A petite, chubby, fair-skinned young woman in her late teens steps out of the kitchen carrying a stainless pot. She gets a wooden rack, places it on the dining table and puts the pot on top of it. Walking towards the bedroom, she knocks on the door and says, "Ate, handa na po yung pinaluto niyong kalabasa para kay Princess. Gagayatin ko na po ba o dudurugin lang ng maigi?'
"Sige, Yaya Marlyn, gayatin mo muna at durugin ng pinong-pino. Ilagay mo doon sa bago niyang plato, Hugasan mo munang maigi yung plato, pati yung kutsarita na gagamitin ni Princess. Bibihisan ko lang muna si Princess at lalabas na kami para kumain na siya, " replies Aimee.
A few minutes later, Aimee walks out of the bedroom and goes into the dining room carrying 6-month-old Princess. "Marlyn, halika at tuturuan kita kung paano papakainin si Princess bago ako pumasok sa opisina," says Aimee.
Aimee then takes a half teaspoon of mashed cooked squash and feeds it to Princess as she talks to Yaya Marlyn, "Ganito lang ang gagawin mo, Yaya. Maliligo lang ako at magbibihis. Ikaw na munang bahalang mapgpakain kay Princess. Ma-late na ako." "Opo, Ate." replies Yaya Marlyn.
After a few minutes, Aimee enters the dining room clad in a belted dark blue knee-length dress. She sees the empty baby plate and says, "Wow, Princess. You must be very hungry that you finished off the food.:
"Eh, Ate. Ayaw po ni Princess dahil kada subo ko niluluwa niya. Kesa po masayang, inubos ko na lang," says Yaya Marlyn.
As a working mom, how would you feel given the above situation? You may agree that it is better that your nanny eats the food rather than it goes to waste.
Researchers found out that the first 1,000 days of a child's life, i.e., from the day the baby is conceived inside the mother's womb until the child turns 2 years old, is very critical in a person's intellectual development and over-all health status. This period is a unique window of opportunity during which we can intervene in order to produce healthy and high-performing individuals in the future. This is possible by providing the right maternal and infant nutrition during the first 1,000 days.
Thus, your child's caregiver or yaya or nanny must set good examples in eating natural healthy food. Don't allow them to give sweetened beverages like soda, powdered juices or processed fruit juices, as well as milk chocolates or candies as reward for your child's good behavior, or to control your child's temper tantrums, or even to get your child's undivided attention. Instead, instruct your caregiver to offer your child real whole food like fresh fruit in the form of mashed banana or grated apple and fresh fruit juices extracted from orange or dalandan.
As the child's mother, you are like a masterchef looking for an apprentice who will prepare and cook your baby's healthy food. You may provide the ingredients and the utensils for the delectable cuisine but it is up to your caregiver to come up with a mouth-watering dish that will whet your baby's appetite and still be nutritious.
Excerpt from "WANTED: PERFECT YAYA (7 Easy Steps to Equip Your Child's Caregiver)"
Illustration by Liz Jocano