The wheels on the Twinkie?

The daycare food saga continues.  Being the evil parents that we are, we objected to Doritos as an afternoon snack.  Then his teacher told us she was planning an activity using Twinkies but that she’d be happy to provide him with a sugar free one.  head desk.  Turns out she wanted to have the kids make little Twinkie “buses” with gummy life saver “wheels” and then eat them.  Cute idea, but room for improvement nutritionally!  I approached her about it at “back to school night” and told her I’d be happy to provide hot dog buns and something else for the wheels for the whole (3 kid) class.  I could tell she was a bit put out, but I told her we know WE shouldn’t be eating Twinkies, so why would we give them to kids? On the planned day, I brought some mini round pretzel/cheese sandwich snacks and some natural hot dog buns and apparently all was well.  But we are really really done fighting this battle.

I printed out a wealth of menus, recipes, and meal plans specifically for day care providers and expressed my concerns with the director.  She agreed that there is room for improvement, but the attitude from the teachers has taken a decidedly cool turn.  It must seem to them that our demands are outrageous.  They are very young (under 22) and are taking child care courses at night.  They do truly care for the kids, but for someone that’s never had any education in nutrition for themselves, I can’t expect that they will understand.  Everyday we pack up his lunch and 2 snacks, and think wistfully of the centers with balanced menus and a calendar of meals a month in advance.  Stay tuned on that one, there just might be a change coming, if all works out.

P.S. the snap pea crisps we talked about previously are not homemade.  They’re baked crispy peas, and they satisfy that salty crunchy craving that sometimes happens.  Except when we eat them we feel like we’re stealing food from the baby.

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19 responses to “The wheels on the Twinkie?

  1. Twinkies, really? We are still at the stage (infant room) where we all provide all food, but this makes me wonder how chunk’s next rooms are. Sorry you are struggling with this but this is worth it! Good job on taking a proactive stance for the entire class!

  2. That’s odd… don’t they follow the USDA food program? I’m certain Twinkies don’t count as food anywhere.

    By the way, have you tried the Snappea Crisps they sell at Trader Joe’s? They’re SO tasty!

  3. wishinghopingpraying

    Oh G-d, You are so patient and kind. Twinkies? I would probably “volunteer” to bring snack for the entire year and entire school if I saw Twinkies on the menu. You brought in a great alternative and I have no doubt the project was just as fun. Good job!

  4. Twinkies?!? That is unbelieveable. I mostly like our daycares stuff but i def thinkthere is room for improvement. H gets apple sauces, crackers, goldfish, cereal bars, cheerios, etc. Let me know if you want to see his monthly snack calender. Keep us posted!

  5. yikes!! how is it possible that you are the only parents in the class that objects to twinkies being served to your toddler?! good for you for demanding better!

  6. What would a sugar free twinkie entail??? I thought sugar was the only ingredient in a twinkie that was pronouncable and food-like? Also, I read somewhere that chemically twinkies were closer to petrolium (oil) than food. Wow, I like treats, but even I’d be uncomfortable serving twinkies to a toddler.

  7. Ughhhh I think you are completely right to keep bringing this issue up. There is something deeply unsettling that care providers think this is even vaguely appropriate. Good luck in getting some changes! I know it’s hard to be the agitator, but someone has to do it!!

  8. Wow. Twinkies…that’s pretty awful. I’m sorry that you’re getting the cold shoulder from the teachers. I think you’re right on all counts!

  9. I don’t think my three year old niece even knows what a twinkie is. That is crazy that they are wanting to feed those kids twinkies and doritos…makes me want to start a day care lol!

  10. Twinkies for kids that young seems like a bit much for a treat. Why introduce that stuff to them when it’s not necessary? They (or at least some of them) probably don’t even know it exists!

    I’m all for treats once in a while. Even a Twinkie wouldn’t upset me every now and then with our older son. But I think Miles is too young for that particular kind of treat when kids that age really don’t care and are just as happy to have apple sauce or something.

    Our kids eat treats. I don’t believe in not giving them to them at all because then they just want them more. A friend of mine won’t let her kids have candy at all unless it’s a special occasion and her older daughter is obsessed with it and sneaks around trying to get candy whenever she can. If they’re allowed to have it sometimes, they don’t feel like they’re missing out on something. But I would be very unhappy if they were getting crap on a regular basis at daycare, and it sounds like that’s exactly what’s happening in your case.

  11. I just went back and read the part about the Doritos. Yikes! The food thing sounds like a serious issue there. Corn Pops, Doritos and Twinkies? Do they offer them anything healthy at all?

  12. Teaberry- That’s exactly what the snap pea crisps are :)

    Jessie- Thanks for the offer, but we have a full monthly menu of lunches and snacks for the center we’re looking into and it’s great.

    Offering of Love- I KNOW, right?!

    Shannon- I can’t justify ever giving Miles a twinkie, however, we’re definitely not anti-treats. On occasion he’ll get something sweet, like a cookie, and I think it would be mean to deny him sweet things as he gets older. The daycare occasionally gives the kids fruit and veggies, but even a 50/50 split on healthy things and junk food is unsettling to us.

  13. Yeah, I agree, sounds like he’s getting wayyyy too much junk food at the daycare. 50/50 split is not okay. More like 95% healthy and 5 % treats. Also, there are lots of treats out there that are still healthier choices. I think pretty much anything is healthier than a Twinkie. LOL. What I really can’t get over is that they would offer something like that to children that young. I can maybe see it as a special treat (as in, one time only) for 3 or 4 year olds, but these kids aren’t even two and there’s no need to introduce it that young.

  14. Don”t be discouraged. keep up the fight. You can be the teacher here and make things better for all the kids.

  15. That is brutal. Twinkies and Doritos. Seriously? Do they really want to take care of kids strung out on junk? I would expect a daycare to have lots of healthy snack ideas to inspire parents? Jeepers.

  16. If they aren’t thinking about nutrition maybe they should think about the immediate behavioral affects of feeding toddlers twinkies! Are they trying to make their jobs harder??
    We have a similar situation to Jessie – room for improvement, but not bad – lots of fruit, crackers, home made banana bread, mac and cheese, meatloaf, always veggies with lunch, etc. Definitely no twinkies or doritos.
    Good luck!

  17. Wow, that does sound vexing. The daycare my son attended when he was small had a half-decent menu, but we’re vegetarians so we had to pack his lunch most days anyway.

  18. i am glad to hear it is not just my daycare…but of course sorry that you are going through this as well. keep up the good fight! maybe they will give in soon. we are STILL fighting but i try to look at it in small victories everyday.

  19. I am pretty liberal where food is concerned– kind of an “all things in moderation approach”– BUT feeding a 50/50 healthy/unhealthy snack is seriously irresponsible in a world where childhood obesity is reaching epidemic proportions. Twinkies for toddlers? NO! The art project sounds great but, like you, I think there are about 100 other creative ways to do it that do not involve transfat-fillled parafood. Stand your ground!! You guys are soooo right.

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