Top Ten Meals to Cook for your Host Children

Au pairs are often asked to assist their host family in cooking an evening meal for the children. Basic cooking skills can be expected but we recommend that families put some time aside at the beginning of the placement to go through a few of the children’s favourite recipes with the au pair to make sure they have got the hang of it.

We asked our au pairs what evening meals go down best in their household. Here are the top ten responses!

“My host children love cooking. Together we make a great spaghetti bolognese. Italian food is their favourite” – Mathilde, French, au pair in London

Pasta and pesto with sausages. Really simple to make and tastes really good”Elin, Swedish, au pair in Hertfordshire

Jacket Potato with Baked Beans & Cheese is easy to make and my host kids loved it”Tamara, Austrian, former au pair in Oxfordshire

Gemma, a Spanish au pair in Surrey sent us this photo of a quiche that her host children enjoyed:

cooking-blog-photo

 

“My kids love pasta with mushroom sauce, homemade pizza, fish gratin with vegetables and also chilli (with a twist):

Cinnamon Chilli

  • 500g mince
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tins tomatoes
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  1. Fry the garlic and onion and add the mince until it’s done
  2. Add tomatoes and cinnamon and season with salt & pepper (and other spices if you want to)
  3. Simmer for at least 30 minutes (but longer is better)
  4. Add the beans about 30 minutes before serving
  5. Serve with bread, rice or a jacket potato (and maybe some natural yoghurt and guacamole)”

Carina, German, au pair in Kent

 “We like to cook fajitas on Friday nights. We cook the chicken with peppers, onions and spices and then serve with lots of little dishes of grated cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, lettuce and tomatoes” – Diana, Italian, au pair in Surrey

“A really simple meal is pasta bake. I make a tuna and sweetcorn one with melted cheese on top and the boys always eat it all!” – Maartje, Dutch, au pair in London

“When we have enough time in the evening, we make pizzas together. The kids like to get involved. We use tomato puree on the base and choose from toppings including chicken, peppers, onion, mushroom, ham, pepperoni and cheese”Hannah, Australian, au pair in London

 
“My kids love roasts and it’s actually quite easy to prepare it just takes some time. My host dad told me the trick to put a ‘butter paper’ (the paper that the Butter is wrapped in when you buy it) on Top of the chicken. This keeps the chicken juicy and prevents the Skin from getting burned. You put the chicken in the oven for about two hours. About 30 min before you take the chicken out, you take off the paper, so the skin can crisp up. 
You can also put some whole potatoes on the tray with the chicken so you get baked potatoes. Or you Cut them in wedges, in half, … But they need less time than the chicken itself, so you need to time it right 🙂
You can use any vegetable your kids like. My host children’s favourites are runner beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower… I simply boil these or just roast them as well. (Sliced and roasted carrots and parsnip are great).
I serve the food with gravy which I make from granules 🙂 “
Alina, German, au pair in Hampshire

“Today I made a cheesy cauliflower and pasta bake for the second time and the girls loved it”Laura, German, au pair in Surrey

We have lots more ideas for simple meals on our Pinterest page and in our Au Pair Guide which is sent to all Smartaupairs prior to travel.

Happy Cooking!

Annual Au Pair River Cruise – Book NOW!

The date for the annual Au Pair River Cruise has been announced! Every year, Smartaupairs invites all au pairs who are placed with one of our host families to join us for the event. It’s extremely popular so we recommend booking your place as soon as possible!

Thames River Cruise

Sunday 17th May 2015

All day excursion from just £10 per person

Come and join hundreds of other BAPAA au pairs on a private boat trip to Greenwich. You will travel past famous bridges and historic buildings along the river from Central London, with many exciting views of Westminster including the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, and then head downstream through the city to the Thames Barrier, Greenwich and back again. At Greenwich you will have time to have a look around – there are lively markets, historic buildings, the famous Royal Observatory and Meridian Line, the Maritime Museum and a beautiful park with wonderful views over London. Bring a picnic or buy lunch in Greenwich.

  • 11am – boat leaves Festival Pier
  • 1pm – boat arrives at Greenwich
  • 4pm – boat leaves Greenwich
  • 5pm – boat arrives back at Festival Pier

The trip costs £10 per person or £12 for friends (non-BAPAA)

You must arrive by 10.45am as the boat leaves promptly at 11am from Festival Pier, in front of The Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank. (Opposite side of the river to Embankment tube.)

Nearest tube station: Waterloo or Embankment. Nearest mainline train station: Waterloo.

If you wish to stay in London for the night of Saturday 16th May, hostel accommodation is available through International Students House, 229 Great Portland Street, London W1. (www.ish.org.uk) Telephone 020 7631 8310, quoting BAPAA.

Britt Boat Trip
Au Pair Britt won our photo competition in 2014. This is her entry taken in Greenwich Park.

Payment details: You can pay via PayPal (even if you don’t have a PayPal account) – go to www.paypal.co.uk and make the payment to finance@bapaa.org.uk. You must include your FULL name, the name of your agency in the UK (Smartaupairs) and your host family, plus the names of any friends going on the trip with you (stating BAPAA or non-BAPAA). You must print off the PayPal receipt or ticket and bring it with you on the day, as you will need to show it when you board the boat (tickets displayed on smartphones will not be accepted)! You must pay in advance for your ticket and refunds are not given.

Smartaupairs will be running a photo competition so REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR CAMERA!

Entries are to be emailed to aupairs@smartaupairs.com by 29th May 2015 and the winner will receive a £20 Amazon voucher. Click here to see some of last year’s entries.

Smartaupairs reserves the right to use any images from the boat trip for the purpose of future promotions.

