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Preschool lunch

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#1 Caribou

Posted 17 February 2015 - 04:00 PM

What do I do here? I'm feeling pretty p*ssed and embarrassed.

DD has been in pre-school for about a month now, and has the same rotation of food for 3 days, (it's something different each day but gets the same thing the next week)

Today I sent her in with an apple and a cheese and carrot sandwich. been doing this for a month, no issues.

Today they tell me I need to pack more food. Apparently she was telling them she was "so so hungry" so they made her another sandwich.

Pre-school is from 9-2:30. morning tea is at 10:30, lunch at 12-12:30 I collect at 2:30pm. she's eating something least every two hours. she has a massive breakfast of 2 weetbixs and either peaches or bananas on it.

I rocked up with afternoon tea to give to her. I don't believe she was hungry, but rather she saw everyone else was still eating and didn't want to be the only one not eating after she'd had her food. If she said to me "I want food, I'm so so hungry" I'd tell her lunch is in x minutes you'll have to wait until then." She lets it go, I normally offer a drink before food because I have seen her mix her hunger and thirsty signals up.

I am a little annoyed they didn't see it fit to give me a call and make sure it was ok. Especially since we're expected to send them in with their own food.

I am going to pack extra food in tomorrow, I'll throw in some carrot sticks to go with her cheese and tomato sandwich and banana.

I guess I am embarrassed too, I thought I was sending her in with plenty of food, and I always have afternoon tea ready for her upon pick up. Am I underfeeding her? She's in 75th percentile for height and weight. So it's not like she's being underfed in my understanding, her diet is good and has plenty of fruit and vegs.

So... What am I doing wrong?

ETA: DD is 3 years old.

Edited by Madnesscraves, 17 February 2015 - 04:12 PM.

#2 Starrydawn

Posted 17 February 2015 - 04:12 PM

So you send just an apple and a sandwich? I would probably add about 3more things. A snack or two for recess and a sandwich and something else for lunch. Plus something for incase.

It sounds like very little food. Kids like a choice.

My 3.5year old DD is very fussy eater. But for kindy today they do shared fruit, then a small snack like crackers, followed by lunch.  I sent her with  grapes and strawberries. Banana bread and three mini quiches plus her shared fruit and crackers. That is for 9-3.15pm. Now a lot of that no doubt will come home. But just incase I don't want her hungry.

Edited by Starrydawn, 17 February 2015 - 04:17 PM.

#3 LittleBrownMouse

Posted 17 February 2015 - 04:14 PM

Sounds like you are sending a nice healthy lunch so certainly doing nothing wrong.

I'm in the same boat, in that my boy has just started preschool too. Like you, I try to send a healthy lunch, but do pack a little more.

For example, today I sent a small apple and a small handful of rice crackers for morning tea and a chicken salad wrap plus a pear, 3 dates and a few cashews (nuts are allowed) for lunch.

Yesterday I packed half a punnet of blueberries and a mini cheese/zucchini muffin for morning tea and a wholemeal bread roll with vegemite, some grapes, grated cheese and a fresh carrot for lunch.

Probably two thirds of what I send appears to be eaten. They send all left overs home.

The whole packed lunch thing is so fraught, isn't it? We have this huge list of do's and dont's so I think there's lots of us who are just hoping to do our best, just as you are :)

Edited by MrsCee, 17 February 2015 - 04:29 PM.

#4 LionTamer

Posted 17 February 2015 - 04:18 PM

I find with preschool/daycare my kids eat HEAPS because they are so busy and active and they have a designated eating time (so they have to stop and then they realise they have time to eat more)

Once they hit school it tends to drop off because they realise that eating cuts into playing time. Then they eat truckloads for afternoon tea.

I do think fruit and a sandwich isn't really enough for school though. I currently send crackers with the fruit for morning tea.

I wouldn't be angry or embarrassed though - of course they will give her an extra plain sandwich if she is saying that! Then they talk to you to let you know - all appropriate. Imagine if she was really "so so hungry" and they said "oh tough luck sweetie, wait for mum". It's actually quite normal for parents to send not enough or too much food when they are starting out and need a teacher to let them know whats happening - you're finding your feet as much as your daughter is.

