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Need advice about mindees food.

(11 Posts)
HiccupHaddockHorrendous Fri 28-Sep-12 17:05:31

Mindee 1 has recently started with me. She's nearly 4 and grazes throughout the time that she's with me (approx 6 hours a day and over at least 1 mealtime).

Her mum sent a bag of snacks for her at the beginning of the week which was mostly crisps and biscuits. I'm not against giving crisps and biscuits as snacks but it's all she wants to eat.

If I make her a sandwich, she doesn't want a filling, just bread and butter.

4 out of 5 days this week she's stayed for tea aswell and has barely eaten anything because she doesn't like the things I'm making for the others.

Most of my mindees only come 2 or 3 days a week so even the tricky eaters manage to have a fairly healthy, balanced diet while they're with me without having the same thing every day but this mindee seems to have just eaten bread and butter, apples and yogurts all week.

Any suggestions as to what I could offer instead? Or should I just continue with this kind of thing?

MUM2BLESS Fri 28-Sep-12 19:10:44

Its a tricky one as mum is allowing her to eat these stuff. Why would a child want to eat greens and healthy stuff if they are allowed crisps etc.

Who is responsible for proving the food? you mentioned mum sending snack and you making snadwiches.

If you are providing you will end up throwing the stuff away.

Things like wraps, pasta, Jkt potato, noodles, pizza, soup and bread roll,

You need to find out from mum what she eats at home.

If you are responsible for providing food you could introduce some healthy stuff in small portions.

lechatnoir Fri 28-Sep-12 23:18:12

I would tactfully ask the mum to stop sending in snacks. Tell her it's affecting the other children & also explain how being in a different environment children often behave very differently plus there's more distration etc so why not use your home as a good practise in getting her ready for school where she definitely won't be allowed to snack. Explain you do offer snacks & obviously wont let her suffer, but maybe use 'as part of the EYFS' or say it's an Ofsted requirement to provide healthy meals & snacks.
. It's no wonder she won't eat her meals & FWIW it would drive me potty!!

alibeenherealongtime Sat 29-Sep-12 11:01:52

I was asked to take on a child recently and mum told me, she doesn't eat a lot, so I give her bits of food all day long when she wants them, to eat on the go.

I told her that this was not going to work in my setting and if she wanted me to look after her it would be this way or not at all. I said that she was not giving her child the chance to establish good eating habits and school would be a big shock not being able to eat when she wanted.

The child would be offered a snack at 10.00 am, if she chose to eat it, it was up to her and after 10 mins I would just remove it and say, nothing till lunch time. I offered her much reduced portions of the same as the the children, again, if she did not eat it, it was removed after 15 mins and told again, nothing till 3.00pm snack, and so on. At 5.00pm when collected she would look me in the eye and say" I'm hungry" I would say to her infront of mum, you have been offered the same as everyone else today and chose not to eat it.

I do not allow parents to send in any food and if they arrive on my doorstep with food in hand, they are sent back to the car to finish it, or dispose of it. I will not allow them to walk in eating, food in hand, dropping crumbs, and in front of other children. The same as I will not allow parents to give them something to eat in my car on the way to school. (basically as the parents are too lazy to sit down and give them a proper breakfast)

After 5 days this child is eating a good size lunch and 2 snacks a day, she is sleeping through the night for the first time in 4 years. She enjoys her food and now if she says she is hungry, I happily allow her an extra snack, but, if the next meal is not eaten we go back to the regime.

The child was not going to starve by being denied food, and it was vital to have the parent support, who now sees that being a little hard was good. I told the mum you are responsible for what goes in your child's mouth, and when she eats it, and that she is in charge not the child.

Too many parents feel guilty for some reason, working long hours, not spending enough time with them and try and compensate by trying to please their child all of the time, trying to be their friend, they need to remember they are the parent and to stepping into that role will make life a lot easier in the long run!

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Sat 29-Sep-12 11:36:41

Thanks for the replies!

I offer to provide all food to all mindees but this parent sent in a bag of stuff (possibly knowing how picky mindee is).

My worry about refusing to allow mindee to bring her snacks is that her mum might think I am critisising her choices and ultimately she is her mum and should have the final say, even if I don't agree.

What I might say is that I can now see what sort of thing mindee eats so will make sure I include some of these things in my weekly shop and maybe adapt them a bit to a healthier option...not sure how or what yet but will work on it grin.

