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  #1  
Old 01-11-2019, 08:18 PM
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Lightbulb Do You Cook for Your DC Kids?

Do you prepare meals for your DC kids or do you make parents pack meals for them? Why did you decide to do things that way?
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:38 PM
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I prepare meals for the dc kids. I decided to do it that way because it seems to be a standard thing; most day cares offer that service here. I think I'd be a little less competitive if I made the parents pack their kids' lunches. I also chose to do it because in our regs, we have to make up for any food group that's missing from a child's lunch from home. If a parent packs milk, a tuna sandwich and a Devil Dog, I'd have to provide the veggie and fruit. Rather than scrambling to make up for what several kids might be missing in their lunch bag every day, it just seemed easier to provide meals.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:23 PM
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I didn’t even know that not providing meals was a thing that people do until I found this forum. Providing meals is what I grew up with attending daycare and what everyone that I personally know does now.

The local Montisorri school has children bring their own lunches but that place is viewed as more “preschool” and is very expensive for the area.. pretty much the only kids enrolled there belong to Doctors.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:52 PM
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I prepare meals. I don't know that I ever thought about it, I just did it.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:35 AM
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I prepare meals. My newest dcf prefers to bring their son's food, which is alright with me. He just eats weird(IMO)things so I'm glad. I do fill in his meals with whatever fruit/veggies are on our menu.
I've always provided their food; seems easier for me. But I do have to admit, I long for the day I don't need to anymore. Feels like I spend way too much time in the kitchen.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:21 AM
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I prepare meals for the kids, I have my own in care do it just seemed to make sense to do it for all. I've had parents send lunch before for a kid, and had no problem with it. Just told dks that his mommy made his lunch and they were find with it. Though I dont get many I do ask parents with a child under 1, to provide own food. As well I dont provide formula or for example lactose free milk.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:40 AM
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I provide all food. When I first started and I just had 1 child, the mom would provide food. Her child was 1 year old, and she would send him a jar of stage 1 apples for the whole day. But, once I became licensed I took care of all food. To me, it just makes sense. Plus, I know the kids are heating healthy and there's no fighting if someone has a food that the others want.
However, I don't cater to special diets. I have a child whose mom doesn't want him eating dairy or citrusy foods, so she brings substitutes on the days we have those.
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  #8  
Old 01-12-2019, 06:47 AM
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I provide meals.

Being very rural, with few local (convenient) options for procuring affordable, healthy, whole foods and with parents limited time at home equates to a lack of home cooking. We only have fast food chains, as well. Many kids here are overfed but malnourished. Anemia is a real problem. French fries and soda diet.

I educate parents through menus, photos, and newsletters, as well.

Good food, lots of exercise and sound sleep make for happy and healthy kids. Happy and healthy kids make my job enjoyable. I stack the deck in my favor.
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  #9  
Old 01-12-2019, 10:25 AM
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I cook! I don't allow anything from home
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  #10  
Old 01-12-2019, 11:55 PM
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We do Mondays as cold lunch days, because that is the day my assistant is off and I’m alone. Every other day lunch is provided. The kids enjoy having one day a week to bring in lunch boxes and compare lunches, and I get one day less of providing it for them. I do have a rule that no snack type foods are allowed.
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  #11  
Old 01-13-2019, 12:32 PM
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My kid has food allergies, so nobody but me brings food in here.
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  #12  
Old 01-13-2019, 08:01 PM
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Cook.
Because
1: parents don't want the hassle of packing lunches
2: parents tend to pack garbage and I don't want to be the lunch police
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  #13  
Old 01-14-2019, 06:55 AM
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I don't cook. My DH does though

I don't allow food from home of ANY kind.

I don't substitute meals or items. (other than documented allergies)

I follow the food program meal requirements and then some..... (we go above and beyond in the veggie department).

