Babysitter Solutions: No Pizza Allowed!

Ever feel nostalgic for the days when pizza and sundaes were a special treat for kids during a babysitting job? Most of you probably remember babysitting gigs of old, where you could pig out with the kids and not feel guilty because it was a "date night." These days, with the childhood obesity trend, food scares, rising numbers of child allergies and an increase in lifestyle choices, feeding the kids has become just plain complicated. Use the following tips to exercise control over what your kids eat — without driving your sitter up the wall.

Contain yourself
Sometimes, the best way to indicate what's off-limits is to quarantine it. "I set aside a separate cupboard filled with snacks and food that my husband and I approve for the kids," says Columbus Mom of five Tanya D. "The sitter knows only to use this cupboard when feeding the kids. She can eat anything in the house, but the kids have to have those foods."

Quarantining an area of "approved" foods has some real advantages. The sitter won't have to check ingredients, worry about allergies or count calories.

On a more general note, it's also a good idea to not purchase things that the kids should not eat. Small storehouses of sweets or other off-limits treats are fine for you and the adults in the hour, but getting kids to eat healthfully from a separate cabinet in a kitchen that's filled with Oreos and Yoo-hoos is a tough job. Just make sure the kids haven't found out about any of the secret areas where your snacks are hiding, or they might find a way to sneak them during the job.

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