Received Monday, April 28, 2008- Perspective & Opinion
Here is my problem.
I nanny children who are severely underweight.
When I am asked to give them dinner, sometimes the calorie count in the meal is under 300!
They are rarely given meat of any kind, for dinner and they are not eating or provided with a healthy, balanced diet by the parents.
Everything they are given is reduced or free of sugar and fat.
When I take them to the swim club in the summer, people stare and make comments. Those who think they are my children have even made nasty comments.
Today, the school sent home a note saying that the children needed to be provided with a proper lunch to get them through the day. I don't prepare their lunch, so I have no control over that. Their lunch consists of a slice of turkey breast on a slice of whole wheat bread, folded over for the younger one who is seven, and two slices of whole wheat bread and two slices of turkey breast for the 10 year old boy. Sometimes they will get a salad instead of the sandwich with a teaspoon of fat free dressing. They also get a snack of 1/2 a cup of oatmeal squares cereal and water sweetened with sugar free, flavored powdered mixes.
The children are suffering from behavioral issues that are escalating, and I believe it's because they are always hungry. If we are at the park, the youngest will beg for food off of anyone there. I always bring "snacks" but the mother and father are both health nuts when it comes to their kids so the approved and provided snacks are not appealing in the least. Usually it's some form or another of shredded oats or unflavored granola. On the rare occasion they are allowed to take a meal in my home, they eat like crazy and anything in sight. I have noticed afterwards their behavior is fine. I had tried to gently approach the mother but she told me that she grew up chubby and no way will she allow her kids to suffer the same fate.
My problem is, I really think these kids are starving to the point that is bordering on abuse. If you saw them without their shirts as I have, you would know what I mean. You can see every bone even each knob of their spine. They constantly ask me for food. other than this issue, the parents, who are well to do, provide these kids with everything they need including love and attention, but I fear for their health. The little one is always getting infections and once, having had to take her to her doctor right from school, he said her immune system is compromised because she is underweight. My mother has advised me I should call CPS on them but I can't bring myself to do that because I fear for the disruption and pain it would bring. But I love my charges and feel they are being starved and as a result, damaged psychologically. Advice is needed please. Thanks
A concerned nanny.