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What to pack for children at childminder.

(27 Posts)
LedaOfSparta Mon 13-May-13 11:34:32

I'm sorted for the baby I think. Food is all in little pots, sippy cup is ready, but I'm a bit stumped on what to send for the big boys.

I will be dropping all 3 off at 7am and picking up at 6pm and on 2 days out of 3 we go straight on to Beavers or Cubs. What's the easiest thing for the childminder to do foodwise? I can send a loaf of bread a week plus a pot of jam for breakfast and I can also send tins of beans or fresh pasta for tea but won't all this be a complete pain for her to store?

What does everyone else tend to do? Help!wink

monkeychambers Mon 13-May-13 11:38:41

My childminder gives mine a proper dinner at 5pm, all included in the rate. I thought this was usual, not for you to have to supply food.

LedaOfSparta Mon 13-May-13 11:52:23

Food isn't included as far as I remember, I've been using her to look after DD(8m) on an ad hoc basis and always send weaning foods.

I'm pretty sure it's not included but maybe I can pay extra.

Twinklestarstwinklestars Mon 13-May-13 12:14:20

Could you batch cook some meals to just get out of the freezer each day? Depends how much cooking she's prepared to do though.

ReetPetit Mon 13-May-13 12:22:23

sounds a bit of a pita tbh! it may be that she would provide food for the older ones, maybe for a bit of extra money, it would save you the hassle of having to take loaves/tins etc...

I don't charge for food and don't know anyone who does but i quite undedstand why some cms do. Could you offer £2 per meal per child and see what she says?

mamamaisie Mon 13-May-13 12:25:15

It is quite common for childminders to ask parents to bring weaning foods, but then provide food themselves for the older children, so definitely ask her about that. If your childminder won't provide meals at all then she will probably expect you to bring packed luch type food that she doesn't need to prepare, or something that can just be heated in the microwave. I doubt that she will be expecting pasta that needs cooking. Imagine if she has a number of children all bringing different foods that need to be cooked in different pots. I'm sure if you ask her she will be more than happy to tell you what you need to bring. smile

LedaOfSparta Mon 13-May-13 12:30:34

mamamaisie that was my thinking exactly! Who wants to cook several different meals in the evening!

The boys will have a hot dinner at school but just sandwiches/cold tea won't be enough for them, especially in the winter.

mindingalongtime Mon 13-May-13 18:49:21

My families do not need to pack anything! I provide everything and carry spare hats, gloves, vests, tights, etc. I aim to provide a peace of mind service and for parents not to have to worry about packing bags every day!

I provide all food and snacks, drinks etc, and only ask for baby milk if the baby is till on it. parents bring a pack of nappies which are replenished with a note in the daily diary.

Most of my colleagues all offer the same all inclusive service as we don't want children eating different meals and snacks, that is a recipe for bedlam!

The 8 month old should be eating the same as the others, just mashed or softened with milk/water, no special 'weaning foods' or jars, or worse, those squirty bags I see people squeezing onto a spoon or a baby's mouth!

LedaOfSparta Mon 13-May-13 20:35:07

agreed ref weaning foods, I'm just using it as a shorthand for 'mashed up stuff in pots plus a ricecake or 2' I'm not actually buying special stuff ti send to the childminder!

I've checked now and she sorts breakfast and I have to send something which can be reheated in the evenings. I need to plan a few dishes and start batch cooking!

Casserole and rice, macaroni and cheese, roast dinners ....

This going back to work lark is going to be hard work!smile

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 13-May-13 20:42:46

I'd consider a different childminder tbh, it sounds a right pain!!

lechatnoir Mon 13-May-13 23:07:58

I'd ask if she can provide meals even at an extra cost (as it's going to cost you anyway) as that sounds a PITA for you & her.

ReetPetit Tue 14-May-13 06:58:59

i agree, way too stressful. Ask if you can pay per meal per child or if she could change her day rate slightly to incorparate food. This sounds like the last thing you want to be sorting out. They are doing a really long day as well. If she won't budge, and it were me, I'd be tempted to either look elsewhere or to just give dc sandwiches on those days, I know it's not ideal but the thought of having to take around cooked meals is way too much...

LedaOfSparta Tue 14-May-13 08:25:03

I'm feeling so guilty over the long day that I think I'm fixating on the hot food as a displacement activity.

Sadly I can't change my hours (healthcare) but I guess the odd pack up for tea isn't going to be the end of the world.

Tanith Tue 14-May-13 09:27:58

It's absolutely acceptable to ask parents to provide meals. Not all childminders are confident of their cooking skills, some don't have adequate facilities and others don't want the hassle of registering for food provision and planning, cooking and washing up meals. Some parents do prefer to provide meals.
I know 3 excellent childminders who don't provide food. They heat up meals in a microwave, or request packed lunches. This is reflected in their lower fee.

So, dear ladies, please stop trying to lose a perfectly good childminder her clients! It doesn't matter what you provide - you could be serving roast swan trimmed with ostrich feathers and quails eggs and it wouldn't matter because this childminder doesn't provide food and, so long as her clients are fine with it, there's no reason why she should.

mindingalongtime Tue 14-May-13 09:39:12

I don't think this is debate about whether it makes you better childminder just because you provide food, some provide total rubbish - I know I've see it!

