch the other kid eat a meal from home that is not like what the other kids have.

Peanut butter is a great alternate for kids but unfortunately, a lot of kids have allergies to peanuts or peanut products. So if you were allowed to bring a lunch for you kid anyway, you could not do peanut butter. Or the school could not offer that sandwich either. Also, there are other food allergies that have to be considered for other kids.

Daycare places have to be licensed and by this it also means that their meals and snacks have to follow a set of guidelines along with the food program if they are on it. They have to be nutritional and have certain amounts of things at each meal and snack. They meet the needs of the overall population that is in the center. Most do not allow outside meals brought in unless its because of the child's health issues.

The bottom line is if you want your child to eat, find a place that will cater to your child or that has what you are looking for in a center. Also, if you are making your kid try things at home, then it should be the same for at daycare. You can't expect places to make extra things up for just your kid because he does not like the food on his plate.

Beth - posted on 10/20/2011

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My first kid eats EVERYTHING. My second I have battled at home and at daycare for eating ANYTHING. But I don't WANT her to get special food because then I find she wants special food for the next meal...I really don't expect them to offer anything except what is on the menu- just like I should be trying to do at home...

Sharlene - posted on 10/18/2011

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well can you see what else the pre-school could offer your son for lunch!!!!

Sherri - posted on 10/18/2011

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@Tanya it has already been stated that the school will not allow her to send a packed lunch from home.

Tanya - posted on 10/18/2011

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Also, state mandated daycares are mandated to provide a lunch menu. A good option for you would be to ask for a menu, decide what your son wont eat, and send him a sack lunch on the days they are serving something you know he doesn't like. If you wont make a different selection for your own child then why do you expect a public daycare with 15-20 other children to care for to do it? Thats anot really fair to ask. As the owner of a daycare, I can tell you I would not be able to afford to stay open if i catered to every child that whined about what was on his or her plate. I post a menu for all to see. It is a parenta responsibility to make sure they know what their child is eating. At my daycare, I welcome sack lunches, but do not allow soda, candy, or anything the state does not allow.

Tanya - posted on 10/18/2011

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I am a daycare provider. I understand how you feel, but it would be preposterous and a total waste of food, money, and time to provide every child who doesn't like the selection with an alternative. States mandate that the meal be more than one item and be balanced, so the odds that your child will not like ANYTHING on their plate is slim. I only provide an alternative meal to those with food allergies.

Kasha - posted on 10/18/2011

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I think what most forget, is that even when we dont "cater" at home, we are still fixing meals that our children are use to...and I know that even if the main entree is not something all my kiddos LOVE, I will make sure that one of the sides is something they do like. I dont ask them, but I know. The familiarity thing was something I noticed when my daughter started school, and we are in the South(military)...my daughter will try pretty much everything once, and because she eats such a WIDE variety of stuff I dont ever feel I have to force her to eat something...but the reality is that there are many things on the menu that are just not up her alley. BUT, with that said, I have the option to send her food...and I think its okay for them to say please no chips, soda, etc. MOST schools have two options everyday(entrees)...and even though many times my kiddos dont always have an option at home, others I give them two choices, and definitely when I am watching someone elses kiddos. Is he not eating ANY of the lunch, or just the main entree. There should be some things he would like...such as fruit or veggie, or milk. Even if he only drinks the milk he should get enough protein to get him through, and most definitely he should be getting a snack. And Im not sure what time you are picking him up, but at two...if it is late afternoon...it is quite possible that he would be wanting a snack when you pick him up whether he ate lunch or not. But, I would be careful that when you do bring a snack in tow for him, that it is something nutritious, something you would offer at dinner, etc because it will not take him long to figure out that if he just doesnt eat, mom will bring him something yummy anyways.

Renee - posted on 10/18/2011

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i think you're being a bit contradictory when you wouldn't make your son something different at home but think because you are paying them they should cater to him specially???? pretty much all centres have bans on peanuts so would not be an option. my son goes to a centre where i send his lunch, which we talk about what he's having for lunch, he usually picks it and then refuses to eat it...i think too bad if he's hungry he'll eat it, i wouldn't send two lunches incase he doesn't like what he has picked

Bonnie - posted on 10/17/2011

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I think allowing the parent to pack their child's lunch (making sure it is peanut free if that is the way it needs to be) is better for both the parent and the daycare provider. This way, the parent knows their child is likely eating more and the provider doesn't need to prepare different meals for different kids. I have never heard of a daycare that would make different meals for different children.

Lisa - posted on 10/17/2011

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I believe they must offer an alternative. They cannot "cater" to everyone's tastes, but they should offer 2 choices every day. They could also always have either crackers and cheese (which most kids will eat and is very easy), or cut up fruit. These could be available every day and hey the fruit could also be in addition to the meal for those that want some!!
Another option (and probably one that I would choose to be assured my child ate), is to bring lunch from home.

