View Full Version : Providing Lunches

Tily Bud
05-01-2008, 08:56 PM
Ive decided that starting from the end of the month i will no longer be providing lunches for mindees.
This has really been prompted by the fact that my husband lost his job yesterday, but also my food bill is huge !

I told 3 of my parents yesterday , 2 were totally fine about it but the other pulled a face :rolleyes: im sure she thinks i made of money !
She turns up in a morning saying ***** hasnt eaten all of breakfast can you give some more, then asks me what time i give tea and makes sure she turns up after this time :rolleyes: she is so penny pinching it makes me sick !
I wouldnt mund but i dont charge any of my parents for the meals !

Im still going to provide tea though as this can easily and cheaply eeeked out.

Cheryl x

05-01-2008, 09:37 PM
ooh cheryl....

i do provide lunch and dinner/tea but i do charge

lunch - 75p
dinner/tea - £1-25

05-01-2008, 09:39 PM
I charge also Cheryl

Do you not do the same ?

I know some minders do include meals but in my area our fees are only £3 an hour so I top it up with the meals

You should not be buying them out of your own money!

Angel xx

05-01-2008, 09:43 PM
Ofsted like to see documents to show you are encouraging families to provide healthy packed lunches for children if you are not cooking for them. Maybe a leaflet promoting the benefits of wholemeal bread or something!?!

Also, you will still need to prove you are storing food at a safe temperature and re-heating safely, probing to 75c etc...

Brave decision - hope it goes ok! If parent really objects, you could charge... it would be a pity to lose a child just now hun

I'm really sorry to hear about your husband's job Cheryl... hope he finds something suitable very soon xx

05-01-2008, 09:49 PM

I charge extra for meals too.

Both sets of parents have opted to provide meals which suits me fine!

J isnt with me for tea anyway so just brings a packed lunch. M is with me for tea but is still having jars of baby food so nice and easy at the mo!

I am sorry to hear about your husbands job, I hope he finds something else soon.



05-01-2008, 10:23 PM
Its a shame that your mum wasnt happy. It amazes me how much some parents like to hold back on the cash when it comes to their children. Particularly when you know what jobs they do, so know they cant be flat broke either!!

I provide meals as part of my service but this is for two reasons: 1. When the kids are in my house I want them to eat healthy and nutritious foods, and after having had lunchboxes sent...packed with sweets, chocolate yogurts and "Sunny D" style drinks for example...Id rather do it myself! 2. My lot will eat nicely when we all sit down and eat the same thing.
(I have thought about saying to parents You Will Bring Wholemeal x Sandwhiches and Fruit and a Yogurt but I think it makes my life easier if I just do it myself!!) It just doesnt work if they all have something different to eat. (in my opinion...someone may well have a better way of doing it than me!)


05-01-2008, 10:26 PM

I charge extra for meals too.

Me too. By charging I hope it puts parents off as I hate cooking lol :D

05-01-2008, 10:32 PM
Lol, Im glad its not just me who has charged for that reason Bubbly!

I would rather in an ideal world that Mindees are gone before we have our tea as I really feel that is important family time. If I dont have to cook for the mindees then We can wait till they have all gone!

Both the mindees last week turned up with very healthy lunches. J only eats limited foods, he had 1/3 cucumber in his lunch box, thats not something I regularly buy so would be buying it in just for him!



05-01-2008, 10:44 PM
Lol, Im glad its not just me who has charged for that reason Bubbly!

Both the mindees last week turned up with very healthy lunches. J only eats limited foods, he had 1/3 cucumber in his lunch box, thats not something I regularly buy so would be buying it in just for him!



Hehe, great minds think alike :D

The little girl I'm minding turns up with the most unhealthy lunches every day. I make sure I write in her daily diary that the food was provided by the parents and not myself. The other day she arrived without any sandwiches and a lunchbox full of junk.

Sometimes I just want to give the parents a good slapping :angry:

05-01-2008, 11:00 PM
i dont provided lunches but i do cooked teas for 1 little boy but hes easily please and his mum pay £1.00 extra.

05-01-2008, 11:16 PM
I hate the thought that the mother asks you what time you are having tea so that she comes later just so you feed him with out her having the hassle. Some parents.
I agree with you about dropping lunches. There's nothing wrong with the parents sending packed lunches, especially when they take advantage of you.
I have got down - breakfast is free and packed lunches are to be bought in. But I will do them tea, as I hate the thought of a little one having to eat separetly to us, but will charge £1.00 per day and teas not till 6pm, so they might miss this anyway;)

05-01-2008, 11:22 PM
nice one:thumbsup:

05-01-2008, 11:55 PM
When I started I was wanting parents to provide healthy packed lunches, but I would provide Breakfast & lunch for a small charge, I'm only minding for 2 at the moment aged 2yrs and 3yrs, parent said it would be better for me to feed them for extra charge saves her packing a packed lunch she say's she hasn't time, mother said they will eat anything, I bought some micro meals cottage pie, tuna pasta bake etc, but wondering if Ofsted would be happy with this, has any one got some :idea: on a Healthy meal menu for Lunch & tea, they are given snacks twice a day raisins, fresh fruit, yoghurt's etc. The oldest child has his Breakfast then he's asking for something else 10 minutes after.

