Cake and biscuits daily on nursery menu - ten month old

(30 Posts)
HateTheWait Mon 04-Jan-16 21:12:17

We've just taken our daughter out of nursery after just a couple of weeks - various problems but what started it all off was (she was ten months old when she started there) the menu that first week. The menu had breakfast, fruit snack, lunch, tea which all looked fine, varied etc but then after lunch every day there were puddings (precisely from Monday to Friday: fruit and ice-cream, pineapple upside down cake, banana and custard, chocolate sponge and fruit and yoghurt) and every single day, mid afternoon, they give biscuits (described by manageress as 'normal tea biscuits, from a packet'). We were really shocked that sugary foods like chocolate, cake, icecream and biscuits appeared on the menu so frequently....especially as she was under 12 months but we wouldn't be happy with her eating sugary things like that so often, even when she was older. We've not really given her any sweet things (ok a lick or so of icecream at the seaside, some stollen at Christmas, we are not anti cake crusaders or anything, and I bake muffins etc for her with natural sugars eg from bananas and dried fruit) at all yet....we wanted people's honest thoughts on this generally / is this really what a nursery menu looks like? The nursery wouldn't offer any substitutes for the pudding and after two weeks of arguing said they'd give a rice cake instead of a biscuit for afternoon snack but by then we'd lost all faith and already registered to a new nursery. Thanks!

Artistic Mon 04-Jan-16 22:50:24

Faced the same challenge at my nursery! I don't understand why children so young need to be taught these bad eating habits. Maybe it's just easier for nurseries to fill up the children on sweet stuff as opposed to the less palatable veg & fruit! Don't know what i can do except take her out?!

HSMMaCM Tue 05-Jan-16 08:00:16

Ignoring the biscuits are the cakes and custard etc made on site by a chef who makes them with fruit so less sugar is needed? Is the yoghurt sweetened or plain? You probably don't need to bother to find out now, but it might not be as bad as it seems.

HateTheWait Tue 05-Jan-16 23:36:38

I asked about the yoghurt and its sweetened...they say all food is made on site, but then these packets of biscuits appear on the daily menu so I'm not sure...I asked about how the cakes eg chocolate cake were made / how they were nutritious and was told I was difficult and I should perhaps find another setting....so we did!

Saxons Tue 05-Jan-16 23:40:56

It's a crap habit to get any child into. A poor habit to take into adulthood. Two treats during the day plus any treats the parents give. Not what I would consider balanced.

HateTheWait Tue 05-Jan-16 23:43:34

I think that's it, Artistic, also it's probably easier and cheaper. I'm appalled, we wonder why there is an obesity problem when children are being pushed with one of the worlds most addictive drugs aka sugar before they even turn one. I'm thinking of setting up one of those ukgov petitions, I don't think added sugar needs to be part of any child's regular menu (every now and again, fine) until secondary school when the child chooses anyway....what do you think you'll do?

Saxons Tue 05-Jan-16 23:45:58

Even if the sponges are low sugar, they will be made from cheap white wheat. The biscuits will also be cheap white wheat. Plus any other cheap white wheat in pasta, pizza they serve.

Also why serve sugary yogurt when they could just serve yogurt with fruit?

Want2bSupermum Tue 05-Jan-16 23:50:02

I would not rate that nursery and would never sign my child up for that food. My 4 year old gets one small cookie a week. We are in the US and they don't have sugar in the milk and grain items such as bread and cereal are all whole grain. Surprised me a bit as its a government program and not what I expected.

HSMMaCM Wed 06-Jan-16 07:44:57

After their response I would have definitely left then. They sound completely inflexible and I can't see why they need to give the children sweetened yoghurt. It's not as if they'll mind a plain one.

originalmavis Wed 06-Jan-16 07:47:30

I'm surprised! I thought we were trying to get kids put of the hsbit of processed sugar every day. A nice oatcake and cheese is my favourite over a sweet thing.

weaselwords Wed 06-Jan-16 08:29:13

Cost is probably a major factor in this. These places are businesses and will pare costs down where they can. Far better to fill your child up on 25p biscuits than a more nutritious and expensive alternative.

swg1 Wed 06-Jan-16 21:37:31

I thought the current thinking was that wholegrain is bad for very small people because it's harder to digest?

Want2bSupermum Wed 06-Jan-16 21:43:24

My kids don't have a problem with whole grain.

PuppyMouse Wed 06-Jan-16 23:11:49

DD seems to get pudding a lot at nursery and cake. We have raised the odd eyebrow but she eats really well there at all mealtimes, including things she wouldn't touch at home. And she's been used to sitting with the older children to eat which is great for her development. As she only has 3 nursery meals a week we've left it. The menu is varied and cooked on site and the staff are lovely. Not a battle I've chosen to fight.

swg1 Wed 06-Jan-16 23:31:07

Yours might not but the NHS advises against it, so I wouldn't expect any nursery in the UK to be feeding kids wholegrain.

www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/baby-food-questions.aspx#close

(Sugar's a different issue, but not feeding wholegrain is not the sign of a bad nursery).

