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Is this a 'healthy and nutritious' meal?

(52 Posts)
purepurple Wed 19-Aug-09 18:45:14

Chicken dinner, roast potatoes, veg
Fruit and ice cream
Sound ok?
What if you knew the chicken was pre-cooked and delivered frozen, labelled 'product of Thailand' and the second ingrediant was salt, plus other ingrediants.
The chicken is served in gravy. The gravy contains yesterday's left over veg, pureed.
The roast potatoes are frozen.
The veg is cooked to within an inch of it's life, and is just mush.
The fruit is tinned fruit that is pureed.
The ice cream is labelled 'non dairy fat'

Is it just me or is this a terrible meal to serve to a nursery full of children?
And this is one of the good meals, the rest are based on minced meat and gravy, sausages, or fishfingers.
The children are fed value foods from the supermarket, like beans, fromage frais etc.
What do you think?
Have I just got high standards?

warthog Wed 19-Aug-09 18:48:16

sounds bleurgh to me. i wouldn't want to eat it.

high salt isn't good for little uns. doesn't sound like great nutritional content.

Chunkamatic Wed 19-Aug-09 18:53:48

That's not what I would serve my DS, or myself for that matter. And I would be concerned if I was paying a nursery to provide nutritious food for him whilst they cared for him too.

However, I think you've hit the nail on the head with the beginning of your post - on first look it sounds OK. I think there is still an awful lot of educating that needs to be done about nutrition and what exactley is in the food we serve ourselves. It is quite possible that the people serving this food believe that this is a well balanced meal, and dont realise the need to look beyond the food labels.

Is this at your DC's nursery? I would be sending a packed lunch from now on!

purepurple Wed 19-Aug-09 18:58:09

It's where I work. The cook is retiring in a few weeks and she was fuming with me because I said that the ingrediants she was using are not healthy or nutritious. She said she had a qualification in nutrition. I think she is a dinosaur. But I am the only one who will ever say anything to her.
Head
brick wall
grrrr

Chunkamatic Wed 19-Aug-09 19:04:52

Thank goodness she will be soon gone then, and retiring so she wont be able to spread her muck any further!

However, I think tinned fruit can count as one of your five-a-day, can't it?

What is non-dairy fat ice cream? I dont think i've ever seen this. Does it have vegetable fat in then?

notcitrus Wed 19-Aug-09 19:15:58

Hard to say without more info. Food that is rapidly frozen is usually way more nutritious than 'fresh' food that's been transported and sat around for ages. Ditto tinned food - the NHS use loads of tinned fruit, and they have to assess exact vitamin contents for all their meals! And said chicken could be 99% chicken and then under 1% flavourings - they're just listed in order of weight.

All restaurants and caterers re-use leftover veg in gravy or soup. Otherwise it's just waste. I do at home too. As for the icecream - non-dairy fat means some sort of vegetable oil, probably coconut fat/oil, instead of cream. It's just a cheaper form of saturated fat. Toddlers need fat - and aren't going to care if it's coconut or Loseley's.

I'd wonder about the salt content a bit, and overcooked veg (makes them easier to mash for the babies, I guess) but seriously that isn't actively bad food!

Overmydeadbody Wed 19-Aug-09 19:19:25

Sounds typical to me.

Even 'posh' cafes and pubs these days buy value goods form Tesco and Asda as they are cheaper than the wholesalers.

This is exactly the reson my DS has packed lunches even though his school claim to provide healthy school dinners. Healthy my arse.

Chunkamatic Wed 19-Aug-09 19:24:12

That's the point though, overmydeadbody - healthy food means different things to different people, I think. There needs to be more clearly set guidelines for what constitutes healthy food in nursery/school settings. Or maybe there is, and it just doesn't conform with what a lot of people would consdier truely healthy food. iyswim!

Overmydeadbody Wed 19-Aug-09 19:47:02

Nothing wrong with frozen food like potatoes and other vegetables.

Nothing wrong with tinned fruit.

Nothing wrong with left over veg pureed into gravy.

nothing wrong with overcooked veg (so they may have a few less nutrients, but they won't actually be harmful).

slowreadingprogress Wed 19-Aug-09 19:48:16

the chicken sounds dreadful. gravy made with yesterdays veg - great, no problem with that, just what we should be doing I would say...frozen roast pots suggests they are supermarket made and usually have some sort of coating on - yuk. Veg cooked to mush - yuk.

