View Full Version : Healthy food vs childrens' wants

11-03-2013, 06:37 PM
Hi. I am setting up as a childminder. It is my full intention not to offer anything other than 'healthy' meals and snacks to both my school aged mindees and younger toddlers and children. Fruit for snacks, wholemeal bread sandwiches, yoghurt (not fromage frais), nothing overly processed etc. I don't have crisps, sweets, biscuits, cakes in my house anyway unless I have cooked a cake or biscuits, even then it is a treat at the weekend. Puddings are yoghurts or a cooked pudding like crumble.

What I am wondering is how this will work when I look after other children who may have different tastes?

It would become very expensive cooking different meals at one sitting and certainly not something I want to start a precedence for. But if I offer meals and snacks in with the hourly rate, what happens if I look after a 'fussy' eater?

My friend has twins who will only eat crisps, chips, sausages, sweets, chocolates or white bread ham sandwiches. They are extreme but would you provide a different meal for children who don't want the meal I have cooked. It would become economically unviable for a start.

11-03-2013, 06:47 PM
I would state your intention and explain that if the child won't eat what you cook then parents will need to provide...and now I'm of to take my own advice...

11-03-2013, 06:50 PM
prehaps you can explain to the parents at the start that you will be providing on meal for all and , if your happy with this, parents can provide meals for fussy eaters although I wouldnt encourage this personally because the other children may get upset when they see their friends eating rubbish when they are not allowed.
Mine either eat what I put in front of them or they go hungry, they have a small choice each day ie cheese or ham for their sandwichs, a choice of fruit and then choose their yoghut flavour which seems to help the fussy ones as they feel a bit more in control.
I suppose it also depends why they are fussy, ie is it a medical reason or do they have sensory issues or are they just fussy because parents give in and let them have somthing else.
I have a one year old who wont eat sandwichs or fruit and refuses to even touch them yet will eat cheese string and yoghurt and her mum is happy for her to eat just these each day so she dosent go hungry, I still offer and encourage her to have the same as the others and she dosent get dessert untill they all get it but shes only here twice a week so not long enough for m e to make a real difference to her poor eating habbits.

11-03-2013, 07:06 PM
I have been lerking the forum for a while picking up hints and tips. One of the things I read was that a parent was unhappy because their child was returned from an after school slot hungary and had not eaten because he didn't like the pasta meal on offer but there was no alternative. Additionally, there were yoghurts but many children don't like yoghurt, they like fromage frais which is mainly sugar!

Part of me could really understand her view point. If I used a childminder I would expect my child to be fed properly. However, a childminder is not a restaurant, there is not a selection of meals on offer, just one.

11-03-2013, 07:09 PM
I agree with other comments say your intentions to provide a healthy meal and if needed when it comes to fussy eaters then maybe discuss parent bringing own food but I agree avoid if possible as its easier if children all eat the same.
Also I mind a boy who eats pretty much everything I give him much to the surprise of his parents as he won't eat half of it for them and on the weekends he gets a lot more of what he likes so I guess my way of thinking is even if parents say they won't eat give it a try as sometimes for other people they will give new/different foods a try. Although at home time he instantly asks for sweets/treats!! In my house they have to be earns and are more weekend only lol.

11-03-2013, 07:42 PM
We feed 6 children some nights and we have our fair share of picky eaters.

We don't offer the children anything they actively dislike - so we do make adjustments to the standard menu or give alternatives eg baked potato with either beans and cheese OR tuna and sweetcorn.

However, if it's a roast dinner and 1 eats the meat, another eats the potatoes, one has a flip about the gravy and the other refuses the meat but eats the veg then we just let parents know and take the wastage on the chin! At the end of the day we can't force them to eat!!

Be careful with wholemeal bread OP - it's not recommended for little ones more than once a week as it is very high in fibre which can over fill them. We offer a combination of carbs through the week - white, wholemeal and half and half bread, pasta, couscous etc.

Hth :D

11-03-2013, 07:51 PM
Forgive my short post...just threw yet another perfectly good meal in the bin!!! Aaarghhhh!!! Patience is a virtue, virtue is a grace and grace was a little girl who wouldn't eat anything!!!

11-03-2013, 08:21 PM
I only offer one main meal, no other choice if not eaten, I do the same as Sarah, dont offer them a whole meal they wont eat. I get to know the mindees and then get the combination right if you know what I mean. For example my son wont eat bolognese but will eat pasta so I serve spag bol with garlic bread, my son will eat pasta and garlic bread and I then make sure he has protein and fruit for pudding, rice pud is his favourite.

11-03-2013, 08:38 PM
Mmm, my current fussy eater will do sausages and garlic bread, bananas and fromage frais. Full stop. Hard to offer choice!!!

11-03-2013, 08:51 PM
I stopped doing meals when a fussy eater pointed out to me that it doesn't matter if he doesn't eat what I have him as mummy gives him toast and jam when he gets home if he's still hungry! I started feeding mindees as I wanted to feed mine earlier but as mine got older they didn't want to eat tea at 4.45 so it was easier to stop as too much hassle and resentment (I have to say I wasn't charging for meals).

