Eating Healthy As A Family

More than a trend or personal preference, eating healthy is a very important undertaking for most families. Ensuring your children receive all the nutrition they need while limiting the amount of sugar (good and bad) they eat between school, friends and home can be a challenge. Why not have your au pair get involved?

Au pair baking with the kids... organic low-fat cookies?

Depending on your au pair’s background, their version of “healthy eating habits” may differ from yours. So during your initial orientation and as you get to know each other, it is a good idea to cover the following:
  • Food Allergies– use your communication log to carefully list all foods your children are allergic to and go over that list together, showing your au pair the ingredients or types of food in question.
  • Vegetarian or Vegan– it is a good idea to discuss any special diet (whether for health or religious reasons) your family follows before your au pair’s arrival. Explain what you cook and what the restrictions are, and ensure she understands and agrees to follow the diet for foods prepared for your children.
  • New Year Resolutions and Diets– as a host parent, why not set weight-loss and exercise goals with your au pair and keep each other accountable? Having a common goal is a great way to become closer and build a strong relationship with common interests.
  • Low-Sugar/ Low-Carb/ High-Fiber – let your au pair know in detail what foods you expect her to prepare for your children and which foods they are only allowed in small quantity or occasionally. Let her know also your expectations for her own consumption of candy (if these should be kept in her room to avoid tempting you or the kids for example).
  • Sharing Dinner Preparation – if your au pair is a good cook, why not discuss what meals you would like to cook together or have her prepare during her working hours for the whole family to enjoy? Surely they are some healthy recipes and tasting foods she can share that will add to the cultural exchange aspect of the program.
  • Grocery Shopping– if you are asking your au pair to help with grocery shopping as part of her duties, make sure you let her know what brands/ types of each item you need her to buy. Share with her how to read American food labels and ingredients, and what you look for when choosing which foods are appropriate for your family.

Enjoy the journey of sharing healthy eating habits with your family and your au pair… Don’t forget to enjoy the fresh foods and delicious dishes prepared. After all, for us French, eating is about sharing pleasurable cuisine in a joyful and sociable atmosphere: bon appetit!

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About FrenchNad

English to French Translator & Interpreter; blogging at lemotdubonjour.com about a French word of the day, the challenges of interpreting and translating, and my adventures in Oregon!
This entry was posted in Cultural Exchange, Tips for Host Parents and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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