179 people voted.

Saturday, November 13, 2010
I pack my lunch and bring it to work. 36 (20%)
I eat whatever the children eat. 30 (16%)
My employer keeps certain foods on hand for me. 21 (11%)
My employer leaves petty cash for pizza and sandwiches. 4 (2%)
A combination of all of the above. 74 (41%)
I never eat my employer's food. 1 (0%)
I buy my own food and keep it at my employers. 13 (7%)

Your thoughts?

I'm assuming that those who answered would be live-out nannies. As a live-in nanny, your meals are part of room and board. I worked with two less than stellar live out domestics who were so jealous that I ate there, that they decided it wasn't fair to them. One in particular began eating breakfast, lunch and dinner while on the job. She wouldn't began caring for the children until she had sat down and had a leisurely breakfast while she read the paper. She explained to our mutual employer, "I can't be rushed, I won't. My stomache can't have turmoil". 


Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Most of the families I nanny for tell me to "help myself" to whatever I want from the fridge or cupboard, but I am too embarrassed to eat their food. Guess I was raised that way. Though when feeding the kiddos, I have been known to take a nibble or two. :)

TC said...

I've been with the same family 3yrs now and I have been babysitting for them for 4 yrs. From the very moment I started babysitting mom asked me what I wanted and of course I told her nothing, I would be ok. She found out that I liked Dr Pepper so magically that started showing up in the fridge, a few months back when I started a diet and started bringing my own tv dinners those magically started showing up in the freezer.

She also gives me either universal gift cards so we can eat out every day or she will give me specific ones (basically if she gets them from parties and such she gives them to me)

I have problems with them, just like any job but I will say when it comes to food she really is wonderful. She is not picky and she doesn't complain if I eat anything.

Bostonnanny said...

Just my two cents, Im with you I was raised not to eat other peoples food and to ask first if I absolutely had too. I've always been offered food but I pack a lunch. I would feel guilty eating someone elses food, especially since I'm an adult and not family. I guess when you grow up poor you learn that food is expensive and shouldn't go to waste.

ChiNanny said...

Like others, I've been told to help myself, but feel bad eating their food. I bring my own breakfast and lunch, but once in awhile will share what the kids are having, or use a piece of bread and some PB to make a sandwich if I'm still hungry.

anon said...

I was disappointed to see that "I don't have time to eat at my job" didn't make the list of options. lol. That describes my job 90% of the time.

NannyM said...

I'm a live in and I was raised on the poorer side of life and I sure as heck don't turn down free food :) Also, I won't eat the last of anything, most of anything, and I always ask about a certain item if I'm unsure. The mom also tells me what needs to get consumed from the fridge...either by myself or the kids, she doesn't care. I also eat most of my meals standing up at the counter because one or more of the kids is done by the time I get my food! This was the reason I lost 25 pounds the first year of are done, stop eating, on to next activity!

ellemayo said...

I take care of one 6 month old little girl, and her mom works from home. I only work through lunch on Fridays, so on those days she always asks me what I want.

I'm the same way as some of the other posters- I don't feel comfortable eating their food and I hate to have her buy me lunch, but she always insists.

Sometimes we order and either her or I go pick it up, and other times I'll be sitting on the couch holding the baby who is sleeping, and she'll walk in and hand me a bowl of macaroni and cheese.

She's so sweet and I really couldn't ask for a better employer. Whenever if she asks if I want something to eat or drink I say I'm fine, which I am, but I think she would rather I just accept. I'm trying to get used to doing that without her thinking that I expect it, since I don't.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I leave their house and go straight to class, and sometimes she'll even pack up a little lunch for me to take.

I can't believe how lucky I got; they're fantastic to work for.

imo said...

I eat their food and use their credit card/cash to buy foods I want or add them to her shopping list. At first I was a bit shy about it, but they were so accommodating and pushy about helping myself that I got used to it. Now I don't even think twice before helping myself even when the parents are home. haha... I'm probably too comfortable around them, but they've expressed that they like that - I'm family to them!

Kell Star said...

My bosses say for me to help myself to anything I like but I usually just stay with the sandwiches, canned soups, chips, gold fish, and soda for lunch options. I never eat the prepared food (like leftovers) or anything that looks like it could be used for lunch. I also have had days that I skipped lunch because it looked like they were low on something (ie bread, peanut butter, deli meat, etc) that they may need the next day for their lunches in case they forget to go to the grocery store (I am not allowed to take the 6 month old out in the car).

jojo said...

Help yourself to anything you want means "help yourself to any kid type foods, stay away from my smoked gouda and Terbsole crackers.

Vanessa said...

I'm a live-out and I eat whatever my bosses have, they always have stuff for me; either dinner leftovers or bread and meat, soup, tuna stuff like that. When I started my diet they also asked me what I needed to eat and bought it for me and they usually invite me to stay for dinner.

