View Full Version : Packed lunches.

26-05-2009, 09:28 AM
I ask parents to provide packed lunches for children. Some times in the holidays I have my 4 children plus 5 or 6 others so there is no chance I'm making lunches for all of them!

Most parents are fantastic, the send healthy lunches, sensibly packed. I have a healthy eating policy that I encourage.

I have one problem with one child (nearly 7 year old). She is not a small child and is always on the hunt for snacks. After school she always moans she doesn't like fruit, I don't offer her anything different and she manages the fruit when she realises there is nothing else.

Now to the problem (excuse my babbling!) Today in said childs lunch box are the following items....

1 youghurt drink (tiny muller vitality)
1 packet of skips
mini box of jaffa cakes
1 chewy sweet stick (moam, i think thats what they are called).

Thats it :rolleyes: :panic: :eek:

Should I offer to make her a sandwich, offer her some crackers and cheese or should I just let her get on with it at lunch time when the others will all be tucking in to sadnwiches, wraps, fruit etc etc.?????????????

Chatterbox Childcare
26-05-2009, 09:32 AM
Personally I would make the sandwich which I would expect to be finished before anything else is eaten.

I would also make an appointment to speak to the parents and explain why you would like a healthy lunch and say that for £2 per day you would be happy to do it. Otherwise I think you are hitting your head against a brick wall.

26-05-2009, 09:33 AM
I would take out the jaffa cakes and sweet and put in a sandwich and some fruit. She could have the things you've taken out after she's eaten a healthy lunch. And remind her parents this evening about your healthy eating policy.

26-05-2009, 09:35 AM
That's awful, does she usually bring a sandwich when she comes?

I would give her one and ask parent for a chat about it. Maybe they were rushed ( benefit of the doubt:rolleyes: :rolleyes: ) and offer to supply at a charge.

Remind her of your healthy eating policy too :)

26-05-2009, 09:36 AM
Its tricky isnt it?

Personally, I would remove the Maom as these are sweets as far as I am concerned - give it back to her or parent at the end of the day and say its not appropriate.

On this one occassion, I would make her a lunch in line with what the others are having. Tell her that it's not fair for her to have things that the other children do not have.

Tell parents tonight that what she had in her lunch bag was not appropriate. Have you actually given them written ideas of what you would like to see (and not like to see) in their lunches? People have different ideas of what is healthy and what is not.

This is one of the reasons why I provide lunches but I must admit I have contemplated asking parents to provide their lunches. I would definitely do this if I had the number of children you have today. I have 4 here today plus myself. On days when I have an extra couple, I have done some lunch preperation in the morning ie cut cheese, chopped cucumber, carrot sticks etc.

Pudding Girl
26-05-2009, 09:38 AM
is this typical of what she has or a one off?

Today I wold make her some sandwiches and stick it on invoice ;)

26-05-2009, 09:38 AM
say that for £2 per day you would be happy to do it.

I meant to say that this would also be worth doing - you could still make it up in the morning before they all arrive so she has her own packed lunch like the others still.

This way you can be in charge of what is offered but you are being compensated too.

26-05-2009, 09:42 AM
Along with a copy of my healthy eating policy parents recieve a list of lunch box ideas and examples, I even laminate it so they can put it up in their kitchen! I have the same list in my kitchen and even my 5 year old son makes his own packed lunch using the list (selecting one item from each section!)

This particular child normally has a dairylea lunchable or something along those lines. Major convience foods, although I don't agree with such items they are a millions time better than todays efforts!

When she has a lunchable thingy my DS2 (aged 5) always wants one. I make him one from crackers, ham, and I slice some cheese for him. :clapping: Nicer ham, nicer cheese and probably far less salt in the crackers!:D

26-05-2009, 09:43 AM
I have made 8 packed lunches this morning ( and now it's raining ! ) and often do in the holidays, really quite easy when you get into the swing of it.

26-05-2009, 10:15 AM
Reminds me of one of dd's friend at school, she gets a pre made sandwich in the shop on the way to school, huge packet of crisps, bar of chocolate and thats it, surly it would be cheaper, healthier, to make the night before :rolleyes:

26-05-2009, 10:35 AM
this is the reason i provide lunch for all of the kids including myself and my 3
today we are having homemade soup and rolls followed by yoghurts this will feed 11 kids (8 mindees and my 3 ) and myself i know they have a decent meal and theres no arguing as they all have the same

26-05-2009, 11:15 AM
I think if you're asking parents to provide lunch, you can't be too critical of what they put in. Admittedly it's not good, but they are providing lunch.
If you aren't willing to make lunch, she will have to eat what is sent. If she is still hungry (very likely after that meagre amount!) I would make her a sandwich and explain to the parents that you have done it this once, but if you have to do it again you will charge. At the end of the day though, if you're not willing to provide lunch you just have to put up with it. Any time the child is genuinely hungry, feed her, but charge for it.

Through the holidays I often provide lunch for 10 or more children. It's not difficult if you're organised. We'll perhaps have sandwiches (choice of fillings), cucumber & carrot fingers or cherry tomatoes, a few crisps, cheese chunks & raisins or fresh fruit. Pudding is usually yoghurt, banana & ready made custard or jelly. Or I make up a massive pan of pasta & they'll have it with a tomato sauce or grated cheese. Parents know I only do a light lunch & they're happy with this.

26-05-2009, 02:52 PM
I for the same reasons usually make most lunches and get in the swing of making a bag for each child, with a sandwich or wrap type thing, fruit, yoghurt and sometimes crisp or choc biscuit bar etc, i have had a production line making the four for my family plus 6-8 others some days, but this holiday i am having a holiday and only making for my family and on lo, the rest are bring packed lunches!

