Question for those who provide food
Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  10
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    84
    Registered Childminder since
    Mar 15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Question for those who provide food

    Hi all- I am in the process of registering and I can't decide whether or not to provide food for the mindees.

    Question 1- Do a lot of parents ask you if you provide meals when you first meet them?

    Question 2- How do you fit cooking/preparing meals into your working day? (was thinking of maybe doing a dinner each evening for the next day). Does anyone do this and does it work?

    Questions 3- What kind of hot dinners do you provide?

    Any tips or advice anyone can give me will be hugely appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It is a difficult choice to make so do what you believe to be best for you. I personally choose to provide meals but it can sometimes be very stressful. I chose to provide meals as I work until 6pm and knew my own children would struggle to wait until after 6 to eat so as I would be making meals for them I might as well feed the other children.

    I provide easy to prepare meals planned around my day and who will be present. Most of my school children have school lunches so my parents are happy if I don't always do a big dinner. I provide sandwiches, something on toast (eggs/beans/cheese), omelettes, jacket potatoes, pasta dishes, meals from the slow cooker, meat with mash and veg.

    Some parents may want you just to provide a decent snack and that will put them over until they have provided a family meal. I have a couple of parents who want this but as you are starting out this could be a good option to consider.

    I personally don't want my parents to provide food for their children as I don't want lunchbox wars or to be warming up several different dinners followed by squabbles over who has what. Although by providing dinners you can never please everyone and it's annoying when you've made something really nice and the children moan and refuse to eat it!

    As for prep I'd love to do batch cooking and freezing etc but I'm not that organised. So most of my prep is done whilst LOs are sleeping.

    As you can probably tell there's lots to consider, good luck with what you decide :-)

  3. Likes lollipop kid liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Aberdeen
    Posts
    414
    Registered Childminder since
    Sept 12
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Very good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I provide food and snacks, I think you need something to make the families feel that they are getting extra value for money, not just quality childcare.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,963
    Registered Childminder since
    Nov 13
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Like natlou I didn't want lunch box envy so I provide all food.

    Luckily I have a resident chef in DH though so my experience of juggling cooking with care is limited to an odd day or two.

    I am quite clear in what I offer though - I turned down a child who's parent wanted me to provide a more substantial afternoon snack " you could just do him some soup, or jacket potato" .

    Mine all go by 5 so I expect them to eat at home with their family.
    I provide breakfast, morning snack of fruit, lunch and afternoon snack, childs choice usually e.g crackers and cheese, fruit and veg sticks and dips, home made bread sticks and pop corn, child made cakes and biscuits ( not often)
    I started off with lunch being what I considered to be lunch, sandwiches, light meals but my LO's are a bit picky, none like sandwiches unless toasted so it has evolved into light meals instead.

    I say I do not provide a dinner in the evening unless a child is still here when DH and I eat - then a child is welcome to share our dinner.
    I must admit I am in awe of childminders who produce a dinner for 8 after a school run and play with the children after school! Lots seem to use a slow cook pot - and are really organised!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    7,599
    Registered Childminder since
    oct 02
    Latest Inspection Grade
    outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    I provide all food except for weaning babes.
    Lunch is a sandwich/something on toast/soup/ommlette
    Tea is a main meal ... pasta/rice/potato with casserole/bolognese/chilli/curry. Fish/Shepherds/cottage pie etc. I either cook first thing and it goes in the slow cooker all day, or I cook after lunch whilst everyone sleeps or has a quiet time.
    I usually half cook any veg and then finish them off when we get home from school and everyone has tea at 4.30. Occasionally someone won't have tea, just a snack but I encourage everyone to have tea if they are there ... If only a snack sized portion!
    It just becomes routine to work/cook like this. I've nannied/childminded for over 25yrs and have always worked this way!

  7. Likes Chatterbox Childcare, FloraDora liked this post
  8. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    601
    Registered Childminder since
    pre-reg
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I provide all food as I am doing for my own son and if I have to cook him something I feel it's just as easy to scale it up and cook for 5/6!

