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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Making Meal Schedules...I'm on the Food Program
Abigail 12:14 PM 01-29-2012
I'm only serving vegetarian meals because I have one family who is vegetarian. They are not here for snack so on Friday for example we had mini corn dogs as our unhealthy yet meaty product with milk which works for the food program still....2 different food groups for a snack, but a fruit and a vegetable count as the same food group for snacks only.

Anyways the food program said most providers here serve a 2-week menu. I want to have more than a 2-week menu but now that I'm a month into daycare and serving meals and cooking and prepping and buying sale items I've decided it's easiest to plan for the whole week on the weekend.

I don't want to serve the same thing every other Monday and the same thing every other Tuesday, etc. to create a two-week menu. By this I am trying to not serve the same thing within 2 weeks period. I'm referring to the protein as this is always my struggle without being able to serve meat. We can still do eggs and cheese and yogurt so that is a plus!

Anyways, how do you do your fruits and vegetables with a rotation? If you are open M-F and serve a fruit or vegetable on Friday would you as a provider or parent feel it's okay to serve the same fruit or vegetable (not all of the them from Friday, but some) on Monday to use it up? If I serve apples for part of breakfast on Monday then I wouldn't serve then again until Wednesday so they're gone before they spoil. I feel if I buy and have green beans for example on Friday would you consider that two days have gone by and that you can still serve it again for part of a meal on Monday?

Sorry if it sounds dumb, I'm trying to not waste food as I only have 3 kids who eat here right now but I want to serve a variety. Every few weeks I am adding in a new meal. This week we're going to try bean substitute tacos and something with rice, I just haven't figured that out yet.
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Heidi 12:27 PM 01-29-2012
I do not do menus ahead at all. I buy things when they are on sale, and then I "wing it". I also serve AM Snack (altough I usually add an additional component, because it's our breakfast) @8:30-9:00, lunch at 11:30-12:00, and dinner at about 3:30 (after nap).

Lunch is usually a "hot lunch" & milk (occasionally sandwiches, but not often), and dinner is usually cheese & crackers or sandwiches, or quesadillas, AND raw fruit and/or veggies & milk.

This way I maximize my food program money, and the children aren't hungry when they leave here. They do better waiting for supper at home when they have that extra protein in them.
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Abigail 12:33 PM 01-29-2012
I can't wing it, I need to post menus everyday for parents. I live in the cold cold north so I need to make sure I have everything on hand for the week because if we have a snow storm and kids don't leave until after 5 and I need to drive in to the grocery store it's not gonna happen! LOL

I also don't have a full kitchen to prep food while watching kids. My meals are 2-minute prep meals. I cook everything ahead of time and just reheat. I have a toaster, fridge, and microwave for the daycare.

Do you serve the same fruits/vegetables all the time then?
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Michael 03:29 PM 01-29-2012
Some threads on Meal Schedule:

https://www.daycare.com/forum/tags.p...=meal+schedule

https://www.daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=34003
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Countrygal 03:44 PM 01-29-2012
Originally Posted by bbo:
I do not do menus ahead at all. I buy things when they are on sale, and then I "wing it". I also serve AM Snack (altough I usually add an additional component, because it's our breakfast) @8:30-9:00, lunch at 11:30-12:00, and dinner at about 3:30 (after nap).

Lunch is usually a "hot lunch" & milk (occasionally sandwiches, but not often), and dinner is usually cheese & crackers or sandwiches, or quesadillas, AND raw fruit and/or veggies & milk.

This way I maximize my food program money, and the children aren't hungry when they leave here. They do better waiting for supper at home when they have that extra protein in them.
Me, too. Eventually I would really, really like to get to about a 3-month rotating schedule. I, personally HATE eating the same food every week or two, and I refuse to serve it that way. So for now, I'm just keeping track on the forms of what I serve and in about 6 months I will revisit it and hopefully come up with some rotating menus.

To answer your question on fruit and veggies - I serve leftovers. Leftovers are a part of life. I only have 3 children. If I open a can of fruit in its own juice at $2+ a can, you can believe I am gonna serve it til it's gone. They can have as much as they want as long as they eat a reasonable portion of everything else served, but only occasionally do they actually want more.

