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AIBU to think this is a bit mean for a snack

(41 Posts)
Tailtwister Thu 07-Mar-13 15:08:39

I need some perspective on this, as I don't know if IABU or not. DS changed to a school nursery last year and I've been surprised at some of the things the children have received as their mid-morning snack. For instance, today they were offered an oatcake with jam on it (1) and some milk. I was under the impression that nurseries were expected to provide some fresh fruit too. The children in the class range from 3-5 and imo need more than 1 biscuit to sustain them until lunch. Sometimes DS comes home to say he's had 1 digestive biscuit!

AIBU? At his previous (private) nursery they would get some fruit and something like rice cakes with mackerel pate. What is the norm and would I be reasonable to raise this with the nursery? It doesn't seem in line with healthy eating guidelines to me.

PandaNot Thu 07-Mar-13 15:10:15

Sounds absolutely fine to me although most do offer fruit/veg as well. They're only there for three hours until lunchtime.

Sirzy Thu 07-Mar-13 15:11:48

Is it like normal school nurseries where they are there for 3 hours a day?

I think an oatcake and some milk is fine for that period of time.

Gawd, its ages since my DS went to nursery but I reckon there will be a massive difference between snacks offered at school nursery than a private one.

Oatcake with jam on sounds quite nice. I don't think DS was ever given rice cakes with pate on at his nursery, the biscuit sounds more familiar to be honest. If DS has a good breakfast then surely a biscuit will take him through till lunch? Can you not send him in with some fruit to eat?

midastouch Thu 07-Mar-13 15:14:40

Doesnt seem like much! My DS nursery do things like rolls with ham or egg or cheese and carrot and piece of fruit/veg and a smalll fromage frais. They have recently started giving them pasta and pesto which the majority of kids do not eat!

Tailtwister Thu 07-Mar-13 15:15:17

We're not allowed to send in snacks. It's a school nursery, but some of the children are full-time. The usual hours are 8.30-12 and then 12-14.45. I suppose it's the content on the snacks which bothers me more. Surely it's better to provide a piece of fruit rather than a biscuit and just as easy?

Tailtwister Thu 07-Mar-13 15:17:16

That sounds more like DS's previous nursery midastouch.

it all comes down to money I imagine....much cheaper to just get some biscuits in than have fresh fruit all the time.....plus less wastage etc etc.........do they ever offer fruit??

Just make sure he has a good breakfast and he will be fine on a biscuit and milk till lunch smile

PandaNot Thu 07-Mar-13 15:17:56

Wow, midastouch that sounds like lunch in our house! I haven't come across any nurseries who give them that much for snack, you'd get all the parents complaining that they didn't eat at lunchtime.

It's variety that's important in the diet, I would have thought an oatcake would be slow releasing with energy which helps them get through the last part of the morning.

Snowflakepie Thu 07-Mar-13 15:20:21

Seems about normal to me. DD is at a standard preschool and they have fresh fruit or veg plus either a cracker, biscuit or breadsticks. DD avoids the fresh stuff like the plague. On the up side, she eats her lunch on preschool days with no arguments!

If they've had breakfast, it's plenty. Besides which, normally she's so busy playing that food is the last thing she cares about. By all means mention having fruit or veg, but otherwise it seems ok.

countrykitten Thu 07-Mar-13 15:21:05

And the jam will give them a nasty sugar spike. Ask them to ditch the jam.

midastouch you are describing lunch I presume as that is no way a snack.

EricNorthmansFangBanger Thu 07-Mar-13 15:21:10

I've no experience of school nursery I'm afraid. I'd expect fruit and/or vegetables for snack times, but that's only because it's what the nursery I send DD2 does (and what we do at home). Morning snack is a variety of fruit with a drink of warm milk and afternoon snack is a variety of vegetables.

Jins Thu 07-Mar-13 15:21:11

I'd prefer an oatcake to fruit. Slow release carbs, plenty of fibre, less sugar than fruit etc etc etc

I'd prefer cheese on it if I was being really fussy

Sirzy Thu 07-Mar-13 15:21:19

My DS nursery do things like rolls with ham or egg or cheese and carrot and piece of fruit/veg and a smalll fromage frais. They have recently started giving them pasta and pesto which the majority of kids do not eat!

Thats a ridiculous amount for a snack.

Children don't need large portions of food, especially not for a snack when they will be having their lunch a couple of hours later.

Tailtwister Thu 07-Mar-13 15:21:23

I think their idea of fruit is a handful of raisins Betty. I agree it's probably a money thing. It's a private school nursery, so they set their own fees so to speak. I suppose that comparing it to what we were paying for before, it does seem like they're taking the p*ss a bit. He does eat well at breakfast and I don't think he's going hungry as such, but I do feel they could make more of an effort than just opening a packet of biscuits.

