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  #1  
Old 01-02-2010, 08:43 PM
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Question How Do We Handle Meals at Daycare?

I am starting a daycare and am going to be serving breakfast and lunch our local daycare doesn't do that stating the reason that they don't have a nutritionist on staff. Do I have to have one to be able to serve meals, I don't have a problem getting my degree, but wouldn't be able to do it right away, and want to get started with this immediantly.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:50 AM
laundryduchess@yahoo.com laundryduchess@yahoo.com is offline
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I guess it depends on where you are. Im in indiana, been licensed for 20 yrs,.. feed the kids and am not now nor do I forsee ever getting a nutritionalist 'degree'.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:46 AM
GretasLittleFriends GretasLittleFriends is offline
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I offer care 24/7, so I serve breakfast, am snack, lunch, pm snack, dinner and evening snack. I, as an in-home daycare in Minnesota, am NOT required to have a nutritionist. Licensing didn't seem too picky about what I fed the children either.

I am on the US food program and they are a bit more picky about what I feed the children. Nothing too big of a deal. For example we live in a very rural area and everyone here hunts to fill the freezer, not so much for the sport of it. However, I am not allowed to feed the children any sort of wild game or fish because it wasn't processed at a USDA approved facility. Of course we could take our venison in, pay extra for that, just easier not to feed it to the kids. Once we start raising chickens the dc kids can eat the eggs, but not the poultry, again because we're not a USDA approved butchering facility.

Another one that gets me is that donuts count towards the bread/grain group as an acceptable breakfast and/or snack item on the food program, yet popcorn doesn't qualify. I understand popcorn has very little nutritional value, but personally I'd rather have my own kids eat a handful of popcorn as opposed to a donut. My food program lady did tell me, just because a food doesn't qualify for the program doesn't mean I can't feed it to them. For example, for snack I could offer the kids popcorn, hard cheese and 100% grape juice. I meet the needs with the cheese and the grape juice.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:17 AM
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Most states have nutrition help for licensed daycares through the Food Program. Here in MN if you obtain a couple hours of training(provided by the food program for free) and adhere to some pretty basic guidelines you receive reimbursement for a large portion of your food expenses. You simply provide food complies with basic nutrition guidelines (milk for lunch, fruits and veges, etc) and maintain clean sanitary and appropriate meal prep and serving practices. The county licensor should have some information on available food program sponsors - contact them and they can assist you further. Children are in care up to 10 hs a day- they have to eat. I serve breakfast lunch and snacks, and receive from $500 to $700 reimbursement towards food costs, and being on the food program is a selling point for your daycare, because parents know it means you serve nutritious food and have safe food handling practices. As a mom, I would never ever take my child to a daycare not on the food program.
In terms of logistics, at least in the beginning choose things that cook easily, like chicken nuggest & fries bake in 15-20 mn on a cookie sheet- served with milk, bread, and fruit or vege is easy & quick to prepare with kids around. As you become more comfortable with your routines and the kids in your care you'll feel better about it.
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carole's Daycare View Post
Most states have nutrition help for licensed daycares through the Food Program. Here in MN if you obtain a couple hours of training(provided by the food program for free) and adhere to some pretty basic guidelines you receive reimbursement for a large portion of your food expenses. You simply provide food complies with basic nutrition guidelines (milk for lunch, fruits and veges, etc) and maintain clean sanitary and appropriate meal prep and serving practices. The county licensor should have some information on available food program sponsors - contact them and they can assist you further. Children are in care up to 10 hs a day- they have to eat. I serve breakfast lunch and snacks, and receive from $500 to $700 reimbursement towards food costs, and being on the food program is a selling point for your daycare, because parents know it means you serve nutritious food and have safe food handling practices. As a mom, I would never ever take my child to a daycare not on the food program.
In terms of logistics, at least in the beginning choose things that cook easily, like chicken nuggest & fries bake in 15-20 mn on a cookie sheet- served with milk, bread, and fruit or vege is easy & quick to prepare with kids around. As you become more comfortable with your routines and the kids in your care you'll feel better about it.
I do not participate in the food program & I hope you don't take this the wrong way but I would never serve doughnuts or fries to the children I care for. So just being on the food program doesn't ensure healthy food IMO! I always serve a fruit & vegie at lunch & very rarely have ever served sweets. I'm just not big into processed foods, we eat lots of fresh fruits for snacks or packaged raisins & occasionally some crackers.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:32 AM
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Because a provider is not on the food program, does NOT mean that they do not serve wholesome meals. I have always been praised for the meals I feed my dc kids. I too buy very little processed ready to serve food.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:41 AM
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Default I am planning on getting on the food program...

