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Trouble with vegan at the daycare.

Okay, so today was the second day of packing my son's lunch, and I noticed that he isn't eating much of his lunch, which is unusual.

I found out why, he is eating the other kids food.  He was sent home today with supposidly pink eye.  I took him to the doctor and the doctor said he is fine but gave him some drops just in case. 

I asked the doctor while I was there about how I think he may have dairy allergy, and he said that they don't do allergy testing until they are two (he is 17 mo old) and the best way to tell at this age is to cut out the suspected food for a week and then reintroduce it to see if the symptoms return.

I would really like to try it, but how the heck do I do that when he is eathing the other kid's food at the daycare?  He is in the 18-24 month section now meaning that he doesn't sit in a high chair anymore, he sits in at a small table with the other kids around the same table, with plates of food set out for all the kids.  All the kids can easily reach over and grab food from their neighboring kids plate. 

Now the soymilk replacing the cow's milk is no problem, but it is the cheese and dairy in the daycare food that he is eating.  I know he is eating it, his cough is returning, is energy level is not as good, and his poop stinks a little again.  I really want to eliminate dairy from his diet but how in the world can I do that?  I feed him vegan at home, and he drinks soymilk at daycare and at home, but how to keep him from eating the food there, I am lost. 

I am thinking of changing daycares but I am not sure another daycare would be any better.  I think him being vegan is nearly impossible while I am a full time working mom.  What can I do?

Isn't there any supervision at meal time? From a purely social standpoint, daycare workers should be teaching them that taking other kids' food is NOT acceptable behavior. Tell them about his dairy allergy, and that you have to keep him away from it to get a real diagnosis.

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Talk to the doctor and ask him to write a note explaining your elimination diet test. When shopping around for another daycare, be sure to include discussing food in your interviews.

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Talk to the doctor and ask him to write a note explaining your elimination diet test. When shopping around for another daycare, be sure to include discussing food in your interviews.

Yes, most daycares should be scared of being sued if a child has an allergy and they have fed him something he can't have.  Make it very clear that he CANNOT have dairy and include a list of milk-protein ingredients, (i.e. casein, whey, etc..) because most people do not know what these mean.  Include a doctor's note to make everything more formal. 

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Yeah, it's not normal for the kids to share food like that. I would start looking for a better place if you can.

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My  mom is also suggesting me finding a  new daycare becuase they send him home at the drop of a hat and I simply don't have enough time off from work and I can not afford any unpaid time off.  I don't want to use up all my vacation time because I actually do want to take a vacation!  Wow, there is a thought, use vacation time for vacation!  I guess the daycare thinks that a single mom should never have any fun.

My mom thinks I should find a babysitter.  I think I may too.

Anybody know of good websites to look for a new caretaker for my boy?  I am thinking a nanny would be awesome, one that would come over to the home and take care of him.  For what I am paying at Tutor time I may be able to find a nanny.

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I would try to find a stay at home mom who already is home with her kids. They usually charge less (like 20 per day). You might find some online resources or boards that moms are on in your area. Many moms are home anyway and looking for a way to make $ without having to put their own kids in daycare.
I think an in home nanny would cost a lot more.

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I used to work at a daycare and in the age group you were talking about, in our state at least, the ratio is one teacher to 6 kids and while they were eating one teacher had to watch all six kids while they ate and set out naptime stuff, clean the kids, change diapers, and get them to sleep all within a 30 minute time frame.

This, obviously, is impossible.  So unless the are willing to put your child at a table by himself, I would look for a daycare that has fewer students per teacher so he can get more individual attention, or hire a nanny or babysitter. From my experience, unless you really enforce him eating in a separate area, there isn't really going to be a guarantee that he won't eat their stuff.

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Actually, my daycare is 4 kids per teacher, but I don't think that is much better.

Anybody every use sittercity?  I am thinking of signing up for it but it is like $9.99 per month.  Is it worth it?

Then there is the issue with TIME!  How am I ever going to find the time to interview all these babysitter?  Ugh, it is tough.

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SQ, I use sittercity looking for jobs, I like it. A friend of mine used it recently to find a sitter in her area and found a downright gem for her li'l boy!

Somethings to keep in mind though, if you are looking for a nanny (ie one on one), you are essentially looking for a full-time employee. The fact you are vegan and he has possible other issues, requires 'additional skills'. Be ready and willing to pay a comparable and livable wage. If you are unable to do this, you should look into stay at home moms.

~Someone from the other side.

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Thanks everybody!  Actually, things are getting better with the daycare.  They just didn't seem to be 100% sure what I wanted at first, now I wrote it on a board there:
"Michael: home food only, school fruit okay, no dairy" and they seem to be okay with it.  Since there are many different teachers in the room at different times it was impossible to tell every teacher what I wanted, so it seemed to help me writing on the board.  (This board is for all the kids, example, another kid it says bib with every meal, binky only at naptime, etc.)

Now the hard part is figuring out what Mikey likes to eat, making sure he eats balanced meals, how much to pack for daycare, WHAT to pack for daycare, etc. 

It is a learning curve for both the daycare and me.  I think there are going to be some obstacles, nobody is perfect, but it is okay. 

But I still may use sittercity, if no other reason then to get a baby sitter so that I can have a few hours for myself every now and then. 

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