Want2bSupermum Wed 06-Jan-16 23:53:43

Whole grain isn't always high fibre. I know the white fiber pasta they sell by Barilla has higher fiber than the wholegrain. Bread they use isn't high fiber either. The white bread has zero fiber while the whole grain bread has 1g per serving. I eat bread which has 6g of fiber per slice which is high fiber. The cereal they eat at school is either cheerios (yellow box not the honey nut) or puffins original flavour. Both have low levels of sugar and are whole grain cereals without being high fiber.

Coldest Tue 12-Jan-16 21:15:36

I have been having this issue with DD nursery too. Cake, ice cream, pudding twice a day sometimes as a snack and sometimes as a pud.

BrandNewAndImproved Tue 12-Jan-16 21:22:19

I used to run a nursery kitchen. Cake was on the menu 3x a week also icecream with fruit ect ect. The meals were healthy the puddings not so much so. They were really used as a filler so that dc who didn't eat well at lunch or tea would have something they liked to fill up on. Lots of the food was to grown up imo for little ones, chickpea tagine, lamb and apricot tagine, potato salad full of red onions ect where as nursery food would have been so much better for the dc.

Quite a few parents requested fruit for pudding apart from special occasions like tea parties or theme days so if the same thing happens again op it wouldn't be a problem in 99% of nurseries to give your dc a banana for pudding instead.

NathalieM Thu 14-Jan-16 10:57:08

I think if it's a one off treat every so often then it's fine, but giving out desserts every weekday is a step too far. It's good to teach children moderation from an early age, especially for sweets and snacks.

Wholegrain I'd have no problem giving to my children.

BrandNewAndImproved Thu 14-Jan-16 14:28:24

They have puddings for the calories. They have to fill a number of nutritional needs with the menus and whilst the main meals are so much healthier they have the puddings to fill it in. Its also to do with the amount of milk they need per day which they can fill with custard and rice pudding. Off the top of my head it's a pint of milk

FoodPorn Thu 14-Jan-16 14:33:49

Same at my DC's nursery. It's a great nursery in every other way so I wouldn't leave but I'm surprised any nursery /school is giving children daily puddings these days.

I queried it and the menu is apparently designed by nutritionists and little children need that kind of food for energy hmm

Florin Thu 14-Jan-16 15:02:49

No sugar is served in our nursery at all. Pudding is either unsweetened yoghurt or fruit. If they bake it is normally stuff not requiring sugar but if not they bring what they made home for parents to decide if/when they can have it. I wouldn't be happy my child being served so much sugar particularly at that age.

FineAsWeAre Fri 15-Jan-16 15:34:43

It seems to be quite common in early years settings that children 'need' a proper pudding after every meal. Thankfully though, more and more managers are wising up to how unhealthy too much sugar is! We don't provide meals at my work any more due to changing our session times but when we offered full day care some children would attend for 3 meals plus 2 snacks every day. Breakfast was always sugary cereal, both morning and afternoon snacks were fruit, there was always a hot pudding after lunch (sponge and custard, rice pudding, etc) and either some sort of traybake, biscuit or fromage frais after tea. Add that to the squash they were given to drink at mealtimes plus any sugar that was in the main courses (mostly tinned or frozen food) and that's a heck of a lot for a pre-school child! On top of which, most of the children come from an area of high social deprivation which is in a part of the country known for having poor diets and high levels of tooth decay and obesity. A lot of them would be coming to nursery drinking fruit shoots or sugary tea/juice in a baby bottle, or eating sweets/chocolate so really we should have been giving them nothing sugary at all. Used to really bug me, I'm so glad we don't do it any more. Just to add, I took my DS out of a nursery when he was a baby as they fed them purely on frozen convenience foods like pizza, potato smiley faces etc, not a vegetable in sight. I'm not against those foods on occasion and I do buy the odd McDonald's but not every day!

Salene Fri 15-Jan-16 15:55:07

My sons nursery gives mid morning and afternoon snack as every day as fruit & savory snack

So say raspberry & crackers

Apple and pancakes

Both daily snacks are always fruit & savory

No puddings after lunch just lunch

Everything is home cooked apart from breakfast cereals

Jesabel Sun 17-Jan-16 15:35:26

My DC's nursery serves school dinners, the same dinners as at primary schools so pudding most days is cake and custard. You can also opt for fruit flavoured yoghurt, fruit or plain yoghurt instead for under 2s though.

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