A chef who worked at the day care in Älvsjö, southern Stockholm, told SVT that children who weren't equipped to eat the hard knäckebröd had no choice.
"The small children had to chew with their gums," former employee Maria Vallenor said of the meals at Hälsans förskola, which roughly translates to The Healthy Day Care. The first centre was set up in Rinkeby, but the day care chain soon expanded to other suburbs including Älvsjö.
The drive to expand was put before the children's need for an appropriate diet, claimed a former manager who spoke to the television reporters on condition of anonymity. Her request to central management that staff be given a bigger food budget was met with annoyance, she said.
"They were very upset because they needed that money to get more day-care centres," said the manager, who later resigned her job.
The budget remained tight when the company made an 8 million kronor ($1.26 million) profit in the period 2011 to 2012, SVT reported.
The claims are set to air on national television on Wednesday night on the Uppdrag Granskning investigative news programme. The day care chain has since said it had increased its meals budget by 40 percent.