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Children Not Eating Dinner, But Not Given Pudding


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Hi all

 

I have just started to work in a new nursery in the preschool room. The setting is nice , lovely children and so far nice staff. The last few days some of the children have not wanted to eat their dinner so the cook refused to give them any pudding. I did question why but was told that the owner had made the rule that either the children sat their untill they ate the food or where given no pudding. So today 2 children sat for well over an hour with a bowl of now cold dried up pasta. I was horrifed and got upset to be fair. Could you give me any advice please as I know it goes against everything I have ever been taught and against my own ethics.

 

Those children did not eat their food and were not given a pudding and were not offered any snack in the afternoon. One if the children had not eated since breakfast time.

 

One more thing---some advice on time out. It is stated in the policy that it is used sparingly but today all the toddlers were given it at the same time. It seems to be used for everythign and anything. Since I have been there I have not used it in the preschool as I prefer to talk to the child, give postive praise etc.

 

Also could anybody confirm the ratio for preschool when going on outings.

 

Thank you

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Ratios wise I would have thought the same as in the preschool AT LEAST.

 

I don't think there are set ratios just a need to be sensible about where you are going. Do a risk assessment.

For instance we went to our local children's centre which was a matter of getting on and off the coach at nursery and outside the door of the centre with 13 children (3 and 4 years old) and 3 adults.

 

However with 13 children say going on a walk near main roads or to a public place I would want ratios of one adult to no more than 2 children.

 

I am not sure what to say about the lunch issues :o

 

As for time out we do have it but not as a collective thing and whilst its a consequence days and days can go by without needing to use it!

Edited by Scarlettangel
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do all the parents know that this is going on and have agreed that this is the way they want their children to be treated? if the answer to this is no then i would suggest that things need to change rapidly!! (and i suspect that is the case!!)...you need to make sure that your phiosophy and that of the owner is the same or life will be very difficult.How forceful/tactful can you be?? i think you need to have a strongly worded conversation and quickly!! :o

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I've worked in places like that, so I can really empathise with how it would make you feel.

Its completely unacceptable for these children not to be given anything else. As adults we nearly always have a say in what we eat, but the children are given whatever cook decides and thats it.

Cook is not their parent, she shouldnt be having any say over what he children eat, she just has to make sure its nutritious.

Have you spoken to the manager about your concerns?

When something like this goes on and no-one says anything, its my experience that a culture has grown up of not wanting to upset anyone. Cook is older than the majority of the staff, I'm guessing, who are fairly young.

It needs someone to change things, as with the time out. I've seen that used for some pretty strange reasons too. You'll need to be diplomatic and careful but I wish you loads of luck changing those spots. :oxD

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With the pudding thing I would say you perhaps need to find out more about it. Is this in line with what parents wanted? (I know this was always the rule in my house!) Why was it made - perhaps lots of children were refusing to eat and just wanting to go straight to pudding? Is it felt they do it everyday at nursery because they get away with it at home? Are the children choosing from several options with their main course and then refusing to eat something they definitely like or just being given no choice? Was one child refusing to eat creating a domino effect of children copying? Also are they being made to eat all their food to get a pudding or just a reasonable amount? (ie. are they allowed to leave something on their plate?)

 

If this is something that has been implemented for a reason you need to find out more about it. Perhaps you could suggest that those who don't eat are offered a healthy snack later in the afternoon as a compromise?

 

Ratios for trips are in line with normal ratios in terms of legislation but you are expected to take enough staff to keep the children safe. This might be the same as in the nursery if you're just going somewhere on a coach or if you are going somewhere more risky then it might be higher.

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Hi all

 

The last few days some of the children have not wanted to eat their dinner so the cook refused to give them any pudding. I did question why but was told that the owner had made the rule that either the children sat their untill they ate the food or where given no pudding. So today 2 children sat for well over an hour with a bowl of now cold dried up pasta. I was horrifed and got upset to be fair. Could you give me any advice please as I know it goes against everything I have ever been taught and against my own ethics.

 

Those children did not eat their food and were not given a pudding and were not offered any snack in the afternoon. One if the children had not eated since breakfast time.

