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Do I Have to Feed My Nanny?

Mommy Dearest: Do I Need to Feed the Nanny?

Mommy Dearest,

I am about to head back to work and just hired a nanny to care for my baby. We've worked out a contract that outlines everything from her pay and vacation days to her day-to-day responsibilities. My friends just told me that I need to provide her with lunch every day even though it is not outlined in her contract, and not something we discussed. I'm not provided with lunch at my place of work so I don't see why I should have to provide it to her. Is this normal?

– Lunching Mommy

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


Dear Lunching Mommy,

Though you are not contracted to provide your caretaker with lunch, it is a nice thing to do for her. Rather than leaving an elaborate meal, ask her if there are food items she would like you to keep in the house to make things more comfortable for her. This woman is caring for your child and you want to make her feel as welcome as possible. She will likely only ask for a few items.

—Mommy Dearest

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Join The Conversation
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 7 years
ditto, you have to be nice to the person who you're leaving your precious child with. if you don't give her anything she'd probably take food when she feels like it anyways. ive been a nanny, au pair and babysitter and never met any parents who didn't offer food. however i agree that you don't have to prepare a meal for her. it should be enough to buy some tofu, canned fish, cooked chicken, or cheese, and veggies and let her know where the bread/pasta/rice and fruit/snacks are... also you might want to remind her not to bring peanuts, shellfish or anything you are worried about for allergies into the home and to be careful if she carries any pills in her purse! and if you are really cheap just don't leave the good stuff out and ready to eat when she's there!
Happsmjc Happsmjc 7 years
I LOVE what TC00 said about once the kids are older sitting and eating with them and teaching them table manners etc. If you are a nanny you are with them for one if not more meals a day, it is important to sit and eat with them. I always would try and seat and eat around the table even if I wasn't hungry just for that reason, and I always try to eat what they are eating (like peas even though I hate peas!) I wouldn't want to nanny in a house where I wasn't welcome to make my own lunch there. Also someone brought up a great point, when the kids are older if you let the nanny take your child somewhere for lunch you would pay for her lunch, so you should pay for hers at home. I often took kids to movies, lunches, pottery painting, activities etc. My movie, my lunch, my mini golf was also paid for because I was taking the kids. If I had to use my own money for myself I wouldn't have taken them even if the parents had asked, and I would have said why. I also like what Sarah M. said, when you are in someone's home everyday it is the little things that matter. If you don't feel comfortable enough with this person making their own lunch with your food then should they be your nanny? Through the years I have come to love many families and children and I can't imagine why others (like anonymous number 4) and her friends wouldn't WANT to provide their nannies with as comfortable an environment as possible. They are watching your children for goodness sake!
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
Omg, don't be such a tight ass. The woman is loving your child and has the run of your home every day. She's going to become a member of the family. Some fruit, chips and sandwhich fixins and she's happy.
sarasonne sarasonne 7 years
I think it is nice to offer the nanny to help herself to snacks while in your home, but I do not think it is necessary to everyday have to plan and provide a meal for your employee. Just my opinion.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
i agree about the awkwardness on the meals. All but one of the families i was a nanny for provided food for me to eat for lunch. The one family who didn't, had a little boy who would often refuse to eat his lunch because mine was different. Think of it this way. You are paying this person to be there for your children, when you cannot be. You want this person to do as much for your children as you would, to treat them as you would, so why wouldn't you want to do as much for that person (within a professional working relationship) as you could? In the scheme of things, one meal a day, as long as you provide ingredients for something from scratch, is really cheap and goes a long way to foster good feelings between you and the nanny. You dont want stress over something as silly as a meal.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
^^^So, since babies nap for long periods of time, it would be ok for the nanny to just leave and go pick up lunch somewhere? Yes, you should offer lunch to your nanny. My work doesn't provide lunch for me either, but I'm an attorney and thus can come and go from work as I please. Nannies, on the other hand, don't have that kind of luxury. The summer before I started law school, I provided full time care to a child with pervasive autism, and I ate his parents' food every day, which they graciously offered to me. The thing is, your baby isn't going to stay a baby forever. Once your child is old enough to eat "regular" food, it would be really weird/awkward for the nanny to have to prepare snacks and meals for your kids without being "allowed" to eat any of it herself. I prepared lunch for the child I cared for every day, and it would have been really strange for me to have to bring my own ingredients to prepare a separate lunch for myself while simultaneously cooking for the child.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 7 years
I think these questions only come up with new parents when they haven't actually ever cared for someone else's kids before they had their own. Throughout college and beyond I nannyed and babysat and when the kids eat you eat (usually). It's nice to not have to eat what they are eating and have something more to your own taste, and while sometimes I would throw a snack or two in a bag when I am babysitting or nannying it is standard that you are eating the food in that house, obviously! I've never met parents who didn't say to eat whatever I wanted or if nannying would make sure there was lunch food available (bread, etc). And when the baby is too young to eat, the same rules apply--when she has two seconds she will throw something together to eat. In other words, yes this is beyond NORMAL. The nanny will eat lunch at your house and usually eat your food.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
I agree, maybe she will bring a lunch, but since she's in your home and won't be able to leave to pick anything up, it would be nice if there was food there for her to eat if she's having a day at home with your child.
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