06-01-2008, 08:47 AM
Hope this works...


It's a good site for all sorts of nutritional info x

06-01-2008, 08:50 AM
If mum doesn't want to provide the meals and you are happy to do so then charge for each meal

It's then up to mum and shouldn't be an issue

Miffy xx

06-01-2008, 10:51 AM
I provide Lunch as part of my fees and prefer it that way as im making for my own 2 anyway and its nice for them all to sit and eat the same things. It costs nothing to make a pot of homemade soup and bread which is full of goodness for them and sometimes that all the veg intake that some of the kids get so i try to make a huge pot every week that will do at least 2 days lunches.

I like them all to get a hot lunch and a good one as one of the little girls I have will only eat for me and as I only have her 3 days a week I make sure its hot and nutricious as she will only eat toast and yoghurts for Mum and Dad.

I tried the packed lunches when i first started and didnt workout as they were all sitting together eating different things and some wouldnt eat what they had brought, some had loads of junk food etc, so after 2 months decided to provide lunches myself to save all the hassle and must admit it was the best decision to make.

On another note: the kids love to help you prepare lunch, like cutting veg for the soup, making their own pizza faces.

Sorry for rambling.

06-01-2008, 11:35 AM
This is a link from the website that Sarah gave. Thought it was good for ideas


I am in Wales so don't have to deal with OFSTED but I know for sure my inspector would not be happy for me to provide ready meals. Not that I ever use them as they are full of hidden salt and sugar. Soup is a fab one as fionamal says it is quite often very cheap to make. I always make extra portions of all the meals i cook like chilli, curry, lasagna, bolognese, pasta sauce, cottage pie and freeze so I always have something in. Pizza is also another really fab one. the dough takes 45 mins in my breadmaker and by making it myself I can use wholemeal flour making it extra healthy

I had to provide a three week menu with my initial application form and the inspector was really hot on me showing that if a child was with me for the whole day that I was providing the recommended portions of fruit/veg and milk.

Personally I am charging for meals or I would be completely out of pocket

amanda xx

06-01-2008, 12:26 PM
I don't charge extra but wish I could. The going rate around here is £3.00/hr all meals inc. so if I started to charge extra I would be pricing myself out of the market - it's hard enough to get mindees round here!

06-01-2008, 03:19 PM
I used to provide lunch for a charge £1 per day

But I found all my fancy cooking just going into the bin, then still having to do a family meal at night anyway soo

Mindie now bring their own packed lunch, if they come early ie: before 8am and need breakfast fees are charge too. I don't charge for snacks. I'm really glad I chose for them to bring their own, it has made life so much easier for me (hey I like an easy life!!), my own dd eats anything, and in the morning I have a look in lo lunch box, so if he has jacket spud, I'd make the same up for me and dd anyway! Baby brings own mush:laughing: , but I'm sure he'll be back tomorrow with sandwichs I saw him on Fri and he got so big over 2 weeks!!

I have done a listy thingy of foods for them to bring, no chocolate ect, but if they chose too then really no harm done as long as not every day! With having the sheet Ofsted are happy as I'm trying. Does that make sense:rolleyes: haha

Tily Bud
06-01-2008, 07:03 PM
thanks everyone for your replies x

i am finding it a very hard decission to make, around here the going rate is £3 some provide meals, some charge extra for meals and some ask for meals to be provided so its a real mix !

I am going to tell the rest of the parents tomorrow and see what they say - i think i may say that they can provide the lunches or pay me a small amount for providing them - see how this goes down x

funny thing is that when i first started i used to charge £1 for lunch but somewhere along the line that has fizzled out :rolleyes:

Cheryl x

oakie dokie
06-01-2008, 07:10 PM
i told you cheryl your to soft:)

06-01-2008, 07:14 PM
yes now listen to your friend she is right !!!

Angel xx

07-01-2008, 09:45 PM
I only charge for tea if it's an after school child because I only get 3 hours income rather than a full day.

I think there are lots of ways to reduce the cost of providing meals. I take a small amount of our sunday roast and put it aside for the little ones on a monday. Today I made a big load of shepherds pies (lean, organic mince only £3 a pack!) and I freeze small portions so they have home made cooked food 'easily'. The same with bolognese. It works out quite economical and much cheaper and healthier than ready meals. I am quite 'tight' and only cook small portions I think they will eat. I hate putting anything in the bin!

The younger children don't eat huge portions and I think a light tea is sufficient. They can always have extras at home later.

You could always 'cost' out the price of the food you provide - including all the snacks/drinks so the parents have an understanding behind your decision. Also putting you rates up by a small amount i.e. 10/20p an hour may make up the cost - particularly if you 'sell' yourself as providing good home cooked meals. Most parents would pay a little extra and not have the hassle of working and cooking.

oops long post. I will have to get the hang of doing shorter notes.

Tily Bud
07-01-2008, 10:06 PM

just to update you. Ive spoken to the other mums today and they are fine about it. I have come to a compromise and said that hopefully it will only be until my husband finds another job x

Hopefully by then they will have forgotten i said that x