REELizer said...

Bostonnanny said...
Just my two cents, Im with you I was raised not to eat other peoples food and to ask first if I absolutely had too.

Um, I was also raised to believe that parents are the ones who bathed, prayed with and took care of their children's basic emotional needs. Then I became a nanny. And damn straight if I don't make it a manwich for lunch somedays and other days create myself luscious salads of finest lettices, mangoes & walnuts.

ohionanny said...

My bosses have insisted that I 'treat their home like my own' and 'get into anything I want' in the pantry and fridge. I have had them ask me repeatedly what I would like to eat when they go shopping. I tell them not to buy me anything special, that I will make do with what is available. One day, when my momboss was asking me what I would like to eat cuz she was going shopping, she added, "I don't think that you eat anything while you're here!!" As if that bothered her that maybe I didn't feel comfortable enough to do so.

I bring my breakfast most mornings, and my coffee since they don't drink it. I bring my own bottled water, altho they have the same that I drink and insist that it's absolutely fine for me to have. (as a matter of fact, when the water has gotten low, it almost seems as if THEY are the ones who avoid drinking it so it is available for me, altho I rarely drink their bottled water.)

For lunch, I may make a sandwich and that's it. Every so often I may eat a cup of yogurt, usually if one of the kids has said they wanted some and didn't touch it. If I cut up veggies for the kids and make dip, I may eat some along with them, but not much.

I make dinner for the family on some nights. Since I feed the kids dinner before the parents get home, once in a while I will sit and eat a small plate with them (they seem to behave better at the table when I do that). The parents are often pushing me to take some of what I have made home with me to my husband too! I have always refused, except once when I made my homemade potato soup and there was a HUGE pot and she continued to insist that I take some with me too.

All in all, I believe it stems from their appreciation that I make the effort to make really good meals, even tho they pay me. It's what makes me want to continue to go over and beyond (cooking dinner for the family is not in my job duties, just for the kids) because they show such gratitude for it!

malena said...

Listen up Nannies, when yuor employer offers you something and you turn it down, it doesn't come off as polite, it comes off as you saying, "I'm not worthy" or "I don't do enough for you to deserve that". I have offered to grocer for my employer. She likes to do it all herself on Sat or Sun. She says its the only way she can guarantee her kids get 1:1 time with their Dad. She asked me to write down what I want from the store for the week. I also have the option to go out for fill in stuff milk, applkes, laundry soap and pick up something spur of the moment.

This is my standing weekly "order".
(trust me your employer will appreciate this)
1 dozen white tortillas
1 small block moneterey jack cheese
1 medium salsa from vegetable case
2 advocados
12 pack diet coke
green apples
Salt & Vinegar potato chips
half and half (for my coffee).

That's easy.
And not greedy.

VAnanny said...

I'm only a part-time nanny now as I am in nursing school. But for both my full-time positions and this part-time position, the parents kept the fridge and pantry STOCKED. I would always have a Diet Coke with me in the mornings. They began buying the 24 can cases from Costco. They found out that I liked Hazelnut creamer for my coffee so they started buying that as well even though they prefer just sugar and milk in their coffee. As time went on and they found out the types of things I liked, those things would be purchased as well. Wraps, precooked chicken strips (for the wraps), salad mixes, Hot Pockets, gourmet breads, and sandwich meats are always there for my consumption. Also MB would leave me money to take the kids out for lunch. I have been lucky to work for such great families.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

As a nanny who brings her own food and drink to work, I think it can be bothersome for the parents if the child is say older than 15 mos or so. Why so? I admit, one of my huge vices is that I do not eat very healthy. I love potato chips, cheez-its and cookies, etc. and a typical lunch for me usually consists of a lunchmeat sandwich w/tons of mustard, a mini bag of potato chips/crackers, cookies and a Capri-Sun juice pouch. If I am in a hurry when I run out the door, I usually grab a Lunchable box sometimes. Anyways, whenever I eat my lunch, my charges usually are more interested in what I am eating than what their parents have prepared for them. They usually want my lunch and my lunch ONLY and this can be bothersome as a)they no longer want their own food and b)my food is not as healthy as theirs is. I usually share, but at the same time encourage them to eat their own food. (Never works!!)
So if the tables were turned and I was the parent, I would encourage the nanny to eat what I had at home. This way, the nanny and my child would probably be eating the same food and this would ensure that my child was eating what I wanted him or her to eat. So it would benefit the parent as well as the nanny.
Again, this is only for toddlers. An infant will have no idea what the nanny is eating and won't even care for that matter if he or she did!!

Pizza said...

I never got the whole 'never works' thing with kids. What never works? You, the adult, are in control. Kids cannot make you give them their way.

