Dealing with preschooler’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?
We asked the OwnADaycare Facebook fans: Do you offer alternates if a child does not like what you’re serving that day? Also, what do you do for the children that do not like or won’t drink milk? Here are some of the best responses.
- We eat what we get, and don’t throw a fit! No alterative here!! I’m NOT a restaurant!
- I provide a monthly menu and email it to the parents. If they see something there that their child does not eat, they are to substitute that meal as long as it is peanut free. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes parents know their child is a picky eater and do not even provide a substitute so I do let them know if they don’t, the child will be hungry until the next meal time. So they have the option.
- Not a short order cook. I do not offer a menu. You eat what is served, or you’ll be hungry for the next meal. Our job is simply to prepare and serve healthy meals. It’s their job to either eat it or not. Not my problem. And we serve milk or water at all meals and snacks. NO JUICE and no adding chocolate to milk. I offer them milk and if they say no thanks. I offer water. Period.
- “You get what you get & you don’t throw a fit.” I offer a variety of food based on the Food Program requirements. I can’t possibly give every child what they like. And sometimes their “likes” change. I say if the child doesn’t want milk….they can have water. If it’s not a food allergy, I wouldn’t accommodate preferences.
- I serve everyone the same food. I do try to make sure that there is something that everyone likes even if it is just the fruit of veggie. And as far as the milk goes, we have to serve them milk with the food program but if they don’t like the milk I will give them a cup of water in addition to the milk and encourage the child to taste a sip of milk before giving them the water. Eventually they might like it but it has to be.
- I do not offer alternatives. All of my children are required to take a “no thank you bite” For a child that does not like milk try putting chocolate or strawberry syrup in the milk.
- I serve one meal and if they choose not to eat it, they will have to wait until the next meal or snack. I do not offer alternatives.
- I have the saying, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit” Only given another food item if allergic. Trust me, keep offering and they begin to like it.
- No. Unless they have DOCTOR’S note saying they are allergic, intolerant or some sort of MEDICAL reason to not have something then NO ALTERNATIVES. They eat what is made or they wait until the next time we eat. All of my kids like milk so no issue there – if there was, I’d still give them milk in a glass and water in a glass.
- The only time that I give alternates is when there is a signed statement from the doctor indicating allergies to a certain food.
- I don’t except for one little girl who can’t have milk or cheese but she gets very close to what we are having to it doesn’t mean I have to make two meals. The older kids help me decide the menu for the next week so usually I don’t have an issue with them eating.
- I serve one meal/snack and if they do not like something there is always something else on their plate. I am a firm believer of “they will eat if they are hungry”. I do not expect the children to eat/like/want everything but there is usually something on the plate that they will eat.
- I also don’t give a different food or drink if they don’t like what I offered (though they can have water). When I have one that is really, really picky, I try to put something in each meal that they might like and I will do things like give them plain pasta if they don’t like the sauce (or no catsup or dressing on things if they don’t like that). But just keep serving healthy foods and serve lots of healthy food at snack if they’ll eat it then. Usually they start eating at least some of the food and even if not, they’ll be fine. I had one who was so picky that one day all he ate at lunch was the Kraft Parmesan cheese off of the plain pasta (and asked for more). He ate like that often at my house and at home. He was skinny, skinny, skinny. But he turned out fine and was a star on the high school soccer team when he played with my son.
- No alternates. That only teaches the child that you will cater to them. If they don’t like milk, too bad, I have to serve it unless they have a doctor’s note stating they are allergic and what to use in its place.
- I don’t serve something different if they don’t like what is served. I do offer a few veggies each meal. I do as the person above said about if I know someone doesn’t like a lot of things, I try to serve something they like on their scheduled day. I’ve only had a few children that didn’t learn to like most things. When I’ve had a few children with a milk allergy, the family has supplied what they drink.
- My children know “they get what they get and they don’t get upset.” If they would like a yummy snack, they need to try at least one bite of each grouping of food on their plate. If they really don’t like it, they don’t have to eat the rest of it. I find one bite leads to two three and all done. If a child doesn’t want their milk, fine. They can have water.
- I serve what is on the menu. period. As far as not liking milk, I have one little girl who just doesn’t like it in liquid form. She is always happy to just have water. I offer a milk alternative at one of the snacks during the day anyway; either cheese stick or yogurt is included with breakfast or snack.
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