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Daycare Menus, Breakfast, Lunch and Snack Ideas Post breakfast items, lunch items, and snack items that are all child friendly here. Each posting should include ONLY ONE meal option. The SUBJECT of each message should be ONLY the name of the food you are describing.

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  #1  
Old 10-23-2014, 01:27 PM
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Default Hot Meal vs. Supervision

How do those of you offer hot meals accomplish this without completely losing track of your kiddos?

How much do you prepare the night before? Do you get up super early?

I need a game plan Right now I am in a floor plan I can see LOs from the kitchen but when I move to my new home in 2 weeks I won't be able to see them anymore. The main playroom is downstairs and kitchen is upstairs. There is a small area for them to play or do an activity at the table I suppose, but I don't like being so tied to the kitchen when I feel the LOs need my attention.
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:10 PM
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I can not see my classroom from the kitchen. Instead I have a shelf of toys in the dining room that the kids play with when we come out for me to fix meals.
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:24 PM
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My kiddos all do ONE activity while I am preparing lunch/meals. Usually it is books or something that doesn't require much clean up.

I can visually see into the main room/area they are in but I also have a video monitor (like a baby monitor) that allows me to see them too.

I also have those curved mirrors (like the ones you see in a convenience store) installed in the corners of my rooms so that I can see every nook and cranny of each room.


HTH


The monitor I have is portable...like this one:

Last edited by Blackcat31; 10-23-2014 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 10-24-2014, 04:12 AM
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I am up 3-4 hours prior to opening. I am ready for the day before the kids get here. I like to eat with my own kids before they go off to school in the mornings.

I also have occasional "big cook" weekends where I will prepare about 4 chickens, 2 hams, brown a few pounds of ground beef and turkey, cook down several messes of greens and beans then put together a few "rough day" casseroles and stews. I tend to grab whatever they have a lot of at the local farmers market. It makes for a varied, seasonal diet.

When the freezer stays stocked with starters, veggies and back-ups, food becomes a non-issue. It does require some serious freezer space, I have three.
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
I am up 3-4 hours prior to opening. I am ready for the day before the kids get here. I like to eat with my own kids before they go off to school in the mornings.

I also have occasional "big cook" weekends where I will prepare about 4 chickens, 2 hams, brown a few pounds of ground beef and turkey, cook down several messes of greens and beans then put together a few "rough day" casseroles and stews. I tend to grab whatever they have a lot of at the local farmers market. It makes for a varied, seasonal diet.

When the freezer stays stocked with starters, veggies and back-ups, food becomes a non-issue. It does require some serious freezer space, I have three.
What she said.
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Old 10-25-2014, 12:44 AM
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I get up about 15 min before I open
I make a homemade hot lunch everyday. If it's a crock pot meal then I start it while making breakfast. Everything else takes me about 30min tops.
My daycare room and kitchen are connected. If I was in your position, I would do table activities while I cooked.
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:05 AM
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I am not allowed to cook when the kids are here (except if they are all asleep, and even then only for the next day) so I either crock pot or cook in advance and microwave. I do a lot of quick one pan meals that I throw in as soon as I get up (sliced potatoes under chicken and a bit of water covered and cooked in the oven) and my big cheat is I 90% of the time (unless a casserole or soup) use frozen veggies, so I only worry about the protein and starch the day before or morning of.
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel View Post
I am not allowed to cook when the kids are here (except if they are all asleep, and even then only for the next day) so I either crock pot or cook in advance and microwave. I do a lot of quick one pan meals that I throw in as soon as I get up (sliced potatoes under chicken and a bit of water covered and cooked in the oven) and my big cheat is I 90% of the time (unless a casserole or soup) use frozen veggies, so I only worry about the protein and starch the day before or morning of.
Wow. What do they consider cooking? Can you assemble sandwiches or use the microwave?

You all are organized! I think we will have one extra freezer. Hopefully I can get some recipes I like started on the weekends.