11-03-2013, 09:24 PM
I usually offer just one meal, but like Sarah try to include something that I know each child will eat, if I am offering a new meal choice that they have not tried before then I will offer an alternative but this rarely happens. I know it is annoying to throw food away but perservere I'm sure things will get better.

11-03-2013, 09:46 PM
We do the same as sarah. Adapt a meal to suit the child. you get to know what the children like and dont like. We made a 2 week meal planner which was going well until last week when one of our after schoolers decided they no longer liked any of the stuff she had previously liked. Her parents are also having problems at home so between us we have suggested that if she doesnt like the meal we are going to prepare the day after then her mum will prepare her something. This way we are not wasting food and mum isnt paying for a meal she wont eat. Hopefully though this is just a phase she is going through.

Little Puddings
11-03-2013, 09:51 PM
I only offer one meal too, if there is something I know one pf them won't like I make sure that what is offered will still be enough, maybe extra veg, salad or garlic bread. I will still put a small amount on their plate for them to keep trying.
I do not always do puddings either especially if they haven't eaten their main meal. I grew up in Scandinavia and we never had puddings when I was a child, occasionally on a weekend. I can't see the need for one. My own usually have fruit later on. The children do get treats if they eat their tea but not always. I am a mean childminder....

12-03-2013, 10:08 AM
I offer one meal like most of you. If a child really will not eat it they are offered bread, soup or beans instead.
I don't throw food away anymore. If something is not eaten by the children I reheat it and feed it to my husband when he gets home from work!

12-03-2013, 10:13 AM
Like many others I try and provide a healthy, balanced meal that everyone will eat something from . . . Some days are more sucessful than others! They also get offered fruit, if they don't have a fair stab at a meal and fruit then there is nothing else.
I also offer appropriate choices, what would you like for lunch (own choice within reason, pasta, soup, toast, sandwiches), what flavour soup, what would you like in your sandwich etc.
My eldest had trouble with too much whole grains, they would go straight through him, so you may need to be prepared to flexible on that point.

hectors house
12-03-2013, 10:38 AM
I offer one meal, I am lucky in that I have had all my mindees from babies so they are used to my food - mostly traditional meals - roast lunches, spag bol, lasagne, chilli con carne, mild chicken curry, lamb tagine, cottage pie, fish pie, served with potatoes, rice, pasta, cous cous - I add lots of veg to everything either in the spag bol etc or served with it, I also add tinned beans to meals - kidney beans to chilli, butter beans to spag bol and lasagne and chick peas to lamb tagine. Puddings are fromage frais, tinned custard or tapioca with fresh fruit.

Obviously children go through stages where they go off a food or a texture - have one who has gone off texture of beef even if it has been cooked until falls apart in a stew - I try to serve this on a day when this lo doesn't come, but still serve it occasionally as it means another lo misses out on stew which they do enjoy.

Nicola Carlyle
12-03-2013, 11:52 AM
I cook one meal and one meal only. If the children do not want to eat it I can't make them. I make lots of different meals like cottage pie, roasts, lasagne, tuna pasta bake, casseroles, stews - to name but a few, and we have the occasional burger, chicken nuggets with chips etc. I do have a few fussy eaters but then I know mum feeds them when they get home from mine which defeats the purpose really but that's her choice. I will not vary my main meals as I just don't have time to do it feeding between 4 and 8 people with pick ups being done in between. It's just not possible for me. My parents are very aware of this. The only reason I offer a meal is because my own children have their tea at 5pm and I didn't feel right not giving something to everyone. The only thing I give a choice on is fruit selection. That way they have no choice but choose something if you know what I mean. We very rarely have pudding as I don't see the need for it. I know I probably sound really mean but my day is just to busy to ponder to fussy eaters. X

12-03-2013, 12:19 PM
I stopped offering cooked meals a few years ago because it is so difficult to feed 6 children something they all like - so frustrating throwing food away!

Now that children all bring their own food, there are no problems - children don't scream and shout for what is on someone else's plate funnily enough which I thought would happen :thumbsup:

12-03-2013, 12:58 PM
I offer one meal like most of you. If a child really will not eat it they are offered bread, soup or beans instead.
I don't throw food away anymore. If something is not eaten by the children I reheat it and feed it to my husband when he gets home from work!

Do you not like your husband? :panic:


jackie 7
12-03-2013, 01:22 PM
I had never heard about whole meal bread bring bad for little ones. Is 50/50 better? I am going to look it up. We're told to not give biscuits bit fruit which is high in sugar and rasins are hated by dentists as they are vey high in sugar and very sticky on teeth.

12-03-2013, 01:50 PM
Too much wholemeal anything is not good for little ones as it fills them up too quickly and doesnt leave room for other nutritious foods. A little is fine though. I am not sure about 50 50 bread.