Edited by LionTamer, 17 February 2015 - 04:20 PM.

#5 Isolated Old Elf

Posted 17 February 2015 - 04:20 PM

I don't know, my dd gets fruit at morning tea, but a cooked lunch and salad for lunch- all provided. She is 4, they do get afternoon tea but that would be around 3pm. She also gets a large glass of milk at morning tea. She is always starving regress of what time I pick her up :ninja:
You know your dd best so maybe send some corn thins or extra fruit/ salad stuff. Don't be embarrassed though, sounds like a healthy lunch and morning tea.

#6 LittleMissPink

Posted 17 February 2015 - 04:22 PM

I think 2 things for morning tea and 2 for lunch is reasonable for a 4 year old.

Can you add a yogurt for morning tea and some crackers with her sandwich?

Then its not too much food, but enough to tide her over till afternoon tea.

#7 Deb99x

Posted 17 February 2015 - 04:27 PM

I send a yoghurt bag for morning tea with some corn cakes kept in the bag in case that's not enough, which I most days.

For lunch there is a sandwich, either a banana or apple muffin (homemade from the freezer), a piece of fruit/strawberries/grapes etc and either a couple of crackers or a carrot.

This is for a 3y.o. girl and a 4y.o. girl who are probably in the 40th percentile for weight. And there is not often any leftover...

So maybe it really is not enough for them, considering the physical activity of preschool ?

#8 PooksLikeChristmas

Posted 17 February 2015 - 04:39 PM

It doesn't sound like much to me, but then my son, while picky, is a garbage guts. That breakfast isn't what I'd call huge, it's average, so I wouldn't expect it would be especially filling and therefore preventing her from eating much during the day. I'd probably pack the sandwich and fruit for lunch, and then another couple of things for the morning tea. DS does a 2.5hr morning preschool one day a week (he is not quite 3) and comes home for lunch, and I sent him last week with a morning tea of a jam sandwich, chopped up apple and some rice crackers, they were all eaten, and he then also ate lunch at home.

#9 MuddyPuddles

Posted 17 February 2015 - 04:44 PM

We were told at parent orientation that most parents send way too much food and that a sandwich and peice of fruit is plenty for most kids add they want to play instead of eat.  

We've been sending our 3yo with a peice of fruit (apple, banana or grapes), a cheese and vegemite or cheese and ham sandwhich and a squeezy yogurt. Have had no issues.

Don't be embarrassed OP, probably like you say she's finished before others or she might want what others are having.  Maybe pack an extra sandwhich or cheese for for a few days and see if she eats It all?

#10 Caribou

Posted 17 February 2015 - 04:57 PM

Yea, I'll have to add some more in for the next week and see how we go. We're not allowed to send in nuts or packaged food. It has to all be unpackaged (reduce wastage). It is possible she is using up more energy at preschool than she would at home.

Thanks all, just feeling like a crap parent, I tried to follow their guidelines they have on the website, but even then, it seems not enough, I can only fit so much into those lunch
Boxes. I'm going to have to get a bigger one.

#11 Kalanchoe

Posted 17 February 2015 - 05:03 PM

My 28 month old DS eats 2 weet bix for breakfast, some fruit & cheese or fruit & yoghurt for morning tea, & then a pretty big lunch of Spag bol/pasta dish/soup & toast etc. I would definitely be popping a bit more food in the lunchbox like some extra fruit, crackers with spread, cheese cubes, or a healthy muffin.

#12 Pssst...

Posted 17 February 2015 - 05:11 PM

Don't feel like a crap parent. We were told small serving of fruit for morning tea and sandwich plus vege sticks or cheese for lunch and that's it.

DD1 is 4 and I've been worried that it's not enough. She hasn't complained about being hungry while at preschool, but she eats a massive afternoon tea!