A family I worked for ate all organic. I made it clear that I didn't. They didn't care what I ate, but she should not have it. We went out and she got a salad. She stared at me the entire time I ate my pizza, it was annoying and uncomfortable. Finally I said "Do you think you can stop watching me and pay attention to eating your food?" She said okay, but asked a hundred times "is it good. do you like mushrooms? I like cheese. Is the crust good? how does it taste in your mouth? is it hot?' Jesus Christmas. I would tell her, "it's good to share but I'm sorry I can't, rules need to be followed, and your rule is that you eat what your parents want. it's not up to me and it's my rule to follow, too".

I still ate what I wanted. She still stared and licked her lips. Oh, well. She learned that different people have different rules to follow and that you do what you're told, that not everyone is the same and that it isn't a bad thing. She also learned it's rude to stare at someone while they're enjoying their food, and that you eat what you are given, not what is on others' plates. Hopefully she didn't grow up to be a beggar.

I can't stand it when I see a kid in a restaurant who won't eat he ordered and the parents give him whatever he wants. It's disgusting.

Kate said...

Here's my thing about nannies and food. At normal office jobs you are given an opportunity to LEAVE for lunch (MOST jobs). As a nanny you USUALLY cannot just leave the house and go drive thru somewehere, eat at a restaurant, etc because you have the children with you. Of course there are some nanny jobs where this is allowed but still it just isn't the same as your typical office job. This is why I do think employers should provide food. Or at least offer what they eat.

Rocket Scientist said...

When I started with my current family, I was told to help myself to anything, but it took me a few months to feel really comfortable doing so. Now I usually eat what I prepare for the kids, or I eat the leftovers from the night before. The thing is that if I don't eat the leftovers, they usually go to waste, which I hate seeing. (I also grew up in a tightly budgeted household--in fact, my mom had us convinced that ramen noodles were the best treat for lunch, rather than just a 10 cent meal. She's a smart lady.) My charges are picky eaters and their parents don't mind that, so they usually only eat leftovers of their favorite things, like ribs, or when they get Chinese takeout. Otherwise they won't touch leftovers. They also feed leftover meat to the dog every night, even perfectly good steaks. I prefer veggies and side dishes, so between the dog and I, most of the leftovers get eaten, haha. I also like diet coke, as does MB, so they are usually stocked up on that. Every once in a while they will leave money for eating out, especially when they go on a date night. And they always reimburse me if I happen to take the kids out at other times. They are really generous when it comes to food, and I look at it as sort of a benefit of the job. I don't get health insurance, but at least my food bills are lower than they would otherwise be.

MojoRising said...

I think I get off pretty lucky at work. At first I was pretty shy about eating whatever I wanted, but they've made it clear that I can do so- even letting me know they purposely made extra so there would be food for me the next day. The day really enjoys cooking, + it's always great stuff, using the best ingrediants (part of why I was shy- I didn't want to just scarf down expensive stuff!). It's now to the point where I usually get to work + the dad has breakfast waiting for me as well as having a chicken breast sandwich waiting in the fridge for my lunch, with the understanding that I can eat anything else I want throughout the day + for dinner. I'm also encouraged to use the credit card they gave me to buy stuff I want at the grocery store or to go out to restaurants with the baby (and they prefer them to be "nice" restaurants, not just pizza or whatever- and never fast food).

Oh, + Pizza- don't you think it's kind of mean to eat pizza in front of a little kid who only gets salad? You can make healthy puzza with organic ingrediants that the poor kid could eat.

nanny food said...

I too, as an employer, stock my fridge and pantry with what I know my nanny likes. She likes Ben and Jerry's, diet soda, fresh juice, and frozen waffles. None of these things will break the bank, and it is a small perk to pay to the person who takes care of my child.

I do not understand employers who complain about what food their nanny eats. Many people I know complain yet do not tell their nannies. They say "help yourself" but then they turn around and bitch and complain.

To the nannies: it is possible that they are complaining behind your back. But if they are, they are losers. JMO

Just My Two Cents Just Now said... sound like a mean nanny (half-kidding here!) and I am glad you were or are not my nanny.
Sure, children need to know that the adults are in charge which I agree with completely. But to eat something in front of a child is just plain mean to me. As a nanny, I would NEVER force a child to eat something he or she doesn't want to eat and if they like my food better, then what's the problem? As long as food allergies are ruled out and I have the parent's permission to do so, then I see no problem with sharing my food if the child doesn't want his or her own.
Also, if I were to post that I force my charges to eat food they do not want to eat..then I can just imagine all the negative comments I would receive such as abuse, etc.
Hey Rocket Scientist..your mom rocks. I have eaten Top Ramen since I was a child and as an adult now, I still eat it all the time. (In fact, I just had some now for my breakfast..LOL)It's cheap and good and I can't think of anything that even remotely compares to's a great comfort food on a cold day too.

TinyDancer said...