Tailtwister Thu 07-Mar-13 15:24:20

Yes, I suppose from the energy point of view an oatcake does make sense. Maybe if there was some cheese on it and some carrot sticks or something alongside?

Jins Thu 07-Mar-13 15:26:16

In what way is handing out a few bits of fruit making more of an effort than opening a packet of oatcakes?

Fruit is a lazy snack sometimes. They should try to provide a variety through the week. Giving kids a bit of manky apple seems to tick everyone's healthy eating boxes but it's not that great

Jins Thu 07-Mar-13 15:27:12

Oatcake with cheese and carrot sticks sounds perfect smile

Might go and have a rummage for one myself

Tailtwister Thu 07-Mar-13 15:30:13

I was just thinking the same thing myself Jins!

MrsLouisTheroux Thu 07-Mar-13 17:35:02

Assuming a child has had breakfast before nursery, say 8am before a 9am start, do they really need a bigger 'snack' mid morning? A biscuit and some milk sounds fine. Lunches for young children are usually around midday and end is usually 3ish. Just fill your DC up at breakfast and I'm sure they won't starve.

Whoknowswhocares Thu 07-Mar-13 17:41:26

Young children sometimes need a small snack between meals, fair enough. A rice cake and jam seems perfectly ok for that.
Is it really such a good idea in these times of obesity to programme our young to expect a constant grazing diet? Surely they should be moved gently towards a 3 meal, plus SMALL snacks diet anyway, which is exactly what is on offer here?

parakeet Thu 07-Mar-13 17:45:39

You say you're worried about sustaining him til lunch time, but an apple probably has fewer calories than an oatcake with jam on.

And no, healthy eating guidelines does not mean that every snack has to be fruit.

CMOTDibbler Thu 07-Mar-13 17:54:54

If most children are ft, then they will be having a substantial hot lunch at 12, so they don't need much in between. And they may have found that when they had more at snack the children didn't eat as well at lunch.

Ds didn't go to nursery at his (private) school, but certainly in reception they had maybe a quarter of apple for morning snack, and lunch bang on 12 (3 veg, 1 fruit in the set meal for reception and y1), so they weren't starving!

impecuniousmarmoset Thu 07-Mar-13 18:01:57

I think that is a mean snack, yes. My 2yo DS would be an absolute nightmare on that - he'll easily demolish a whole peanut butter sandwich for morning snack, then a big lunch. He obviously isn't eating too much because he's right on his growth curve. His nursery usually do something along the lines of cheese on toast with milk, which seems much more appropriate. Toddlers are not adults and this talk of setting them up for obesity if they eat little and often is nonsense - they have small stomachs and high energy needs! One low-fat biscuit for three hours of playing is definitely pretty meagre.

insancerre Thu 07-Mar-13 18:01:59

I work in a nursery and snack is a very small meal, in fact, it's just a snack.
We try to provide a variety of nutritious choices, as advised by the EYFS.
We had houmous with breadsticks and carrot/cucumber sticks this afternoon. This morning it was toast.
Tommorrow will be cereal in the morning and fruit in the afternoon.
A handful of raisins sounds fine as a snack to me- as does an oatcake with jam.
I am grin at the children possibly dropping from starvation because they have not eaten for a couple of hours.

exoticfruits Thu 07-Mar-13 18:05:59

I would be complaining if mine had rolls etc! They don't need much if they had breakfast and are having lunch.

Tailtwister Thu 07-Mar-13 18:11:12

I never said he would drop from starvation insancerre! I'm was just questioning the snack as it was so different from what was provided at the previous nursery.

Yes, I agree that a balanced diet should be provided. I do think that some fruit every day should be available, but of course I don't know what all the children get at lunchtime since DS isn't there for lunch. At home they have a free rein of the fruit bowl and cut up veg as and when they want it. I don't think that's going to make them obese!

insancerre Thu 07-Mar-13 18:17:23

Sorry to put words into your mouth op smile
I used to work in private nurseries where most of the food would be wasted but they used to serve it anyway. They had a bigger budget as they charged more,
Pre-schools and school nurseries have a much smaller budget, especially if they survive on the free funded hours which hardly covers anything, let alone snack.
We could offer our children more but they don't actually need more.
We do have a fruit bowl available all the time so if children really need sustaining they can have a whole piece of fruit to themselves.

Hmm our school gives them a piece of fruit and a carton of milk. Mine don't eat a lot of fruit so I'm happy they eat some there, but I would be fine if they had an oatcake. It's a snack, appropriate in size and it's not their responsibility to make sure they are eating the right thing. Surely it's just to tide them over if they have not had a big lunch/breakfast?

