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  #1  
Old 06-13-2017, 04:31 AM
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Default When Do You Cook Food For Daycare? And What Kind Of Food Do You Offer?

I try and prep as much as I can in the morning and before kids get here and I cook meals (breakfast and lunch) while they are in care. Breakfast is at 9am and lunch is at 12pm/noon.

I offer mostly from-scratch items and do vegetarian 3 whole days/week. I offer some organic items as well.

I'm a Home Daycare for 6-8 kids and am the only worker.

How do you do food in your program?
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  #2  
Old 06-13-2017, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by trix23 View Post
I try and prep as much as I can in the morning and before kids get here and I cook meals (breakfast and lunch) while they are in care. Breakfast is at 9am and lunch is at 12pm/noon.

I offer mostly from-scratch items and do vegetarian 3 whole days/week. I offer some organic items as well.

I'm a Home Daycare for 6-8 kids and am the only worker.

How do you do food in your program?
I do morning snack at 9AM but it's nothing fancy, mostly ready to eat muffins, bagels, boiled eggs, cheese sticks and/or fresh fruit.

There isn't much cooking that needs to be done for morning snack and my kiddos all have "jobs" so different kids will set the table and help with prep in whatever ways they are able.

As for lunch time my DH starts prepping lunch at about 11:00. Again DCK's help in whatever areas they are able.

We eat family style so everyone sits down to eat at noon and we are finished by 12:30-12:45. The kids also bus their own dishes and clean their own spots. DH does the dishes.

Then DH and I sit down to eat lunch.

Here is a sample of my snack and lunch foods:
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:09 AM
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All snack stuff is ready to go usually. Anything I need to make for snack I usually do the night before. I only have 5 kids so I can also make it while they sit. I make lunch while they sit every day. I will often times serve veggies while they wait. They are pretty good grouo and listen pretty well.

When I worked at a centre we would have to wait for the cook to bring out the food and I would have 8 kids sitting and waiting so I got good at playing waiting games and singing waiting songs etc.
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Old 06-13-2017, 11:14 AM
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What do you mean "make it while they sit"?
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Old 06-13-2017, 11:14 AM
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And BlackCat, is your husband your worker? I think i remember you saying that you had a helper?
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Old 06-13-2017, 11:18 AM
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And BlackCat, is your husband your worker? I think i remember you saying that you had a helper?
He is.... But he works harder than I do so I would say that I am his worker! lol!
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Old 06-13-2017, 11:26 AM
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What do you mean "make it while they sit"?
They sit at the table or in their high chair. Today we had rice so I put that in the rice cooker this morning before the kids arrived but I baked the chicken and steamed the broccoli while they waited.
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Old 06-13-2017, 11:27 AM
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Breakfast is easy to serve and they come into the kitchen the first 30 minutes of the day with me as they arrive and tell me what they'd like. It's made in front of them. Currently it's cold cereals (organic oat cereal/"Cheerios", organic chex cereal/"Chex") or organic oatmeal with cinnamon on top plus a fruit. I do an easy fruit (banana, apple). Soon we'll be permitted to serve a protein 3 days a week in the food program so then I'll offer yogurt as an easy breakfast option. I never know who is going to arrive in time for breakfast so I can't see myself cooking eggs.

Lunch is easy enough. All 12 sit and do puzzles while I either prepare it or plate it. Meats I cook in a crockpot so I just have to cut and plate. Meals that require the stove only take about 15-20 minutes since I can multi-task. I could scramble eggs for an egg, cheese, and red/yellow peppers for a breakfast burrito while another pot is steaming or boiling a vegetable. All that's left to do is cut up a fruit and I can do that while the big kids help the smaller ones wash their hands (washing hands takes about 10 min. for them). I keep meaning to start double veggies instead of a fruit and will soon enough.

PM snack is set on the table the last 20 minutes of nap. It's a protein like cheese, eggs, or yogurt and either a grain or a fruit.
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:37 PM
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I make breakfast before they arrive, usually that's just prepping fruit, making muffins or pre dishing out yogurt and granola and putting it back in the fridge until 9am.

I make lunch while they play in the adjacent living room. This works as that is the only 45min we are in this room all day, so the toys are new and interesting compared to the play room were we spend the rest of the day.

