any organic/whole food families out there dealing with daycare/school feeding?

Inja - posted on 02/01/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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hello

i have been looking at childcare options for my 3 year old (daycare/nursery/pre-school). many of these programs provide breakfast and/or lunch as well as snacks. it does not seem that there are m/any schools - even with the many independent and charter schools - who have high standards for what they feed their kids, despite sometimes hefty tuition.

i would like to hear from other parents who have dealt with this issue. i find it hard to even discuss this at the childcare facilities without sounding like a snob. but the fact is that information about our food source and what kind of junk is in common foods is not well known. i.e. almost all sandwich bread, even if it says "whole grain" contains high fructose corn syrup. the use of genetically engineered food products, excessive salt, MSG, preservatives, dyes...the list goes on. a recent news article about how school lunches are feeding kids beef that is below grade that is even acceptable in fast food places like mcdonalds!

what's a concerned mom to do??

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Tamra - posted on 02/08/2010

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All daycares must provide a menu of what they are going to serve. I packed my son a lunch and made as close as I could to the same thing the other kids were having ... just with the better ingredients.

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Jasmine - posted on 08/26/2014

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I recently put my child into a daycare that provides breakfast, lunch, and snack (not organic) or even my plate influenced! That didn't bother me since they said I could pack a lunch for my daughter and bring it in. We eat organic fare in my home so this was big news. I packed my daughter breakfast, (a.m)snack, and lunch also a (p.m) snack, since she has a hearty appetite. I ran into a problem the second day of this; someone else in her classroom was allergic to chocolate unbeknownst to me. Her lunch for that day was turkey and apple slices and a back to nature chocolate creme sandwich cookie. Yikes! what a scare. When I first brought up the subject to other daycares about packing a lunch they immediately went into a freenzy about allergies. In my opinion i think that is crazy. I can pack exactly the same thing on the menu but just the organic version. I personally think that it's a daycare way of being lazy and not wanting to give individual attention to a child's specific needs. They said bring in a doctor's note stating your child dietary needs. What the hell is the difference? If the chemicals and dyes not to mention preservatives have a negative affect on the body then it is only common sense to me that this be a valid reason for not wanting your to eat regular foods. I'd say try to get a docotr's note.

Amy - posted on 12/23/2010

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Also, we try to keep his menu as close to the one served at daycare to avoid him having something different :)

Amy - posted on 12/23/2010

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My grandson is in a daycare as well and we are having the same issues with the food they serve. (This is my daughters) I gave the owner an excellent article regarding MSG, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, etc... I have packed a lunch for him on the days they serve meats with MSG, and they didn't even serve it to him. I was upset, but what can I do? So, I've created a lunch menu to follow. I am going to get two small thermoses to keep home-made chicken nuggets and other hot foods in. I also peel and cut up organic apples for him with cinnamon sugar on them once in a while. He also loves vegetables (organic peas, corn, green beans and yams) I think we all need to take charge of what our children/grandchildren eat by taking a little extra time to fix them their meals for daycare. Hope this helps - Cathy

User - posted on 02/08/2010

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I feel your pain! I became really fustrated with our school systems when our girls started. I visited the school one day and saw the crap the kids were eating!!! I decided from that day forward that my kids would take their own lunch. I have also contacted their teachers and I supply healthy alternative only for my child during the classroom snack time. The teachers are also instructed to not give candy or other food items for positive reinforcement....that bothered me the most. My girls get stickers or just a pat on the back. They do come to me with the...it's not fair deal, but I do explain to them that I don't let them have those things b/c I love them. My kids know what healthy food and slow food is. They understand that sometimes slow food tastes really good, but healthy food is the real treat! I have worked very hard to get my kids to understand...but now they prefer the healthy alternatives.

So that battle won't be a difficult...you just need to put a stern foot down!

I also have a 2 1/2 year old son and my recommendation is in-home state certified day care. b/c it is state certified...you still have the legal formalities and you know your child care worker and home is regulated, but b/c the number of kids allowed is smaller than your daycare center, the day care worker maybe able to work with you on diet. I was able to educate my day care worker quite well, and she has come over to my side on many food choices!!! =)

The thing to realize is the in-home state certified daycare worker also recieves/refunds for meals. She/he must maintian a certain amount of kinds of food servings and must feed your child every two hours (snacks/mainmeals). The thing is if you educate your daycare worker that healthier doesn't always mean more expensive, proper portion, and mixing meals she/he will really welcome the help. I even offerd to help with a bit of the expense (and I mean small bit) and she then was even more open to my suggestions.

In daycare centers, there are too many kids and the individual attention can not be given and usually suggestions are not taken well.

I hope this helps! Your on the right path...b/c you choose to care!
=)

Medic - posted on 02/08/2010

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My son goes to preschool and because of some health situations, my determination to avoid other health situations, and personal preference I am very clear with is school about what he may and may not eat. I have been lucky as they have not strayed and the one time a parent did put a cupcake infront of my son he took it to the teacher and told her he didn't want it. The school has been very accomidating with the snacks and have provided him healthy fruit or veggies during snack time and I offered to send his snack. I do send his lunch and his drink and I always try and make it fun so he doesn't want to eat what the others are having. His teacher also helps and the days he isn't interested talks up what he has to him to get him interested but my son is also 3 so his teacher has alot of influence over him.

Inja - posted on 02/08/2010

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thank you for replying. i do currently pack a lunch for my son but he doesn't always eat it because "he wants what the other kids are having" and the staff at the place, not knowing much about nutrition, tend to undermine my efforts to keep him eating healthy stuff. i do hope you and other parents start organizing, maybe we can all create a national movement! : )

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Could you pack her a lunch?



And school lunches has been something on my mind for a few years also. I was a teacher and had cafeteria duty during breakfast. I kept an informal list of what was served compared to the students' behavior throughout the day. When cinamon rolls were served, it was a crazy day as the kids were hyped up on sugar. I'm not teaching anymore but I wished that I had gone to the school board with my informal findings to try and convince them of the importance of good food for kids. My child will be going into the school system I was teaching in, so if nothing has changed I may try to gather support of other concerned parents and teachers. I don't know if it will do any good as high quality school food is hard to find and can be pricey. My daughter will be eating breakfast at home and I will be packing her a lunch when she starts school there.

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