How To Know If A Daycare Will Meet Your Child’s Dietary Needs

If your child is enrolled in a daycare program or preschool, you might be concerned about what your child will have to eat. The good news is that most daycare services provide snacks or even meals for children and may also be required by law to offer a healthy meal. However, there are many ways you should prepare for your child's mealtime at the daycare.

Clarify the Diet You Want Your Child to Have

If you would like your child to have a particular diet, make sure to bring this up with the daycare facility. You may be able to pack a lunch for your child, as long as the food is something that the daycare can store. However, some child care centers prohibit that you send any food.

Learn About the Child and Adult Food Care Program

For decades, childcare centers have participated in the Child and Adult Food Care Program, and employees are required to follow regulations. However, these regulations were not updated until recently, and the older regulations were last updated in the 1960s. Snacks for children under 11 months must contain fruits and vegetables, but cannot contain fruit juice.

Older children can have cereals, yogurt, and juice incorporated with their diet. Food served at a child care center should not be fried. However, child care centers are not mandated to implement these changes, so if you are concerned about these guidelines being followed, make sure to ask the child care center if they follow them.

Verify That the Child Care Center Can Accommodate for Allergies

If your child is suffering from food allergies, you'll need to inform the child care center of them just in case they might serve a food that your child is allergic to. Make sure to take your child to an allergist and ask questions about everything that your child is allergic to and how to respond to an allergic reaction. 

Then, inform the daycare center of your child's health condition. In some cases, the child care center might not have food that will accommodate your child's needs, and you may need to look for a different facility. 

A child care center will also need children to wash their hands after eating so they do not cause an allergic reaction for your child. Also, provide emergency contact information not only for yourself but also for a physician in the event that your child has a reaction.

To learn more about child care, contact a daycare center or preschool in your area.