I pretty much already adhere to food program guidelines and I plan on getting on it soon because I found out I am in a teir one area. I do serve some processed foods and some home-made. I use mostly fresh fruits but canned or frozen veggies. For those of you who do not serve processed foods...how do make this practical in a daycare setting? What types of meals do you serve?
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac60 View Post
Because a provider is not on the food program, does NOT mean that they do not serve wholesome meals. I have always been praised for the meals I feed my dc kids. I too buy very little processed ready to serve food.
Yes I agree. We have to write down what we give the children. Not that I do, but I can write for snack I gave them carrotts and crackers but in reality give them cupcakes with chocolate milk. There are always ways around things and taking a 2.5 hour course does not insure the person is on the up and up.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:59 AM
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I think too it is what each individual considers processed foods. For me, I consider, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, things like that processed foods and I have never bought much of them even for my own family.

Here is my list of typical daycare foods I serve. I do have down french fries, chicken nuggets, tater tots, fish sticks....but want to say I rarely serve them.

DAYCARE MENU IDEAS

MAIN
Mac & Cheese
Grilled Cheese
Scrambled Eggs
Pancakes
Fish Sticks
Beef Stew
Chicken & Noodles
Chicken Nuggets
Spaghettios
Spaghetti
Tuna & Noodles
Cheese Pizza
Chicken Noodle Soup
Tomato Soup
Hot Dogs
Peanut Butter Sandwich

SIDE
Corn
Green Beans
Peas
French Fries
Tater Tots
Hash Browns
Garlic Bread
Mashed Potatoes
Corn Bread

FRUIT
Applesauce
Peaches
Pears
Mandarin Oranges
Bananas
Apples


SNACKS
Muffins
Crackers
Graham Crackers
Popcorn
Cookies
Cupcakes
Apples
Banana


BREAKFAST
Pancakes
Toast & Banana
Oatmeal & Toast
Scrambled Eggs
Cereal & Toast
French Toast
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:31 AM
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I have some picky kids, and while I have tried to give them things like goulash, homemade veggie soup, etc, they gag and carry on and it is an argument to get them to eat. So I quit. I serve lunch. It is not supposed to be the "big" meal of the day, supper is, and that is how I was raised. There are some foods on my list I serve more often than others. It is hard to please 5 under the age of 7 at my table, so I do the best I can for the majority.

I make tuna and noodles either using a mac and cheese meal and adding tuna, a tuna kit, or my own using noodles, tuna and creme of chicken soup. Easy and cheap. I do the same with chicken n noodles, I use noodles, canned chicken, creme of chicken soup. I have some that love chicken noodle soup, and some that don't. Only 1 of my dc kids will eat a sandwich using wafered meats, deli ham, etc, so I don't even bother with those. They love breakfast for lunch. The kids eat good here, but we eat lunch, not a 4 course meal, that is for supper.
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:33 AM
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I have some picky kids, and while I have tried to give them things like goulash, homemade veggie soup, etc, they gag and carry on and it is an argument to get them to eat. So I quit. I serve lunch. It is not supposed to be the "big" meal of the day, supper is, and that is how I was raised. There are some foods on my list I serve more often than others. It is hard to please 5 under the age of 7 at my table, so I do the best I can for the majority.

