Meal and snack inspiration
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    Default Meal and snack inspiration

    I'm after some meal and snack inspiration for children from 18 months - 3 years old as im stuck in a bit of a rut! What do you all give your mindees?

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    Morning snack is mainly fruit, chopped sliced by children.
    Afternoon snack is largely carbohydrate based, but we include children prep where we can. Home made crumpets tea cakes, carrot cakes, savoury muffin or scone....fruit include where we can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloraDora View Post
    Morning snack is mainly fruit, chopped sliced by children.
    Afternoon snack is largely carbohydrate based, but we include children prep where we can. Home made crumpets tea cakes, carrot cakes, savoury muffin or scone....fruit include where we can.
    How young do you have them cut their own fruit flora? Was it you ages ago that said you had a special knife from lakeland for this, i cant remember now what it was called but think it was designed to be safe for children?

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    Does anyone give children fruit uncut like a banana,a apple ? Do you cut it to make the fruit go further? Just wondered what happened to just getting a piece of fruit from a fruit bowl and eating it.

    Even young toddlers like to chop on a whole peeled apple less of a risk of choking I'd of thought.

    I'm just curious not picking fault just wondered why it's done so much.

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    I do a mix of both dragonfly , often chopped at snack time to offer more range , encourage new tastes. If fruit is offered after a meal its always a piece from the fruit bowl.

    Back to the original question my meals have to be simple to prepare as teatime is my busiest time. current favourite is a joint of gammon , thrown in the slow cooker in the morning and ready for teatime with no fuss. Served with mash , or savoury rice or similar. following day the remaining gammon is chopped and makes a quick and easy carbonara. Yesterday we had chicken and veg casserole and crusty bread , again it goes in the slow cooker at 7am before the children arrive and is ignored all day until served! we have roast dinners , the meat is cooked the evening before . i often use frozen veg , 5 mins in the microwave , no peeling chopping..... we make our own pizzas , it keeps everyone together involved rather than them off playing whilst i'm busy in the kitchen. other popular meals are butter chicken ,bolognese , veggie sausages , omelettes. Like everyone i can get a bit stuck in a rut and sometimes need a bit of inspiration , i usually just spend 10 minutes on google or one of the food websites for ideas. So many people stop offering meals as its a stressful time of day , and can be put off by waste / picky children etc. I see it as an integral and important part of my service. Children on the whole have been with me since tiny so I have been able to ''train'' them to try new tastes , eat together at the table always , show good table manners etc.....

    totally aside , why does everyone use their fork as a shovel these days? After teaching one child the correct way to use a knife and fork consistently Dad came early to collect. looked at child eating beautifully and asked why he was holding his fork upside down! Im afraid he got a bit of a lecture!

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    Ask the parents- what are the children's favourites?
    Ask the children. Go shopping together- can they pick out a new thing to try? Can they choose a new fruit and a new veg? They might point out something they like to have a t home that you haven't thought of.

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    We have allotment so grow as much of our own as possible, it's amazing what children will eat when they have been involved in growing it. I do breakfast usually cooked I don't do morning snack as do early 11.30/12 lunch. Meals are as veg based as possible favourite at moment is lamb with aubergines, cauliflower cheese, frittatas, roasted veg, steamed fish. I do after school tea and Eve meal for those who stay late.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    I'm after some meal and snack inspiration for children from 18 months - 3 years old as im stuck in a bit of a rut! What do you all give your mindees?
    For snacks it's pretty boring. Breadsticks, fruit, oatcakes, rice cakes, cheese and crackers.

    Lunch is normally a sandwich, scrambled egg, I'm letter, jacket potato with filling or home made soup and bread.

    For dinner (I only do it for mindees on two days) it's normally a slow cooker thing- lamb tagine, sausages and onion in gravy with veg, spaghetti bolognaise. Sometimes I do carbonara, roast chicken breasts and veg, chicken and leek pie, macaroni cheese, meatballs, etc. I do all the prep at Nap time so there's not much to do when the kids are awake and my kids are home.

