{the hungry sitter} Do you feed your sitter?

The big question: Do you feed your sitter? Do you tell your sitter to help herself to leftovers or expect her to bring her own food? If she's ordering food for the kids, can your sitter order something for herself, too? Word on the street is that parents discuss these question with each other. The funny thing is that fewer parents than I'd expect bring the conversation up with me... the sitter. Even though I'm comfortable with the default assumption that it's my responsibility to feed myself, it's always nice when parents are clear upfront. I'm happy to bring my own food or to make sure that I have cash on hand to order, but it helps to know in advance if that's what's expected. And, hopefully, making it clear to your sitter ahead of time alleviates any awkwardness for you, as well. Clear communication is a win-win. Beyond that, there are no one-size-fits-all answers. Rather, it depends on your time, budget and the kind of relationship you have with your sitter. Here are a few thoughts for you consider. Hopefully hearing (one) sitter's point-of-view will help you come up with a plan that works well for you and your caregiver. (more after the jump)

The Hungry Sitter: Get organized for back-to-school

Say hello to the hungry sitter, an experienced, active, funny and thoughtful care giver who also really loves food. The hungry sitter has worked with lots of families, each with a unique take on feeding, and she has a lot to say about it all. It’s that time again. Time to get back to the routine.  As a sitter, this time of year means ditching day trips to the beach and and long afternoons in the park for school pick-ups, play dates and dance classes. And all those food rules we were allowed to break on hot summer days—like ducking into the random boardwalk burger joint for a "special" lunch or saying "why not" to the 4:30 pm ice cream cone—not so much anymore. These days, when you have to factor in homework and early wake-ups, it's all about having healthy snacks on hand and staying on schedule, meals included. Sound familiar? I'm sure it does since so much of what I do is an extension of what parents do. We're all in the same boat, so I think you'll agree when I say that the key to making it through a hectic school-year day is having a great bag. Seriously! This is all assuming that you've made the schedule. Once that's done—which it usually is by the time I step in—having a good bag is essential to making it through the day without losing your mind trying to find diapers, water bottles, extra clothes, a first aid kit and snacks. So many snacks! Now that Stacie's got you covered on the healthy snacks front, I want to help you keep them organized in your bag. (more after the jump)

A Hungry Sitter’s Guide to Healthy Feeding

Picture this: A health-conscious, organic-buying, veggie-crunching sitter walks into a hot dog and boxed mac and cheese household. Sound like a nightmare? I wish that I could say it was only a bad dream but, unfortunately, as a seasoned childcare provider, I can tell you that it’s not. This has happened to me way more that I would have ever predicted, especially given that I’ve had the fortune of working with fabulous parents who are, themselves, healthy eaters. So what gives?! After all these years of caring for kids, I’m still not exactly sure. Though I’m not yet a parent, I know that feeding children is hard. I also know that lots of factors can make mealtime complicated: age, schedules, food sensitivities, varying sibling habits and, well, the list goes on. Every family is different, but I’ve noticed one thing in common across all of them: mealtime with mom and dad is emotional. Feeding a picky child is always easier for me than it is for his parents. The emotional and power dynamics are just not the same. Maybe there’s something to learn from that? I wish I had a “works every time” answer, but I don’t. That said, I believe that there are some useful takeaways from my experiences feeding reluctant eaters. Here are a few things that I’ve learned so far that I hope give you valuable perspective. (more after the jump)

All-Natural Fruit Rimming Sugar + 2 Fab Summer Mock/Cocktails!

Delight all your guests this summer with this fabulous trick!