Babysitter Solutions: No Pizza Allowed!

Make lists, lists and more lists
When parents leave the house for a night out, chances are there's a checklist on the fridge with emergency numbers, household information and safety notes. Why not add food information as well? Make a list that specifies your kids' ages, their food preferences, their feeding times, their allergies and medications. If you are feeling really creative, accentuate it with lists of ingredients that the kids can't have, calorie counts that you want them to have per day or even healthy recipes. Anything goes. The more specific you can be, the more the sitter will appreciate it because they won't have to worry about your reaction when you get home and see a Snickers wrapper on the floor.

Track food
Not sure what the kids are eating? Get a log. "I have my sitters fill out a 'food log" that details what the kids ate for the day," says Indiana mom of two Patsy C. "It helps the sitter to contain what they are eating because she has to write it all down, and it helps me to get an accurate count of what's being eaten. Better still, I can ask for less sugar, less carbs or similar when I am seeing too much of one thing in the lists."

Not excited about the idea of adding to your sitter's workload? Simply ask him or her at the end of the day what the kids ate, and make suggestions accordingly. The more information you can give on a consistent basis, the better.

Make cooking classy
If your sitters will be cooking on the job, make sure to cook at least one meal with them, so that you can educate them on where everything is in the kitchen and tell them about what you do and don't like health-wise. Kosher families, especially, should make sure to spend time with their sitter and educate them on the location of kitchen utensils and which should be used with which. If a sitter cooks with you, he or she will be able to see your major preferences (i.e. olive oil vs. butter) and even your minor ones (no extreme sugar — it makes the kids hyper.

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