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Thread: Menu question

  1. #1

    Menu question

    For lunch does it work best to have a set menu that is seperate from your family? Or to cook enough dinner to serve as the next days lunch. Only problem I find with the latter is how to let your parents know before hand?

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    I usually cook extra dinner and serve it the next day for lunch. I make up my menu a week ahead and give it to parents, then follow it.

  3. #3
    Euphoric !
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    When I was new I set up a menu, but I soon discovered that the parents hadn't posted it at home or looked at it more than a read over. So now I do a verbal update at the end of the day anyway and tell them what we ate for the day. I have one picky eater who won't eat the same food at night if she's already had it that day and the list of what she will eat is limited so I email the Mom everything I've fed the children all day so that she can think of different things to feed her daughter at night.

    Forgetting about my menu really took the pressure off me because sometimes we have really busy mornings and I end up needing to serve something for lunch that I can make really quickly like cheese & ham chunks & veggie sticks & fruit & a bread item. Other times I'm too busy the evening before to do the food prep for what I want to make and it gets delayed a day. It's about what makes your life easier and less stressful. The first few years I pushed myself way too hard and now I give 100%, and my children receive all the food groups and proper nutrition at each meal, but their caregiver is not getting burned out!

  4. #4
    Starting to feel at home...
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    I used to have a rotating 6 week schedule in my first year. And then I learnt to make my life a lot easier by just providing parents with a list of the foods/snacks they can expect their child to eat while they're here (given at time of signing contract). This way I have the flexibility to cook whatever I feel like that day (from that list) but if it isn't on there, I don't worry too much about it either. All our meals are high quality homecooked and include all the foodgroups. That's all that I found parents care about. (I used to think they would be using it as a reference when I had my list, but when I consulted them in regards to the change they pretty much said that the 6 week made me look super organized , but they were totally fine with one big list)

  5. #5
    Thanks everyone. That was what I wanted...to make things simple and easy.

    Sunnydays, when we had dinner this evening I said to myself that I need to get back to doing meal plans for my own family as it makes it so easy and less time in the kitchen for me. So I can see how it will help me to include enough for the children.

    Dayhome, wow really? 6 weeks?? Good for you for keeping at it for one whole year. I am struggling with 3 weeks and i am not even open yet.

  6. #6
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    I have gone through all sorts of strategies with the menu to make life easier while meeting the needs of some parents to 'know' exactly what they are eating.

    Started out with the 6 week rotational menu and quickly got bored myself as well as frustrated at throwing food in the garbage.

    Than I would plan weekly and post it on my website for them for review ~ that was time consuming updating the website and than the hits on the page each week would be like 'one' sometimes no one so why do it?

    Now I plan on Friday with the kids input for the upcoming week because I have found having them have input has resulted in A) us all trying new foods cause they eat different things at home than I would think to serve cause we do not eat them hear or they will pick things from the photo collection we use just out of curiosity wanting to know what it tastes like and B) less waste cause when they have a voice in meal planning they seem much more invested in trying what they chose and their peers want to please each other and try something their 'friend' chose. Than for parents who 'want to know' the menu is there on my fridge in a hand written form not so 'pretty' but I am not wasting my time uploading to the website or making it 'pretty' just in case there is a new parent who wants to know just eventually get to that point of trust and stop asking or caring as long as their kid comes home happy and thriving they assume they are eating and I will inform them otherwise if there is cause for concern.

    This last strategy seems to be working best for me of all the versions I have opted for.
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  7. #7
    Euphoric !
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    I don't post a meal plan and I try to make extra at night to serve the leftovers the next day but sometimes there aren't any leftovers so I just fly by the seat of my pants.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Crayola kiddies For This Useful Post:

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  9. #8
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    My guys generally have for lunch what we had for dinner the night before. I don't post a menu any more I just write in their daily journals what they have. I found having the set menus way too much work and most of my families never read them either or could care less what their children ate so long as it was healthy. I like the flexibility now to just have whatever and not be locked into something just because it is 'week four, day two' on the menu

  10. #9
    Euphoric ! kidlove's Avatar
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    i have learned to "wing it", with meals. I used to pre-plan and realized it's so much easier to go with the flow. We often have left-overs from the previous nights supper, and the kids and I also decide what we will have the day of, I will ask what they would like and they come in kitchen help pick out the veggie and fruit, main part. Seems to help with over-all eating and helps them to feel like a big kid. making choices. no stress in this house...learned over the years to just relax and go with the flow.

  11. #10
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    I'm just starting my second week, so take me with a grain of salt LOL. I created a beautiful menu and posted it, and gave the Moms a copy. They were delighted. I think it was important because one of my babies is vegan, so his Mom was very thankful that I had developed a vegan meal plan. Since I am not vegan, this was an education on my part, but now that I have a few favourites, it's not hard. I'm not doing dinners (that would be way too much work!) and since fresh fruits and veggies are already a staple, adapting a few lunch ideas was easier than I thought. My other children actually loved the vegan mac and cheese and declared it very cheesy. My hubby didn't even complain!

    That said, not sure how long I can keep up the actual menu in that much detail! I think I'll switch to putting "fruit" instead of apple slices. I planned grapes, then found they didn't look that good in the grocery store and switched to pears etc. I'll probably simplify my menu and just list the lunch entree specifically, and just write "fruit, veggies, crackers" etc. instead of being so detailed. A lesson learned Week One already....

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