    I provide breakfast (help themselves to cereal, shared plate of toast in middle of table), fruit if they ask for it, then either lunch or dinner is a proper cooked meal, other is light meal so sandwiches, beans/eggs on toast, pasta with veg cheese ham etc they can help themselves to, easy food basically.

    For the proper cooked meal I either put something in the slow cooker before they arrive in the morning, so all I need to do while they're with me is cook some pasta/rice/potatoes and veg to go with it if needed, or I make things like fish pie, shepherds pie and lasagne in bulk then cut it into portions and freeze it so I generally always have a stock of something like that in the freezer if I don't get the slow cooker on, and it's easy to microwave it back up again after defrosting.

    I don't like to be cooking while kids are around, too stressful, I can cope with a pan of water boiling pasta or something but not much else!

    All parents like that I do meals though, means they don't have to think about it, they're at set times though so if kids dropped late or collected early they don't get them so brekkie at 8, lunch 12ish, tea 445

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    In a house
    Posts
    2,922
    Registered Childminder since
    July07
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Mines a bit of a mish-mash actually. I decided that I didn't want to be cooking a hot meal for a few reasons

    1.) I hate cooking. Even for my own family its a major chore and I despise it
    2.) I hate thinking of what to cook even more than the cooking itself
    3.) Fussy children not eating
    4.) My husband doesn't get in until 7pm so I would be cooking for the mindees, then for my own 2 children (as 7pm is late for them and they don't want to eat with mindees) and then for me and DH.

    I do cook for babies as this is weekend food that I put into pots and freeze or they eat it on Monday. Usually Sunday roast and babies are easy to please and will usually eat what I've made.
    For children over 2yrs (roughly) they have a cold lunch as they all go home for tea.
    For after school children they have a snack tea to keep them going until supper at home. Something like a sandwich, beans on toast with fruit, yogurt.

    I only charge £3.50 per hour so if I did decide to cook a hot meal I would charge for it but its something I wouldn't do.
    I've never had anyone complain and never have any problems getting mindees
    Last edited by JCrakers; 30-01-2015 at 10:00 AM.
    Time Out.. The perfect time for thinking about what you're going to destroy next.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    My happy place
    Posts
    663
    Registered Childminder since
    Oct 08
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default I provide food because...

    Hi, I provide food, because, when I first started, I gave parents the option of sending food, and I was shocked at what was sent.

    I saw lots of Marmite sandwiches and Dairylea spread sandwiches, crisps, vile luminous drinks, mouldy bread, yoghurts past their sell-by dates, etc.

    I was also conscious of lunch box envy.

    I decided that, rather than the embarrassment of having to tell parents the food they sent was no good (with them blaming each other!!), I opted to supply a cooked lunch and a cooked dinner (or I substitute sandwiches for the dinner in summer months). I don't do breakfast as the children I have all arrive at different times. I ask that they are fed before they arrive, and I get parents to write into their home contact books (which I keep at the setting in wall pockets - a great Ikea find), what they've had. If they appear hungry in the morning, then I always have healthy snacks on the go - waffles, breadsticks, hot buttered toast/bagel, satsumas, apple, dried fruit etc. to keep them going until lunchtimes.

    I also find that they sleep longer if they've had a decent lunch, which is a bonus.

    (Plus, I have worked out roughly how much I spend on food/drinks each day per child (including wastage) and this helps me record food as an expense when it comes to tax return time.)

    Hope that helps,

    L

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    329
    Registered Childminder since
    Nov 10
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    My families have the choice of having our meals or not

    I serve breakfast of cereal or toast only if they arrive before 8am. I serve a lunch like beans on toast, mac cheese etc at 12am or they can bring packed lunch, we then do either a snack (to keep them going until dinner with family) or a cooked dinner which my familly and any mindees wanting have together. I am lucky in that my hubby is full time assistant so either one of us cooks while the other keeps the rest entertained

    I charge 30p for breakfast, 80p for lunch and £1.10 for dinner only one mindee is currently having dinner with us, all the others have a keep you going snack

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    695
    Registered Childminder since
    Oct 08
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I cook a light meal for lunch and a proper hot dinner. I love cooking and my own children need feeding so I think I might as well cook for whoever else is here. I do find the children love the food and the parents like that they have a balanced meal and not having to rush around cooking for them at the end of a working day, plus that means they can have a "naughty dinner" (takeaway) if they want without having to worry if the toddler will eat a biryani. I have had a lot of parents say that giving the kids a proper meal is a big plus point.

