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!

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National Nursery Rhyme Week

This week is National Nursery Rhyme Week and a few au pairs wanted to share some rhymes from their native language.

Here are their contributions with an English translation – a great opportunity for you to learn a rhyme in another language!

If you would like to learn more nursery rhymes in English, the BBC has put together a great collection that you can find here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learning/schoolradio/subjects/earlylearning/nurserysongs.

german-2

Jaqueline, Ilford, Essexdutch

Evelien, Redhill, Surreyspanish

Gemma, Redhill, Surrey

french

Celine, London

german

Lisa, Maidstone, Kent

Welcome to our new interns, Jasmin and Frederike!

It’s been a very busy time of year at the Smartaupairs office lately – we welcomed two new interns to our team earlier on this month, and also said goodbye to Cristina, who was our intern from March.

Interns play a very important role in our team, ensuring that au pairs are well supported during their search and subsequent placement. Our two new team members are both students from Germany; Frederike studies English at the University of Oldenburg and is in the first year of her Master’s degree. Jasmin studies at the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz and is currently in the second year of her Business Law degree.

Jasmin actually was an au pair herself for 18 months in America and Frederike’s family always used to have au pairs when she was younger. They are therefore already familiar with the au pair programme and can relate well to our au pairs.

Both of our new interns like learning about new cultures and travelling. Whilst Jasmin spent 18 months in America, Frederike travelled to Australia and New Zealand.

Jasmin and Frederike are enjoying their time in England and want to see as much of the country as possible during their time here. They already have a trip to Brighton planned for this weekend 🙂

 

JandF

 

We’ve unfortunately had to say our goodbyes to Cristina this month, too. She had been our intern since March and was a great support to our au pairs. Here’s what Cristina had to say about her internship with us:

“I always tried to help the au pairs as much as I could. And every email I got from my Au pairs saying thank you, made me feel that I was doing my job well. I really enjoyed having my own space and department in this small office. This independent work and responsibility made me feel part of the team. During my studies over the last few years I had to do a lot of internships, but I have never developed myself as much as I have done with Smartaupairs. One of the reasons is that I had to prioritise my work. Although I grew up in two totally different cultures (my parents are Spanish but I was born in Germany and have always lived there), I became more cosmopolitan in the last six months. I was dealing with people from all over the world, so I could learn a lot about the behavior from different nationalities.

Beside my personal development, I also learnt a lot about a great programme, which gives the chance for young people to discover a new culture and country. And in addition gives the chance to improve the language skills, which could be a big help for the future. I had the possibility to discover a new field of work. I also learned that in Germany there is a big demand for this programme. I am sure that this internship will open lots of doors in the future for me.

I am very grateful that I got the chance to become a part of Smartaupairs and that I could learn so much about myself and other people. My great thanks go to Chloe who was always very patient with me. She took her time to explain things and she always believed in me that I could make it. She was not only my supervisor, she was also a friend.”

If Smartaupairs can help you to find your next au pair, please drop us an email (info@smartaupairs.com), give us a call (08009178166) or register here.