Need Advice - Daycare Gave My Baby Food Without My Consent - Am I Overreacting?

Updated on September 29, 2010
J.X. asks from Phoenix, AZ
8 answers

Hi moms! I need some advice! This is my first, so i am probably a little more overprotective than some. My baby is 8 1/2 month old and is eating solids (I puree fruits, veggies, meats for her) at meals. She goes to daycare and I provide her food (all parents do). My concern is that they gave her a Ritz cracker yesterday. So #1, they gave her food that I didn't provide or consent, #2 they gave her a cracker which is salty (and probably too salty for a baby) and I do not want her to get in the habit of snacking yet. When we do introduce snacks it will be fresh vegetables and fruits, not something like crackers that have little or no nutritional value. I have no problem requesting that they don't give her crackers....I just want to know am I over-reacting about the whole situation? We are a healthy, organic family and I really want my baby to learn healthy eating habits early. Thanks for your help!!

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A.D.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi J.! I am also a first time mom and until my son was born I worked in childcare. First of all, I don't think you're overreacting....I don't think you should be too angry about it, but it is certainly worth discussing with your childcare provider. As another poster already mentioned, I would also suggest you bring some snack foods. As children grow sometimes they're eating habits do strange things. I agree that crackers (especially salty ones like Ritz!) are not a healthy snack choice. However, when kids are teething, crackers are nice for them to chew/suck on. There are multi-grain crackers that you can buy. We had loads of families who only ate organic, nutritional products. Most of them would bring fruit/veggies for snacks or the multi-grain crackers. Does your childcare provider have a sheet that they post of foods that each child can't eat? We always posted something so that any teacher in the room could easily see it. There was a section for food allergies and a section just for foods that kids weren't allowed to eat due to parent choice. Maybe you could suggest your care provider implement something like this? Do not feel bad about making your wishes clear to them. You pay them to take care of your daughter and they need to respect your dietary boundaries.

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C.S.

answers from Phoenix on

I can understand your concern on certain items of food being offered to your child without your concent. This is something you may kindly want to address with the Director of the center.

Does your daycare participate in State Child and Adult Care Food Program? Just a heads up... if they participate in this state program for nutrition they are required to offer each child 2 meals and 1 snack or 2 snacks and 1 meal.

A snack for an 8 month old would consist of 2-4 ounces of infant formula, breast milk or juice and 1/2 slice of crusted bread or up to 2 crackers. Daycares will often have a couple different types of crackers they are offering for the week.

If there is a less salty cracker your ok with your baby girl having, by all means let them know. I'm sure they would be more than happy to accomadate.

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D.G.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi, J.. I hope you're doing well. First, I would consult with your pediatrician and get their input on salty crackers, and find out what snacks they would suggest. Of course, you may not necessarily agree with what they say, but that's OK...you're entitled to your own opinion. However, I feel that talking to your pediatrician is a good starting point. From there, I would consult with your daycare provider. YOU pay THEM...therefore, in my opinion, they WORK for you and should be able to accommodate your requests or special needs within reason. I hope this helps. I'm now a grandma at 51, and I know the frustrations my daughter as gone through with her daycare provider. Don't waste your time talking with the employees or the teachers in the classroom....go right to the director of the facility. Take care.........D.

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L.R.

answers from Burlington on

If your child has teeth you should be introducing small pieces of food that can be grasped with the index finger and thumb. Eating is important for nutritional, developmental and social reasons. You should also allow your child to feed herself as much as possible. The best way to have a healthy child is to relax. Your baby will not turn into a salt crazed swollen child from one Ritz. That being said, you totally have the right to have your child eat healthy organic foods that you send. Make sure you educate yourself because organic and or natural does not necessarily mean healthy. Remember to stay away from things like honey, tree nut butters, etc. until your child reaches age two. Good luck take a breath and relax.

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P.S.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi J.,

I don't think that you are over reacting. She is your child and they had no right to give her food that you did not authorize them to give her. What if she had food allergies or was diabetic? I would talk to them and tell them just what you wrote...that you want her to have healthy, organic foods and that she is only to be given food that you bring in. You might provide a healthy snack type food that they can keep on hand for her. Babies go through growing spurts, where one day they are fine and they next they are eating everything in site.
The best thing you can do for your children is follow your instincts and be their advocate.

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R.P.

answers from Phoenix on

Let me start by saying that, "No, you are not overreacting." I was the same way with my son and was extremely upset when grandma gave him a Cheerio and he had just started solids. Of course, he choked on it because he had no clue what it was. I was very uptight about things like that until I had my second child.

I was also a daycare provider and would have never dreamed of feeding an infant a piece of food without first consulting the parents. BUT, your provider may have been looking for a way to entertain your daughter during a fussy moment. They may have thought she was hungry, but had no other food left to feed her and it may not have been time for another bottle. My suggestion? I would send a few more "snack" items for your daughter or maybe one more pureed item that she can have "if needed." I used to buy extra baby food jars of foods that I know the baby I watched ate. If she seemed like she needed to eat again, I would feed her half a jar and that usually did the trick. Just a suggestion, but the provider might have done it in innocence and was desperate.

If it makes you feel better, I didn't give my son crackers until he was 1.5 years old. I stuck to whole grain goldfish or cheerios, sometimes the little puffer snacks that they sold by the baby food. Has she had anything like that?

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J.R.

answers from Phoenix on

Quite simply - time to start sending in your own, healthy, organic, mom-approved snacks. Just a note of truth here - this will be an uphill battle forever...we too eat only healthy, natural foods in our home. Not so at church/school/sporting events/friends homes/birthday parties, etc. The world is loaded with sugar, salt, fat and donuts. So we consider all those other times as junk food treats. I only have one girlfriend who has successfully kept her kids off of sugar....but they have a weird allergy to it.

There are great natural teething biscuits for your baby. Check those out. There is an impressive variety of organic treats at Toys R Us now.

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J.J.

answers from Phoenix on

i think you ar over reacting. you wont be able to control what she eats for the rest of her life and a cracker is not necessarily junk food it does have some nutritional value. i tell you this because i was raised with very controlling parents and in return i did everythingi could to sneak stuff they didnt want me to have. i felt isolated form my peers because they didnt have so many restircitons. as a result up until a few years ago i was a very obese woman. it has been very hard for me to loose all the weight and controll all my health problems . i owe all thsi to my parents. jsut let kid be kids. jhad they not been so controlling about everythign in my life ( i was their first also), i think i wouldnt have developed that obsessiveness to do the opposite of what they demanded

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