I make pm snack during nap.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:10 PM
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Typical breakfasts
7:30 am
Bagel w/ peanut butter and banana, milk
English muffin w/ cream cheese, orange slices, milk
cheerios, banana, milk
oatmeal, raisins and applesauce, milk
pancakes or waffles(waffles made when I make them for my own family and put in the freezer to toast in the toaster later) strawberries, milk


Typical lunches
11:30 am
HM Mac n cheese, broccoli, apple slices, milk
grilled cheese sandwich, mixed veggies or celery, tomato soup, milk
tuna fish sandwich, apple slices, carrot and celery sticks, milk
salmon patties, mixed veggies, mashed potatoes, milk
Tacos made with preseasoned ground turkey, lettuce, tomato, milk
Black bean and cheese burritos on whole wheat tortilla, fruit salad, milk
baked chicken legs, brown rice, corn on the cob, melon
English muffin pizzas, green salad, milk.

PM snack
3:00pm
string cheese, hi ho crackers, water
string cheese, grapes, water
crackers with peanut butter and water
yogurt, fruit, water
yogurt, granola water
cereal and milk

except for baked goods, I make meals about 30 min before they are served

Last edited by hwichlaz; 06-13-2017 at 05:12 PM. Reason: add times
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  #11  
Old 06-13-2017, 06:08 PM
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Man, I offer gourmet, it seems!
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  #12  
Old 06-13-2017, 08:29 PM
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Breakfast is around 9 and is usually quick and easy: cereal, toast, bagels, rice cakes, etc.

Lunch I try to keep to under 30 min cooking - we come in from outside at 11:30 and if all goes well they're eating by 12. We often make extra dinner so I can reheat the leftovers for lunch the next day. Those days they're eating by 11:45 and down for nap early!

Afternoon snack around 3:30/4 and stuff I don't have to cook, the most I have to do is wash/cut fruit, which I do while they're washing their hands and getting settled at the table.

I just updated my menus.
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:01 AM
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My meals are mostly plain, basic foods. A lot of kids don't like this, that, or the other thing. So chicken is either barbecued(precooked the night before), HM nuggets or simply stir-fried in lite Italian dressing. I serve plain brown rice or noodles with butter/parmesan. They'll eat pork chops, chicken, sloppy joes, a dish made with hamburg, corn and rice(much like shepherd's pie), pizza, I serve sandwiches once a week, hot dogs once a month. Very plain and simple meals that I round out with either fresh or steamed veggies and fresh fruits. This summer the SA are here so I add things I wouldn't normally make, like Tacos, spaghetti(with sauce).

Most everything I make while the kiddos are here. My kitchen is in between the playroom and living room so I can keep a pretty good eye on them. It doesn't take long to put together a quick meal or snack. And snacks are always a quick make and serve. Breakfast is prepared while I wait for them all to arrive in the a.m. so by the time they get here I just have to pour milk and pop the toaster, etc. I serve cold cereal 2-3x a week because many times some of the kids have eaten anyways and don't eat much else. Many weeks I have leftovers on Friday where we clean out the fridge. Otherwise all that stuff gets tossed because I'm the only one here to eat it.
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:56 AM
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Breakfasts are usually egg and veggie scrambles, yogurt parfaits, Waffles or pancakes made in big batches and frozen so I just have to reheat. I usually have kids set the table, get the milk out, etc while I'm cooking, or if they're feeling rambunctious well do table activities like puzzles or file folder games at the table while I'm cooking. I'm big on homemade lunches so I usually make huge dinners for my family and serve the leftovers for lunch. My dck's favorites are stir fry, smoked sausage and roasted veggies over quinoa, and anything with shredded chicken.
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trix23 View Post
Man, I offer gourmet, it seems!
Your lunches resemble our lunches here, minus the vegetarian option. We have a GF plate instead. Vegetables are organic here as are the other components if the price is right.
I've seen many ladies with menus similar so you'll be in good company...
This is where I got the idea years ago to skip the "kid food" like mac and cheese, fish sticks, chicken nuggets, etc. when I began.
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
My meals are mostly plain, basic foods. A lot of kids don't like this, that, or the other thing. So chicken is either barbecued(precooked the night before), HM nuggets or simply stir-fried in lite Italian dressing. I serve plain brown rice or noodles with butter/parmesan. They'll eat pork chops, chicken, sloppy joes, a dish made with hamburg, corn and rice(much like shepherd's pie), pizza, I serve sandwiches once a week, hot dogs once a month. Very plain and simple meals that I round out with either fresh or steamed veggies and fresh fruits. This summer the SA are here so I add things I wouldn't normally make, like Tacos, spaghetti(with sauce).