I've always been told I can eat anything and generally eat at the house but am pretty careful about what I eat. I know it really irritates me if I have a dinner planned out and my husband eats a key ingredient and I would hate to do that to my boss. So I tend to make things like pb&j or other sandwiches that I know won't interrupt her dinner plans. However, if I know I'll be out with the kids I always pack or purchase my own, mom boss always packs a lunch for the kiddos the night before when we'll be out since we have to get out the door the door so early to get the kids to school that attend.

Rocket Scientist said...

Thanks, Two Cents! I think she's tops :) I still like ramen noodles, too! It wasn't until I lived in my college dorm that I realized she must have spun them as a treat rather than a budgeting necessity. My friends got sick of ramen, but I never did :)

Manhattan Nanny said...

Pizza said:
"I still ate what I wanted. She still stared and licked her lips. Oh, well............She also learned it's rude to stare at someone while they're enjoying their food, "

I think it is rude to stuff your face with pizza in front of a child who can't have any. You can rationalize it all you want but it is mean.

mj said...

I'm an employer and I gladly buy my nanny (live-out) whatever she wants to have on hand for lunch and snacks. If my nanny left me tomorrow, our lives would be upside down. Nannies are not replacable. Because they are people, they are complicated and if you find one you mesh with; celebrate that. If you can go to Napa for the weekend and leave your baby at home and not worry, you are in the minority. Keeping food on hand is a non subject as far as I'm concerend. Employers who acts as if they are making some concession are as bad as entitled nannies. No matter how bad my day is at work, I can leave between 12 and 1 and be gone until 2. Most nannies can't do that. Lunch isn't always about food, it's about time to regroup. Think of that. If you don't want to buy your nanny some whole grained bread and real lunch meat, then you don't think enough of her to leave your child alone with her.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

mj..where have you been all my life? LOL. I would love to work for you. Your comments are true regarding nannies and lunch breaks. Us nannies do not get the luxury of a lunch break. We do not get that dedicated hour or half hour to not only eat in piece, but to regroup, catch up on phone calls and/or run an errand or two. It is straight work, work, work. Many families won't even allow us to regroup during nap time either. Oh long as we are on the clock, they want us up and running about. Folding laundry, emptying out the dishwasher, vacuuming, etc, etc...They don't understand that by not allowing us nannies to rest, we simply cannot be the best nannies we could be since we sometimes work 8-10 hr shifts. Even Mother Nature acknowledges that anyone caring for a baby/toddler needs to rest as younger children take naps while the older children who are much easier to watch do not.

anonymous nanny said...

I have been a live in and live out nanny to a wonderful employers here in toronto canada for 6 yrs now!!!
My employers of 4 yrs.treated me like their own family...
They offered me everything that i wanna eat..even buy groceries 4 me and will often times asked me to bring home leftovers if i like!!! She also had kitty money in case im getting bored with d food in the refrigerator
My nanny friends are all welcome to eat too.. During playdates..she would order pizza for me and my friends.. Cookies, soda pop, fruits.. Limitless!!!
But i never did abused her kindness..i know my limits and
I juz made sure that none of my friends abused it either!!
She wud gv me lots of rest too as she dont want me too tired while theyre away and im gonna babysit!!
She never overworked me nor have i used my initiative to make sure that the kids are healthy, clean, with good manners, most specially are happy coz im really happy with my employers that i tried my best to please them like the way they pleased me!!!
They wud asked my opinions too if they want to buy paintings, decorations etc..and they often times agreed with my choices..made me feel importanr!!
Becoz of that..i doubled my effort to clean their house, take care of their kids and im always there for them asking them if they need my help!!!
I loved them so much that i even moved nearby them so that i can attend to them quickly incase of emergencies!!
They were so good that when i got married 2008.. They stand in behalf of my parents who cant come from philippines!!!
The boy who grew up with me is my ring bearer, and the girl of course who grew up with me is my flower girl and all of them attended even their parents and soblings and friends!!!
I cant ask for a better employer..
If im sick boss wud beg me to rest..she buys meds.4 me juz to make sure i will get better.. Theyre THE GREATEST BOSS A NANNY COULD DREAM OF"...
She would gv me lots of presents be it, valentines, easter, christmas& my bday!! I wyd get lots of bonuses too!!
Her name is Diane armstrong.. Too sad i dnt work for them anymore as i need to move away..but we always get in touch and would occasionally babysit!!
If she introduces me to her friends..she wid tell them" This is Winnie.. We luv her and shes d best, and my kids luv her"... She never called me a Nanny!!!
Never did she downgraded me..& if i reslly need to go do errands 4 myself..she will always say "yes"... Luckily i only need to be away twice in 4 yrs as i cant afford to be away to this wonderful family!!
All we need is respect..and a considerate boss!! We know how to pay back if we know we are being respected and treated as humans coz i heard a lot of abuses by other employers!!!