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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is more of a rant than looking for advice.<br><br>
I have a 2 year old son, who is also vegetarian, and I have him in daycare. About a month ago when I decided he would be vegetarian with us, I informed the daycare that he would no longer have any meat. The assistant manager insisted that the only meat on the menu was in shepards pie anyway, so they'd just be sure to give him something else.<br><br>
About a week later, I picked him up and saw that he had had a tuna melt for lunch. I pulled the assistant manager aside and asked her about it. She said something along the lines of 'Oh I have a vegetarian friend who eats fish so I just did what she told me." I didn't correct her, and I wasn't upset. Simple mistake, I should have been more clear. I set out more specific guidelines and went on my way.<br><br>
Things went well for a while, but today I got his report from the daycare and saw that he had CHICKEN FINGERS for lunch. If I hadn't already been home when I read it I think I would have thrown a fit. My husband told me it's no big deal, but it really upset me. I just don't want this to be an issue anymore, but with the high turnover rate of staff there I have a feeling that slip ups are just going to keep happening.<br><br>
Oh well, I'm moving soon and maybe I'll find a more veg-friendly daycare when I do. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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Write a clear letter stating what your son can't eat and make it clear that if they decide to feed him stuff that you don't want him having, that you will take your business elsewhere.<br><br>
If you can't change daycare's, tell them (even though you shouldn't have to do this) that you will be making his food from now on.
 

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if i had kids i don't think i'd leave them at a day care center that's incapable of following even the simplest restrictions. are they just unwilling to follow your dietary guidelines or do they regularly feed restricted foods to kids with allergies too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>zirpkatze</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3019557"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
if i had kids i don't think i'd leave them at a day care center that's incapable of following even the simplest restrictions. are they just unwilling to follow your dietary guidelines or do they regularly feed restricted foods to kids with allergies too?</div>
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I don't think it's that they're unwilling, she was very eager to make me happy, they're just...dumb. Poorly managed and high turnover causes a lot of confusion.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/no.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":no:">
 

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There are bound to be mistakes as well as deliberate attempts to undermine your parenting during this age. Nonveg people just dont take it as seriously as we do. We have to accept that and just make due however we can.<br><br>
Just remember that if you instill veg ethics in your child by talking about why your family doesn't eat animals then around age 4 or 5 your kiddo will start sticking up for themselves by requesting/demanding veg foods.<br><br>
We got the daycare meal schedule and crossed off the foods our son doesn't eat. We bring on our own replacements and remind the teachers to feed that instead. So far there have been a few mistakes but overall I'm not worried. I know he's not a pure vegan but that's not the point. The point is that he loves veggies, he eats vegan food and likes it and grows strong, he cares about animals, soon he'll understand the word vegan and he'll meet some farmed animals and really understand why we're vegan.
 

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Next time you look for a childcare option, you should look into "Family daycare" or home daycare. Depending on your state's rules and laws, the providers who offer daycare from their home can be just as qualified as those you'll find in more commercial settings. My mom did home daycare throughout my whole childhood. She was licensed and registered, attended all sorts of different classes and had plenty of inspections/visits, both planned and surprised. This was in New York. I've been told that NY is one of the strictest states when it comes to childcare providers, so not all states may require so much from there childcare professionals, but it's easy enough to check what your state's laws are.<br><br>
The reason I mention this is because the difference between family/home daycare and group daycare is the amount of kids/providers they have. It's mostly about the ratio, but once you go to a group daycare setting, there'll be more kids, and although there are more providers, your child will still be one of many that they care for.<br><br>
I'm not knocking group/company daycares though, please don't think that. My mother is now doing group daycare with her neighbor and they're wonderful. But my point is, if you want your child to eat certain foods or have special care, it may be easier to discuss that with one provider as oppose to working with a company who, like you mentioned, may have a high turnover rate, or may have numerous different providers who don't see your child regularly. So it may just be easier working with one or two providers as oppose to a larger type of business with lots of kids.<br><br>
Just throwing my two cents in there <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> I'm kind of bias since I was raised in a home daycare setting. Sure, it was my home, and my mom, but I always felt like the number of kids around was just right. Not too many, but not so few that we'd get bored easily. And we were always going to the playground, going for walks, to the lake, the library, the bookstore. Just do your research, have some interviews and review their references and I'm sure you'll find a better place for your child when you move. Good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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My youngest has allergies. I just bring her own food to school and did that with daycare as well. I found that if there was a sub or someone not paying attention, it would be too easy for someone to slip up. That way, not only do I know what she is eating, but I also know how much she has eaten on any given day. Of course, my daughter's issues are more severe, but I could still see something like that working if they continue to feed your son things that you don't want him to have.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElaineV</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3019565"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
There are bound to be mistakes as well as deliberate attempts to undermine your parenting during this age. <b>Nonveg people just dont take it as seriously as we do</b>....</div>
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- probably not a fair generalization to make, particularly of the large percentage of childcare providers who like themselves to be considered as sympathetic and professional, and deserve to be treated so.<br><br>
OP, it is difficult, sometimes. I suggest you ask around for some good recommendations from friends and switch, or at least get on the waiting list and tough it out until you can.
 

