Getting Your Nanny to Follow Your Food Preferences
You are conscientious about what you let your little ones eat. How do you best communicate your food preferences to your nanny so that you can ensure that your children are eating as well in your absence as they are in your presence?
- 1. Verbally inform your nanny about your food preferences as soon as she begins working for you. Be specific. If your preference is to limit your children’s consumption of sugar, is that sucrose only (i.e., candy) or does that include fructose (i.e., fruits)? If your family is vegetarian, are your children allowed to eat eggs, cheese, or fish? What kinds of snacks are permitted before bedtime?
- 2. Write a list of your food preferences and keep the list in a handy location in your kitchen so that your nanny can refer to it in your absence. (Make sure to show your nanny where the list can be found.) No one has absolute recall, so the written list is a handy reminder. As with #1 above, be specific so that your nanny can clearly understand your preferences.
- 3. Monitor your nanny. For example, if your preferences include no candy, and you come home to find a Snickers wrapper laying on your kitchen counter top, it’s best to follow up with your nanny. Begin by asking questions. For example, “We found a Snickers wrapper in the kitchen. Was that your snack?” (Side note: if it was the nanny’s snack, how do you feel about your nanny eating foods that your children can’t have in front of your children?) You may also wish to ask your children some questions as well. For example, “Did you have a nice time with the nanny last night? What fun things did you do? What all did you eat?” (Note: take care not to ask the questions in such a way as to suggest that you suspicion wrongdoing.)
- 4. Provide feedback to your nanny. If you establish that your nanny has complied with your food preferences, praise her for a job well done. If you establish that your nanny has not complied with your food preferences, re-orient her to your preferences. Ask her if she has any questions. If the non-compliance recurs, then you may wish to evaluate whether you want to continue having her care for your children.
By following these four simple steps, you will ensure that you are doing your part to ensure that your children are eating as well in your absence as they are in your presence.