I make tuna and noodles either using a mac and cheese meal and adding tuna, a tuna kit, or my own using noodles, tuna and creme of chicken soup. Easy and cheap. I do the same with chicken n noodles, I use noodles, canned chicken, creme of chicken soup. I have some that love chicken noodle soup, and some that don't. Only 1 of my dc kids will eat a sandwich using wafered meats, deli ham, etc, so I don't even bother with those. They love breakfast for lunch. The kids eat good here, but we eat lunch, not a 4 course meal, that is for supper.

I have had some providers say well the kids don't always get a big supper at home. Sorry, not my problem. I serve breakfast, lunch and snacks. Supper is the big meal of the day. If parents choose to not feed their children a big supper, that is their choice, I don't feel I have to back up for the parents bad choices.
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:36 AM
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Default Okay, I am on the right track

I think I am on the right track. Here are some of the foods I serve in my program. I am not on the food program, but I still serve well rounded meals.
Breakfast- Milk, bread, fruit (sometimes meat).
Lunch- Meat, bread, fruit, veggie, milk.
Snack- Milk or Juice with ususally a bread item

Breakfast
Pancakes
Waffles
Blueberry Muffins (from box mix)
Cinnamon Muffins (from box mix)
Bagels
English Muffins
Egg and Cheese Burrito
Sausage Links
Biscuit w/jam
French toast
Cereal
Oatmeal
toast

Main Dishes
Chicken Nuggets
Fish Sticks
Pasta w/meat sauce
Grilled Cheese
Turkey/ham/ or P. Butter Sandwich
Chili (home-made)
Lasagna (home-made) Usually from dinner I made night before or frozen
Mac and Cheese
BBQ Meatballs
Corn Dogs

Fruits
Fresh:
Apples
Pears
Bananas
Grapes
Oranges
Fresh when in Season
Nectarine
Blueberries
Watermelon
Cantelope
Strawberries
Canned
Fruit Coctail
Peaches
Pears (sometimes)
Mandarin oranges
Pineapple

Veggies
Peas
Green Beans
Carrot Sticks
Mashed Pot.
French Fries (oven baked)
Tater Tots (oven Baked)
Corn

Snacks
cookies
crackers
fuit bars
cheese and crackers
gronala bars
trail mix
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by originalkat View Post
I pretty much already adhere to food program guidelines and I plan on getting on it soon because I found out I am in a teir one area. I do serve some processed foods and some home-made. I use mostly fresh fruits but canned or frozen veggies. For those of you who do not serve processed foods...how do make this practical in a daycare setting? What types of meals do you serve?
I only care for one family so it's not that hard for me to serve a banana or apple slices, etc. On an average day I only have at most 2 or 3 kids here until after school and then I have my own kids also. It would certainly be tougher for me to do that if I had more than one family.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janarae View Post
I only care for one family so it's not that hard for me to serve a banana or apple slices, etc. On an average day I only have at most 2 or 3 kids here until after school and then I have my own kids also. It would certainly be tougher for me to do that if I had more than one family.
I did not answer your question very well. I only responded to how I handle snacks rather than what we have for lunch. Here's a normal meal/s for lunch here. Keep in mind I only have 3 kids here at most for lunch.

Grilled cheese sandwiches
Leftover casseroles from night before (lasagna/goulash/shepherd's pie/spagheti pie, etc)
Homemade cheese & chicken enchiladas
Spaghetti & sauce
Vegetable soup or ham & bean soup (homemade)
We ocasionally will have chicken nuggets but I buy an all white meat variety

I always have a frozen vegetable such as broccoli, peas or lima beans, etc or fresh baby carrots either cooked for the little kids or cold for those who can eat them raw. Then we always have fresh fruit such as bananas or apples or grapes or melon etc depending on the prices and what is in season.

