So I started a new job this week...and a conflict of interest... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-17-2010, 12:50 PM
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I've been looking for a job for MONTHS. Seriously the jobs here are so very scarce. I was even looking at fast food jobs, and no one was hiring. I finally found one...good hours, good pay, nice people. I'm serving crappy food to daycare kids. And when I say crappy, I do mean it. Not just that it has meat and dairy in it. I can get over that. But they may as well be feeding them fast food. Just really low quality, lots of fat, tons of sugar ect.



The director of the daycare said if I had any new ideas for the menu to let her know and they'd see if they could work them in. They do have a budget of course. But the kitchen is very limited and I work just long enough to heat up stuff, not do any "real" cooking. As much as I hate seeing these kids eat this stuff and actually to be the one to serve it to them, I'm staying. It's a good job and if I don't do it, someone else will. And I may actually be able to make a difference. I'm gonna try anyway. I'll probably wait a month or so before I start making suggestions, just so I don't come off as a control freak right off the bat. The first thing I'm going to go for is whole grains. It would be a easy switch. Everything is white bread, regular pasta, ect.



And the snacks! Omg. Rice krispie treats, fruits snacks (yes the kind with HFCS), goldfish, pretzels. Nothing with any *substance*. And tons of sugar of course.



And the kids are so proud of themselves for eating this "healthy" food. "I ate ALL my corn!" "I love milk, it's so healthy!" I just grin at them. I can't tell them that it's not fair to them that they weren't served a proper veggie (it's often canned corn or tator tots) and that their milk is factory farmed and filled with hormones.



One of the moms made a big stink about her son being allergic to milk. He has his own soy milk and any time there's something with cheese on the menu, I have to make him something different. I went and let her know that ALL the entrees have milk in them, even the fish sticks and meat ravioli. She was just like, "oh ok. I think he's fine with those though." Oy. She told me she looks at all the ingredients when she goes to the store, but wasn't worried about the daycare food. Okey dokey.



The employees seem SO thrilled that they are able to offer them such good food. I've heard one of them brag that they get a serving of veggies every day. Is that something to brag about?



This is what my own personal hell is, I think. They are SUCH nice people though that I can just not think about it most of the time. I just hate walking into classrooms and seeing a 50 lb 2 year old screaming because they had to take her food away because she already ate 3x the amount the other kids did. I wanna scream, "If you'd give her some REAL food that filled her up, she wouldn't keep stuffing her face with crap!" Gah!



Ok, I feel better now. This is the standard meal plan for schools. No wonder we have such a nutrition crisis in this country. We start 'em as infants (yes the 12 month olds get rice krispie treats too).
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#2 Old 07-17-2010, 01:19 PM
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Well congrats on getting a job and I think in time you will be able to make a difference. I work with children with mental disorders and this summer I've spent quite a bit of time in different daycares with them. One thing I have noticed is that it isn't unusual for nearly all of the food on the plate to be golden brown. One day that I distinctly remember the kids were served chicken fingers, fries, toast, and mozzarella sticks. It was all the same color. I just stared at it. And they are always served milk. Babies need milk. From their mothers. Ten year old kids don't.

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#3 Old 07-17-2010, 01:41 PM
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That's horrible... I remember preschool (still, but only just) and the food was absolute junk... powder juice mix, luncheon ham and cheese for snacks. Ewwww... the milk that they served was always the instant milk from powder type. Gosh, spare some money for the kids!



And well done for getting a job! I've been looking for ages but there's none out there. I'm walking dogs and cleaning kennels, for $6 an hour... but at-least it's something! And dogs are cool!
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#4 Old 07-17-2010, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shauna_m' date='18 July 2010 - 06:50 AM' timestamp='1279396202' post='2675051 View Post




One of the moms made a big stink about her son being allergic to milk. He has his own soy milk and any time there's something with cheese on the menu, I have to make him something different. I went and let her know that ALL the entrees have milk in them, even the fish sticks and meat ravioli. She was just like, "oh ok. I think he's fine with those though." Oy. She told me she looks at all the ingredients when she goes to the store, but wasn't worried about the daycare food. Okey dokey.





I can see the logic in this. I was, and am, allergic to milk. (Not lactose intolerant, though I may be that too, but a genuine milk allergy). A cup of milk would set me off, a whole cup or one of those small boxes you give to kids, or a big, cheesy dish like cheese pizza, but the small amount of milk in fish sticks was generally ok, as long as I didn't have too much and it built up. In fish sticks and that it is usually there in the form of lactose as a binder, or a small amount of milk solids or whey. It's not like a nut allergy, when any tiny amount can be a problem, it really is about build up. I might have even been able to get away with one ravioli meal a week with no problems... a bunch of them in a row for lunch and dinner every day, no, I would get the build up effect and get sick. We looked at the ingredients every time we went to the supermarket, too, and sometimes you would have a "oh, it's only a tiny amount, be good tomorrow and you might get away with it".

