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  1. #1
    Starting to feel at home...
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    Lunch time stress

    Hi eveyone

    Yesterday while i was at walmart getting the daycare food for the week. I felt like i was there for a really long time. I feel like i get stressed out decieding on whats for lunch. This is my group i have my two kids 6&3.5(my 6yr old is picky) 2-2.5 yr old(one of them are picky), 6yr old(picky eater)and a 14 month old. Ive tried a set menu plan but that doesnt work because it seems like three piccky eater go home hungry all the time. Im not going to give in and give them boxed food. We dont really eat it as a family so i dont buy its also really expensive for what you get.And i feel like i spend tons of money on food

    Ive been thinking for a really long time to tell parents to bring lunches. Im thinking to tell parents for a week in august to bring lunches as a trail to see how it pans out. What do you think about bring lunches? I dont want to drop my prices i cant not worth it. And i think my day would be alot better.and how should i tell parents? Im just fed up!

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    One issue is that even if you give suggestions of what to send in the lunch pail the parents are going to send what they want and what they know their child will eat lest they be hungry. So be ready for all those prepared foods you don't want to serve to your own child to come into your home on a daily basis.

    I know a friend that tried this and all her families quit but she was quite adamant about what could be in the lunchboxes and what couldn't and parents objected.

    Have you considered setting separate menus similar to what we would do if we had infants, toddlers and older kids.

    If the two 6 year olds don't nap then you could have them do another activity while you fed the younger ones and got them down for a nap and then fed the older ones what they do like to eat - your own included which would keep the foods out of view of the younger ones. Most statistics suggest just serving a mouthful of each food they don't normally eat on the plate and backing away is the best way to go. Over time they will start to eat all the foods again if they don't have an option. Being hungry is their problem not yours. At the same time I started not wasting expensive foods either so if you aren't going to eat fruit it is apple or banana on your plate not something more exotic - read expensive. Also remember just like in play kids like repetition so a grilled cheese every day with a different kind of veggie and fruit is still variety even if it doesn't look like it once you break it all down into it's parts (grilled cheese = cheese and crackers = bun and piece of cheese - go by ingredients and then relax).

  3. #3
    apples and bananas
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    It's hard to feed a crew of 5 kids (plus your own) all of which get different foods at home. Everyone cooks a little different.

    I feed healthy alternatives and it seems to work.

    If I do pasta, I do whole wheat. If I do sandwiches its on whole wheat bread ( I often make myself) with lean meats, often chicken I cooked the day before. We do deli trays once a week. Some whole wheat crackers, cold veg and dip, lean ham or cooked chicken or turkey. Kids love it!

    I make mac and cheese once a week. I make it from scratch and add cauliflour puree into the cheese sauce.

    I make pizzas. With whole wheat wraps, real cheese, veggies and ham. Or I make zucchini look like pepperoni.

    There are lots of ways to make great lunches that look and taste like what the kids are used to.

    And if all else fails, stick to your guns. If they don't eat it, then they go hungry. That's life. Just wait until they get to school. Schools now have "nutrition breaks" not recess. They teach the kids to eat their healthy food first and discourage any thing junk like. We had a kindergarten teacher last year that wouldn't allow juice boxes in the class room. All garbage came home and my daughter told me she wasn't aloud to bring cookies to school.

    I wouldn't go to a bagged lunch program. You would need to reduce your prices for parents to justify it. And you will get kids that have cookies and others that have all fruit. Johnny will want Suzy's cookie and will get upset that he doesn't have one. It's just a problem starter as far as I'm concerned.

    Start involving the kids in the menu. Find out favorite foods, write them all down and work together to decide how you can make the food healthy.

    Maybe hamburgers can be chicken burgers, or chicken wraps. Maybe French fries can be roasted potatoes, or home made sweet potatoe fries. Maybe spaghetti and sauce can be a home made sauce with roasted veg in it.

    Don't stress about it.

  4. #4
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    I try and incorporate something in every meal that each child likes for example brekkie always includes a banana which everyone eats, lunch the main meal is usually a favourite for one or all and for the veggie and fruit that goes along its a fave for one or more as well that way I know that each child is eating something.

  5. #5
    Euphoric !
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    I also look at it with the idea I serve one meal and parents serve two. Even if my meal was the worst nutrition they should be eating enough food at home to compensate and balance out. From that standpoint I really do not stress it. A happy mix between what they should eat and what they will eat just works and I compost the rest - noodles they will eat on a day the meat is something they might not for example.

    This is where not having your own kids in the daycare works because I am not having to worry that my child might not be eating the best during daycare hours.

  6. #6
    Euphoric !
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    I'm kind of at the other end of the spectrum. I serve breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack, the children always eat everything because I learn their likes and dislikes and plan my menus accordingly. For instance, today I served a small yogurt & toast for breakfast, steak, carrots, hash browns and watermelon for lunch and pretzels with apples for snack.

    I have a chicken day, cheese day, beef day, pork day & fish day weekly for lunch. I DO have picky eaters so I serve the same veggies and fruits every week and avoid the ones they don't like because it would only end up in the garbage. Every time I try a new recipe it ends up in the garbage. So I stick to what they like, the simple cooking.

    I have 2 sort of fast-food dcMoms but my other 3 families chose me because of my mostly organic, all home cooking. Either way, the children receive all their daily nutrition, exercise and fun at daycare daily.
    Frederick Douglass
    It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

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