For afternoon snacks we do the following:

Raisins
Baby carrots
Cheese slices
Apple slices or other fresh fruit in season
Crackers, such as Cheez its on ocassion
Pretzels
Yogurt
Cottage cheese

I know it would be much harder for me to adhere to these standards if I had more kids here so I'm not knocking anyone who does use some processed items. I just commented mostly because not being on the USDA program doesn't mean a provider will serve unhealthy meals/snacks.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:47 AM
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OK, dumb question here. But exactlywhat is considered Processed foods. I know what my version of processed food is, but it may be different than someone elses. So wondering what the real meaning is.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:52 AM
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OK, went and found my own answer on another website.....

"I am having a hard time understanding what exactly is considered to be "processed food." Do you have a list or something that would help me?
Jen - About.com User

Answer: Processed foods have been altered from their natural state for safety reasons and for convenience. The methods used for processing foods include canning, freezing, refrigeration, dehydration and aseptic processing.
We tend to think of processed foods as bad, but it turns out that many processed foods are not unhealthy. For example, milk would be considered a processed food because it is pasteurized to kill bacteria and homogenized to keep fats from separating. While some people prefer to drink raw milk, most of us should consume the "processed" version we find in our grocery stores.

Another healthy example of food processing is frozen vegetables. While fresh may be best, freezing vegetables preserves vitamins and minerals and makes them convenient to cook and eat all year around. Fruit and vegetable juice is also an example of a healthy processed food. In fact, some orange juice is fortified with calcium to make it even more nutritious.

Of course, there are a lot of processed foods that aren't good for you. Many processed foods are made with trans fats, saturated fats, and large amounts of sodium and sugar. These types of foods should be avoided, or at least eaten sparingly.

Processed foods that may not be as healthy as fresh foods include:

canned foods with lots of sodium
white breads and pastas made with refined white flour, which are not as healthy as those made with whole grains
packaged high-calorie snack foods, like chips and cheese snacks
high-fat convenience foods, like cans of ravioli
frozen fish sticks and frozen dinners
packaged cakes and cookies
boxed meal mixes
sugary breakfast cereals
processed meats
Processed meats might be some of the worst of these foods. Eating these meats may increase your risk of colorectal, kidney and stomach cancer. Processed meats include hot dogs, bologna, sausage, ham and other packaged lunch meats.
These processed foods and prepackaged meals are very convenient and popular. If you do shop for these foods, be sure to look for products that are made with whole grains, low in sodium and calories, and free of trans fats. Make sure you pay attention to serving size, too, and balance out the processed foods you eat with a delicious fresh salad and some whole grain bread."

Sources:

Larsson SC, Wolk A. "Meat consumption and risk of colorectal cancer: A meta-analysis


Wow, If we cut out all of the above mentioned, it would be hard to come up with meals and food to eat unless you have lots of money and time to spend on groceries and cooking.
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:00 PM
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Wow you are so right!!
Thanks for posting this! It is very interesting, looking at it all!!!
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:41 PM
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Default Wow!

Well, I sure do serve a lot of processed foods! Oh well...such is life in daycare.
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:12 AM
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I totally agree, oh well.

Just wondering, how many of you cook the following foods for your dckids.

hamburger
fresh fish
fried or baked chicken.
pork chops
steak
pork or beef roast
real mashed potatoes
home made vegtable soup
home made beef strew
home made lasagna
roast a turkey

If I served most of these to my dckids, they would not eat it. Also, I could not afford to serve these foods anyways.

On another forum, providers are claiming they never serve processed foods only organic. Honestly, on my $16 to $17 a day per child, I can not afford to buy organic foods, let alone chicken, steak and such to feed the dckids, heck, I don't buy those foods for my own family, we can't afford them. My hubby would give his little finger right now for a TBone, but it ain't happening. lol Also, I don't have the time to stand at the stove and make most of these foods as there is only one of me......

Anyways, as providers, I think the best we can do if offer our dckids 3 or 4 choices for lunch and hope they eat it. We can not control what they eat, because we don't know how things are handled at home. I know many parents will only give the child what they will eat, and not try anything new, and that is where the trouble starts. I personally feel my dckids eat pretty well on my budget. They get a variety of foods throughout the week.

