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Au pairs and food

(40 Posts)
Echobelly Sun 11-Mar-18 13:56:21

We have a male au pair & someone did warn me to expect to have to buy more food! I was never quite sure where the land lay with buying food and au pairs, he is only our second. Our first ap was easy as she only ate sandwiches and salad, so we got through quite a lot of butter, eggs, bread and honey with her, but not much else. J, current ap, was clear he liked to eat chicken and we accepted that, although we are not a very meaty household, but he really does seem to eat loads at a time and DH is getting a bit antsy about it, and that ap has had some frozen fish (which I don't mind) It doesn't help DH been in between contracts since J started, but now has an offer,so hoping he'll feel less aggrieved soon.

Can I say to J 'You can have x amount of fish and chicken a week but we wouldn't buy more than that in a week?' He does eat pasta, spuds and eggs too. He left his last placement bc he said they didn't get him enough food, among other things. However he had a successful placement before that who I spoke to and was delighted with him (and who he still visits every few weeks) and evidently didn't have an issue with the food.

It's all really awkward, I'm just not sure how accommodating I'm supposed to be .

Avasarala Sun 11-Mar-18 14:06:23

I have a menu thing on my fridge that I fill out each week - it's just the kids and I know what we're eating and they know what they can't take coz it's needed for a meal etc. Could you do something like that maybe? Or put stuff into tubs/shelves in the fridge with the day labelled on them. So, once he's eaten his food then that's that and there's no more... maybe sit down and have w chat with him about the best way to do it but he shouldn't be eating everything. Nothing wrong with enforcing normal portions and tell him to get his own extras.

SheepyFun Sun 11-Mar-18 14:23:29

This feels like two different questions - how much chicken he has an how much food he has. No one needs meat every day, but they do need enough calories, and young men eat a lot. Whatever you choose to do about the meat, he should have unlimited access to bread/potatoes/rice/pasta etc. - he may need to eat much more than you think just to be full.

Echobelly Sun 11-Mar-18 15:54:01

Thanks, all helpful suggestions. Never been able to do meal plans as DH tends to have changeable moods about what he wants on a given day, but I am thinking about marking stuff up in some way.

ShiftyMcGifty Sun 11-Mar-18 16:15:10

It’s pretty controlling to tell another adult what they can have to eat and ration it. Especially an adult who doesn’t earn minimum wage because you’re meant to feed him. He’s not asking for sashimi, is he?

Sarsparella Sun 11-Mar-18 16:20:00

Surely supplying meals is part of the deal with an Au Pair, your first one sounds like she wasn’t eating properly tbh!

He’s an adult & you need to ensure you’re catering for another adult in the food available in your house, chicken is pretty normal, he’s not asking for steak every day!

Frustratedboarder Sun 11-Mar-18 16:22:50

shifty we certainly can't afford to eat meat everyday in our house, If we did our food bill would double! It's not unreasonable to give a meat allocation/portion in line with the rest of the household but offer unlimited filling carbs, surely?

bonnyshide Sun 11-Mar-18 16:31:22

Not sure your au pairs age, but I am the proud owner of a teenage son, and he eats far more than DH & I, large portions and more meals, otherwise he is very hungry.

You should ensure he has unlimited access to the staples and fruit & veg and that he knows what he isn't allowed to help himself to (e.g. fish set aside for evening meal, or steaks bought especially for a meal)

I have found that what works well is if a cook too much evening meal so there is always a leftover portion of lasagna / Shepard's pie / chicken curry etc. In the fridge. And I make sure my DS knows it's there and for him, he will happily eat a meal as an afternoon snack and then a full evening meal as well.

Tiredeypops Sun 11-Mar-18 16:32:10

I feel that if you can afford an AP you can afford to feed them. Frozen fish and chicken are normal foods. Young guys just eat a lot - it doesn’t make them greedy or unreasonable - they just have much higher calorie requirements. You can’t expect him to go hungry because you don’t eat as much.

PurpleWithRed Sun 11-Mar-18 16:32:18

I had a series of male au pairs and just factored in the cost of lots of food for them - active young men do seem to get through loads of food. And his attitude to meat will depend on where he comes from/his own family background. You need a chat - but I'd start by asking him what he thinks is a normal/reasonable diet for him and work from there. You really do have to make sure he has an adequate diet for his nutritional needs but he may not be happy with non-meat protein and you'll have to decide whether he's good enough for you to take the hit.

retirednow Sun 11-Mar-18 16:35:12

Does he live in, how many meals do you feed him a day, is it part of the pay package that he gets meals.