Our is not a private school and is in a deprived area. We pay 50p a week per child for this.

Goldenbear Thu 07-Mar-13 18:43:04

I don't think YABU. It doesn't seem very much IMO but that is because when my DS attended a private nursery at age 3 the afternoon snack was sandwiches or a crumpet or pitta bread with houmous, veg sticks followed by a malt loaf slice or banana bread slice. Needless to say, when he started school he was very disappointed in the snack selection. He is in Year 1 now and will often go without because the only choice is lots of mangy old carrots!

Coconutty Thu 07-Mar-13 18:44:55

Didn't you ask them about snacks when you looked around? If so did they tell you what to expect?

Softlysoftly Thu 07-Mar-13 18:49:04

It sounds a bit odd, at our preschool the kids take in 1 peice of fruit in each week, some parents go outside that and take eg Bread sticks.

They are then broken up into the snacks for the week. Could you suggest something like that to them? the other parents may hate you.

someoftheabove Thu 07-Mar-13 18:50:10

On another thread someone said their dentist believes fruit is the biggest threat to healthy teeth in children because of all the sugar it contains. It's tempting to think that if it's natural sugar it won't rot their teeth, but that's not the case. Not to say children shouldn't have fruit at all, but that its reputation as a healthy snack doesn't seem justified.

CheerfulYank Thu 07-Mar-13 18:54:37

I think it sounds okay, but I do like that they have fruit most days at DS' preschool. I can hardly get more than a few bites of breakfast in him, so it's nice to know he will have a banana, crackers, and milk a few hours in at preschool. Sometimes they have cupcakes or cookies but usually it's fruit, crackers, and milk or juice.

Tailtwister Thu 07-Mar-13 19:18:15

That's ok insancerre, I understand your points completely.

DS has been on the waiting list for such a long time Coconutty, that I can't remember if they mentioned snacks tbh. I think part of the difference is that at his previous nursery they had an in-house cook who took care of all the food, so the snacks were maybe more varied because of that. At the new place they have a canteen which I believe is operated by a contractor (the food is brought in, not cooked on the premises), so the nursery has to provide snacks separately. They do have a kitchen, but it's not as if they just nip in to collect something which has already been prepared. When DS starts in P1, they are allowed to bring a snack in from home for the morning and afternoon breaks.

I know the fruit thing is kind of a red herring, especially when it comes to teeth. My two are real fruit monsters, but their teeth are in good condition (so far!). I suppose if that were different then I'd have to be more careful of the natural sugars issue.

I'm a lot happier knowing that this level of snack isn't unusual and I do take on board what you're all saying. I guess when DS does start in P1 he'll be doing full days and be having lunches in the dining hall. I have seen the menu and it does seem to provide a good balance (fruit too!) and I can add bits and pieces to his snack box if need be.

kinkyfuckery Thu 07-Mar-13 19:23:27

Sounds like something the kids would be offered at my kids (school) nursery, but there would also be fruit offered if they wanted it.
Are you sure that is all that was available? Are you going by your 3 year old's word?

Ask to see the snack-plan for the week. Ours displays the snack plan on the wall in the cloakroom, so we can see what they have had/will be having that week.

Sometimes, it's toast and jam/spread, or pancakes, or biscuits, sometimes soup, or super noodles. Quite a variety of stuff. I prefer the biscuit and fruit option, if she's had super noodles she'd never eat her lunch.

Tailtwister Thu 07-Mar-13 19:31:27

Yes kinky, I am going by what DS has told me. There isn't anywhere with the snacks listed down, so it's hard to check without seeming dissatisfied IYSWIM. I kind of wanted to get some perspective on it before I waded in and possibly ruffled feathers for no good reason. The nursery is brilliant in every other way and DS seems very happy there, as do the other children.

Thank God for Mumsnet!

willesden Thu 07-Mar-13 21:11:21

Oatcakes <boak>.

5Foot5 Thu 07-Mar-13 21:27:43

What kind of oatcake? Staffordshire oat cakes are a nice big savoury sort of pancake which I would think quite a substantial snack for a small child. Or is it one of those nasty, wee biscuits?

OnceUponAThyme Thu 07-Mar-13 22:10:10

my dd is 4 in school nursery, and does 2 1/2 days.
for morning snack, they are given a choice of slice of toast, crackers or oatcakes with butter, cheese or jam. drinks are water or milk.
afternoon snack is fruit and veg selection that they can pick at.
so it's possible they offer fruit or veg, but only after lunch. my dd loves her 2 full days as she gets to have two snacks as well as lunch there hmm

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