Au Pairs cook healthy food with kids.

Talking about  healthy eating and forming good habits, mentioned in the previous post, will take time and  also a lot of effort.

Let kids cook healthy food with Au Pairs.  Au Pairs may help in teaching  host families’  kids to cook healthy food and much more. They will teach kids healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime!

As a new project,  Au Pairs may plan healthy meals together with host kids and host parents, and find new recipes.  Healthy meals prepared from scratch usually contain more nutrients and fewer calories. Au Pairs may take kids shopping for the vegetables or maybe even use veggies from a vegetable garden.

It is important to keep the recipe simple. Au Pairs will teach kids to follow the directions and measure the ingredients.   Kids not only are being entertained while cooking , they will also learn a lot – reading, counting, fractions, budgeting, weighing, measuring, problem-solving, sharing, fine motor skills and much more – eating  fresh healthy food. Kids will be far more likely to eat vegetables if they helped cook them.

Au Pairs may also show the kids how to make a recipe from their home country. They can  teach kids about their culture through food.
Kids are much more likely to eat what they make. Is there anything more fun than eating your own art project?

Useful and harmful habits.

We all know that we can acquire bad habits very quickly, but is is not easy to get rid of them. Bad habits are acquired rapidly, whereas for the good habits it will take time.

Scientists have conducted studies and have proved that the acquisition of good habits should be a few months. As an example of this: in order to run in the morning with pleasure, you will need three months.

A special experiment was carried out. Volunteers, who took part in it, had to drink every morning fresh juice, and then make a run. Some volunteers drank the juice, but did not run. Others have continued with the whole experiment even though running daily was very hard. However, three months after they got used to it, they could not imagine a single day without  jogging.

Habits, resulting in the rapid increase of the hormone of pleasure are very difficult to get rid of. For example, eating junk food. 

Eating healthy food is very important, especially fresh cooked food prepared from fresh vegetables or vegetables from your garden.

Another Local Area Representative (LAR)  from Go Au Pair has a great idea to post recipes for Host Families and Au Pairs  that are quick and easy and focus on  consuming large amounts of vegetables.

Healthy eating makes you feel better and look better. You may want to follow this video How to choose healthy foods from Dr. Pamela Peeke, the author of “Fit to Live”.

You can start to eat healthy and maybe three months after you can not imagine a single day without eating healthy food.

Start a vegetable garden with an Au Pair.

Many of my host parents complain that their kids don’t eat vegetables and ask how to encourage kids to eat more vegetables.

If you have a space in your back yard, why not start a vegetable garden with an Au Pair?

The new project makes children spend quality time growing vegetables with an Au Pair. They will spend time in the fresh air and learn  firsthand about how to grow veggies and even some fruits, for example strawberries.

There are many other benefits to this project:

  • educate children about how vegetables are grown,
  • give kids the experience of growing a garden,
  • help develop new skills and responsibility,
  • bring a sense of accomplishment and contribution to the home,
  • see the magic of watching something grow,
  • promote healthy eating habits and nutritional food,
  • cook and eat the vegetables they harvest.

Kids usually are very attached to the products of their own efforts.  They will eat almost any vegetable that they have grown or harvested themselves.

A host mom from Go Au Pair, who is a doctor and has three small kids,  posted a very interesting post about encouraging kids to eat more vegetables. She  said that, “Maybe, buying bowls and dishes with vegetable pictures on it will help vegetable consumption at home.”  Please read more at Getting Kids to Eat More Vegetables.

Things An Au Pair Can’t Live Without

New host families often ask me what they may provide to their Au Pairs in addition to board and stipend. They want to know if there is anything else they may offer to their Au Pair as an appreciation for her/his hard work.

Some host families may choose to provide to the Au Pair a computer and Internet access, a cell phone and use of a car for her/his spare time.  Some families may consider providing a personal computer  and TV in the Au Pair room, a membership to a sport club and a chance to travel with the family for free. It depends on the family’s resources and on what the Au Pair is interested in.

Here are 20 things Americans can’t live without :-)

I asked Au Pairs from Go Au Pair cluster from the Philadelphia and NJ area to  name material things they can’t live without (doesn’t include family, friends, etc.)

Dear Au Pair,  What’s on your list?

What are you glad you have in your life or you really need to have as an Au Pair? I believe your host family will be glad to know that. Here is a long list of “an Au Pairs life necessities” I wrote collectively with Au Pairs from my cluster.

Please take your time and vote.


The Au Pair program is full of love.

I was born in a warm family in Chengdu which is the largest city in southwest of China. I’m the only child, but I never felt lonely, my parents love me very much.

I always wanted to be a teacher and care for kids. I chose preschool education and after I graduated from College I had been a Montessori teacher for three years in China. Then I was looking for more challenges and decided to become an Au Pair. I wanted to improve my English skills to be an outstanding English teacher for kids when I come back. 

Last summer I came to the United States as an Au Pair for Go Au Pair agency. I live in Bucks County, near Philadelphia with a lovely host family and I have been an Au Pair for ten months. During these months I have learned a lot of things and I’m very thankful to my current host family for that.