    I eat later with my husband as I couldn't face getting the hoover out, tidying toys etc after dinner, once I've eaten in the evening I like to do nothing! I do quite often make a meal for us such as a lasagne or a pie and a bigger one to keep for the kids the next day. I do also occasionally do batch cooking for the freezer but have quite limited space. Otherwise I do food prep after lunch while the littluns nap.

  13. Likes loocyloo liked this post
  14. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    84
    Registered Childminder since
    Mar 15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thanks all for the great advice

  15. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    3,047
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TinyTinker View Post
    My families have the choice of having our meals or not I serve breakfast of cereal or toast only if they arrive before 8am. I serve a lunch like beans on toast, mac cheese etc at 12am or they can bring packed lunch, we then do either a snack (to keep them going until dinner with family) or a cooked dinner which my familly and any mindees wanting have together. I am lucky in that my hubby is full time assistant so either one of us cooks while the other keeps the rest entertained I charge 30p for breakfast, 80p for lunch and £1.10 for dinner only one mindee is currently having dinner with us, all the others have a keep you going snack
    Do you find those charges covers your costs?

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I typically spend £30-£40 per week on mindees meals and I usually have 2 EY children all day and cook for 5 mindees after school x

  17. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Neverland
    Posts
    2,137
    Registered Childminder since
    Dec 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good ;-)
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    Do you find those charges covers your costs?
    Some work it out to more, some, less.

    One way to work it out is to pick a day or a week and record every price of every item of food used for each meal, then divide that by the amount of people the meal was cooked for to get an average 'cost' per meal
    Now it does sound a bit of a pain to do initially, but, it will give you a 'starting point' and then every few months, you pick a day and do the process again to check your costings are still accurate.
    You can then save your workings out as evidence to show a tax inspector should you ever be audited.

    Asda porridge @ 68p/500g with 1 serving @40g = .054p Quaker Oats porridge @ £2.18/kilo with 1 serving @ 40g =.087p
    Milk used 300ml @ 49p/568ml = .259p

    Average between the 2 makes .328p per breakfast

    If you then add on the cost of a drink, 35p for breakfast is not unreasonable, especially as some children will drink more than one drink with breakfast, some will drink less, some will have more than 40g, some will have less....

    A minder that only uses organic produce would have higher costs (porridge oats are 10p and milk 36p), so would maybe charge 50p for breakfast incl a drink


    As with everything, getting started is the time consuming bit, once you have a system in place it gets easier

  18. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    not where I should be...
    Posts
    10,845
    Registered Childminder since
    Aug 94
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I offer the parents the choice but point out the benefits of lunch box envy, they try new foods (how many children say "I don't like it") and learn that they do like it. I have my basic rate for the day and then if parents want food I add on the cost and have an all inclusive cost. If parents don't want the food then it is just a day cost. I have 24 children on my books and 2 provide their own as parents like the fact that they collect at 6pm and they children are already fed.

    As to menu - I have attached my winter and summer one. I used menu items from 6 different schools, talked to the children about what they do and don't like and then produced the winter menu, the summer one was done in the same way but more input from the children, hence a few items from the winter one is included. We use this as a base and sometimes change it, summer we have bbq's and winter they ask for a lot more stoggy food. Always have fruit and yoghurt as an option (sometimes mine will have this and their pudding).

    Cost wise - make sure you don't under price yourself. yes you can claim the cost back as an expense but this is only a 20% tax saving so charge and expense. FTI my lunch/dinner/tea costs are £2.50 per meal and breakfast .75p but if I provide all 3 it is £5 per day. I provide all snacks and no extra charge.

