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To think this has been blown out of proportion?

(56 Posts)
PinnieTheWoo Wed 17-Feb-16 21:58:09

Bit of background: DS currently goes to nursery 9-3, 4 days a week. During his time there they get given a morning snack and lunch (afternoon snacks are served at 3:30 and 5).

Recently a group of mums has started discussing the menu and what the children get to eat and complaining that the menu isnt healthy enough (Sorry, don't want to go into too much detail as 1. It may out me and 2. I'm typing this on my phone and it will likely take ages). They've had an initial discussion with the management, and have now put together a list of requests including removal of certain foods from the menu, some suggested recipes and a full ingredient breakdown of the forthcoming month's menu to be supplied to parents.

Don't get me wrong, I think if someone has an issue about a service they are paying for they are perfectly entitled to say something but the lengths this group are going to just seem really OTT to me. I mean if you are that much against the nursery why not just remove your child? Personally I think demanding to have a monthly breakdown of all ingredients is a bit excessive - they don't have time to do this and how many parents will be studying such a list? The extra admin required for this may impact the fees we pay. DS can also be quite fussy (although I appreciate his eating habits at nursery are likely different to at home) and some days I'm happy he's eating anything at all much less worrying about how healthy one meal is. Which brings me to my last point - all this fuss over what is just 1 meal a day at nursery. Am I being too blasé about what DS is eating at nursery or are the mums right to go to war against them?

Feel free to tell me I should be taking up arms with them smile and that I'm a bad mother for sending DS off to have jacket potatoes with beans for lunch..... would love to hear what nursery workers and other parents think btw.

TickettyBoo Wed 17-Feb-16 22:04:16

If a nursery was being negligent I'd totally get it, but if not then there is a choice to go elsewhere or possibly to send dc with a packed lunch.

The group of mums sound ott to me, give a view yes as nursery need to understand whether customers are happy or not, but they sound like a group of witches round their cauldron 😂

caitlinohara Wed 17-Feb-16 22:06:02

I would stay well out of it if I were you. Once they have 'sorted' the food, it'll be something else, I guarantee.

fredfredgeorgejnrsnr Wed 17-Feb-16 22:07:59

As well as being free to go elsewhere, they're also free to try and change - indeed it's often a preferred option when negotiating most relationships. Start by trying to change the few things you disagree on in the relationship, rather than starting a new one every time.

They're actions make sense.

They're bonkers I'm sure on the food side of things, but that doesn't change their right to do it, despite it impacting you - if it was so easy to change to other good suppliers, you can do it too...

Osolea Wed 17-Feb-16 22:16:13

It's hard to say without knowing what they are currently feeding the children.

It's not always as easy as 'just removing your child', I don't know what your area is like but there could be a shortage of places, and who would want to move a small child who is settled when there are obvious improvements that could be made to a menu.

One meal and one snack a day does as up to a not insignificant percentage of a child's food intake over a week, and some children probably stay for longer than your child does, so they aren't just talking about one meal a day anyway. Tbh, I think wanting to know the ingredients is fair enough, many meals can be made healthily, or they can be made full of fat, sugar and additives. I don't think it's too much to ask to know what your child is being fed when you're paying for that service.

PinnieTheWoo Wed 17-Feb-16 22:23:03

tickety, caitlin - thanks for reassurance

Fred fred - agree, they're well within their rights to complain but how far do you take the complaint? I like the way you have made this analogous to a relationship - that's exactly what it is, albeit a business relationship

osolea - good point about "removing the child". I didn't consider that. I should have said at the beginning that overall menus are displayed in the entrance foyer, just not an ingredient breakdown. Sorry did not mean to drip feed

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 17-Feb-16 22:27:33

Sounds pretty constructive to me tbh. if their children are happy and settled or there are no other places then if the only real problem is the food then why not try and change it?

they are paying fir a service after all and if they feel the aren't getting value fir money and the food is questionable then they are quite right to raise that.

if a child is full time then what they are eating at nursery is a significant perve tag of their food intake

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 17-Feb-16 22:28:03


geez my phone loves to embarrass me blush

PinnieTheWoo Wed 17-Feb-16 22:28:44

Perve tag! grin

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 17-Feb-16 22:30:04

sweet chili sauce on fingers and hasty typing and an autocorrect with a mind of its own adds up to interesting typos blushgrin

PinnieTheWoo Wed 17-Feb-16 22:30:56

Sorry giles meant also to say thanks. I keep see sawing between them being U and me being U for not being as het up. Your reply makes their point quite matter of fact

PinnieTheWoo Wed 17-Feb-16 22:31:32

Just wash your hands before you have a wee

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Wed 17-Feb-16 22:33:15

Over all menu would suit me fine. Even with dd allergy.