I'm off to look for lunchtime meals inspiration now...any suggestions?

It seems that the majority of my mindees are picky eaters...maybe it's my cooking blush

nannynick Sat 29-Sep-12 12:21:14

Scrambled egg, peas, toast goes down well with nearly 2yr old. Alas turns down yogurt, fruit. I need desert suggestions.

lechatnoir Sat 29-Sep-12 12:30:17

I do a hot meal in the evening so lunch is usually soup (carrot, chicken with noodles/veg & butternut squash are the most popular) as it's healthy plus quick & easy to reheat which is great if I've been out all morning. If not I'll just do a sandwich, beans on toast etc. occasionally when I've got a crowd in the holidays we'll have a picnic style selection (hard boiled egg, pitta & dips, crisp, crudités etc) but that's quite pricey so not something I do too often!!

greenbananas Sat 29-Sep-12 20:39:09

I think you have been given some good advice on this thread, and I don't disagree with any of it. However, I do have a slightly different perspective on this.

My own son is a 'fussy eater' and also has some very severe food allergies along with various minor intolerances. If he refuses a food because he 'doesn't like it', this is sometimes because it makes him feel poorly. I have been guilty of giving him lots of crisps and biscuits in the past, because I just want to know that he is eating something - and his hospital dietician has told me not to worry too much about nutrition because he will begin eating a balanced diet when he is ready.

As a childminder, I provide all food for the children because I can't take the risk of cross-contamination in my home. Okay, so my reasons are slightly different to most, but no parent has ever had a problem with this, and they are happy that I am able to provide a balanced diet for their children. Some have even said that it saves them the trouble of making packed lunches and snacks. Perhaps you could say that you've decided to provide all food so that you can be fair to all children and make sure they all have a balanced diet when they are with you.

Although it's obviously easier for all concerned if children only eat at mealtimes/snacktimes, but it's also true that some children (and adults) are just 'grazers' by nature and feel healthier if they eat this way. If children want or need to graze, I think it's a case of deciding what exactly they are allowed to eat between meals (fruit, rice cakes, breadsticks?)

I think you need to talk to the mum about what sorts of things her child is eating at home, so that you can duplicate any success as far as possible. Also, ask her if her child has had any adverse reactions to food in the past.

If you do decide to provide all food, then all you can do is offer a healthy, balanced diet - you cannot actually force a child to eat it. You could keep records of what meals/snacks have gone down well so that you can repeat them.

On a positive note, bread and butter, apples and yoghurt is not too bad really. If the child ate nothing but this all week, she would not starve or become short on major nutrients very quickly. Keep working with mum and this may well sort itself out in time.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Sat 29-Sep-12 23:35:27

Hiccup, my mindees are generally very fussy, too! In my case it is partly due to my DS aged nearly 8 being so fussy and the others have picked up on it. I tend to make things that I know they will eat.

It does become repetitive, but at least they are getting a balance meal or at least a balance throughout the day. I go through phases of worrying and then not worrying about it!!

alibeenherealongtime Sun 30-Sep-12 13:54:00

good post greenbananas

I have to cater every day for a CMP allergy in one child and an egg and various others for another.

I appreciate that some people are grazers and in fact I personally would be better off eating 5 small meals a day, but that is difficult to manage in a childminding setting where the others are on a 'normal' routine.

It had to be done to encourage the child to eat more and when it was provided as she was starting school and would not be able to graze.

I prefer to cater and offer the same home cooked meal for all children, I know how much each child can eat, what they do and don't like ( very little with me!) and will manage a child's portion to their appetite. If they can't finish what I offer, there is normally some reason, such as teething, sickness, tiredness etc and will provide a snack earlier if need be!

One of the main problems these days, is children do not sit down at the table to eat, and eat with their parents, they eat in the car, in the church hall between activities, on the pitch side, poolside etc, so for some, eating at a table is a challenge!

Feckbox Sun 30-Sep-12 14:08:50

"I was asked to take on a child recently and mum told me, she doesn't eat a lot, so I give her bits of food all day long when she wants them, to eat on the go."

don't these parents realise that letting them snack all day is precisely WHY the kid won't eat meals? I have heard several seemingly intelligent people say this, and just don't get it

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