It is about providing a service for parents, and I aim to make life easier for parents, heavens knows they have enough other things to juggle!

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 14-May-13 12:49:10

Tanith Did anybody say it wasn't acceptable? confused. What we've all said is that it will be a pain to have to batch cook and take food, which it will be.

Some parents do prefer to provide meals, but this doesn't seem to be the case for the OP, does it?

No-one is trying to lose the childminder her clients. Childminders provide a service, if that service isn't what you want, look elsewhere, that's the advice. Plenty of 'perfectly good' childminders who also provide food.

'so long as her clients are fine with it, there's no reason why she should'

True, but this client isn't fine with it is she? It's going to be a bit of a hassle for her. The childminder shouldn't have to change her way of working, so the sensible option is for the OP to look for a different childminder.

HSMMaCM Tue 14-May-13 13:21:39

I provide lunch and snacks but not tea. When my DD has been dashing somewhere, she eats a packed tea in the car. You need to check with your CM what she can do.

MaryPoppinsBag Tue 14-May-13 14:10:25

I provide a warm dinner at 12 for my pre school children.

But I only provide a light tea after school. (Sandwiches/ toast) Most children have school dinners, and if they don't is up to the parents to sort an evening meal.

I ask parents of under 1's to provide weaning food and milk which is quite common practice.

OP have you asked the CM?

surfandturf Tue 14-May-13 18:31:19

I give my parents the choice. I offer a cooked tea for an additional cost or they can supply their own. Most of my children don't stay to eat in the evening but a couple do and if I am providing the meal they eat whatever I am preparing for my own family meal (I just make more of it!) and others bring their own which tends to be homemade batch cooked meals in tupperware which I just heat up in the microwave. Not a PITA at all.

OP - Examples of meals they bring are: cottage pie, stir fry and noodles, roast chicken dinner, pasta with tomato sauce and cheese. They also pop in a small cake or yoghurt for desert.


Fuckwittery Tue 14-May-13 18:36:20

is it 5 days a week? if so you will never have time to cook all those meals! i would ask to pay her to do something simple like fishfingers, beans on toasts, jacket potatoes etc

otherwise you could ensure your boys get a hot dinner at lunch at school and send packed lunch for tea, be prepared for another tea /substantial snack before bed when you got home

tbh when my children were full time at the childminder they didn't eat very well it was a lot more snacky. once or twice a week she would give them some of whatever dinner she was cooking for her family and charge me for it, only a pound a child as it doesnt cost that much for a childs portion out of homecooked food.

Murtette Tue 14-May-13 20:17:35

Can you boys have hot food for lunch at school on the days they're at the CM and then just have sandwiches etc for tea? It sounds as though it would be easier for you & for her.

For the baby, what about baby spoons? I imagine several CM have them but ours doesn't (because she usually just does before & after school CMing).

LedaOfSparta Tue 14-May-13 21:41:26

Hi all, the childminder is utterly lovely and we won't be going elsewhere, I'm just wondering how best to do the food thing. It would be perfect if she cooked an evening meal but I can see that it's either not practical for the children she has or it's not what she wants to do.

It's 3 days a weeks Tues to thurs so I'll have Monday to organise the meals. I guess what they take for tea I can take for lunch at work.

As people have suggested too, a hot dinner at school and a smaller tea will work. The CM is happy to heat whatever I provide so hopefully tomorrow's practice run will work out well.

LedaOfSparta Tue 14-May-13 21:43:29

Re the baby, I send spoons, bib etc in her little lunchbox but as the CM has lots of littlies across the week she has all the bits and bobs.

anewyear Wed 15-May-13 08:09:29

I can see taniths POV but also the others posters on here smile I dont think any of us are right or wrong.

I only cook tea for all (6 in all, 4 mindees + my 2) mine on a Tuesday, and that is because 3 mindees have clubs they go to (5.15) straight after being picked up from here, otherwise the parents like to eat with their children at home and personally I prefer it that way.

I enjoy cooking and am reasonably good at it,
but I dont enjoy cooking for other peoples children simply for the
'I dont like this', and I dont like that' that I seem to encounter each week.
I think its because I cook from scratch so it may look and taste different to what their parents may give them!!

Trying to vary the meals each week and find something everybody will eat, is, to be honest a PITA.
And of course the amount of food that is/could be potentially wasted because of that.

Tanith Wed 15-May-13 10:39:32

I'd intended my comments to be fairly light-hearted and I hope they were taken that way.

However, yes I do think the implication from some quarters was that this wasn't acceptable, hence the suggestions to change either the childminder's way of working or to find another childminder.

The Op asked for suggestions on what to take and is obviously happy with the overall service her childminder provides.

It's the same as the eternal debate over holidays and bank holidays: every childminder is different and there's no right or wrong over most of it.

And may I hastily add my own disclaimer? I love cooking - it's one of our biggest strengths (that, and my sweet disposition and delightful personality grin)
They haven't had the roast swan yet, but a friend did bring a pheasant from a shoot once smile

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