to think that the food they serve at nurseries is ridiculous?

(54 Posts)
PP2291 Thu 16-May-13 09:47:42

I just went to see a nursery and thought it seemed very fun and cosy. The staff were clearly well trained and were very nice. But when I asked about the food they told me everything was home made while pouring a bag of frozen chicken nuggets onto a baking tray. A look at the menu showed that they serve things like 'hot dog in a roll' for supper. Don't get me wrong I'm fine with my DS having this sort of thing sometimes and yes I am a bit mad about what he eats and don't expect everyone else to be doing kale chips and steamed vegetable dumplings blah blah. But I just think it is not healthy to eat this sort of thing every day and is also very limiting. I want my DS to be trying all sorts of foods all the time.

I don't think I'm being unrealistic I just want some more vegetables in there and one or two slightly more exotic things.

Do I just need to suck it up? Are all nurseries like this? This nursery is quite expensive and projects itself as being quite posh (has a school 'motto' and crest etc).

StealthOfficialCrispTester Thu 16-May-13 09:51:08

Well were the frozen chicken nuggets home made? If so j dont really see the problem

MrsMelons Thu 16-May-13 09:51:34

Are those things actually on the meni every day?

Most nurseries/schools have stuff like that once or twice a week (usually with other choices) but I would not be happy if it was something process with chips every day!

CrazyOldCatLady Thu 16-May-13 09:51:37

Ours is like that. But we live in the middle of nowhere and have a massive commute every day and it's literally our only option. Thankfully everything else about it is okay, but the food really bugs me.

Snog Thu 16-May-13 09:51:39

Lots of nurseries have their own chefs - I would expect fresh cooked healthy food from a nursery

MrsMelons Thu 16-May-13 09:51:47

menu not meni!

ballinacup Thu 16-May-13 09:52:28

Don't they have a menu for parents to have a look at?

Ours has a four week rolling menu and yes, some days have chicken nuggets and chips, but most of the time they eat decent food with lots of fresh fruit and veg.

For example, DS had toast for breakfast yesterday, followed by grapes and rice cakes as a mid morning snack, then chilli con carne with rice for lunch followed by oranges and jelly for pudding, he then had a piece of birthday cake for his afternoon snack (it's usually fruit but one little girl had her birthday yesterday and her DM sent in a cake) followed by turkey sandwiches, apples, pears and banana for tea.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 16-May-13 09:53:03

That's crazy.

I've worked in a lot of nurseries, and most didn't even have a frozen option at all.

It was all home-cooked curries, chillis, vegetable dumplings, stews, etc...

PP2291 Thu 16-May-13 10:00:51

The sample menu on the website is organic cereal for breakfast, chicken casserole with sweet potato, swede, courgette, parsnip and lentils for lunch. This is the kind of thing that sounded fine to me. There was nothing like this on the menu when I got there. The healthiest and most original thing I saw was tomato and sweetcorn pasta.

CrazyOldCatLady no the nuggets were from a supermarket packet.

They do have a menu that they share with the parents and you can ask for your child not to eat certain things but did say that this is often a problem as unless they are allergic to something they will see other children eating and want what they have etc.

Where can I find one of these elusive home cooked meal nurseries! Chicken nuggets seem to rule supreme in London!

TenaciousOne Thu 16-May-13 10:01:10

Our nursery doesn't do chicken nuggets, sausages and beans yes but mainly things like soup, Bolognese and curry. Although I wish they'd told me before that as DS can't have dairy when all of the children were having pizza he was having toast and wouldn't eat it. I have sent him in with four little homemade pizzas, that was roughly two months ago and they still haven't used them all.

mrswoz Thu 16-May-13 10:03:33

Is it that sort of food every day? I suppose for me it would depend how often my child was going to nursery, all day 5 days a week then no I would not be accepting that as his food options. If he is only going for 1 full day then it's a different matter.

But yanbu to expect an expensive nursery to have better food options.

Did you ask about packed lunch? Tbh if those were the only food choices and he's going full time I would insist on packed lunch, and I bet your DS wouldn't be the only who took it.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 16-May-13 10:04:40

My DS gets toast or weetabix for breakfast, macaroni cheese, or chicken pie and veg etc for lunch and fruit as snacks or toast. No idea if they serve chicken nuggets.

icklemssunshine1 Thu 16-May-13 10:04:41

I'd be annoyed too. My DD is 22 months & the key workers take it in turns cooking meals for the rooms on a rota as they don't employ a chef. The only thing which wouldn't be home cooked would be desserts such as mousse, angel delight etc. All her main meals are home cooked.

Have you asked why they don't prepare cooked meals?

Decoy Thu 16-May-13 10:05:01

YANBU to expect healthy food to be on the menu.

mrswoz Thu 16-May-13 10:07:51

*the only child who took it. Sorry. And I've cross posted - menu on website sounds nice, but can they give you a menu of planned meals for the next 2 weeks, for example? Might give you better view.