    I am always on the search for new ideas though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mama2three View Post
    totally aside , why does everyone use their fork as a shovel these days? After teaching one child the correct way to use a knife and fork consistently Dad came early to collect. looked at child eating beautifully and asked why he was holding his fork upside down! Im afraid he got a bit of a lecture!
    I agree ... drives me mad! And those who hold the knife like a pencil! My own children were taught to eat 'properly' and yet still eat like that if not 'reminded'.
    I have to console myself that at least they are using cutlery ... the other year I saw an 11 yr old girl eat a ROAST dinner complete with gravy with her FINGERS!

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    Can't believe a 11 year old ate a roast dinner with her fingers, that's horrible. But maybe she hadn't been taught was she from this country?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    Can't believe a 11 year old ate a roast dinner with her fingers, that's horrible. But maybe she hadn't been taught was she from this country?
    I agree ... and yes, she is from this country with no issues or needs AND her mum was a childminder! ... apparently she was taught to use cutlery 'but prefers to use her fingers' ... to make it worse ... we were in a restaurant!

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    That to me is shocking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post
    I agree ... and yes, she is from this country with no issues or needs AND her mum was a childminder! ... apparently she was taught to use cutlery 'but prefers to use her fingers' ... to make it worse ... we were in a restaurant!
    I had a friend whose children used to eat with their fingers. I was at their house once and they ate fish fingers, mashed potato and baked beans with their hands! I watched with a mixture of fascination and horror! The mess was unbelievable. They seemed to put their mouths down near the table and shovel the food in with their hands.

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    Eating with fingers is a pet hate. I have at least 3 here , 4,5 and 7. Parents don't seem to be bothered. I also have a couple of older children who automatically crouch down with their feet on the chair to eat. I ask them to sit properly , only to look at them abit later to find them doing it again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYLVIA View Post
    Eating with fingers is a pet hate. I have at least 3 here , 4,5 and 7. Parents don't seem to be bothered. I also have a couple of older children who automatically crouch down with their feet on the chair to eat. I ask them to sit properly , only to look at them abit later to find them doing it again.
    I want to 'like' but can't bring myself to! I have some that can't sit properly on a chair either! the other week one child ate a meal standing up, because I was fed up of the 'inability' to sit on a chair! ( luckily its drives mum demented too, and she as now also implemented the 'standing up if you can't sit still' to eat! )

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYLVIA View Post
    Eating with fingers is a pet hate. I have at least 3 here , 4,5 and 7. Parents don't seem to be bothered. I also have a couple of older children who automatically crouch down with their feet on the chair to eat. I ask them to sit properly , only to look at them abit later to find them doing it again.
    I wonder that some children want to crouch because they are not comfortable and the chair:table ergonomics are not for their size. Home dining room tables and chairs are designed for adults.
    My youngest didn't give up some sort of booster until he was gone 8- his choice as he wasn't that tall and liked to sit higher to the table, but he did sit.
    All mine use the lionheart booster seats I have until they go to school, they are comfy and keep them at a better height to the table. Often parents get rid of the boosters too early...based on age not size.

    The other cause I think is that some children don't practise sitting at a family table at all at home or are just used to little table and chairs...the children eat off little tables and parents off their knee.

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    You do have a point Floradora. I like to put a step stool on the floor too so that they can feel grounded instead of having their feet dangling. It's a bit of a 'thing' with me - I would absolutely be driven to distraction if my feet were dangling. I refuse to buy highchairs that don't have a footrest for babies/toddlers. At school it's amazing the amount of children who don't realise that they have to 'tuck in their chair' when they are sitting at a table to do work - again that's when we see poor, slouchy posture and tilted chairs. As soon as they tuck in their chairs their posture suddenly improves and becomes more 'acceptable' and appropriate.

    One school I was at years ago had an Ofsted inspection and they slated the ict dept because they had fancy wheeled chairs - one size fits all. Totally not appropriate for the reception classes.

 

 

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