Tinned fruit I've no problem with apparently it's a good substitute for fresh...the ice cream sounds low quality and not worth serving, better for the kids to enjoy the fruit for it's own sake imo

All in all, poor, I'd say

Overmydeadbody Wed 19-Aug-09 19:51:02

I think you are right Chunkamatic.

that food isn't necessarily unhealthy, but that doesn't mean because it is not unhealthy that it is automatically healthy, or of the quality a lot of people might want for thewir children.

Our bodies can't and don't differenciate protein from a caged chicken from Thailand with protein from a free range organic £14 Waitrose chicken, so we still get the same protein, but what about the added extras like salt?

Nothing wrong with a bit of added water in chicken from a nutritional point of view, only from a financial one, but people do ewual financial value with nutritional value for some reason (myself included)

Pennybubbly Thu 20-Aug-09 03:14:40

OP - It depends how you are "selling" the meals to the parents of the kids who are eating it.
Maybe I'm overly-picky, but I would be upset if the nursery my dcs attend were dishing up this kind of stuff.
My nursery send a menu home each month with the entire months' menus listed, including snacks, and at the end of each menu there is a list of ingredients that are used in each meal. I've never once seen salt listed as an ingredient, for example.
As for cost, I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. I pay £200 a month for 9 to 5 care, including 2 snacks, midday meal and nappies. This is a private nursery. It can be done properly and cheaply.

purepurple Thu 20-Aug-09 07:45:02

pennybubbly, the menu is sold as healthy.
I just have concerns that it is a tad dishonest when the main ingrediants are so cheap and nasty.
Lamb curry and veg rice sounds ok but in reality, it is minced lamb in gravy with a spoon of curry powder, with rice that is so overcooked the grains are not seperate but all clumped together. A bit like wallpaper paste.
I wouldn't eat any of the meals and feel awful letting the children eat it.

Confuzzeled Thu 20-Aug-09 08:09:55

Pennybubbly £200 a month for full time care?

Callisto Thu 20-Aug-09 08:26:02

The Thai chicken would be my biggest worry - there are far less rules and regs on what these chickens can be fed so they are usually pumped full of antibiotics, plus anyone remember the melamine found in cows milk in China recently?. It was deliberately fed to cows because melamine shows as protein in milk and it ended up poisoning thousands of people.

Then there is the issue of animal welfare. I wouldn't eat a British intensively reared chicken and I'm absolutely sure that welfare standards over here are far higher than in Thailand.

The whole meal sounds revolting though and as I wouldn't eat it why would I expect my child to eat it?

helpYOUiWILL Thu 20-Aug-09 08:58:43

£200 a month?????? i pay double that a month for only two days a week

Stigaloid Thu 20-Aug-09 09:15:20

I pay more than that for 2 days childcare and we send DS for 4 days. It's like a second mortgage! Even with childcare vouchers!

landrover Thu 20-Aug-09 12:12:45

fine

AtheneNoctua Thu 20-Aug-09 15:10:48

Yuck. And I bet the ice cream has nutrasweet and loads of other chemicals in it.

WidowWadman Thu 20-Aug-09 15:15:29

I'd love to find a full-time place for 200 quid a month, I'll pay 150 a week when I go back to work. And I have to go back full time as otherwise I couldn't afford the child care.

AtheneNoctua Thu 20-Aug-09 15:17:10

I'd have more children if I could get childcare for £200 per month. However, I would send them to eat the shit this particular nursery is feeding to children.

AtheneNoctua Thu 20-Aug-09 15:17:48

I would not send them to eat the shit this particular nursery is feeding to children.

Iklboo Thu 20-Aug-09 15:20:35

My mum briefly worked at a nursery and their 'healthy mid morning snack' (as advertised to parents) was, in fact, a lemon curd cream cracker

Lindax Thu 20-Aug-09 16:31:12

I think if we all knew how much of our fees were actually spent on food we would be shocked.

SIL is a unit manager of an elderly care home and residents are charged over £500 a week, of that she has a target of £18 A WEEK to feed them breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, snacks and coffee/tea - so you can image the quality of food they get!

I dont think nursery's are much better. I know at ds's nursery they got value brand fish fingers which were awful, ds ended up taking in packed lunches as he wouldnt eat anything there.

TheDailyMailHatesWomenAndLemon Thu 20-Aug-09 23:06:32

£200 for a month of 9-5 works out at about £1.15 an hour. If you have a 3-1 staff-child ratio then even if all the money went directly to the staff with nothing going on food, buildings, nappies, or profits, and even if the staff never took holidays or were sick (so that there was no need for relief staff) they'd be making £3.40 an hour.

So how does that work out in Japan? How much are the staff at the nursery paid?

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