Issues with Food

Dear ISYN,
I have issues with my nanny and her food issues. I have a good relationship with our nanny, the only problem I note is that she is sensitive and easily offended. Hence, my asking in a forum how to handle this ongoing situation.  My nanny has been with us since my twins were in preschool. She bring a lot of great things to the job. She brought a tremendous amount of structure and organization. In the beginning, I had to catch up. My children had very scheduled days and she would have them eat breakfast, lunch and even dinner at very set times.  I had general times in mind, but I appreciated that structure serves young children. The one area I disagree on is where food is involved. When I am with my child and they ask me for, an example a cookie, I say, most often, "yes" and half the time I will say something like, "sure, but I just cut up a bunch of cantaloupe, can I get you some of that."

The nanny would respond, "you can have ONE cookie after you have an apple or a glass of water.", etc. It's rarely just yes. If the child were to ask for an apple, of course, the answer would be yes. I get that she wants the child to incorporate healthy food choices. I am okay with that. Last night, I was home and went in the kitchen to get a snack and found all of my potato chips gone. My son told me that 'Nanny' "caught him sneaking chips and through them out.". I wasn't there, but I am wrong to have an issue with my child feeling that he would need to sneak chips? I also have an issue with her throwing out the chips to punish him.

This has been an ongoing issue with her making snide remarks about some of the food that I buy and bring in the home. She takes issue with white eggs, bottled water, gatorade, cheese nips, fruit snacks, etc. I know every reason why, because I feel like she really lays into me about the food choices I make for my home. She is not a live-in nanny. We do not provide her food. She is free to eat anything she likes in our home and since she sometimes grocers to pick up things for school lunches or something, she does have the ability to buy herself healthy things to keep in our home. That is not the issue.

I had a friend who used to punish her daughter by sending her room and making her read. I feel that the nanny is making the positive choices feel like a punishment, rather than just a choice.  I should say here that my children really love the nanny and that her positive reinforcement of their behavior and choices is something they seek as much as my own.

Do I say something? If so, what?


Heather Swells said...

I would say "This is my house and you are making me uncomfortable. Abide"

Anonymous said...

To play devil's advocate, maybe this is a chance for your family to make more healthful choices. That being said, it sounds as if your relationship with the nanny may be going south. Perhaps it is time to part ways.

Anonymous said...

I was that nanny too. My boss would make comments about how the kids weren't getting enough fruits and veggies and then buy junk on the weekends. I would tell her that she is overstepping and you would like her to stop making comments about your food choices. It is your house and your children.

Anonymous said...

I think your nanny was being perfectly reasonable. And handled the situations appropriately.