Eg. Snack mixed berries
Lunch cottage pie, carrots and peas

Pm snack toast

Tea cheese sandwich, yoghurt and grapes.

Enough info there. Coupled with she ate most of it/seconds/barely touched it...

And the staff knowing her allergy and giving her a safe version of the dinner.

Have the group got a genuine reason?

Or nursery cook is brilliant. The smell of their dinner makes me wish I could stay sometimes! The food is all home made and local. (Butcher 5 miles away in next village) and the lady is lovely.

She has a good understanding of food allergies, she will come and chat to any concerned parents. As long as she isn't serving food. And she has been there for years.

WonderingAspie Wed 17-Feb-16 22:33:33

If they don't like it they should send a packed lunch. What a load of faff and it sounds massively OTT.

Kidnapped Wed 17-Feb-16 22:34:09

Well, they're not exactly going to war are they? Now that phrase really is blowing it out of proportion.

All they've done is identify an issue that they feel affects their children, discussed this issue with management, respectfully asked for some changes, and, crucially, made some suggestions for recipes. That's it. No war.

What do you think is wrong with the way they handled it?

UterusUterusGhali Wed 17-Feb-16 22:37:19

I think it depends on of they want to swap, say, crisps for crackers, or want a full-on paeleo-style, no refined carbs menu.

Why would they need a full break down of ingredients? Surely everyone knows what's in sarnies/breadsticks/shepherds pie.

This is probably going to impact on cost, so YANBU.

teacher54321 Wed 17-Feb-16 22:39:44

I honestly can't imagine having the time or emotional energy to get that het up about school/nursery dinners. If there's a menu for parents to see and they are prepared to adhere to allergy requirements then 'cottage pie and mixed veg' would be enough info for me.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 17-Feb-16 22:41:00


why is it OTT

I mean if a menu said say "cheese sandwich, yogurt, fruit" that at first glance appears ok.

now that could mean home made bread, proper cheddar, natural yogurt with fresh berries. which of course is lovely.

or it could mean cheap white bread, kraft processed cheese slice or cheese spread , petit filous or munch bunch and chocolate covered raisins

changing it to a highly processed meal full of additives preservatives salt and sugar.

why wouldn't you want to know, and why when it costs you hundreds each month would you be happy with cheap highly processed food that's not much better than a Macdonalds.

If they have notbing to hide why would they worry about of people ask.

PinnieTheWoo Wed 17-Feb-16 22:42:54

why - that's exactly the level of detail we currently get. Are you at the same nursery?

kidnapped - their internal discussions have been quite scathing of the nursery management which makes me wonder about the respect they have towards them (and by extrapolation querying why they'd send their children there). Everything to the nursery has been very polite but their chats do seem very "Us against Them"

MagratGarlikAgain Wed 17-Feb-16 22:56:48

Both my ds's have multiple allergies. When they were nursery age was exactly the time when we were having to figure out what they were reacting to. Just "cottage pie and veg" would not have been sufficient info - it took us nearly a year to figure out ds1 was allergic to peas for precisely this reason. The nursery ds1 went to banned food from home (because they didn't know the ingredients). The nursery we sent ds2 to did not have a kitchen and all children brought food from home. The second was the better nursery by far tbh (but not just because of the food issue).

RabbitSaysWoof Wed 17-Feb-16 22:58:29

I think it depends how many days their children attend. I have worked in nurseries with shite food, I don't know how they get away with it, if my child had a cooked lunch at nursery 4 or 5 days a week then that's a significant part of their diet, if they go once a week it's not that relevant in my eyes. You are not usually allowed to take a packed lunch to a nursery.

Griphook Wed 17-Feb-16 23:06:16

I used to work in a nursery, and I think it really does depend on whether they are factually right, and the food is shit, or they are just getting themselves in a tis.

One mum used to complain all
The time about the food, she was on a mission. Good oil this, super foods that. She tried to others on board but the others parents were concerned that their children ate

SaucyJack Wed 17-Feb-16 23:07:14

It quite possibly is well worth complaining about depending on how much you're paying, what is being served, and what the food policy is advertised as being to prospective parents.

Cottage pie could mean half a microwaved value ready meal or one that has been freshly made from lean minced steak by an in-house chef.

Maybe they are making a fuss, or maybe they know something you don't, or simply have higher standards. Who knows? Not I.

gooseberryroolz Wed 17-Feb-16 23:17:07

People are getting downright histrionic about healthy eating.

You can't leave your child in FT and nursery if you don't trust nursery staff to provide appropriate care. It sounds like an attempt at micro-management to me, with some OTT 'clean eating' mania thrown in. Where do people find the energy?

Headofthehive55 Wed 17-Feb-16 23:19:39

I sometimes think some people just don't have enough to gainfully occupy themselves. (Those parents not you op)

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