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Daycare Menus, Breakfast, Lunch and Snack Ideas>Prepare vs. Catering
MissElliesHomeDaycare 11:02 PM 06-18-2014
I'm trying to get a home daycare started and am having trouble deciding between catering lunch or preparing it myself. What does everyone else do? How did you make that decision? I don't know much about the regulations or guidelines I'd have to follow to be qualified to prepare the food myself. Are they hard to comply with? I'm sure they differ from state to state. I'm in Alabama. Any insight would be very helpful.
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Play Care 04:19 AM 06-19-2014
Originally Posted by MissElliesHomeDaycare:
I'm trying to get a home daycare started and am having trouble deciding between catering lunch or preparing it myself. What does everyone else do? How did you make that decision? I don't know much about the regulations or guidelines I'd have to follow to be qualified to prepare the food myself. Are they hard to comply with? I'm sure they differ from state to state. I'm in Alabama. Any insight would be very helpful.
I would think that most in home providers prepare the lunches if they provide the food. Catering meals can get expensive taking a chunk out of your income. There are tons of ideas on how to make quick, healthy meals to get the most bang for your buck. Being on the food program helps as they reimburse you a certain percentage for the food - I know I make a habit of trying to provide as many of my meals as possible *under* the reimbursement amount - so I get to *make* money off the deal.
Obviously this is different for large group in homes or day care centers. Usually they have a designated cook. But for a typical in home with 5-6 kids, making your own meals is probably the way to go.
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MrsSteinel'sHouse 04:24 AM 06-19-2014
I also make my own meals. To be on the food program I believe you have to. I can not serve any restaurant food. Being a home provider there are no "regulations" such as health inspections or anything.
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melilley 05:32 AM 06-19-2014
I make my own meals as well. I am also on the food program and that helps a lot with my dc grocery bill! I have never heard of a center or home using a catering service, I think it would be too expensive.

I don't have any restrictions on making food, I just have to follow the meal pattern guideline from the fp (which isn't hard) and licensing rules as far as food safety, hand washing, etc...
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MarinaVanessa 07:59 AM 06-19-2014
I make my own food. I wouldn't even know where to go to even begin to find out about catering my meals. I've never heard of that for family child care or center based child care. I would assume that it's expensive and in this business we tend to scrimp and save wherever we can.

can I ask where you heard of this idea? Do you have a service that provides this in your area? How much will it cost?
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Blackcat31 08:16 AM 06-19-2014
Originally Posted by MV:
I make my own food. I wouldn't even know where to go to even begin to find out about catering my meals. I've never heard of that for family child care or center based child care. I would assume that it's expensive and in this business we tend to scrimp and save wherever we can.

can I ask where you heard of this idea? Do you have a service that provides this in your area? How much will it cost?
ALOT of centers in my area do catered meals. Including our Head Starts.

It's discussed in my daycare community alot. I think a few in-home providers do catered lunches here too


Sounds like it is a pretty lucrative business to be in.

Here some examples of child care catering services:

http://plumfoodservices.com/
http://www.kiddiecatering.com/
http://www.boaden.com/Daycare/home.html
http://thepreschoolpantry.com/child-care-center-start
http://www.bytowncatering.com/business_daycare.html
http://www.qualitycateringforkids.com/services.php
http://www.rfrk.com/catering/childcare/
http://www.jefferyscatering.com/dayc...hool-catering/
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BrooklynM 09:04 AM 06-19-2014
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
ALOT of centers in my area do catered meals. Including our Head Starts.

It's discussed in my daycare community alot. I think a few in-home providers do catered lunches here too


Sounds like it is a pretty lucrative business to be in.

Here some examples of child care catering services:

http://plumfoodservices.com/
http://www.kiddiecatering.com/
http://www.boaden.com/Daycare/home.html
http://thepreschoolpantry.com/child-care-center-start
http://www.bytowncatering.com/business_daycare.html
http://www.qualitycateringforkids.com/services.php
http://www.rfrk.com/catering/childcare/
http://www.jefferyscatering.com/dayc...hool-catering/
Is it terrible that I bookmarked all of these sites for menu ideas? Lol.
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MarinaVanessa 10:34 AM 06-19-2014
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
ALOT of centers in my area do catered meals. Including our Head Starts.

It's discussed in my daycare community alot. I think a few in-home providers do catered lunches here too


Sounds like it is a pretty lucrative business to be in.

Here some examples of child care catering services:

http://plumfoodservices.com/
http://www.kiddiecatering.com/
http://www.boaden.com/Daycare/home.html
http://thepreschoolpantry.com/child-care-center-start
http://www.bytowncatering.com/business_daycare.html
http://www.qualitycateringforkids.com/services.php
http://www.rfrk.com/catering/childcare/
http://www.jefferyscatering.com/dayc...hool-catering/
Oh wow, I had never heard of this. The daycare centers that I've been to have a cook and their own kitchen and our Head Start and Jump Start programs are all on public school grounds so they get their meals from the school cafeteria (they are brought to the classroom on a cart). The idea that some places got their meals catered just never occurred to me as an option.

I googled catering for daycare in my area and didn't find anything.
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TwinKristi 08:27 PM 06-28-2014
Originally Posted by MV:
Oh wow, I had never heard of this. The daycare centers that I've been to have a cook and their own kitchen and our Head Start and Jump Start programs are all on public school grounds so they get their meals from the school cafeteria (they are brought to the classroom on a cart). The idea that some places got their meals catered just never occurred to me as an option.

I googled catering for daycare in my area and didn't find anything.
I've never heard of such a thing... Our HeadStart is also on school sites so it's school meals.
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AmyKidsCo 02:52 PM 06-30-2014
I'm on the Food Program so I have to make my own meals. I would anyway - you get to know your kids and what they like and it's more cost effective. Remember that the Food Program minimums are how much you have to have on hand, not how much you have to serve - for instance, this morning I used 1.5 apples to feed 7 children. It's under the minimum but I had additional apples to cut if they wanted more, which they didn't. Less waste!
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LysesKids 03:44 PM 06-30-2014
Originally Posted by AmyKidsCo:
I'm on the Food Program so I have to make my own meals. I would anyway - you get to know your kids and what they like and it's more cost effective. Remember that the Food Program minimums are how much you have to have on hand, not how much you have to serve - for instance, this morning I used 1.5 apples to feed 7 children. It's under the minimum but I had additional apples to cut if they wanted more, which they didn't. Less waste!
I'll trade you ... I have a 14 month old that can eat a whole nectarine, clementine or plum by herself plus all of her meal and she still wants more sometimes; she's not a big kid either
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MarinaVanessa 03:52 PM 06-30-2014
Originally Posted by LysesKids:
I'll trade you ... I have a 14 month old that can eat a whole nectarine, clementine or plum by herself plus all of her meal and she still wants more sometimes; she's not a big kid either
Ugh this is me but with all of the DCK's and my own 3 kids included. They are eating me out of house and home.
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