View Full Version : Food/Meals

11-06-2009, 10:35 AM
I am have been minding for 2 years now and initially I included lunch but charged slightly more. I now have different children as one was temporary and the other's Mum finished work to stay at home with new baby.

When the new children came along they were babies so the parents provided all food and milk - I found it much less stressful not having to prepare meals so when they continued to provide food through weaning and beyond I kept quiet :blush:

Now one child ages 15 months is refusing to eat what they send..today he has 1 babybel cheese and 2 small yogurts which he will eat - he also has some corned beef hash and some grapes which I know he won't eat. Yesterday they sent the same and he ate the cheese and yogurt then at tea time I made a cottage pie and he ate a bowl full of it.

I relayed info and concerns to parents and they have said they don't have time to prepare his food and do I feed the other children :panic: I said I could do it but that it wouldn't be a "cooked" meal every day and that we often have sandwiches, spaghetti, ravioli, cheese on toast etc at lunch time but that I wasn't happy being in the kitchen cooking for such a long period of time, nor was I happy making special meals for each child (previously I was cooking 3 different things for 2 mindees and my own son).

I just don't know what to do...I know OFSTED would have me preparing 3 course meals with 5 a day etc but it just isn't do-able.

My after school children are on school dinners so they have sandwiches, fruit and yogurt. If I make a hot tea sometimes they have the same - it depends what I am doing for tea that day.

I am sure he would eat better if he was given the right things...but they send the same food every day which he doesn't like :rolleyes:

What do you do?

11-06-2009, 11:16 AM
Do what is right for you - if you aren't happy about preparing meals then stick to your guns.

On the other hand I do provide meals -
lunch, like you is easy lunch stuff and I have to eat as well.
Evening meal is a homecooked meal and I have NEVER prepared different meals for different chidren (unless medical/religious requirement as needed). They all get the same -they either eat it or they don't - if parents have requested they still pay for it (I charge extra for evening meal but lunch is included).

Whatever suits you best though.

As to the child - talk again to the parents formally to express your concern. Make notes as well to show them that you are taking it seriously.

11-06-2009, 11:17 AM
At lunchtimes I do things like sandwiches, crumpets, toast with fruit & yoghurt. I only have 1 mindee at lunchtimes & am making lunch for my own 2 children so it's no extra hassle to make another sandwich. He doesn't eat a lot anyway at lunch (has a big dinner at home later) so not a problem.

I cook a hot dinner for the after schoolers (again I'm cooking for my 2 anyway) but it's proving more difficult than I thought due to 2 very fussy eaters. So I may stop doing evening meals, mindees can have a snack while my 2 have their dinner. Will see what the parents say.

11-06-2009, 11:24 AM
I do sandwiches, fishfingers and pasta or something on toast for lunch. I used to do a cooked meal for everyone at 4.30pm but have just changed this to a substantial snack at 4pm (crumpets, cheese on toast, bagels or something similar) and then i do a cooked meal for anyone still here after 5.30pm.

It is working better than before as i don't feel chained to the cooker as soon as we get back from school and pickups are not interrupted by meals etc.

I don't charge extra for food - never have.

Mrs M
11-06-2009, 12:26 PM
I'm stopping evening meals for mindees. I was doing them at 4.30pm to fall in line with one of them being collected but no one was hungry enough. I now only feed one mindee and her hours are changing soon so I am going to stop. Like it's been said before, a substantial snack at 4pm is enough. I currently charge £1.50 for a hot meal and nothing for the rest of the food I provide.

11-06-2009, 01:20 PM
I no longer provide dinner for the kids as it was getting too hard to prepare it before they all went home and was too early for us to eat at 4.30.

I do provide a hot lunch for any kids that are here but its normally things like homemade soup, spaghetti on toast, sausage and mash etc and i include it in my fee

11-06-2009, 01:22 PM
Thanks for the replies - it sounds as though I am doing the same as some others.

What is OFSTED's view on hot meals? Am I right in presuming that if the meal is balanced and includes some of the child's 5 a day then it is sufficient?

Luckily this child is leaving in Sept and my other child is only 8 months and Mum provides jars of baby food and box of milk. I might introduce a charge for a light lunch which is optional for those who don't want to provide it and stick with that.