Kelina - posted on 10/17/2011

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the problem with letting himg et hungry for it is that at a daycare by the time he's hungry enough to eat lunch is probably packed away and that's why he goes hungry. That's the only problem with that otherwise i would agree wholeheartedly. And Kate-Good for you!

Danielle - posted on 10/17/2011

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You pay the daycare to feed him, but if he doesn't want the food its not their fault. My son sometimes just doesn't want to eat and they don't make him. The daycare also will not make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as there are two kids enrolled who have nut allergies. They also don't want the parents to pack a lunch as the other kids might want what is in that lunch and that would cause problems. I even know that my oldest that is in school forgot her lunch one day and didn't have money for a school lunch and they couldn't give her anything for lunch so its not just daycares

Lori - posted on 10/17/2011

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even though he is a fussy eater if he got that hungry at day care he would eventually eat what they served. u said hes eating the snack that they serve so at least he is eating something while he is there. i can see why they wouldnt make him another food, and i also see why you would want to bring him food from home, you dont want you son to starve at day care, but maybe them not giving into his fussy eating like you dont will be a good thing for him and he will learn to eat what hes given, eventually. but if you really dont like it you could see if there are other day cares that would let you bring food for him to eat.

Jodi - posted on 10/16/2011

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I think here, if you a registered as a daycare providing meals, it is in the regulations that people can't bring their own. Something to do with food safety compliance. So yes, it may seem stupid, but it isn't the daycare's choice necessarily, it is a compliance issue. I think I read it somewhere a while ago in one of the food safety things somewhere......

Sherri - posted on 10/16/2011

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Has she met with the school and had a meeting with them explaining her concerns?

Kelina - posted on 10/16/2011

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still Emma they shouldn't be telling her she can't pack another lunch for her child that's the part i feel is wrong. It's difficult enough being away from mommy, not eating is the icing on the sucky cake

Stifler's - posted on 10/16/2011

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Yeah my son is nearly 2 and only I know what he wants to eat. He doesn't say "mum i want a sandwich".

Stifler's - posted on 10/16/2011

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How old is your kid? How are they supposed to know what he'll eat? do they just continue making meal after meal hoping he eats some? If he's hungry he'll eat what he's given.

[deleted account]

i think that there are very few opinions that are wrong, but i think that if the daycare started to have to provide alternative lunches every day it would be costly and time consuming and you would probably have to pay more each month

Kelina - posted on 10/16/2011

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Kayla I would edit your original post to include the fact that you have asked if you could send food and they told you no and now you don't know what to do.

Sherri - posted on 10/16/2011

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I am with the majority no they should not offer your child a substitute. When they go to public school they will not offer your child an alternative if they don't like it and they could care less if your child is paying for it or not.

Kate CP - posted on 10/16/2011

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My daughter is also a picky eater and the previous school she went to had HORRIBLE lunches. It was dreadful and she came home starving and cranky every day. I took it upon myself to pack her a lunch that I knew she would eat and was nutritious. If you're not happy with the food they are feeding your son then pack him a lunch.

Amanda - posted on 10/16/2011

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Its your responsiblity to provid a different lunch if your child is a picky eater, not the day cares.



"What do they do if they fix something a child has an allergry to? "



They dont fix anything a child has allergies to.

Michelle - posted on 10/16/2011

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That's the other thing Bonnie, a child care provider wouldn't be able to just do a peanut butter sandwich for a child as there isn't the nutritional value that they have to provide. If they were reported they could lose the accreditation to be able to provide care to any child.

Bonnie - posted on 10/16/2011

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When a daycare provider prepares her meal plan, it is suppose to be a variety of nutritious foods, she should also know pretty much what all the kids like. I have never heard of preparing different things for different kids, every child eats the same on the scheduled day. If they don't want to eat, they don't want to eat, but I don't think different foods should be prepared. There should be at least two snacks though, so if he is not eating part of his lunch at least there are healthy snacks so he won't be starving.

Christina - posted on 10/16/2011

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I get how you feel but if you dont send him with lunch its you failing your kid, if you know he wont eat what they make then its your job to send him something he will eat... i worked at a day care and to expect a teacher or who ever to start treating one kid special then creates a huge issue you cant be making 20 diff lunches a day because this kid likes this and that kids only like this... its hard enough to keep up with allergy and other real food concerns, you dont like it make his lunch or switch centers but you wont find one that makes special orders for every picky eater

Christina - posted on 10/15/2011

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Send their lunch something you know they like. They
have to eat if the daycare doesn't like it switcth or them
eat it.

Ez - posted on 10/15/2011

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No I would not expect a daycare to offer alternative meals if I had a fussy eater. They would then have to offer a second option to every child in the class. And they will certainly not provide a PB sandwich because of the allergy risk.

But I do think they should allow you to send his lunch from home, providing it is healthy.