It is just the way the children attending have panned out but boy am i enjoying the no packing up to do!

26-05-2009, 02:55 PM
I normaly only have 2 children + my own 2 children in the hols so this is nt a problem but as of the summer hols i will have up to 7 children. i have decided that I will buy them each a small tub from the 99p store and they can pack their own lunch from a variety of items that i will put out, they can choose their own sandwich fillings, fruit, crisps and dessert. they all arrive around 8am-8.30am so we will have time to do this. They will all be told that they must have at least 1 rnd of bread with filling, they can then choose one bag of crisps up to 2 piecis of fruit and one dessert, if they choose not to pack stuff or eat what they pack then they will go hungry till tea time (this will be explained to them).
if it were me with the child i would have taken out the sweets explaining it was unfair on the other children as they didnt all have sweets and offered a bit of fruit insted, then let them have everything else that was packed, when they complained of being hungry i would then have said 'then you need to pack a more sutilbe lunch tommoro', she is old enough to understand this and it may well mean she will ask mum for more sutilbe food the next day, you may even find after talking to mum that child packs the lunch and not mum which is why all the junk is there.

26-05-2009, 03:45 PM
Time to do a healthy eating theme with lots of tick lists and reward charts:D Drum it into the children and the kids then start nagging the parents to provide.:D :D

Healthy eating making sessions - several bowls of chopped veggies and salady stuff and fruit - tortillas, brown buns, pittas etc etc etc

Plant the ideas with the kids, send a list home of what you have been doing, done and going to do (perhaps with a list of what the child enjoyed, tried) , lots of pix of what you have all made.

You could use the traffic light system for foods. Make a grid with childrens names, days of the week seperated into 5 sections per day and you all get to put a sticker or a tick - the one at the end of the week gets ???? (chewy sweeties lol:rolleyes: )

What you all had for breakfast with a tick under the relevant traffic light

Lots of stuff - why we eat healthy foods - good for our skin, hair, eyes, teeth, insides ....

have fun

(ooo another nice yummy - a plastic party see-thru cup, put in lots of mixed fruit museli, greek yoghurt and honey - scrummy

fruit/veg kebab sticks,
make own salad bowls
stuffed pittas

26-05-2009, 03:46 PM
forgot to add - speak to parents of said child and say that you cannot allow the choccie/sweets as its unfair on the other children and its cause unrest at meal times

26-05-2009, 04:31 PM
this is the reason i provide lunch for all of the kids including myself and my 3
today we are having homemade soup and rolls followed by yoghurts this will feed 11 kids (8 mindees and my 3 ) and myself i know they have a decent meal and theres no arguing as they all have the same

Yup,me too.

In the hols it would just be far too complicated for all the children to have different food.Can't be doing with it:laughing:

They all know that unless they eat their healthy food they don't get any treats.And they know I mean it too!!!!

26-05-2009, 04:40 PM
i too provide lunch for whoever is here in the holidays! ( and termtime! )

i find it much easier, than trying than trying to please everyone else, when one child has masses of sweets/crisps etc.

and they all know ... if you don't eat the healthy stuff, then you don't get anything else!


26-05-2009, 05:29 PM
I have 3 bringing packed lunches on same days. All really good.

One has sandwich/wrap, bit of sausage roll or houmos and veg, 3 pieces of fruit and maybe a school bar. Very occasional organix crispy things/homemade cake/yogurt (she would give it every day but he would eat it by the bucket load and has it for tea)

Another mum has taken his lead and her son now has 3 bits of fruit too.

They are 4 1/2.

Othher, 2 year old, has similar but less of it.

No worries for me, thank goodness :)

26-05-2009, 05:45 PM
I think I'm going to give parents the option of sending a packed lunch or I'll provide it. I'm hoping that if they do send their own they'll be more likely to include healthy foods as they know that's what I would be providing.

Having said that I can't get my own 17 month old to touch fresh fruit. It's not that she doesn't like the taste as she has pots of fruit, she just won't pick it up or eat it off a spoon. I'm really hoping that when I start minding she'll copy other children and eat it - it's so frustrating.

I do think that you can't dictate to parents too much if they send their own lunches - it's their choice what they feed their children and you can only make suggestions. I can understand how difficult it is as a childminder though when you've got lots of children eating different things.

Carole x

26-05-2009, 08:29 PM
I have one child who brings his lunch and it causes me grief because he always wants what the others have got and quite frankly what he comes with is far too much. Sometimes I share it with my youngest mindee as it would only go to waste. He never eats the cucumber or the tomatoes out of choice I have to remind him! I know from his previous childminder and the childminder who had his sister (same problem there!) there is no moving the parents! Oh well just have to be tough! He always asks for "snacks" as well - meaning biscuits and sweets! I know he doesn't get them at home so he is just trying his luck with me! Never works!:laughing:

I'm ok this holiday as I have none of my kids (:jump for joy: ) and only got one for the next 3 days!!! :cool:


The Juggler
27-05-2009, 08:33 AM
It's one of the reasons I don't offer parents option of bringing lunches (except for babies). I know the hassle I would have with one child having x and the other something else. Then they might want things I'm giving my children.

Making lunch for 7 is tricky sometimes in holidays but they all have the same (within their normal likes/dislikes), they all have fruit, treats are limited to one small item and no-one has one unless their lunch is finished or almost finished.

No arguments. no fuss. if they're having apicky day, they leave their sandwich and only get fruit until teatime.

Sounds harsh and I get through a lot of bread but I know they are all eating healthily and there are no arguments.