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keightlynn

Daycare advice

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I need some advice from people who share my food worldview (because others, husband included, think I'm crazy). My son is almost 2, and we will be moving to another area in a few months shortly after his second birthday. His current daycare is overall great, and allows me the bring all of his food in for him. My LO is an amazing eater, and enjoys veggies, meat, fish, fruits. He happily eats sardines, kimchee, olives, kale, etc. People always comment on how smart and strong he is, and I truly attribute this in large part to his diet. 

Anyway, in the town we are moving to, I basically have to viable options. One is the base (Army) daycare & the other one is a civilian one off post. The civilian one has a lot of things I do like about it, and they will allow me to bring his lunch with a doctors note (which I can get). However, philosophically, I disagree with the academic approach they take. They teach the 2 year olds to write their names and have computer time, both of which I dont agree with. I don't believe in screen time or early accademics. I'm sure I could tell them not to allow him on the computer but it's in the room so he would still be seeing the other kids use it &I want to watch. The base daycare doesn't push the academics or computers, but absolutely will not allow me to bring food, even with a doctors note. They will just "make the accommodations" themselves. They follow the USDA nutrition guidelines which we all know are absolute crap. 

Nanny or home daycare are not options for a number of reasons that I won't get into here, but i would like some advice on your thoughts. My husband thinks I should put philosophy above food, and I do also feel strongly about philosophy. However I feel like I why did I devote so much time for 2 years teaching him to appreciate healthy food, so I can send him somewhere that considers pizza a vegetable. 

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sounds like you'll have to compromise somewhere, and I'd guess that isn't going to be on the food, so therefore send him off post, but try to speak with them and arrange that he has minimal exposure to the screen if possible, maybe extra out doors time? or more reading?  it's obvious that you attribute his health, energy, fitness, and happy demeanour to his diet (and why wouldn't you?!) - so to keep that you need to keep him eating the good stuff.  You have to do what you feel is best for him in the long run, and to be honest, for the rest of his life, what matters will be his health - healthy body, healthy brain.

I wish I could get my wife to agree on feeding our three year old healthier foods.

keightlynn, ladyshanny and littleg like this

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Well these past few days have confirmed my feelings on not compromising over daycare food. Being the holidays I allowed my son to enjoy some holiday treats. I'm sure he probably still had way less junk than a normal toddler eats in a day, but he got a few homemade cookies, animal crackers and several candy canes (this was his first time having any of those). His behavior has been totally out of his norm and more like the classic "terrible twos" with whining and irritable. It's not from the holiday excitement because it's just me and his dad at home so nothing too out of the norm, aside from the sugar. This definitely confirms to me that his healthy diet plays a big role in his normally good behavior.

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Geez, tough spot - and one I imagine I'll find myself in down the road... what is the rigid-food places rationale for not allowing outside food?  That seems kind of odd to me - especially with a doctor's note!  If you had a kid with legitimate dairy/gluten/peanut allergies they would really just say "too bad"?  

How much time does he spend at day care?  Is it full day 5 days a week or just a few hours a few times per week?  I think the philosophy issues would be less concerning for a more part-time role of day care in his life - but I could see full time how it would be more important.  

Personally, I'd go with the place that will allow him to eat the way you'd like him to eat.  Its the foundation for everything.  As long as when he is home with mom and dad your "philosophy" rules are in place I think you can "undo" more of what he might be exposed to in day care than for him to be filled up with crappy food everyday... 

 

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the military base daycares are just super rigid about food. In fact my son does have severe food allergies to eggs, dairy, soy, and peanuts. But they won't budge at all. They say they will accommodate and cook him safe foods but 1) I don't trust someone else to be as careful as I am and 2) I think their "safe" foods will be super unhealthy. It's a frustrating situation and I wish we didn't have to move from our current daycare. It's full time but I'm going to visit again and talk to the director at the one that does allow me to bring food.

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Based on the Holiday story, I'd probably go with the off-base one. I don't support screen time or organized early academics, but I'd rather deal with that than have no control over what goes into his body.

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Just wanted to update once more that after a couple days back on his normal eating, he was right back to his normal happy, even-tempered self. I really do believe what kids eat has a big impact on behavior, especially when they are little and don't understand the reasons for their emotions yet. 

Nira81 likes this

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Early educator here....

DEFINITELY don't compromise on food. The usda guidelines are terrible and many of my preschoolers only eat the bread and cows milk. It's way easier to discuss your educational/care plan with the director and teachers so they know to not allow him screen time or do forced academics. His teacher should respect your wishes and be able to come up with other activities. Good luck.

keightlynn likes this

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Thanks for the insight Whole_kat. That's exactly my concern and especially since he has allergies that they will just give him the easiest "safe" foods, which would likely be plain processed carbs like bread and crackers.

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