It's only week 3 for us so still trial and error. Good luck

#13 LittleBrownMouse

Posted 17 February 2015 - 05:31 PM

View PostMadnesscraves, on 17 February 2015 - 04:57 PM, said:

Thanks all, just feeling like a crap parent, I tried to follow their guidelines they have on the website, but even then, it seems not enough, I can only fit so much into those lunch
Boxes. I'm going to have to get a bigger one.

No need to feel like a crap parent. Sounds like you have similar guide lines to us and I've got this lunch box which I can fit a sandwich in the top and few extras underneath, including a small pear, apple or banana:

And this one for morning tea:

My boy does seem to be eating more there than at home.

ETA these lunch boxes seem to be working well as they have clips which little hands can open and close them themselves.

Edited by MrsCee, 17 February 2015 - 05:34 PM.

#14 Jingleflea

Posted 17 February 2015 - 06:44 PM

My 4yr old started preschool this year( this is her third week).

She eats ONE weetbix (dipped in milk) for breakfast.

Fruit is eaten at PS in the first hour. I do a tiny mandarin and some berries or grapes and berries.

Lunch is a deconstructed sandwich. One slice of bread folded in half(buttered). 2 slices of ham(approx) and some raw vegies such as red capsicum, raw beans, peas in a pod etc.
She will eat a slice of singles type cheese at PS, but not a stringer cheese stick for some reason, so she has had one of those this week.

Then they get afternoon tea at 2ish. I only send a tiny snack as she eats when she gets home too. It's so hard to know what to give her. She doesn't eat carbs much, I worry about food poisoning too. And she doesn't like an actual sandwich very often. She'd never eat a whole one. She never has!

I sent TWO tiny cupcakes(no frosting) last week and got a paper in her pocket showing acceptable foods. Honestly, they were the size of a 20c piece and had a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top.  Not exactly a lollipop or chocolate bar!

She's never been a big eater and is eating three times in 6 hours.

#15 Jingleflea

Posted 17 February 2015 - 06:45 PM

This is her lunch box.


#16 Caribou

Posted 17 February 2015 - 07:19 PM

I'm going to have to give the sistema lunchbox a go. I'd gotten one of those insulated zip up ones from Coles as we walk over 25 mins to her preschool (she's in the pram) I didn't want her food going off either. I'm looking at adding chickpeas in as a snack for the protein aspect so she's not as hungry.

It's so bloody hard; were told not to over feed them, then not to under feed them, then to lay off the fat, add the fat, less meat more meat... Does anyone know if there's a website somewhere that makes suggestions on food for
Kids? I'm aware of adult food servings, but not sure with kids. She's 3! Her tummy is still so small.

Edited by Madnesscraves, 17 February 2015 - 07:20 PM.

#17 GreenEgg

Posted 17 February 2015 - 07:27 PM

Feed kids is a minefield! I would add an extra snack of crackers or some fruit that can be sent again the next day if it isn't eaten therefore not wasted.

If you are concerned about keeping her lunch cool have a look at these lunch bags
i have one to take to work at my food is still cold by late afternoon.

#18 Lucygoosey1

Posted 17 February 2015 - 07:35 PM

My DD is 3.5yrs.  She is petite on the 25th percentile.
Today I packed into her lunch box:

Small container of chopped watermelon and blueberries
1/2 carrot
1 pikelet
Small yoghurt
Ham & cheese sandwich.

She ate it all.  She probably wouldn't eat that much at home but she is more active.
We have a nude food movers lunch box.  

I'd be adding another piece of fruit and a yoghurt,  or even something like a muffin or pretzels.

#19 Furfeathersfleece

Posted 17 February 2015 - 07:38 PM

Hi OP.

Ds1 hasn't stared preschool yet but he's almost 3yo and what you've sent with your dd sounds reasonableness me based on what ds eats.

He eats a fairly big breaky (porridge and banana / up to 2 weetbix and a banana or toast, banana and milk) at around 7-8.

He then eats morning tea at around 10 - a piece of fruit eg 4 large strawbs / I medium pear / a large handful of Blueberries  etc

He next eats lunch at 12.30 - his lunch is perhaps a bit more substantial than yours - 1 scrambled egg with veggies (mushrooms, peas etc) and cheese on 1 slice of toast or a sandwich with avocado, egg and cheese or Ham cheese tomato and cucumber or a salad with assorted salad veggies, cheese and a boiled egg with toast.