Kelina - posted on 10/15/2011

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I agree with Julie, i think it would be too difficult for the daycare to prepare more than one type of food, but i do think you should know ahead of time what they are making and plan accordingly. There shuold be no issues with sending food for him, i don't care if the other kids don't get to eat it. I would talk to the admin and if they're not willing to let you send food then you should look for another daycare. The bottom line is you pay them to feed your child, if they aren't then they are violating the care agreement *unless it has something in there about the child not getting fed if they won't eat the food* and it's NOT RIGHT to deny a child food. If you are willing to send food, then that's exactly what they're doing.

Julie - posted on 10/15/2011

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At our daycare, we are provided with a daily menu ahead of time, and if our child doesn't like what is being served, we are allowed to send something else on that day.

Fridays is taco day, and all the toddlers didn't like the tacos, so they just changed the lunch for the whole toddler room on that day. (Actually still the same ingredients, just made as a quesadilla instead.)

I don't think they should have to offer something else, but they should allow you to send something from home.

[deleted account]

I wouldn't expect them to make my child something else either. In my opinion it is a waste of food to make a child one thing only to give him something else because he didn't want to eat what was given to him in the first time. It would be a waste of money to buy additional food for a child who is a picky eater and it would also be a waste of money for the parent to have to provide lunch from home when it is already built into the price of tuition.



I would look for another daycare. One that doesn't provide lunches so your little one can eat what he likes :)

[deleted account]

Wouldn't bother me and if it did I'd look for another place to send my kid. I wouldn't expect them to change their policy that is fair to ALL the kids just for one picky eater.

A peanut butter sandwich could end up being a deadly deal if a kid there is allergic.

Jodi - posted on 10/15/2011

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I don't have fussy eaters, so my kids were always happy to eat what was offered, and we used to receive a report each day as to how much they ate, what they ate, etc (we just checked the board when we picked them up that day). However, I do know that they always made sure there were sandwiches available for the kids who refused to eat what was offered. Just basic sandwiches, nothing special (and not peanut butter either - that is pretty much banned from most centres here).

Amy - posted on 10/15/2011

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"am I the only one who feels this is wrong or is my opinion wrong"......you asked for opinions not everyone us going to have the same opinion as you. Besides the alternative you keep suggesting is a food that a lot of children are allergic to so it's may not even be an option for them!

Michelle - posted on 10/15/2011

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As Marina has said we are just stating our opinion, just like you. We aren't attacking you, just giving our opinion like you asked.
I know it's hard to hear people's tone when they are writing it but I have written everything calmly, not being angry at all. I'm sorry if that's the way you read it.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/15/2011

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Calm down. Just because everyone does not agree with you does not mean you need to get rid of the whole thread. Really, don't be so defensive. People are giving you their honest opinions about this. No one is attacking you personally.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/15/2011

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You need to take it straight to the head of the school. If that does not resolve anything, find another day care that allows you to bring in your own food.

Kayla - posted on 10/15/2011

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Im sorry that my post on my opinion obviously offends some people. Have I mentioned its my opinion?!!! I will just delete the post.

Kayla - posted on 10/15/2011

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I don't expect them to keep offering him something different. But a peanut butter sandwich as an alternative wouldn't butter anyone. Thats my point, I pay for him to be there and for them taking care of my child. I have offered to bring something else for him but they said it wouldn't be fair to the other kids. I think its wrong that he is there for 9 hours a day and that he only gets ro eat what they have for a snack.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/15/2011

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Yes I think that they should offer him something else....but only one thing. If he doesn't like that, then I don't think they should keep offering different things on top of that.

Can you just bring him in food instead? If it is included in the price of the school, maybe they can knock a bit of money off for you. He should not have to go without eating an entire day.

Kayla - posted on 10/15/2011

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Like i said in my opinion I think it is wrong. They dont have to make an entire meal different for those who dont like what they originally had made. A peanut butter sandwich or crackers and cheese something simple to have on hand just in case. Once again my opinion.

Michelle - posted on 10/15/2011

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My fussy eater would eat everything at daycare but be fussy at home so I never had that problem. My other 2 eat everything and sometimes have 2 or 3 serves of lunch.
At the daycare my kids go to they won't make anything that the kids with allergies can't eat so everyone gets the same. Even when there's a bithday and the child with egg/dairy allergies is there they make a cake without aggs and milk.
Catering for allergies is a lot different than catering for fussy eaters though. I wouldn't want them to make my child something different because I don't do it at home. If it happens at daycare then the child will start to expect it at home or will just refuse everything at daycare to get something he prefers.

Kayla - posted on 10/15/2011

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Im not asking for them to cater but does a simple peanut butter sandwich really hurt? I understand the other kids may want something else to eat instead of what the daycare is providing. What do they do if they fix something a child has an allergry to? Do they fix that child something different to eat? I have offered to bring him something to eat instead and they denied the request bc it isnt fair to the other kids. Im sorry but like I said as a parent I feel this is wrong. How would it make you feel?

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