There is enough on each plate for every child to choose something healthy and nutritious during every meal.
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  #14  
Old 01-14-2019, 08:29 AM
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I cook and have always done it this way. It is just easier to feed everyone the same thing and make sure they are getting healthy foods. Unhealthy food is one more conversation I do not want to have with parents!
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  #15  
Old 01-14-2019, 09:41 AM
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I make homemade meals for the daycare children. I need to eat (and so do my own children) so it makes sense that I would cook. Also, this way, I can be sure they are eating healthy foods. Cause I've seen what some parents pack their kids at my son's pre-k program... donuts, juice, junk. I don't want that in my house. On occasion that stuff is fine, but it's hardly "food" or "nutritious". That and it's less stuff from home that could be forgotten (what do you do if a child forgets their lunch?). I just added in a morning snack and I have parents provide a shelf-stable item for that from home.
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  #16  
Old 01-14-2019, 10:29 AM
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I do the meals & snacks so I know what the kids are eating. Plus I have a DCP who I’m pretty sure would grub hub fast food daily if I had them bring meals.
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  #17  
Old 01-22-2019, 11:46 AM
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I provide meals and I'm on the food program.

I tried letting a child byo meals but it didn't work well. The parent was trying out a different kind of diet and the child (who was older and had eating issues) wanted my food really badly. It just didn't work and I don't want to do it again.

One benefit of providing my own meals is that I choose less messy food (like cheerios that don't have to be bitten).

I don't cook too much--no casseroles or anything like that. But I do make my own whole wheat rolls, silver dollar pancakes, bean/cheese burrito roll ups, and stuff that is nutritious and not messy.
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  #18  
Old 01-22-2019, 11:59 AM
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I provide meals. I just cook more of our dinner and make that daycare lunch. We eat healthy so it more than meets the food program rules. On rare occasions when my family eats more than anticipated we do sandwiches or grilled cheese etc. My dck are all fabulous eaters and their parents often ask for recipes.
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  #19  
Old 01-23-2019, 04:16 PM
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My parents can barely remember diapers, the only thing they need to supply. I can't imagine trying to get them to remember food, or what would be sent...
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  #20  
Old 01-24-2019, 11:37 AM
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I don't cook! My daycare has a sink, a microwave and a small fridge but no real area for cooking and my upstairs isn't child proofed enough for daycare kids to be playing while I cook. I also have so many families with special food needs... Vegetarian, vegan, raw, etc. It would be way too much work. I'm in Ontario Canada and there's no food guidelines to follow. I charge the same as the other daycares in my community and it's never been an issue.
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  #21  
Old 01-24-2019, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenboo View Post
Cook.
Because
1: parents don't want the hassle of packing lunches
2: parents tend to pack garbage and I don't want to be the lunch police
This exactly. One of my good friends also does daycare. She has the kids provide their own meals. I don't have time to be a microwave slave. By the time you get 6 to 12 kids lunches warmed up, you would have no sanity left.

A couple of years ago, I had a daycare mom that called into work early. She worked at a hospital. She brought her kid close to lunchtime, with a packed lunch. He had pizza rolls that I was expected to cook, a bag of goldfish, fruit snacks, a juice box oh, and some kind of a sweet tree I don't remember what it was. The other kids were complaining that they didn't have goldfish and fruit snacks with their lunch. It was a nightmare. I told that family never again would that happen. He was going to come during meal time he was going to eat what I prepared. The mom informed me that he didn't like vegetables that's why he didn't want to eat my lunch.
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  #22  
Old 01-24-2019, 12:22 PM
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I cook. I'm on the USDA food program. I am frugal...buy in bulk etc....so I usually make a profit each month. We are tier one due to the local school and so I receive approximately $1200 a month from the program and yet it actually doesn't cost me that much to feed the kids. I also have a GREAT food program sponsor with awesome reps etc, so I actually look forward to their visits.
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  #23  
Old 01-24-2019, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeko View Post
I cook. I'm on the USDA food program. I am frugal...buy in bulk etc....so I usually make a profit each month. We are tier one due to the local school and so I receive approximately $1200 a month from the program and yet it actually doesn't cost me that much to feed the kids. I also have a GREAT food program sponsor with awesome reps etc, so I actually look forward to their visits.
My food rep is so cool, I enjoy her visit too. She's always friendly and bubbly and so knowledgeable.

Last edited by Blackcat31; 01-24-2019 at 01:10 PM.
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