 

Thank you

 

Very :(:( :wacko: and very :oxD:( Somehow bluebelle2008 you will need to keep "undercover" and find out more about the workings of this nursery - and do your best to effect change for these children.

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Very :(:( :wacko: and very :oxD:( Somehow bluebelle2008 you will need to keep "undercover" and find out more about the workings of this nursery - and do your best to effect change for these children.

Asolutely!

 

How horrible.......feels completely 'wrong' to me.....especially the sitting for an hour in front of cold pasta xD - if they really have to enforce the 'no pudding' rule why weren't these children just excused from the table....or am I missing something here :rolleyes:

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Sent shivers down my spine xD:( How or why does the cook have any say in this? I would have thought her role was to cook the food and any strategies employed for encouraging children to eat are down the the pre-school staff :o

 

I have vivid memories of being 'made' to eat school dinner, it was actually a jelly pudding I was being made to eat. I was sobbing, a nun was standing over me telling me I didn't need to chew jelly just to swallow it, in between my increasingly loud sobs her voice got louder. I have never ever forgotten it and I was 6 or 7 at the time so 50 years ago!!!!!!!

 

I never made my sons eat, encouraged yes and especially when tasting new things. Mealtimes, in my view should be happy, positive, social occasions and the thought of these very young children sitting for an hour with congealed pasta makes me want to cry :(:( :wacko: xD

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School dinners at my Nursery, for me at least, are all about knowing my children and their limits. Some children eat bucket loads of whatever is on their plate and always want more, others need encouragement to try new things. I eat with children, often ending up eating piles of vegetables in games to see who can eat the most veg!

 

But there are some children who's parents have asked we help them eat more, and with them, I give achievable small portions and expect them to at least try what they don't know, and eat what their parents have told me they like.

 

The only reward is that they get to choose their pudding from 3 options. If they refuse to eat food their parent has told me they like (usually because they want to be spoon fed at age 3-4) then they get the fruit salad option. But we would never not give pudding.

 

Thats me though, the meal time supervisors have no such understanding of how to educate children on eating. They give 3rd and 4th portions to overweight children who ask for more, and they pile plates sky high with stuff most children don't like, leading to very full dustbins, for which I get told off. They also give huge puddings to children who haven't eaten any mains, reinforcing the idea that you can live on just sugar. We have regular discussions around this, but it never changes. They just aren't bothered enough to find out about the individual children.

 

As for trip ratios, for 3 yr olds its 4 children to 1 member of staff, or 2 children to 1 volunteer e.g. parent or student. I never take 4 though, in case there is an emergency, who is going to take my 4 little ones while I oversea the emergency? I usually take 2, maybe 3 if they're sensible ones.

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Hi, as a rule of thumb the parents should give permission for pudding to be withheld if the dinner is not eaten, as with any other things that need permission this needs to be written and signed. If the Manager has said it is ok to do this you need to be very careful - is there a whistle blower policy in your setting, if so check it to see where you stand if you bring this to her attention or Ofsted's attention.

Good luck

Edited by Guest
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Surely by only giving a pudding if the savoury is eaten we are making dessert a 'treat' not just another part of the meal and if children can only have the fruit if they eat the savoury we are teaching them that the 'other things' are special and the fruit not.

I tell my staff to encourage trying and if they just cant to clear away with no comment and to give them the second part of the meal -what ever it is so they have some calories for energy , for the rest of the day.

The praise we give is for the trying new things and not for the eating it all up - hoping to stop problems in later life.

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Hi,

 

In my opinion withholding food can be classed as a form of child abuse.

 

I think a child should taste the food (at least) and then decide if they want it or not, as apparently a child has to try the food more than 10 times to establish if they like it or not.

 

The parents should then be asked should their child still be given dessert if they do not eat or even taste their dinner. Perhaps setting up a food star chart so you can establish what kinds of food they prefer and offering them a sticker to at least try it?

 

A sandwich / cracker etc as a quick alternative can be made in seconds but surely it is best practice to ask how their parents handle this issue......a starving child = not best practice

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