My host family has three amazing kids. At the time I came, their ages were from 3 days old  to 3.5 years old. Before I came to US, I used to take care of 1.5-6 year old kids.  To take care of a newborn baby was a big challenge for me. Fortunately, my host mom and host grandma taught me a lot of things. Now I feel very confident to take care of newborn babies.

A little baby boy likes smiling and I like to take pictures. So he has been my youngest model for ten months. I take his picture on 28th every month, because his birthday is June 28th. I hope I could give him very special memory.

At the time I came, the second child was one and half years old. When she turn two I started to train her potty, now she could wear underwear whole day long. That’s a big deal for her, she is so cute and she steals my heart.

At first, when I spoke Chinese to the oldest host child, she didn’t know what I meant and I had to speak English again. But after we were spoken Chinese every day during 10 months, she can speak three languages, Chinese, English and Taiwanese. Sometimes she would like to use three languages to make a sentence. It’s fun to be with her, she is full of love. She calls me a Big Sister.

I love kids  so much and it is going to be hard to say goodbye. Unfortunately my first year almost done and I need to move forward. Now when I have even more experience in taking good care of children, I am looking forward to a new challenge.

I’d like to extend with a new host family and care for children with love. I love to teach kids many things: sing song, dance and play piano, speak Chinese language, and play sport. I like to watch them grow and learn.

I’d like to experience as more as I can, keep learning English, American culture, and share with my new family some Chinese traditions and culture.

I feel that the Au Pair program is a good program which is full of love. It teaches us how to love kids and feel their love.

By Wenjie, an Au Pair from China.

My busy but fun life as an Au Pair.

Hey everyone!

It’s been a while, I know… but I’ve had my hands full in the past month.

My life as an Au Pair is busy,  fun, challenging and special every day.

On March 17th we celebrated Joey’s birthday (everyone wearing something green, of course) and he had a blast!

Last week my host family returned from Montego Bay, Jamaica and I was surprised to see how much Joey missed me, he came in and jumped on me like a koala bear (it’s the only way I can describe the way he locked his legs around my waist and his arms around my neck, hahahah). I had spent the week here, going to school, Target and the mall.

I’ve been going to school for my German and Photoshop classes and received my certificates. Something extra to put on my resumé. :D

On my free time, the movies have been my hiding place. I watched Hunger GamesMirror Mirror and I’m planning to watch The Three Stooges with Joey.

The kids and I get our daily dose of exercise when we go to the basement or in the backyard and play with our swords and throw sticks with the dogs for hours. Hey, it’s better than going to the gym.

Easter was AMAZING. We went to Allison’s parents’ house and I met a lot of great people. When we got home, all the kids wanted was the easter baskets the easter bunny had left them early.

Things were already going great and they got better yesterday when my mother said she’s coming to spend my birthday (May 9th) and mother’s day with me. I loved it!

Well, that’s it for now…but I’ll be back soon with more. So, what cool activities have you done?

Tax Time.

2012 Tax Day is almost here. Many Au Pairs are about finishing their tax returns. I have  posted about the tax return recently at  Au Pair’s tax return.  I also found a helpful post from another Go Au Pair‘s blog at “Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

As a Non-Resident Alien, Au Pairs are required to pay tax on their stipend, minus an exemption, which for the 2011 tax year is $3700. If you arrived after August 20th, then you still need to file a tax return, but you shouldn’t owe anything.

Taxes

Taxes (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

The main thing that influences how much tax you have to pay, is when you arrived in the USA. A January arrival Au Pair with her/his stipend 195.75 will pay an average of $600 in taxes, with the full amount due all in one tax year.

Remember that Au Pairs who do not submit a tax return may have difficulty extending or obtaining future visas.

If you have any questions, please contact a tax professional.

Au Pairs making friends

When an Au Pair comes to live with the Host Family it is very important to make friends as soon as possible and stay active. Also, it is the best way to cope with homesickness. For any Au Pair who feels lonely or in need of friends, being proactive and seeking out social events is a good way to meet people.

Go Au Pair’s welcome packet has a list of the Au Pairs in the area with addresses and phones. Au Pairs will meet new friends at the Au Pairs’ meeting. If you live in the Philadelphia or NJ area please check an Au Pair activity schedule.

Au Pair’s friends are in the same situation – they are living  away from their family and friends so they have tons of things in common. Taking care of children all day is hard work and they need a break sometimes. Going out with Aupair friends, spending time together, sharing common experiences and cultural differences over a cup of coffee is the best way to relax.

It is better to make friends with Au Pairs from other countries.  Au Pairs will be forced to speak English and will have the side benefit of learning about their cultures.

Au Pairs also will find many new friends at CollegeTravelling together with new friends through the US and exploring a new country is a wonderful way to relax. Au Pairs may meet new friends alone the way too.

Facebook  is  another way to find friends.  Au Pairs from the Philadelphia and NJ cluster formed a group on facebook and they are always ready to lend a hand. We are one big family and we band together.

Anytime you need a Friend we are here for you!

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