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Food issues...please help

(13 Posts)
HiccupHaddockHorrendous Tue 11-Dec-12 12:23:02

Mindee started with me in September. She's just turned 4 and eats a ridiculously small amount of food.

There are very few foods that she'll eat and the things she will eat she'll only eat a tiny portion (approx two spoonfuls or two bites of a sandwich) then request the treats she's brought with her in her bag.

A few weeks ago mum asked that she only eat the treats after she's eaten her lunch (that I prepare for her here).

She rarely eats a proper lunch so she quite often goes home with the treats still in her bag.

Last week mum said that most evenings mindee keeps on and on until mum gives in and gives her the treats.

She's just had a meltdown because she didn't want to eat lunch (it's the one thing that I know she'll eat more than two mouthfuls of) so I said it was ok she didn't have to eat it. The reason for the meltdown was because mum hadn't put any treats in her bag today.

I just don't know what to do. She asks about 100 times a day to have her treats.

I'm at the point of just letting her but when there are other mindees here I don't feel it's fair to let her have them when the others don't.

Any suggestions of how to deal with the treat situation but also how to encourage her to eat bigger portions of foods she likes and also to try foods she hasn't had before. Is it even worth me doing any of this if mum isn't going to follow it at home?

jojane Tue 11-Dec-12 12:28:16

To be honest, especially if you have other mindees I wouldn't let anyone bring treats from home. I would maybe provide a treat that ALL mindees could have if they eat enough of their lunch. I would say to the mum that it isn't fair on the other children to see her having treats that they don't have. Also maybe mention healthy eating policy and that all children need to be eating the same whilst in your care, it would e very hard to promote healthy eating if the one little girl is eating treats all day.

nextphase Tue 11-Dec-12 12:38:21

Agree with JoJane, no food to be brought in by the kids, you will provide it all.
If the mother wants to work that way, its fine, but you shouldn't be put in this position.

Could you play food games with all your mindees? Blindfolded and hands into edibile things? to be tried if they want to (raisins, cucumber, jelly, custard, sweets, grapes - nice things!).

Would she (could you bare to) cook with them all?

I wouldn't worry about the quantity she eats, just try to make food part of the fun?

SavoyCabbage Tue 11-Dec-12 12:47:18

Also you could ask her mum to stop calling the other food treats as it makes the food you want her to eat seem negative somehow.

It sounds like a right faff having children bringing food from home.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Tue 11-Dec-12 13:05:26

Thanks for the replies.

I constantly feel like I'm being mean to her because I won't let her eat whatever and whenever she likes.

I'll try the food games, thanks. Not sure if my younger mindee would understand but it's worth a try.

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 11-Dec-12 13:18:44

I would ask mum to stop bringing food from home.

Serve food to mindee, let her eat what she wants.

If she asks for treats once tell her 'no, . Second time tell her you've said no and you don't want her to ask again.

Ignore any screaming/tantrums.

squinker45 Tue 11-Dec-12 14:11:29

Some of mine bring snacks from home but I make it clear that if they do this then the snacks will be shared out between everyone, and that no sweets / chocolate should be included. I know that some people won't like this approach (they want only their kids to have the things they provide) so it puts most people off doing it, which makes life easier.

I like your 'no' approach, Outraged. Sounds like my style too.

HSMM Tue 11-Dec-12 14:16:01

I don't allow food from home (apart from occasional birthday cakes).

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Tue 11-Dec-12 16:57:25

So would you keep introducing new foods or stick with things you know they like?

She eats a lot of processed food which I generally don't buy. We do have it occasionally but it's balanced with a good amount of fruit/veg and non-processed food.

I will ask mum to stop putting things in her bag or try outraged's suggestion of just saying no.

She's not really a tantrum-type when she's here (although, I've heard she's the boss when at home grin) so today's meltdown was a bit of a surprise.

jojane Tue 11-Dec-12 17:22:54

I would stick to a healthy eating menu, maybe with fri as junk day with whatever their fave is ie fish fingers/sausages etc

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Tue 11-Dec-12 18:36:38

I'd give Mum another copy of your healthy eating policy and ask that she doesn't put these "treats" in.

I'm with Outraged on how to handle it.

Fwiw I'd keep offering whatever food you are already making, be that new or familiar. And certainly don't pander to just giving her processed foods that she's used to.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Tue 11-Dec-12 19:03:15

Thanks everyone.

I've spoken to mum tonight and she's really stressed out about the whole thing and has agreed to stop sending treats and make sure we're working together to encourage mindee to eat more/better.

We'll see how we get on tomorrow!

Welovecouscous Tue 11-Dec-12 19:05:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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