He never complains that he is hungry and is quite big boy, so I think I'm feeding him plenty.

He wouldn't eat afternoon tea till around 3.30 or so; after his Nap. This is either a 'savoury snack box' or veggie sticks, cheese, tinned beans etc or rice cakes with Vegemite and cheese etc.

Then dinner at 5.30 followed by Greek yoghurt and fruit for dessert.

Hope that helps.

Given that they've asked you to bring more food, could you pack an extra item and if she doesn't eat it then it can be her afternoon tea? That way it won't be wasted.

#20 blimkybill

Posted 17 February 2015 - 07:47 PM

View PostMadnesscraves, on 17 February 2015 - 04:57 PM, said:

Yea, I'll have to add some more in for the next week and see how we go. We're not allowed to send in nuts or packaged food. It has to all be unpackaged (reduce wastage). It is possible she is using up more energy at preschool than she would at home.

Thanks all, just feeling like a crap parent, I tried to follow their guidelines they have on the website, but even then, it seems not enough, I can only fit so much into those lunch
Boxes. I'm going to have to get a bigger one.

There's no need for you to feel like a crap parent; you didn't know how hungry she would be. But there's no need to be angry with the preschool either. When they gave your daughter an extra sandwich it was no reflection on you. They were just responding to her hunger at the time. They don't have the time to phone home about every little thing which occurs through the day. Giving a hungry child some extra food is just a simple practical solution to the problem. I would just add in an extra item for a while and see if it gets eaten.

#21 oldkingcole

Posted 17 February 2015 - 08:01 PM

Don't beat yourself up too much, the same thing happened to me. They said I wasn't packing enough food and my DS needed more. I was embarrassed.
My youngest is at preschool 8.45-3pm, she's 4. She has morning tea of fruit salad, 4-5 savoury biscuits and cheese. Lunch a sandwich or roll, more fruit or mini cucumber, some savoury biscuits, a few bocconcini and one sweet biscuit treat. It's always gone unless she's off colour.
They go through growth spurts, it takes a bit of trial and error. Be kind to yourself

#22 Pinkcat1

Posted 17 February 2015 - 08:02 PM

Im also surprised that you were upset that they made her another sandwich. I think that they acted very kind and were attentive to her needs.
Being extra hungry at preschool is no reflection on you as a parent. Its great that you and the preschool are communicating about your dd's needs.
In this case Id over pack some extra snacks until you can determine how much food intake she requires while in care. Good luck!

#23 Missmarymack

Posted 17 February 2015 - 08:11 PM

My 4 yr old is taking some fruit and crackers/popcorn for morning tea plus a sandwich (ham and cheese) with vegies (carrot, cucumber, raw beans, cherry tomatoes etc) for lunch. At home she would eat all that plus beg for more, but I'm finding some of it is coming home from kinder.
It was only once that they provided your daughter with an extra sandwich and now you know to send more food, so its not worth being p*ssed off.

#24 Starrydawn

Posted 17 February 2015 - 08:27 PM

View PostJenferal, on 17 February 2015 - 06:45 PM, said:

Same one I use for DD as can fit a few snacks up top and anything bigger underneath.

#25 Future-self

Posted 17 February 2015 - 08:28 PM

I know it's easy to say "don't be upset" but  I know it's so hard when you just feel like you 'got it wrong and every one else is getting it right'.

For me, DS (almost 2.5) is a bits and pieces eater so I do options for his lunch-box for CC.

MT: Banana or apple slices PLUS a yoghurt
Lunch: A hot lunch of 2 lamb chops, or chicken pieces or small pork steak plus some green beans and broccoli OR cold lunch of Tuna slices or smoked salmon slices and grated cheese and carrot
AT: homemade raspberry or banana muffin OR cheese and crackers OR cheddermite scroll

I doubt very much that he eats all of every offering at each meal but this way he has variety and choice (very important to him) and can control his own appetite.

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