Dealing with young children’s’ eating habits can be wearisome. Sometimes they don’t eat enough, request the same foods over and over, or reject healthy foods. Part of the job of a child care provider is making sure the children in your care receive proper nutrition, but who has the time and resources to please each child individually at every meal?
A daycare owner asked, “I have two picky eaters and they don’t eat a lot of their food. Then they are hungry again. When they do eat, they want seconds. I only buy so much food and if one person wants seconds. So does everyone else do?” We asked the fans of OwnADaycare on Facebook who are daycare owners for their suggestions. Here are some of the best responses:
- I make sure there is enough for seconds just because I have a variety of ages. The older kids eat more because they are running around like crazy all day and may even have a ball game later in the afternoon they need to be fueled up for. But when a kid is done eating they have to wait until snack time later in the afternoon….no coming back to the table an hr. later
- I went through the picky stage with 2 of my daycare kids and it has lasted 9 weeks! I finally told the parents to bring their own food and it has been working so far nobody is jealous of someone else’s food. I just give a slight discount for the parents that bring food. I do provide snacks which are healthy.
- I have been doing daycare for 28 years and I never have told a child they cannot have seconds. I know it is our job to not over feed a child but I would never let them leave the table hungry or tell them they cannot eat when they are hungry. I try to put myself in their spot and if I knew my child or at this point in my life my Grandchild was hungry at daycare and they told him/her they could not eat I would be furious.
- There will always be waste when you have picky eaters. When you know it’s something they like make double. If you are on the USDA food program just make sure your meals are within your price range so you don’t lose money.
- You must have enough available for seconds on the food program. I always serve healthy meals and it does get very frustrating to see good healthy food go to waste. Serve smaller portions to the picky ones at first to see if they will eat it. Then if they want more serve more and if they have to wait a few minutes they have to wait. But always have enough for seconds. And as the others have said don’t force. Just offer.
- If you are state licensed you cannot reserve food. So if you serve it at lunch you can’t keep and reserve later in the day. My kids can eat lunch or not eat lunch but they aren’t made separate food and aren’t served at a later time. We have meal times and snack times. They just have to wait. Otherwise you would have all kids wanting all different foods all day long. You can’t let the kids run your daycare.
- I’ve had picky eaters. However, I’ve always made enough food for seconds. . . I never save food they’ve already eaten. If you continue to make the food you cook eventually they will eat it. I’ve kids who wouldn’t eat veggies and now they love them even broccoli.
- If mine don’t eat, then tough: I make one meal (for the older kids’ that eat table food.) I do make enough for seconds if they want. The kids’ know if they don’t eat during meal time then they don’t get anything until snack.
- I’ve had picky eaters before and my rules are this: you get what you get and you don’t get upset and try one bite. If you don’t like it or are not hungry, don’t eat.
This is meal time and if a chose not to eat, fine, they will not eat until the next mealtime. If one of my children refuses to try lunch, they will not get snack during snack time. They will get their lunch again. I did this for a week with one child and now they at least try everything I serve. Good luck!!
- I spoke to the local pediatricians about the same situation. He said that I save their plates and put it back in front of them. If they are “really” hungry again, then they’ll eat what they get…
- I can’t imagine not having enough so that children can have seconds!!! I give reasonable sized first helpings with smaller portions of new foods or foods that I know children may not like. The rule in my home is that children must finish all of their “firsts” and then may choose to have seconds of whatever they would like…I NEVER make a big deal out of food–it is not our job to force children to eat! All we can do is offer wholesome, healthy food and give children a safe environment in which to eat it…the rest is up to them! I have seen very few “picky eaters” and those who come to me as picky eaters usually are eating everything I serve within a month or so.
- I had a real picky lunch eater who wouldn’t. Even pick up his fork. I started giving out treats at afternoon snack and would hand him an apple. Those that tried new things were rewarded! He started cooperating very quickly. I also only give out seconds and refill drinks when the plates are becoming empty. If you are hungry you eat what was served and you will be rewarded with the things l know you like
- Mealtime is supposed to be an enjoyable time for EVERYONE, you cannot force anyone to eat or try anything but you can encourage them to do so. If they don’t like their lunch, so they don’t eat, then snack comes along and they are extra hungry now, and then to throw that same plate of lunch in front of them and that’s what they get… that’s not nice at all!!! I would be very upset if someone did that to me or my kids. I don’t cater meals to my daycare kids, you get what is served, if you don’t like it don’t eat it but you don’t get to eat until the next meal/snack time… then they are offered a snack not the same meal they didn’t eat before… I also take notes on foods I serve and what the kids eat and what they don’t then I know not to make certain foods again, foods with a lot of things mixed together like a tator tot hot dish they aren’t too fond of even trying because it doesn’t look kid friendly. And I always make enough food for seconds and if it’s something that I don’t have enough of for seconds, and they r still hungry after eating all their food I offer to make them something else like a sandwich/something easy or more fruit/veggies.
- I have a weekly menu and if they don’t like what is being served I ask for the parents to please pack a lunch. If they don’t eat at lunch time I remind them the kitchen is closed after lunch and they have to wait till snack time to eat again since we have other activities we have to attend to and can’t stop to eat again. I stay firm to this. If they get hungry before snack I give them a glass of water and tell them they have to wait and remind them that next time, eat when everyone else does and this won’t happen again.
- We provide breakfast, lunch and snacks. Nutrition is so very important for brain development. They can eat a little, allot, or nothing at all.
- Milk for breakfast and lunch and water is provided at all times. If they eat their food, they can eat as much as they want. Kids are growing and if they all want more, they always get more. Food needs to be the most important thing we can provide. Look for sales, buy lots of fresh fruit and veggies, cook beans, lentils, etc., pasta dishes, etc. This year we have a garden…but please put the health of your dc kids first and provide enough food. Cut down somewhere else in your budget.
No related posts.