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#5 Old 07-17-2010, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Kiz' date='17 July 2010 - 06:33 PM' timestamp='1279406030' post='2675097 View Post


I can see the logic in this. I was, and am, allergic to milk. (Not lactose intolerant, though I may be that too, but a genuine milk allergy). A cup of milk would set me off, a whole cup or one of those small boxes you give to kids, or a big, cheesy dish like cheese pizza, but the small amount of milk in fish sticks was generally ok, as long as I didn't have too much and it built up. In fish sticks and that it is usually there in the form of lactose as a binder, or a small amount of milk solids or whey. It's not like a nut allergy, when any tiny amount can be a problem, it really is about build up. I might have even been able to get away with one ravioli meal a week with no problems... a bunch of them in a row for lunch and dinner every day, no, I would get the build up effect and get sick. We looked at the ingredients every time we went to the supermarket, too, and sometimes you would have a "oh, it's only a tiny amount, be good tomorrow and you might get away with it".



Oh no, I totally get it. I'm the same way with dairy. She just made such a big deal about how the doctor said no dairy at all, not even hidden ingredients, then they'd try a little later, to see how he'd deal with it. But when I told her it was in everything, she was just like "oh well". And since she said she checks everything at the store, I thought it was kind of odd. Like he gets a free pass at daycare, even though they supply a full meal and 2 snacks a day. It's just the general laid-back attitude about nutrition that's bugging me, not that mom in particular, I just used her as an example. Several of the teachers are bad about the allergen thing (feeding obvious dairy, like cheese, to kids who can't have it), but one seemed to be very good about it. She came into the kitchen herself to read the packaging on everything to see if one of the kids in her class could have it (they actually do avoid even traces of dairy with him).
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#6 Old 07-17-2010, 07:29 PM
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congrats on the job soooo hippie for you....and good luck helping the kids and the menu I know you are gonna make a difference.





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#7 Old 07-17-2010, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Shauna_m' date='18 July 2010 - 11:59 AM' timestamp='1279414770' post='2675180 View Post


Oh no, I totally get it. I'm the same way with dairy. She just made such a big deal about how the doctor said no dairy at all, not even hidden ingredients, then they'd try a little later, to see how he'd deal with it. But when I told her it was in everything, she was just like "oh well". And since she said she checks everything at the store, I thought it was kind of odd. Like he gets a free pass at daycare, even though they supply a full meal and 2 snacks a day. It's just the general laid-back attitude about nutrition that's bugging me, not that mom in particular, I just used her as an example.



Oh, ok.

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#8 Old 07-18-2010, 05:21 AM
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I do almost the exact same job, except the kids I'm serving are more like 14-16 years old. It's utter crap. Breakfast is the healthiest meal - butter laden croissants and cereal with milk. Lunch is usually something like fishcake and chips. Dinner usually a slab of meat and potatoes or more chips. The vegetarian option is sometimes a substitute, like veggie 'fish'cake, but usually it's pasta stuffed with cheese in a white sauce. It's awful stuff. I can't change anything. Of course the customers complain about this awful food but nobody listens - the chefs are on a very tight budget (£4 per day per person for three meals) and although I'm sure they could provide something healthier if they really tried, nobody cares enough.



Luckily this contract is only for 4 weeks, the kids aren't going to have to eat like this for a long period of time. But I feel so bad for them.



My own personal boundaries are that I don't serve meat/fish. If I'm on serving then I do the potatoes and vegetables, and my colleagues know and understand that. There's nothing more I can do except quit my job.. but I'm doing this job for 4 weeks to save up money, so I can move and take care of cows. I feel like it's a fair trade-off.
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#9 Old 07-18-2010, 01:53 PM
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I used to work in the food service department of a school for disabled children. The food they served was extremely unhealthy. We got a new dietitian who tried to get them eating fresh fruit and vegetables and it seemed like the adults who had to feed the children got in the way. They complained openly that the kids weren't going to like it. When you can't feed yourself and the person feeding you is complaining about the food are you going to be inclined to eat it? Their reasoning was that life was already hard for them and they didn't have much else to look forward to. Really? You like what you know and if you know fresh fruit and vegetables you look forward to them. Stupid people.
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