Should the babysitter feed my kids her food? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My children go to a babysitter 7 hours a week so I can get some work done.
I pay her $10 hr, which for our area is very good. I have always sent them with their own snacks. I'm okay with this but I was just curious if this was what other people do or would do. Should she be feeding my kids snacks (they are not there for any actual mealtimes) food from her cupboards?

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#2 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 04:13 PM
 
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I would say it depends on whether or not you consider her a babysitter as in "nanny" or babysitter as in "daycare provider". If she is someone that you employ to hang out with your children (and only your children) I would say she is more the nanny capacity and your snacks from home are appropriate. If, however, it is a business that she runs, other kids attend, and it's more of a preschool or daycare setting, then I'd say it's fine if part of her setup is snacks.

Just my thoughts.
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#3 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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Daycare provider=usually provides snacks and meals.

Nanny= you provide.

Babysitter= either... I'd provide snacks if they were coming to my home, but if I am going to their home, they provide snacks.

I am a daycare provider, so I have snacks here. But, very often the parents will get us something to share. They might bake, or be shopping at Costco and bring us something. It's just a nice thing they want to do. Otherwise, I provide all food.
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#4 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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Assuming it's safe IE she isn't feeding them stuff they are allergic to or that you flat out forbid or don't eat for religious reasons for example I think it's fine. But if you don't want her to, you should let her know.
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#5 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 06:17 PM
 
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Well, if the kids want to eat....

Does she offer them your provided snack first?

If I were to use a babysitter, I would also pack a snack. But, if the snack has been eaten and the kids are still hungry, I would be thankful of the sitter for feeding them out of her own cupboard.

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#6 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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I think it would just depend on what you agreed upon.

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#7 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 06:54 PM
 
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My babysitter is my best friend and she feeds my son whatever they're eating. He's usually there for lunch, and sometimes they have dinner early and he'll eat with them. I do pack stuff in his bag though in case they're having something he doesn't like. (Which is very little...He is a good eater.) If they're out and about and they do fast food, she'll get him his own. I pay her enough that it's not creating a hardship. I actually pay her well into the upper midrange for in home daycare in my area. If she asked for a few dollars to contribute, I'd be happy to.
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#8 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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I think it would just depend on what you agreed upon.
I agree with this.
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#9 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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If I paid a provider an above average wage to care for my children in her home, I would expect her to provide a healthy snack. Some parents are more comfortable providing their own snacks, and there's nothing wrong with controlling what your kids eat while they're at the provider's place. However, if it's a case of the provider not wanting to provide a snack at that price point, then I think a parent has the right to ask her if she'll reconsider.

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#10 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 01:04 AM
 
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If/when ds goes to any kind of childcare/school I will provide ALL food/drink for him. For allergies and b/c of dietary restrictions other than allergies.
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#11 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 01:23 AM
 
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if she is on a tight budget. you know she depends on your money to make things meets then i would continue to provide the snacks.

if she follows my food instructions and once in while gives my dd what i call junk i would be fine. if she handed out a couple of pieces of candy after halloween i would be quite ok with that. i would be ok with junk after 5 years old.

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#12 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 09:44 AM
 
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I think that if the care provider provides food, you don't get to say what kind of food it is (aside from allergy and similar issues): for that reason, I would probably choose to send snacks with my child.

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#13 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
I think it would just depend on what you agreed upon.
Yup. I have a friend whose kids were babysat in a home everyday while she worked. It was a small town and the fee was low. The babysitter started off providing snacks but then asked her to either send something or pay an extra few dollars towards snacks because her kids were much bigger eaters than the woman's own children and she wasn't expecting such an increase in the food budget.

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#14 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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Agree it should be based on what was discussed in advance.

As a babysitter/CCP she should be determining her hourly rate based on the expense involved and what the market supports. If she based the rate on your bringing snacks to suddenly stop impacts her income.

As a parent what I pay factors into my budget so I would want to know in advance if there were any other costs involved. If I assumed the rate included snacks to suddenly have to pay for snacks could impact the amount I could afford.

But then again I think of child care as a business because I have a seen a lot of unprofessional situations out there. I make sure to discuss all this upfront-snacks, late charges, cancellations, expectations (i.e. TV, outings, etc) and then have a written agreement.

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#15 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
I think that if the care provider provides food, you don't get to say what kind of food it is (aside from allergy and similar issues): for that reason, I would probably choose to send snacks with my child.
There are a lot of things I wouldn't want my kid eating on a regular basis so I would choose to send our own snacks or at least make sure there is a clear understanding (i.e. 'snack should be fresh fruit') of exactly what snack she would provide.

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#16 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 01:22 PM
 
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DS has gone to someone else's house for childcare twice (for a single time with each person). Both times they provided the food. In general I prefer someone in my home, which means I provide the food. In fact, I usually cook and/or layou what the kids have to eat and leave a note. I don't like leaving it up to chance. Very few people near us eat the way we do, so it just makes me feel more comfortable. With other people's homes, especially if they have other children there, I can see how they'd prefer to provide all of the food so that everyone's eating the same thing.

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#17 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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I prefer to send along my own snacks and food. I do that to be sure they eat the things I want them to eat.

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#18 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 02:33 PM
 
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oh, and as a daycare provider I went back and forth. On the one hand I did not like what a lot of kids brought So I provided all food and allowed no outside food. Then my friends kids literally ate me out of house and home and would rummage through my cabinets insult our food etc. So then everyone had to bring their own snacks and I provided no food. I always had parents provide milk. I simply did not have the room to store specific milk for each child.