We also have fun foods too. No school yesterday, we baked cupcakes. I don't feel eating a cupcake will hurt a child as long as they ate a good bk and lunch.

I used to do a rotating menu, then just printed out a list of the foods that the majority seemed to like and fix my meals accordingly.
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:46 AM
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Default meals...questions

If they get baked chicken, home-made lasagna, home made grilled hamburgers, roast, or turkey (Near Thanksgiving), or "real" mashed potatoes it is because we had leftovers from food I made my family. I also make home-made pizza and if we have leftovers the kids love it the next day.

That leads me to my next question... I am going to get on the food program...But one of my concerns is that a lot of times I decide what we are going to eat spur of the moment. I was going to throw in Chicken Nuggets but instead we have a lot of lasagna left over from last night so we are going to eat that instead. (along with appropriate sides) On the food program arent we supposed to stick to a menu plan? And how does that work if we want to serve something different? How do you do your menus. I would HAVE to do a rotating menu or I would go crazy. I was thinking 4 weeks. But like was said earlier...there are only so many things the kids will eat. It may sound good on the menu but if no one eats it and it all goes in the trash that is sad.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:39 AM
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I am not on the food program so I can't help you on that. Sorry. I did have a rotating menu, I will post it. I don't follow it, but do use many of the foods that are listed. When I made it up, I tried to put certain foods on certain days depending on who was here and what they would eat. I really should start following it again. Maybe that will be my New Year DC Resolution.

3 Week Rotating Menu


Week 1

Monday
mac and cheese
sandwich
green beans
fruit

Tuesday
beef stew
mashed potatoes
corn
fruit

Wednesday
pancakes
eggs
applesauce
fruit

Thursday
chicken noodle soup
sandwich
peas
fruit

Friday
hot dogs
corn
chips
fruit

Week 2

Monday
spaghetti
green beans
garlic toast
fruit

Tuesday
grilled cheese
peas
chips
fruit

Wednesday
pizza
corn
applesauce
fruit

Thursday
hot dog
cowboy beans
bread
fruit

Friday
mac and cheese
green beans
sandwich
fruit

Week 3

Monday
beef stew
mashed potatoes
corn
fruit

Tuesday
tomato soup
sandwich
peas
fruit

Wednesday
hot dog
corn
chips
fruit

Thursday
mac and cheese
green beans
sandwich
fruit

Friday
fish sticks
corn
bread
fruit

Last edited by mac60; 01-07-2010 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:39 AM
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If you want a copy of it let me know, you could use the format, and change it to how you want.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:57 AM
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I found another rotating menu in my documents:

Week 1

Monday
Mac & cheese
Sandwich
Veggie
Fruit

Tuesday
Beef stew
Mash Pot
Veggie
Fruit

Wednesday
Spaghettios
Veggie
Sandwich
Fruit

Thursday
Pancakes
Eggs
Applesauce
Fruit

Friday
Pizza
Veggie
Cheesy bread
Fruit

Week 2

Monday
Mac & cheese
Sandwich
Veggie
Fruit

Tuesday
Hot dogs
Veggie
Chips/pretzels
Fruit

Wednesday
Grilled Cheese
Veggie
Chips/pretzels
Fruit

Thursday
Pancakes
Eggs
Applesauce
Fruit

Friday
Pizza
Veggie
Cheesy bread
Fruit


Week 3

Monday
Mac & cheese
Sandwich
Veggie
Fruit

Tuesday
Grilled Cheese
Veggie
Chips/pretzels
Fruit

Wednesday
Spaghettios
Veggie
Sandwich
Fruit

Thursday
Pancakes
Eggs
Applesauce
Fruit

Friday
Pizza
Veggie
Cheesy bread
Fruit


Week 4

Monday
Mac & cheese
Sandwich
Veggie
Fruit

Tuesday
Beef stew
Mash Pot
Veggie
Fruit

Wednesday
Hot dogs
Veggie
Chips/pretzels
Fruit

Thursday
Pancakes
Eggs
Applesauce
Fruit

Friday
Pizza
Veggie
Cheesy bread
Fruit
Breakfast

Pancakes
Oatmeal
Eggs
Cereal
Toast
French Toast

Last edited by mac60; 01-07-2010 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:05 AM
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I will admit my dc kids eat much better here than they do at home generally. I mean that two ways. They may be picky eaters at home, but most of them eat whatever I put in front of them. Also, the majority of the time they get a good quality home-cooked meal. I do have to say though that my kids are usually here for pm snack, dinner and evening snack. I have some that are am snack and lunch, but most eat dinner here.

I make a variety of things. Homemade chicken alfredo (with homemade sauce), meatloaf, pot roast/roast beef, "steak" fajitas (using left over roast beef meat), baked chicken drummies... Last week I cooked a turkey in the oven, they had that. With the left over turkey meat I made homemade potpie (from scratch) and also chow mein. I ALWAYS make mashed potatoes from real potatoes. I cannot stand box potatoes. That and we grow a huge garden and still have a lot of potatoes in our cellar pantry.

Of course I have kids that hear what I'm going to make for dinner and say "Oh, I don't like that, I'm not going to eat it." My response is that's what I'm making, if you don't eat it too bad for you. I usually just make dinner and put it in front of them. I have a fairly new family, and last week I made meatloaf. I served it up, the kids scarfed it down. I asked my husband who wasn't eating with us at the dinner table if he wanted more meatloaf before I put the leftovers away, and the younger boy replied "Oh, I don't like meatloaf." This child had just asked for seconds of "that" pointing to the meatloaf. Made me giggle.

There are nights I don't plan ahead and am running short on time so we have things like mac & cheese or hamburgers with homemade baked fries (back to the I have tons of potatoes). Last night we had pizza, Jack's brand.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:13 AM
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Hopefully I can answer the food program questions. It may depend on your program sponsor. You may know (or not?) that the food program is a government funded program but there are many different non-profits across the country that sponsor the program.

I use Adults & Childrens Alliance. With them I am NOT required to have a preplanned menu. Like I said in my last post there are nights I don't plan, then realize dinner time is just about here and I need to come up with something quick.

I was recently looking at the food program part of their website http://www.acainc.org/food_prgm.phtml and am contemplating starting to use their monthly menu planner (this is January's http://www.acainc.org/ezmenu/january10.pdf ) as a guideline as a part of my trying to be slightly more organized this year. They also have February's schedule online already to make grocery shopping easier. You of course do NOT have to stick to this menu plan either. They offer it to make life easier...
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:25 AM
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Default Thanks for the info

Okay I will have to check with the sponsor I plan on using. I really need to get on top of this food program thing. It will be about $300 a month when I do. Hopefully I can just record my meals as I do them. That would be a lot easier.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:37 AM
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Honestly, on my $16 to $17 a day per child

MAC60 do you really spend that muchper child? On the food program I average $13.33 for the day for 6 kids? Just wonderin, I might move to your area.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Childminder View Post
Honestly, on my $16 to $17 a day per child

MAC60 do you really spend that muchper child? On the food program I average $13.33 for the day for 6 kids? Just wonderin, I might move to your area.
I think you misunderstood my post.

I get $16 to $17 per day for caring for a child. I don't spend that on food per child.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:38 AM
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You are correct, I did. My bad!
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:21 PM
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You are correct, I did. My bad!
No problem. My hubby would be in heaven if he could spend $17 per day on meals....he would eat steak everyday.
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:30 PM
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My children eat whatever I serve as well. I do not make different things for some that do not like the meal I serve. I make lasagna, spaghetti, italian chicken breast, hamburgers, meatloaf, tator tot casserole, etc. etc.... My children scarf everything up, I think some eat alot better here than at home!!!
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