I have an amazing friend/babysitter who cares for my children while I work part-time. To be clear, I am no health nut; however, I recognize the importance of learning to eat healthy at an early age. I do my best to prepare balanced meals & provide healthy snacks for my family - though we all enjoy occasional treats, too.
My problem is that the babysitter serves high-sugar, processed, and fast foods throughout the day. Now that my children will be out of school for the summer, she will have them full day and will provide breakfast, lunch & snacks. I would like to address my concern with her; however I am terrified of offending her. We all love her like family! But if I don’t say something, am I putting her feelings ahead of my children's nutrition? Or am I making too big of a deal over a few days of too much sugar & fat?
Last summer, I tried sending healthy snacks to her home, but the kids chose her snacks over mine. My children range in age from 5 to 10, so expecting them to make the “right” choice is not always realistic. I would really appreciate some feedback. I expect some harsh comments to get a backbone & just tell her what I expect, but understand that this person is not just a paid babysitter! She is irreplaceable in our lives!!
From: Summer, Bridgewater
No, I don't think you need to get a "backbone" (but I suspect some readers might), but I do wonder why you are so "terrified" of offending her. If she is as important and wonderful to your family as you describe, well, you ought to be able to have an honest conversation with her about the good and the bad and the ugly. Take her out for coffee some time, talk about how important she is to your family, how much you all love her and then tell her, "There's one thing, though, that really bugs me." I have a feeling she will not be as offended as you think.
You have the right as the mom of these kids to set their nutritional agenda. And yes, a little bit of sugar and such is not the end of the world. But if you are are going to the effort of sending snacks, I don't get why she is undermining you by offering alternatives that you don't think are as healthy. She may well let you know that she thinks you need to lighten up and that can certainly be part of your discussion. What I'd look for here is to reach some kind of compromise. Because it's not just the snacks that are at issue; she is undermining your authority in a way that is noticeable to your kids and that is absolutely worth talking about.