Any questions? Please e-mail aupairs@smartaupairs.com

Free Overviews of our Available Au Pairs

pinterest logo

We are always looking for better ways to introduce our au pairs.

– and now, we have started our own pinterest board to display au pair overviews so that you can have a better idea of some of the applicants we have on our books, even before you register with us.

Click here for the smartaupairs pinterest page to view some of our most recent applicants:

http://pinterest.com/smartaupairsuk/au-pairs/
(you do not have to be a member of pinterest to view our page)

Here’s an example of an overview of one of our current candidates:

Image

Please contact us on 0800 917 8166 or info@smartaupairs.com if you would like a personalised shortlist of candidates.

All the au pairs shortlisted will have their full presentation (pictures, letter, references, checks) viewable for you!

Testimonials from Host Families

This is a lovely time of year for us, as we hear so many fantastic stories from families and au pairs who are parting ways after spending a year together. Many host families are also confirming their new au pairs in time for the summer or next academic year.

We would like to share with you some of the wonderful feedback we have received over the last few days.

The Clifton family is a long term client of Smartaupairs. They live in Kent and have had Spanish, German and Swiss au pairs through our agency:

“I have been using Smartaupairs for several years now and every year proved successful thanks to the Smartaupairs team’s diligence and kindness.


Thanks to them, the process of finding the “right” au-pair for my family has always been fool-proof: a quick phone-call with a very helpful and supportive person at the end of the line; a few emails exchanged to finalise details and there I was with a list of pre-selected candidates.


I really enjoyed using the Smartaupairs website for its easiness of use as well as finding all the information I needed with just a few very simple clicks.


Once, I have had an emergency where my German au-pair had to go home following a bereavement. It was a stressful time for everyone in the family but thanks to Smartaupairs, some of this stress has been removed within days.


I have recommended Smartaupairs to all my friends with young children and will continue to do so in the future for the quality of service provided is exemplary.


If you looking for reliability as well as outstanding service, you are in the right place!


(by the way, I am not related to anyone in Smartaupairs, I am just a really satisfied customer!)

 

We were delighted to place the Cummings family’s first au pair with them. We understand that the search process can sometimes be daunting for first time host families so do our very best to make things simple.

 

“A huge Thank you for connecting us with three wonderful candidates.

 

We were impressed by all of them but sadly only one can be successful.

 

I can’t tell you how much less stressful our trip will be made with an extra pair of hands and how excited we are to give such a lovely young woman an opportunity to improve her level of English and taste a little slice of English life. I may be married to a French Man but I was born in Yorkshire and a ‘Yorkshire’ household I run no matter where that may be 🙂

 

Thank you again”

 

It’s great to also hear how excited au pairs are about their upcoming placement when they receive their offer from a host family. When Amelie got her confirmation this week, her German agency passed on the news. They told us:

“She is over the moon. She was actually breathless :-)“

 

For more testimonials, please see our website.

We look forward to matching lots more families and au pairs in time for the new school year!

If you are interested in hosting an au pair, please call us on 0800 917 8166, email on info@smartaupairs.com, or register on our website for a call back

Annual Au Pair River Cruise – Book NOW!

The date for the annual au pair river cruise has been announced! The cruise has been tremendously popular in previous years, so make sure you book your place NOW!

You can join us for the Thames River Cruise if you are currently placed with one of our host families.

Date: Sunday 12th May 2013

All day excursion from just £10 per person

Come and join 100s of other BAPAA au pairs on a private boat trip to Greenwich. You will travel past famous bridges and historic buildings along the river from Central London, with many exciting views of Westminster including the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, and then head downstream through the city to the Thames Barrier, Greenwich and back again. At Greenw

ich you will have time to have a look around – there are lively markets, historic buildings, the famous Royal Observatory and Meridian Line, the Maritime Museum and a beautiful park with wonderful views over London. Bring a picnic or buy lunch in Greenwich.

  • 11am – boat leaves Festival Pier
  • 1pm – boat arrives at Greenwich
  • 4pm – boat leaves Greenwich
  • 5pm – boat arrives back at Festival Pier

The trip costs £10 per person or £12 for friends (non-BAPAA)

You must arrive by 10.45 am as the boat leaves promptly at 11am from Festival Pier, in

front of The Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank. (Opposite side of the river to Embankment tube.)

Nearest tube station: Waterloo or Emba

nkment. Nearest mainline train station: Waterloo.

If you wish to stay in London for the night of Saturday 11th May, hostel accommodation is available through International Students House, 229 Great Portland Street, London W1. (www.ish.org.uk) Telephone 020 7631 8310, quoting BAPAA.

Nelleke from the Netherlands took this photo on the boat trip last year!
Nelleke from the Netherlands took this photo on the boat trip last year!

Payment details: You can pay via PayPal – you do not need a Paypal account! Go to www.paypal.co.uk and make the payment to finance@bapaa.org.uk. You must include your FULL name, the name of your agency in the UK (Smartaupairs) and your host family, plus the names of any friends going on the trip with you (stating BAPAA or non-BAPAA). You must print off the PayPal receipt or ticket and bring it with you on the day, as you will need to show it when you board the boat!

We will be running a Smartaupairs photo competition so REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR CAMERA!

Entries are to be emailed to info@smartaupairs.com by 31st May 2013 and the winner will receive a £20 Amazon voucher.

Smartaupairs reserves the right to use any images from the boat trip for the purpose of future promotions.

Tip: make sure you are in the photo (with your au pair friends perhaps) – this makes the photo much more interesting than just sending a photo of scenery alone.

We look forward to meeting you!

Any questions? Please e-mail info@smartaupairs.com