    I am just trying out a monthly shop (first one this month) at the cash and carry which is a 40 minute drive to see if I can put all my freezer items in one freezer and then use it throughout the month to reduce costs. I am then buying fresh produce such and fruit and veg, yoghurts and milk from a supermarket. Looks like it is going to pay off.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Debbie

  19. Likes lollipop kid, FloraDora, Maza liked this post
  20. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    My happy place
    Posts
    663
    Registered Childminder since
    Oct 08
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chatterbox Childcare View Post
    I offer the parents the choice but point out the benefits of lunch box envy, they try new foods (how many children say "I don't like it") and learn that they do like it. I have my basic rate for the day and then if parents want food I add on the cost and have an all inclusive cost. If parents don't want the food then it is just a day cost. I have 24 children on my books and 2 provide their own as parents like the fact that they collect at 6pm and they children are already fed.

    As to menu - I have attached my winter and summer one. I used menu items from 6 different schools, talked to the children about what they do and don't like and then produced the winter menu, the summer one was done in the same way but more input from the children, hence a few items from the winter one is included. We use this as a base and sometimes change it, summer we have bbq's and winter they ask for a lot more stoggy food. Always have fruit and yoghurt as an option (sometimes mine will have this and their pudding).

    Cost wise - make sure you don't under price yourself. yes you can claim the cost back as an expense but this is only a 20% tax saving so charge and expense. FTI my lunch/dinner/tea costs are £2.50 per meal and breakfast .75p but if I provide all 3 it is £5 per day. I provide all snacks and no extra charge.

    I am just trying out a monthly shop (first one this month) at the cash and carry which is a 40 minute drive to see if I can put all my freezer items in one freezer and then use it throughout the month to reduce costs. I am then buying fresh produce such and fruit and veg, yoghurts and milk from a supermarket. Looks like it is going to pay off.
    Outstanding work, that woman!



    L

  21. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    3,144
    Registered Childminder since
    Mar 10
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    My food provision is constantly evolving depending on the mindees I have, so don't worry, you can always change what you do if it doesn't work. When I first started I used to run myself ragged trying to provide a cooked lunch and a cooked dinner. My DD and mindee both napped at 10am and so I would cook a lunch from scratch and then make a start on dinner. I was exhausted, clean up took ages and something had to give. I started to find really easy to prepare/throw together meals once a day (such as chicken drum sticks, couscous, tinned sweetcorn or raw veg as finger food) and did sandwiches once a week. When mindees were older and only slept after lunch I didn't have time to cook big lunches anyway. Then I took on a baby mindee and spent a few weekends making baby food just for him and stocking up my freezer. Wouldn't do that again. Now none of my mindees nap anymore and so I have had to adapt again. I make full use of my freezer and often save bits of our weekend meals for them - they don't have huge portions so easily done. We definitely have one low key meal a day and if I haven't got anything from the freezer on a particular day then they are very good at playing whilst I cook, or if I need to I will pop the tv on for them to keep them contained. The trick is to avoid cooking for mindees and then having to cook again for your family. x

  22. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,963
    Registered Childminder since
    Nov 13
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    I look at set menus and am always in awe of the type of food every body else's LO's like to eat!

    Ours evolves around similar meals, and we know not all will eat everything , so jiggle 'salad' for personal preference of veg/ salad / fruit.
    My own and DH and I eat everything and am amazed at the ' picky' eaters we have. To start with we wasted so much, but now we are not as adventurous we have clear plates.
    The only common denominator is bread crumbed fish or chicken, bread and pizza. All home made so reasonably healthy but pasta, rice, mash, cheese, noodles, cous cous can be hit and miss depending on the combination of children. Some are just veg eaters and others just fruit - one will only eat olives (!).
    Sandwiches are no go (but pitta, brioche, nan on own fine !!!!!) but crackers are.
    My DH does a brilliant job of creating menus that lO's will like something - but he does spend an inordinate amount of time on it- and then the low follows if they don't eat it!!
    Every new LO we have taken on parents have said they are 'good ' eaters.....well yes if they only eat the small repertoire of food they like!
    I do have one who will eat almost anything ...but eats so slowly .....you can't have everything I Suppose!

  23. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    My happy place
    Posts
    663
    Registered Childminder since
    Oct 08
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FloraDora View Post
    I look at set menus and am always in awe of the type of food every body else's LO's like to eat!