PP2291 Thu 16-May-13 10:10:17

They supposedly do serve cooked meals. Maybe I just caught them on their bad day?

Good advice to ask about packed lunches. That's what I do at the moment for his CM but it is often a struggle because the other children have something different (what she cooks) and he always wants that etc.

I'm a bit worried about the ethos though. The website says 'organic cereals' for breakfast but looking at one of their sample books that they send home with children daily it said shreddies for breakfast.

It is a nice place and one of our only options for nursery. Perhaps I should go down the CM route instead. I just think my DS (18 months) would really benefit from being in that kind of environment. He is very very naughty and structure might be a good thing?

MonstersDontCry Thu 16-May-13 10:18:10

YANBU. That would annoy me too. Once a week is fine but not every day.

EasilyBored Thu 16-May-13 10:18:55

I'm not thrilled with the food DS gets at nursery - it's OK, but not brilliant (lots of typical nursery foods, and every couple of weeks they will have a 'party tea' for some reason or other and as far as I can work out he mostly eats sausage rolls and fairy cakes then) BUT he only goes threes days a week, and I love love love everything else about the nursery and the staff and DS adores it and comes home filthy with paint and food and sand, knackered and happy as a clam. So I kind of grin and bare the sausages mash and beans/cornbeef hash/pasta/shepherds pie/etc rotation. They do eat fruit every day though, and he's not a fussy eater.

I think the odd chicken nugget is hardly the end of the world, so you kind of have to balance exactly how much it matter to you. I would be a bit bothered by the differences between the sample menus and the actual menus though. If they're going to give them nuggets and beans, I'd be happier if they were honest about it.

Saski Thu 16-May-13 10:21:35

A posh (expensive?) London daycare serving frozen chicken nuggets?

I would assume in this case that you'd have options, and I'd keep looking. It's bad enough when they do that with older school-aged kids, but babies and toddlers eating frozen food every day is going to totally screw up their food preferences (and of course on top of that it's not good for them).

wishingchair Thu 16-May-13 10:24:18

Food was always made on site and was homemade at the nursery mine went to. Was sometimes a bit weird ... "stinky pie" was tinned sardines in tomato sauce topped with mash and served with veg. Would not be something I would necessarily cook but was good for them and they would eat it!

notso Thu 16-May-13 10:25:33

After working in Nurseries I would always ask to see the actual food being served if my child was going there.
One I worked in had a sample menu for parents which said;
Home-cooked cottage pie, and vegetables,
Home-cooked Sausage, mash and vegetable,
Home-cooked Fish, potato and vegetable,
Home cooked Macaroni cheese,
Home-cooked Chicken, potato and vegetable.

The reality was;
Frozen value cottage pie and value baked beans,
Value sausage and beans in a can and smash,
Value Fish fingers, smash and value beans,
Tinned Macaroni cheese,
Chicken nuggets, chips and value beans.

There was one little girl who was vegetarian and ate smash and beans or chips and beans EVERYDAY and on sausage day the beans were 'contaminated' with sausage sad
The only time I saw anything Home-cooked was when we had an inspection and the manager made fish pie, chicken casserole and tomato pasta for the vegetarian option.
Needless to say I only lasted 7 months there.

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 16-May-13 10:26:39

I'm not happy with the food they serve at DD's nursery, but I admit I'm just being picky. They don't do chicken nuggets type of frozen food, all home cooked meals, and the menu looks good on paper. But we can take away the meal if we pick up DD early. It's shocking the proportion of the different things. The cake she has for lunch is as big as her main. The tea has as much sandwich and fruit as there are crisps and cake.

Do you remember that school dinner blog never seconds by a scottish school girl? It's basically the same as that. So I assume it's normal at school/nursery to have half the meal as pudding. It's so different if you look at a lot of the foreign school dinners you see feature on her blog.

I assume not many here will give their preschoolers as much pudding as this? Or am I just being precious?

LondonMan Thu 16-May-13 10:27:02

Our nursery (London) has a chef and has never served anything like hot dogs or chicken nuggets. (Assuming they're telling me the truth when they list what she's eaten on the daily report.)

They do have parties quite often when some sweets are eaten, but slices of cake are wrapped in film and sent home with parents so they can decide if children should eat it.

Gonnabmummy Thu 16-May-13 10:29:09

I live up in west cumbria and when I did my childcare level 3 we had to do placements and none of the nurseries served anything I would give to my child day to day! It was rubbish but they have kitchens like a beds it would and some stupid crazy amount to have to spend for food that's what was always said.
Healthiest thing I ever saw was a turkey dinner. However it was tesco value Yorkshire blob of mash two slices of carrot and PRE-PACKED sliced turkey (all value range) followed by a value range cupcake.
The rest of menu was things like value nuggets and pizza!

LondonMan Thu 16-May-13 10:31:24

DW did complain when they cooked Quorn. She reckons for what we pay we shouldn't get fake meat!

(I don't object to Quorn myself.)

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