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My nanny eats nothing.....

(34 Posts)
nannyeatsnothing Thu 28-Aug-08 22:49:41

Do you think this is strange...I have a nanny who comes to help me with my toddler 2 days a week - both to help me out but also to ensure he learns DH's language - she comes from his country. I am on maternity leave at the moment so am at home those days with the newborn.

I have NEVER seen her eat. She arrives at 7.30am - having had breakfast at home, eats nothing for lunch and leaves here at 6pm to have her dinner at home.

I know for a fact that she eats some of DS's lunch behind my back (and also eats bits and pieces from our fridge behind my back. This is despite me asking if she wants anything in a casual way every time. I just turn a blind eye TBH.

In your experience, do you think she is:

1. Simply shy - not wanting to look as if she is eating our food
2. Is wrong to take some of DS's food behind my back
3. Do you think I should say something or just leave it

In some ways I don't like the sneaky nature of it....

AvenaLife Thu 28-Aug-08 22:51:40

Why don't you just give her a plate of whatever you are cooking and don't ask her if she wants it. Don't say anything, just give it to her.

nannyeatsnothing Thu 28-Aug-08 22:53:13

Tried that - and she simply just says no. I cooked pasta today. There was obviously some left over and I offered to her. She says no.

Put a doughnut on a plate for her the other day, made her a cup of tea (did the same for herself) and then found the doughnut back in the packet later....

TheRealMrsJohnSimm Thu 28-Aug-08 22:53:15

Agree with Avena.....just make an extra portion of whatever you are having for lunch and announce that her lunch is ready.

nannyeatsnothing Thu 28-Aug-08 22:54:38

I meant "did the same for myself" to try and make her feel like spotlight was off

nannyeatsnothing Thu 28-Aug-08 22:56:23

When she first started (a year ago) I did try all this and she simply said that she didn't eat lunch - not with me nor with the other family she works with for the other 3 days. That is fine. But then noticed that when she is feeding DS and I leave the room, I come back in and the plate is miraculously empty....I KNOW how quickly my DS eats....(BTW he does not go hungry)

AvenaLife Thu 28-Aug-08 22:56:37

Hmm. I'd order her to eat it, I wouldn't want someone looking after my child who was likely to collapse at any minute.

Seriously though, I'd talk to her about it, especially if you have already tried giving her a plate of food and she turns it down. Just tell her 7:30-6:30 is a long time to go without something to eat. Let her eat it alone if she wants.

NorbertDentressangle Thu 28-Aug-08 22:58:09

Maybe she just has a problem about eating in front of other people -its not uncommon.

It could be due to being shy or embarrassed or it could be something deeper like an eating disorder although I wouldn't go assuming that

nannyeatsnothing Thu 28-Aug-08 22:58:25

By the way, I love her and so does DS. I just get a bit freaked out that she feels the need to be sneaky like this. And it is sneaky because she makes a conscious effort to hide it and I have heard her in my bathroom with a fork.

BTW I am not intimidating...and we get on well

nannyeatsnothing Thu 28-Aug-08 23:00:11

AvenaLife - she goes out most days she is here with DS. I know that she gets something to eat (eg muffin) when she is out so don't think she will collapse. Plus of course she has the bits and pieces she manages to eat behind my back

AvenaLife Thu 28-Aug-08 23:01:21

Have a word with her. It's very odd behaviour.

allthatglitters Thu 28-Aug-08 23:01:43

I don't like eating in front of people. I don't usually eat at work all day, unless th eothers all leave the office at the same time, in which case I will.

I don't have an eating disorder, I just have issues in general grin but I guess it comes across as the same as your nanny does, as being sneaky about it.

allthatglitters Thu 28-Aug-08 23:02:54

makes work nights out a nightmare, and I tend to avoid the meal bit and meet them later if I can blush

nannyeatsnothing Thu 28-Aug-08 23:04:13

I am caught between AvenaLife saying it is odd behaviour and allthatglitters saying that she may be shy and me talking about it would mortify her.

BTW - she talks about cooking and what she will cook for dinner (which I believe is genuine) and has also brought us some food round that her partner has cooked because she thinks we would like to try it (her partner is Indian and cooks traditional food which was lovely)

allthatglitters Thu 28-Aug-08 23:15:47

Oh I'm fine talking about food, and have got to a stage where I can eat comfortably with certain people, can go out for a meal with some family and some friends, mainly those I'm closest to.

But put me on a train for example, or at a not-so-close friend's house, and I just can't do it

allthatglitters Thu 28-Aug-08 23:16:45

But I will talk about it if someone asks me, I've kinda realised it's not 'normal'!

lojoesmammy Thu 28-Aug-08 23:21:01

I can't eat in front of others, I feel as if they are staring. What about making your meal, plate hers up give it to her and then you and ds go do something for 5/10 mins, and then you and ds eating yours, OR, you could do it the other way around to of course smile
Mind you, I hate so many different types of food that I would also hate it if someone dished me food up and wanted me to eat it if I didn't like the food.

muggglewump Thu 28-Aug-08 23:21:47

I don't like eating in front of people either but I also don't eat breakfast or lunch, I haven't for years.
I'm never in a situation where I have to explain it though so it's OK for me but I can see people thinking I'm weird or have an eating disorder if I suddenly had to tell people.
It sonds like your nanny just doesn't want to be seen eating. I'd just let her know she can help herself to whatever you decide on and then let her get on with it when you're not around

nannyeatsnothing Thu 28-Aug-08 23:23:00

Thank you allthatglitters. I really want there to be an innocent explanation to it as she is good in all other ways. I get freaked out by her hiding it that is all. Do you think it is 'relatively' common what you say you feel?

PavlovtheCat Thu 28-Aug-08 23:25:38

could it be a cultural? With you as her boss, feeling that she cannot accept something from you as she is 'working', but being hungry all the same?

nannyeatsnothing Thu 28-Aug-08 23:26:32

And thank you lojoesmammy and muggglewump. She simply says that same as you muggglewump that she doesn't eat lunch and hasn't done for ages. I have said to her so many times 'help yourself', or 'do you want this' etc. I have never brought it up if I know for a fact she has sneaked some food as I don't want to embarrass her.

She is not the most confident person (she is nearly 40 so is not young young eg an early 20s nanny) and it simply may be this. I don't know.

nannyeatsnothing Thu 28-Aug-08 23:29:07

PavlovtheCat - you may have hit on something there. She certainly does feel strange when DS goes to bed for 1-2 hours after lunch and I tell her to relax. She is very respectful of the fact she is working for me. I am the kind of person who treats everyone as a friend though even if she is 'working' in my house and really would love her to be relaxed etc.

allthatglitters Thu 28-Aug-08 23:29:10

No idea, I think mine stems from my school days. I used to have school dinners at Upper school and got stressy if my fingers got greasy from eating chips with my fingers hmm, ever since then I've been a bit weird about it!

I do think it's quite common to not eat between 7.30 and 6 tbh, I would imagine few working mums for example have time to eat breakfast, and lunch tends to get forgotten if you're busy.

nannyeatsnothing Thu 28-Aug-08 23:31:26

But even though she says she doesn't eat lunch she is obviously hungry as she sneaks the food.

allthatglitters Thu 28-Aug-08 23:38:39

If I see food that I think I'd like I'll pick at it, doesn't always mean I'm hungry. I cook for the children all the time, eat mine, and still pick at theirs after! And I was a nightmare when I waitressed, could eat before I went to work and still crave the desserts just because I was seeing others eat them!

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