Thanks for the pointer
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:53 PM
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A lot of the times I make extra of what we are having for dinner the night before and serve it for lunch the next day. Otherwise, I have them do an activity while I make lunch.
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Old 10-28-2014, 07:11 PM
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I can see all children from my kitchen. I had a little area in the classroom that was not visible from the kitchen, but now I set a curve mirror and can see 100% of the room.
I wake up 15 minutes before my work day starts. I'm not an early morning bird.
184.jpg
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Old 11-07-2014, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColorfulSunburst View Post
I can see all children from my kitchen. I had a little area in the classroom that was not visible from the kitchen, but now I set a curve mirror and can see 100% of the room.
I wake up 15 minutes before my work day starts. I'm not an early morning bird.
Attachment 3054
I just ordered those tables!

And glad not everyone here is a crazy early morning person. I do need to start getting up an hour earlier, but my youngest isn't sleep trained yet (I know!) as soon as we get moved that little booger is learning to sleep through the night and THEN I will get my morning act together
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2014, 06:21 PM
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I can see the kids.

Will you take the food downstairs or will they eat upstairs? I would have them sit at the table and look at books, or do puzzles.

I have to say they are allowed to watch tv while I make lunch or play with one bin of toys or look at books. Some days the choice is puzzles. That's the choices I give.

I make a few things ahead if they are more involved, but generally during my actual lunch prep time. I did find out serving fresh fruit actually takes a bit of planning. Much more than just opening a can! I have switched to basically homemade, from scratch and it hasn't been too bad. I make my own Alfredo sauce, pot pie without canned cream soup, etc.

I love to use my crock pot too! Just had homemade chicken rice soup with mixed veggies. So yummy and easy in the crock pot. Good luck!
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Old 04-05-2015, 10:26 AM
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So far I've been cooking the night before. I've prepped batches of veggies and chicken by slicing all the veggies and cooking the meat (w/o salt!!) then freezing them. Usually takes me about 30-1hr from start to finish (washing the dishes).

Also, I'm am new to cooking so I try not to get overwhelmed so I assign different days for certain types of food like for lunch, Monday is sandwich day, Tuesday is a rice dish so on and so forth. It makes it a lot easier to look for recipes. Also Monday is sandwich day so I don't have to spend my Sundays cooking
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Old 04-06-2015, 05:55 AM
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I am so not a morning person. I try to have a plan the night before and sometimes pre cook some things the night before. I will stay in bed until the last possible minute lol. I love my bed in the mornings.
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Controlled Chaos View Post
Wow. What do they consider cooking? Can you assemble sandwiches or use the microwave?

You all are organized! I think we will have one extra freezer. Hopefully I can get some recipes I like started on the weekends.

Thanks for the pointer
Can't use the oven or the stove while the kids are here, can only reheat in microwave. My supervisor lets me use the crock pot because my kitchen is gated off and a crock pot is not something you n eed to attend to. It sounds organized, but really it's learning what you can throw in quick as a one pot meal adn the kids will eat.
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:27 AM
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Regulations here say "sight or sound". Currently, most of my kids are trained to play well so they may stay in the playroom and play (right off the kitchen) 1 1/2 year old is usually wanting in the high chair by the time I am pulling lunch together, so usually she get a vegie while I pull together.

I would not leave children downstairs while I was upstairs. So I would bring them up to the table. I place table activities on cookie sheets that they could do. So lacing beads. Counting bears, sorting items, sandpaper letters etc. That way I can give each child something individualized. A child working on cutting might have paper and scissors. Young one might have a ziplock bag with paint inside tapes down to squish or pom poms and a cup. You get the idea.

Also if they are at the table- I can sing songs with them while I finish up lunch. They will sit for a time period with just that.

Sometimes if they are very anxious for lunch they get a lovely vegie "appetizer" first.
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:40 AM
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I bring my children into the kitchen and they color or play with blocks at the table while I prep lunch.
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  #18  
Old 04-24-2015, 04:23 AM
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I have an addition that has two dedicated child care rooms. The room where the kids eat has a doorway to my kitchen.

The kids play with puzzles and table toys while I prepare lunch and a few times per week {gasp} watch cartoons.

This room also has an approx. 4"x5" chalkboard on one wall and a sensory table filled with oatmeal they use.
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