January 12, 2011 9:26 am

Food at Daycare

What Wesley eats at daycare is one area in which I am continually annoyed, baffled, or unsure.

He was exclusively breastfed until six months, at which point we started giving him some of whatever we were eating. He seemed to hate everything except pears, so we didn’t push the issue.

Then a couple of the girls at daycare got pushy with us about starting him on rice cereal, and even though we had tried it at home in a last-ditch effort to find something he might like and he HATED it, I gave them the go-ahead to try some to see if he would eat anything for them.

They agreed that he hated it, and since then I’ve mentioned a few times that they could give up on the cereal because he hated it, but they still try some every day. Which… whatever. If he doesn’t want to eat it, he won’t, and it’s their cereal, not mine, so I am not too worried about waste, but it is still dumb.

Over Christmas, since we were traveling and more or less unable to make our own food while on the road, we bought several varieties of jarred food to test them out to see if he would eat any of them. To our surprise, he was willing to try pretty much anything and ate jars of food with gusto.

Once we started back at daycare, I was excited to report that we found several things he would eat and started sending a jar of food with him each day. He would eat about half of it, twice a day. This seemed okay at first, they would write down what he ate and send home the empty jar.

Yesterday though, we had brought two jars just for the sake of having options, and put both in the fridge for him. When Daniel came to pick him up, they reported that he ate basically nothing but handed him the two empty jars.

When he told me that, we were both like, WHAT? They… they were both EMPTY? And they said he only ate a few bites? WHERE IS THE REST OF THE FOOD?

I have no idea where it went. Maybe they throw out what he doesn’t eat? I think you’re supposed to spoon the portions into a separate bowl instead of feeding them from the jar due to bacteria, but either way – BOTH jars were gone! Did they dump out the whole jar into a bowl and when he wouldn’t eat it, they threw it all away? That stuff is EXPENSIVE. Only portion out half! If he doesn’t eat it, then only half is wasted instead of TWO. WHOLE. JARS.

AND, they are still persisting with the rice cereal. I don’t think the cereal is that good for babies and I don’t really want him eating it, especially not if he will eat other, more nutritious foods. Stop with the cereal already, daycare! Argh.

So: today, I brought in a jar I know he will eat, and wrote “½ jar of food, 2x/day. No rice cereal.” so hopefully they will adhere to that. I am just so annoyed that both of those jars were gone (in one day!) and one of them was the bigger, taller jar, and they reported that he basically ate nothing. Perhaps I just need to be much more firm with them?

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  • the grumbles says:

    hmm, frustrating. normally i just roll with the daycare punches, but when it comes to something like that where your requests are clearly not being respected maybe you need to be more firm? then again, you don’t want to piss them off. but you’re well within your rights to dictate what Wesley eats and for them not to THROW IT AWAY!! OMG!

    a thin line between getting your way (you’re the mom, paying them) and keeping a friendly relationship since they’re alone with him. as a last resort maybe you could tell them his pediatrician advised him have xxxx and it’s doctor’s orders?

  • Jordan says:

    The first thought I had when you said both jars were given back empty… is that they’re using them for other children there. It doesn’t make sense to waste unused jars (if they’re first putting them into a dish.)

    Either way, you’re the parent and you set the boundaries they’re supposed to adhere to. Definitely keep enforcing what they should be doing for YOUR child. It’s the same as those that bring in children with allergies and/or other medical needs. You adhere to what the parent has stated!

  • Melissa says:

    My first thought was the same as Jordan’s, that by some stupid logic they think it’s fine to share with other kids…. which is definitely wrong.

    Also it’s SO inappropriate for them to be pushing the rice cereal thing, wtf he’s not THEIR son… ugh. I like the suggestion to say it’s doctor’s orders. :P

  • Meggan says:

    I think things are improving!

    I confirmed with the morning lady that we didn’t want him to be given cereal, just the jarred food, and to have half of the jar twice a day. And they successfully did that yesterday, so I have hope!

    They are HYPERCRAZY about labeling stuff with the appropriate child’s name, and both jars were labeled, so I am reasonably certain they are not sharing anything. I think they may have just needed some guidance on what we wanted them to do / how to feed him. (e.g. Do not dump entire large jar into bowl and then throw it away.) (Duh.)

    I like the idea of doctor’s orders… I don’t think I need to pull that out YET but I will save it in my back pocket for dire situations!

  • Melissa says:

    Glad you got it all sorted out, Meggan. It has to be frustrating having to deal with things like this! You pay them to take care of your kid for the day so the least they can do is follow what you want them to do!

  • Jem says:

    Totally agree with Jordan. You’re paying them, you’re the parent, you’re in charge.

    I actually had a food related ‘incident’ with nursery this week. Isabel has been coming home really clean. Now, that probably sounds OK, but meal times at home are like WAR OMG MESS. So I was worried that they were trying to spoon-feed her mush (which I don’t want) and weren’t letting her feed herself (which as you are probably aware, she’s been doing since 6mo).

    Anyway, it was probably neurotic of me, but I ended up writing a letter in (as Karl drops her off). Turns out they wrap them in these massive apron things and flannel them down afterwards. :grin: