I've written about this before; the displeasure with the breakfast cart at my Daughters daycare/school. I'm not one for denying Cassie anything totally, but I am for making proper choices 80% of the time and have her understand that we enjoy some foods only sometimes, "Sometimes Foods."
It works in our house and she gets it. I truly don't think she feels deprived.
The breakfast cart at her school was inconsistent, at best, with their more "healthy" offerings. Occasionally they'd have fruit, eggs, breakfast meat, etc. But always they would have frosted pastries and sugary cereals.
The dilemma is that a pre-schooler wants nothing more than to assert their Independence and make their own food choices... and to that end they should be able to! We teach our kid about healthy choices vs. other choices. We never say something is "bad", we just say it's not a "healthy choice".
I had written a couple letters to her daycare, they were pretty lengthy (go figure). They weren't necessarily about eliminating these not so healthy choices, but rather relocating them so parents could see them, then they could decide if it was an option for their child to choose from on a particular day. Face it, if a pre-schooler has a choice between a pink, sprinkly iced pastry and a plate of scrambled eggs, what are they going to choose?
Nothing ever really came of my letters, beyond their acknowledgement (which was received very politely and empathetically), until last week.
It had been a few weeks since Cass had an iced pastry treat (I don't even want to type the brand name, but it rhymes with "mop fart". Personally the thought of her eating these makes me cringe, because I know they have no nutritional value whatsoever.
On the way to school she tells me she hasn't had a "mop fart" in a "weewee wong time" (that's "really long time" to adults) and ask me if she could have one "if I have something healthy first."
Of course I was elated... she got it! She understood the difference in the 2 foods. "Of course you can!", I told her.
We get to the school, we're both happy, she races to the breakfast cart...
Duh, duh, duuuuuh <---- that's dramatic music for the something bad that's about to happen.
No Mop Farts
No sugar covered nuggets
No brightly colored cereals
The tears start... I feel terrible. So does the school's cook who hears Cassie sobbing. It was right then I was informed that all sugary foods have been removed from the breakfast cart... for good.
I was happy we won, but sad for Cassie at that moment. Cassie reluctantly and sadly picked out some yogurt and juice and we went to class with tear-filled eyes. She'd make it through the rest of the day without a mop fart. :) Sad as it was; it's a huge deal to a 4 year old!
I dropped her off and the school's cook came out an apologized to me. I tolder "don't be silly. there's nothing to apologize for." "This is a good thing -- the kids just have to adjust." She said she just felt so badly about it. I told her don't... it's the best for them long-term.
I don't think she believed me, but I did. :)