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Feeding a vegetarian child meat is absolutely unacceptable. I've worked in childcare (mostly preschools/childcare centers) for over 15 years now, and have fed children with all sorts of dietary restrictions..it's not rocket science.<br><br>
I would absolutely request a meeting with the director/manager of the site. Be calm, but insistent that measures need to be put in place so that it's clear that your child is not to be fed meat. It sounds like they're using a daily report type system. It should be simple enough to mark something on his clipboard/notepad etc. to indicate that he's is vegetarian. I wouldn't let this slide..what about the next vegetarian who comes along? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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My son has serious food allergies, so he always brought his food when he was in daycare, but the daycares I've been to have always had other children with dietary restrictions they've had to deal with. Even when I worked in daycare almost a decade ago, it was standard practice for the cook to have a list in the kitchen of children with dietary restrictions. As Iamjen said, you should set up a meeting to speak with the director. Prior to the meeting, I'd recommend putting something in writing regarding what foods are not acceptable for your child to consume. This list should be displayed in the kitchen and in the classroom. Insist on it! When I recently visited a center (I had been considering a new job), the director and the center's cook were very aware of meeting every child's individual dietary needs. They had a lot of children that were religious vegans/vegetarians and were very educated on the matter (they actually made a large number of their meals/snacks vegan). You have to make sure you are clear, precise, and firm about what is acceptable for your child. If they are incapable of meeting your requirements for your child, go elsewhere.
 

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I worked in a daycare. We had several children with dietary restrictions due to allergies or religious reasons. We had a list posted in every room of what they were not allowed to eat. I have to say, we never accidentally fed a child something they weren't supposed to have. That would be a lawsuit waiting to happen!<br>
Maybe if you made a list of what your son cannot eat, that would clear things up. Obviously they should know that vegetarian means no tuna, chicken, etc. but you might have to spell it out for them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"><br>
Something as simple as "No meat including fish and poultry" or "No chicken, pork, beef, fish" etc.<br><br>
I would be very upset if someone fed my child chicken <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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Any updates?
 

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We're starting to have more daycare issues. The problem is they have a set menu that the rest of the kids eat. We bring a special lunch for our little one, but the issues are these:<br>
- the daycare staff sometimes makes him wait for his food (so he might grab food off other kids trays in the meantime)<br>
- sometimes they make him sit separately so it's easier for them to make sure he eats his food (I worry he will feel excluded)<br>
- they get confused by our vegan cheese and think he eats dairy<br>
- french fries... they serve them too often and out kiddo loves them, so if there are french fries around that's ALL he will eat
 

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I work as a cook in a daycare and I take allergies and dietary restrictions very seriously. Sorry they aren't working harder with you on this issue. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("> What I do is keep a list in my kitchen, complete with pictures of the kids, of every allergy and restriction. We also make sure the teachers are aware of every restriction. For some things we just do substitutions, for others we ask parents to bring in their own substitutions. Do they have the menu available ahead of time? If so, I would plan ahead every week and send food when he shouldn't be eating the daycare lunch. If not, can you send food to keep in the freezer for when they do have something with meat? Is there any way you can talk to the cook? I would also talk to the teacher in his room. And set up another meeting any time the staff changes. We have 2 vegetarians in our daycare, and 1 child that doesn't eat most meat for religious reasons. To date, they've never once been fed something they shouldn't. It's not hard...I cook for 140 students every day, by myself. I heat up separate food for usually 4-6 kids on top of the regular meal. With communication, it's not a big deal. I just ask the teacher if the student is there that day, if they brought special food, and then return it to the classroom with the regular meal.<br><br>
I do have my own restrictions though. If the child has no substitute food I may be limited in what I can provide. Maybe they fed him the nuggets because they didn't know what else to feed him?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>affidavit</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3029854"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Why do they make him wait?</div>
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It's not deliberate to make him wait, they just get the food for the other kids first then give him his food.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElaineV</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3029749"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
We're starting to have more daycare issues. The problem is they have a set menu that the rest of the kids eat. We bring a special lunch for our little one, but the issues are these:<br>
- the daycare staff sometimes makes him wait for his food (so he might grab food off other kids trays in the meantime)<br>
- sometimes they make him sit separately so it's easier for them to make sure he eats his food (I worry he will feel excluded)<br>
- they get confused by our vegan cheese and think he eats dairy<br>
- french fries... they serve them too often and out kiddo loves them, so if there are french fries around that's ALL he will eat</div>
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I'm not sure about the making him wait issue, as I don't really know the layout/staffing situation, but is there a way they can offer him a piece of fruit, a cracker or something just to have in his hands/mouth?<br><br>
On the eating separately issue, I'm pretty sure this would be in violation of daycare licensing laws. It would be considering a method of shaming (even though I get that this isn't their intent). Honestly, this would bother me more than the snitches of non-vegan food.<br><br>
When the other kids have french fries, is your munchkin allowed (by you and dad) to eat them, or is he getting them off others' plates?<br><br>
The dairy/non-dairy cheese thing sounds tough...he's just two?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sorry, haven't checked on this thread in a while <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/blush.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":eek:"><br><br>
So there haven't been any more mix ups since that date. I confronted the manager about it, again, and she told me they did give him the chicken fingers on purpose, knowing full well what they were doing. When they served the other children, then tried to give him something else, he cried because he didn't have what everyone else did, so they gave in. I'm really conflicted on my feelings about that, because I understand that they just didn't want him to be left out, but at the same time it's definitely not the solution to just give in to him.<br><br>
I've gotten a menu from the daycare and told them each one he can't have, and I've supplied them with veggie nuggets for the days he needs a replacement. I'm considering also supplying them with almond milk as a replacement, but that might be a whole nother set of issues <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"> Thanks for all the response!<br><br>
ETA: realized that sounded a little funny....the almond milk would just be to replace milk, not a meal replacement.
 

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We just supply the whole day for our kids. prevents mistakes and they eat much healthier. problem solved.
 
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