    Ours evolves around similar meals, and we know not all will eat everything , so jiggle 'salad' for personal preference of veg/ salad / fruit.
    My own and DH and I eat everything and am amazed at the ' picky' eaters we have. To start with we wasted so much, but now we are not as adventurous we have clear plates.
    The only common denominator is bread crumbed fish or chicken, bread and pizza. All home made so reasonably healthy but pasta, rice, mash, cheese, noodles, cous cous can be hit and miss depending on the combination of children. Some are just veg eaters and others just fruit - one will only eat olives (!).
    Sandwiches are no go (but pitta, brioche, nan on own fine !!!!!) but crackers are.
    My DH does a brilliant job of creating menus that lO's will like something - but he does spend an inordinate amount of time on it- and then the low follows if they don't eat it!!
    Every new LO we have taken on parents have said they are 'good ' eaters.....well yes if they only eat the small repertoire of food they like!
    I do have one who will eat almost anything ...but eats so slowly .....you can't have everything I Suppose!
    Hi, sounds a lot like my bunch.

    A big favourite here is Pasta and Pesto (not home-made - I get the Aldi Speciality green pesto. It's so yummy and has loads of Olive oil etc. in it).

    Was thinking about your home-made nuggets. I discovered ages ago that is I use crushed up Cornflakes instead of breadcrumbs on my home-made chicken nuggets when making these, the children hoover them up - even the fussy eaters! Have a go and see if it helps.



    L

  24. Likes FloraDora liked this post
  25. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Exeter
    Posts
    436
    Registered Childminder since
    Oct 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I cook food, but I only have a couple of mindees so it's not a big problem. I offer breakfast (toast or cereal), but generally mine have all eaten by the time they get here. A couple of times when parents have been running late they have said that it's a big help to know that children can eat breakfast here if necessary because it takes away that added pressure. They also show up in their pyjamas fairly regularly, I have no problem getting them dressed either - I've always taken the view that my job is partly to help the parents as much as possible, so I make the point of letting them know that as long as mindees are here on time I will work with anything else - all my parents currently are great so I haven't had anyone take advantage of it yet, though I know some people would.

    Foodwise, I generally cook the normal things I eat for lunch/dinner, and then mindees just have that - so soups, pasta and sauce, paella, homemade wedges, things on toast (beans or poached egg or both, etc). Same for weaning babies, but most of the babies I have had have been doing some form of BLW anyway, so no one has had a problem with it. No lunch boxes unless allergies, because when I did have a couple of kids with lunch boxes, they were always full of junk (crisps, chocolate spread sandwiches, haribo, etc).

    The one thing I do batch cook is tomato sauce, because I can use it for so many things and it's a great one to have in the freezer for an emergency. I can add it to pasta with meatballs or cheese, I can use it for lasagne or a load of other things. And it's dead easy to make too (and I can hide loads of vegetables in it by blending it smooth).

    We also have things like fruit or hummus and pita bread for snacks. Or anything we have baked.

    I think it's nice for mindees to have an understanding of how to cook and make food, and ingredients. A lot of their parents are so rushed during the day and tired after work in the evening that they tend to eat ready meals or precooked food (I can't blame them, all day at a job and then home to a toddler is hard!), so I know one of the draws to me is that I actually cook. Also it's really interesting to watch mindees playing in the play kitchen and see how they cook - one or two are definitely of the 'put it in the microwave and shout ping' school of play cooking to begin with, but after they've been here a while they all at least occasionally chop the play food and fry/cook it in a pan on the hob!

  26. Likes Maza, FloraDora liked this post
 

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Quick Links and Advertisements

Important Information Links
Some Useful Quick Links
Advertisements

 

You can also find us on:
Question for those who provide food Question for those who provide food Question for those who provide food

We use cookies to make this site as useful as possible. They are small text files placed in your browser to track usage of our site but they don’t tell us who you are.
By continuing to use this site you are consenting to cookies being placed on your computer. Find out more here: Cookies in Use

Childminding Help and the Childminding Forum are part of Childcare.co.uk