Passthecake30 Sun 11-Mar-18 16:35:29

Can you give him a budget to buy his own?

Frozen chicken, frozen mince etc?

Do you think he overeats or just has a healthy appetite for a young man?

SpringSnowdrop Sun 11-Mar-18 16:35:39

I agree with Tiredeypops and would want him to feel welcome with whatever food he needs given it isn’t exactly quails eggs and smoked salmon. Buying whole chickens is much cheaper, and it needn’t cost a fortune but I know the feeling of staying somewhere and knowing they are used to eating less than us so feeling a bit worried!

pigeondujour Sun 11-Mar-18 16:38:05

You can't afford live in help.

AdaColeman Sun 11-Mar-18 16:40:43

What age is he?
Teenage and early twenty lads can easily demolish what you think of as a fridge full of food, in a day or two. This might shock you if you've not had much to do with teenagers till now! smile

What about getting him his own filling food, cheesy pasta bakes, large baked potatoes, plenty of bread with things for putting on toast, like beans and eggs?

NapQueen Sun 11-Mar-18 16:43:04

How much is lots? More than one chicken thigh or breast per meal? More than one piece of fish?

When you all sit down for dinner does he have a bigger portion of food than you and dh?

pigeondujour Sun 11-Mar-18 16:44:46

Actually, I can't believe your husband feels 'aggrieved' that his live in employee's appetite doesn't decrease in line with his employer's income hmm

rubyroot Sun 11-Mar-18 16:46:36

A whole chicken is £2.25 from Aldi. Surely you can afford this and you have an au pair who is looking after your children- a difficult job I think. Stop complaining about food and get smart with where you shop

AnnieAnoniMouse Sun 11-Mar-18 16:49:49

Your DH sounds like a twat. Who gets angsty because another adult has a bigger appetite? He’s not eating the truffles & caviar, he’s eating chicken, fish & other normal food. Tell your DH to stop being so bloody ridiculous.

I’m vegetarian, I’d hate to have meat in my kitchen, but if I got an au pair who ate meat I’d consider a chicken breast or fillet of fish for both lunch & dinner quite reasonable, plus whatever else they eat for breakfast, eggs, porridge, whatever. Youngsters tend to have healthy appetites.

RicottaPancakes Sun 11-Mar-18 16:57:25

But why doesn't he eat the same food as the rest of the family?

scurryfunge Sun 11-Mar-18 16:57:35

I am with pigeondujour. If you are scrimping with food then you can”t really afford an extra young adult in the house. Poor sod.

AnnaNimmity Sun 11-Mar-18 17:03:26

Your dh sounds a bigger problem than the AP tbh - not letting you meal plan and moaning about the food the AP wants to eat. I'd let him cater for himself too, meal plan for the children and ask the AP what he wants to eat. I always ask my new au pairs to tell me what they like to eat and they give me a list. Then I keep a running list on the side of the fridge and I remind the au pairs to write what they want on the list.

My last au pair had chicken salad or stir fry for lunch most days - I bought that for her, fresh coffee etc. Lots of salad,. She was also coeliac so I catered for that too. I've had au pairs that like lots of cheese, cereal, white bread. I generally cater for them - the only thing I don't do (because I don't do it for my children) is buy loads of biscuits, chocolates etc - they can get that themselves!

AnnieAnoniMouse Sun 11-Mar-18 17:03:38

But why doesn't he eat the same food as the rest of the family?

Because he’s an adult and is allowed to choose what he eats?

Mominatrix Sun 11-Mar-18 17:04:08

The average adolescent male (so teenage to 25) eats, in general, quite a bit more than the average adolescent female. My parents invested in a large freezer when my 2 brothers became teenagers to accommodate their appetites.

Part of the agreement with au pairs is that their employers will cover their room and board within reason and YWBU to limit or restrict the food he was able to eat without sitting down with him and clarifying what the expectations are on both sides. Definitely meal plan and keep him in the loop so he knows what you have in mind for meals for the week. I would also purchase specific snacks for him (freezer is your friend) which he can have if still hungry and thus not impacting your plan for the family.

Costco is fantastic for bulk buying larger quantity of foods - my parents joined when my brothers became teenagers.

yikesanotherbooboo Sun 11-Mar-18 17:04:56

I like the meal plan idea. He is meant to be treated as part of the family .have a chat to find out what his likes and dislikes are and then outline the week. He needs 3 meals and snacks a day and is highly likely to eat more than mature adults.

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