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#19 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the feedback. I was mostly just curious. I set it up this way because 1.I know money is very tight for them 2.I like to make sure I know what my kids are eating.
But I have had moments when my cupboards are bare and no time to get to the store that I'm not sure what to do. I have only sent them without something once I think and she didn't say anything about it. I made sure the kids were fed a proper meal and not hungry going over and I told her that. One day it's only 3 hours, so it's not a big deal. She feeds them some of her stuff sometimes anyways, like fruit or Popsicles. She knows what my food specifications are. I just started to wonder though because if I was the sitter, I would use our food. But I can see now from this thread that it's different in all situations. Makes sense!

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#20 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 03:09 PM
 
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When my friends and I watch each other's children, we tend to make a donation to the pantry rather than sending a snack for the child.

I watch some friends' child for a week at a time in the summer, and they bring a bunch of food for the kids (all the kids--their kid and my kids) the first day of the week, and nothing the rest of the week. So all the kids get some of their food, and some of my food, and it makes everything easier for all the parents. It is MUCH easier for me when all the kids are offered the same snack (no snack jealousy issues).
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#21 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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I don't think there's any "should" in this situation -- whatever you guys have agreed on is fine.

If I were you, unless you specifically talk to her about it and change your arrangement, I would probably continue sending snacks. If the cupboards were bare and it wasn't a babysitting day, you'd find something for them to eat or go shopping and get something, right? And since your babysitter isn't used to having to feed them, she could be having a bare-cupboard day that same day, so you can't assume she'll have something on the days you don't.

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#22 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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Honestly, if it is only three hours I wouldn't send anything and as a a sitter it wouldn't occur to me to offer a snack.

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#23 of 27 Old 11-05-2010, 12:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MissMaegie'sMama View Post
If I paid a provider an above average wage to care for my children in her home, I would expect her to provide a healthy snack. Some parents are more comfortable providing their own snacks, and there's nothing wrong with controlling what your kids eat while they're at the provider's place. However, if it's a case of the provider not wanting to provide a snack at that price point, then I think a parent has the right to ask her if she'll reconsider.
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When my friends and I watch each other's children, we tend to make a donation to the pantry rather than sending a snack for the child.

I watch some friends' child for a week at a time in the summer, and they bring a bunch of food for the kids (all the kids--their kid and my kids) the first day of the week, and nothing the rest of the week. So all the kids get some of their food, and some of my food, and it makes everything easier for all the parents. It is MUCH easier for me when all the kids are offered the same snack (no snack jealousy issues).
I think you just have to talk about it. I like the idea of contributing things for the snack pantry, particularly if she has kids of her own.

At dd2's daycare, meals/snacks are extra (parents provide all food the first year). Just more $$ for some really good healthy food. At dd1's preschool last year, we provided lunch, but the school provided snacks (2x/day). For public K this year, parents provide snacks (1x/day). But none of these are as informal or short-term as what the OP is talking about.

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#24 of 27 Old 11-05-2010, 12:48 AM
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I've worked as a nanny in other people's homes. But we did nanny share (2 families at a time), so we were always at one home, and other children arrived there in the morning. And over the years it changed. With one of the families, they sent along everything for their child, including milk and water in sippy cups. Another family would send a bowl of strawberries and a package of crackers at one time or a melon and a litre container of yoghurt another. A third family sent a lunch box for the kids to share, supplemented with a few things from the cupboards of the hosting family.

I'm planning to start looking after a child (as well as DD) in my own home now. And this time I'd prefer that I can feed the child what we eat (we are more restricted than most, eat an organic diet, no sugar, no milk except yoghurt, no egg, little meat, so no risk of junk foods!), so we can eat together, modeling eating and enjoying food together. Possibly the parents can send fruit or something along at times, Luckily, the parents and I are on the same page about nutrition in general, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is, whatever you arrange together is right. I don't think there is a particular "way" it is done.
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#25 of 27 Old 11-05-2010, 01:03 AM
 
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even when my parents sit for ds, I send food. I'm picky, and I don't want my mom to have to cook special stuff for him.

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#26 of 27 Old 11-05-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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Yep if there are other kids there then she will provide the snacks so the kids have the same thing but if it is just your kids but at her house I'd say either as long as it isn't food against your guidelines for the kids. My babysitter provides food for my kids if they get anything (not usually there for meal or snack times) because she has her own kids there and sometimes other kids as well. If I bring something I know how many kids are there and bring for all or just don't send anything at all.

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#27 of 27 Old 11-06-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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oh, and as a daycare provider I went back and forth. On the one hand I did not like what a lot of kids brought So I provided all food and allowed no outside food. Then my friends kids literally ate me out of house and home and would rummage through my cabinets insult our food etc. So then everyone had to bring their own snacks and I provided no food. I always had parents provide milk. I simply did not have the room to store specific milk for each child.
I provide all food because I don't want one kid chowing on chocolate donuts while the kid next to him wishes he had the same thing. If a child insults my food they get one warning, if they do it again meal time is over for them and they are sent away from the table. I feed a reasonable amount of food, and provide seconds....after that they have to wait until the next meal or snack time. The reasonable amount I provide is based on what the food program suggests (even though I'm no longer on the food program).

A babysitter is different though, she's not in business for herself, you are employing her. So it's more common for parents to provide the food in this case. If I were babysitting I'd feed the kids what their parents sent them, but I'd also allow them to try what I was eatting if they seemed interested in it. It's always a good thing (barring allergies) for kids to try new foods I wouldn't let them eat a whole meal of my food if their parents were sending food with them, but they could certainly have a bit to see if they like it.

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