So, they may get the same fruit at lunch on Mon AND at snack on Wed.
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familyschoolcare 05:34 PM 01-29-2012
I specialize in and mostly have school aged children. Because of thise I rarely serve a meal.


For snack we usualy have a homemade muffin and freshh fruit. I get a farm fresh box, So all the fresh fruit is local and organic. I make an effort to have

different fruit than the day before. However, we might have one general type of fruit 2 or 3 times that week.


When what I serve for snack comes up in an interview I say that I make a point to serve a different muffin flavor everyday of the week. However since

the fruit is all local grown the varity is not a consistant for example right now it is citrus (or what ever it is) season so we might be having blood oranges,

naval orgages and tangerines all in the same week. So far the parents have been greatfull to have fresh fruit offered to thier children for snack that they

do not question the variety.


We I do serve meals I make a point of offering different fruits/vegtable at each serving time of the day.
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familyschoolcare 06:51 PM 01-29-2012
Abigail

During the summmer I had a 12 day schedguel for lunch. That might be something that you could deal with.
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Heidi 07:54 PM 01-29-2012
Originally Posted by Abigail:
I can't wing it, I need to post menus everyday for parents. I live in the cold cold north so I need to make sure I have everything on hand for the week because if we have a snow storm and kids don't leave until after 5 and I need to drive in to the grocery store it's not gonna happen! LOL

I also don't have a full kitchen to prep food while watching kids. My meals are 2-minute prep meals. I cook everything ahead of time and just reheat. I have a toaster, fridge, and microwave for the daycare.

Do you serve the same fruits/vegetables all the time then?
I have a few standards when it comes to fruit-bananas (38 cents/lb at Kwik Trip, a large chain of convenience stores), raisins, and dried cranberries and apricots are always on hand, and have a long shelf life. I buy a few cans of fruits and applesauce, but only use it once in a while in a pinch. Then, I buy whatever is on sale or in season. A few weeks ago, my sister took me to Sams's club while I was visiting her in Madison (1 1/2 hours away), so I bought some blackberries and "cuties" little oranges that were really inexpensive. It did take us a while to get through the bag, but the kids loved them, so that's ok!

As far as vegies, I pretty much use frozen. When our grocery store has them on sale, I stock up, and I always get some bags of mixed vegies or combos. But, we can also use tomato sauce (as in spaghetti) as a veggie, and of course, potatoes now and then. Not my favorite vegie because they seem like more of a starch, but they count as a vegie on the food program. If I serve white potatoes with a meal, I make sure to serve whole grain bread for that meal. Otherwise, it's so much white food! lol We have tried a few wild and crazy things. After I got tired of the Halloween/Harvest decorations, we cooked up the little Gourds and mini-pumpkins and tried those. They weren't a huge hit, but at least we tasted them.

I never measure how much I make. I have a pretty good sense of how much my kids eat. I usually have just a tiny bit of food left over, which either goes into my compost pile or into my shih tzu!
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Abigail 10:25 PM 01-29-2012
bbo,
I was sad to see that a potato was in the fruit/vege category because I always would have used it as a grain so good thing I check all my menu items online before I write them into my menu to make sure I meet all the categories!

I keep forgetting that I can make potatoes so I will have to do that next week. Would baked beans be good to serve with that? I am making EVERYTHING on my menu vegetarian. Two items I have, one every other week as sneaky. I serve hot dogs, but my one child gets a vege dog. I also serve chicken nuggets, but my one child gets the fake morning star brand of nuggets....they all look the same so the kids will never know the difference. Other than those meat products I can't figure out anything else to serve that would be similar but not the same. I'm not going out of my way to make different meals either, but I need every family on the food program.

I do have about 12 different meat/alternatives that work for my group so now after i did a few weeks with some repeats I'm more comfortable. I still need a better variety though and will look through the sale ads. New items to our menu this week is rice (i've never made it before or eaten rice, lol) and black beans for tacos.....I'm a picky eater so I've never eaten these either.
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Tags:food program - menu, meal schedule
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