Most everything I make while the kiddos are here. My kitchen is in between the playroom and living room so I can keep a pretty good eye on them. It doesn't take long to put together a quick meal or snack. And snacks are always a quick make and serve. Breakfast is prepared while I wait for them all to arrive in the a.m. so by the time they get here I just have to pour milk and pop the toaster, etc. I serve cold cereal 2-3x a week because many times some of the kids have eaten anyways and don't eat much else. Many weeks I have leftovers on Friday where we clean out the fridge. Otherwise all that stuff gets tossed because I'm the only one here to eat it.
You've got a great system.
I also serve cold cereals right now because most/all of my kids have eaten as well (except for maybe 1-2 of 12 each day). It works well. I require all to eat SOMETHING if they're present. It can be any portion size or food item being served that morning.
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:17 AM
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I usually take one day a week to prep the majority of my meals and either freeze or bag it up in portions. I usually take nap time at the end of the week to do it, so that I don't use my weekend time.

I come from a farming family and do lots of organic and whole foods. Most of the time I shop at farmers markets, grow a lot and do pick ups at local farms. So, I get lots of really fresh foods that lasts longer than grocery store items.
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:24 PM
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Breakfast I ready while they play.

I also make most meals from scratch and I am about 90% organic.

Kids choose from the math/language shelf while I make lunch. These are homemade games and manipulatives. Math games don't typically include numbers but instead sorting, sequencing manipulatives, etc.

Younger toddlers play with toys I've set out.

Roast beef and turkey breast are made in the crick pot. I've learned offering fresh fruit takes a bit more planning and prep. It's not as quick as opening up a can! Sometimes I'll cut into fresh fruit and it's not ripe yet, say like canteloup. Then I have to switch to a different fruit like bananas or apples.

Also, steaming frozen veggies takes a bit more time too.

I usually have 6-8 kids also.
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:45 PM
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LK5Kids, I'm interested in your homemade math protects! Can you PM me ?
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trix23 View Post
LK5Kids, I'm interested in your homemade math protects! Can you PM me ?
I sent you a long PM! Almost all my math games focus on either sorting by size, color, shape, making patterns, one-to-correspondence, simple counting games like moving a game piece two yellow spaces, shape puzzles, card games, geo boards, peg boards, etc.

I'm not big on pushing number recognition though they are exposed to numbers here and there. Hope the ideas are helpful!
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:00 PM
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Thank you, I'll check it out!
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:04 AM
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I print file folder games for the kids to do when I need them occupied for a bit.

filefolderfun.com
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Old 06-23-2017, 03:49 PM
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I can watch the kids play from my kitchen so I make meals while they play. Im about 1/2 kid foods and 1/2 I make extra of what we are having for dinner the night before and they get that. Then I just prep the fruits and vege.
Deb
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Old 06-23-2017, 04:53 PM
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I don't cook much, unless it's eggs (flat scrambled eggs that I can chop or German pancakes) or beans, which I just warm up with cheese on it or warm them with cheese in a rolled up tortilla.

Sometimes I cook whole wheat dinner rolls using the bread maker, and the kids love those.

I like to chop containers of raw vegies during the morning, so that they are ready for the kids and also ready for my lunch.

My meals run like:

AM snack:
Regular Cheerios/Multi-grain Cheerios or corn chips + chopped fruit or juice

Lunch:
Ham or cheese sandwiches, made to order (not too hard).
Chopped, raw vegies (peppers are a favorite)
Chopped raw fruit

PM Snack:
Maybe milk/fruit smoothie or same as AM snack (but different options).

Dinner:
Similar to lunch but with different options. Maybe straight wedges of cheese as the protein. Maybe yogurt/milk smoothes as the milk/protein/fruit.

My menu changes as my group preferences change. I try to keep food non-messy and within the range of stuff that we buy anyway as a family.
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