The front page news article Parents warned over child diet risk (April 24) reported that alternate caregivers are more likely than parents to skimp on nutritious meals, according to a survey in the GCC region.
If you are conscientious about what you let your little ones eat, how do you best communicate your food preferences to your nanny so that you can ensure that your children are eating as well in your absence as they are in your presence?
First, verbally inform your nanny about your food preferences as soon as she begins working for you. Be specific. If your preference is to limit your children's consumption of sugar, is that only candy or does that include fruits? What kinds of bedtime snacks are permitted?
Write a list of your food preferences and keep the list in a handy location in your kitchen so that your nanny can refer to it in your absence. No one has absolute recall, so the written list is a handy reminder. Be specific so that your nanny can clearly understand your preferences.
Monitor your nanny. For example, if your preferences include no candy, and you come home to find a Snickers wrapper lying on your kitchen counter top, it's best to follow up with your nanny. Begin by asking questions. For example, "We found a Snickers wrapper in the kitchen. Was that your snack?"
You may also wish to ask your children some questions as well. For example, "Did you have a nice time with the nanny last night? What fun things did you do? What did you eat?"
Provide feedback to your nanny. If you establish that your nanny has complied with your food preferences, praise her for a job well done. If you establish that your nanny has not complied, reorient her to your preferences. Ask her if she has any questions. If the non-compliance recurs, you may wish to evaluate whether you want to continue having her care for your children.
Candi Wingate, US
No crown, no royal wedding
Marcel Petit's letter to the editor Biased wedding media coverage (May 1) complained of too much coverage of the British royal wedding in The National. This smacks a little bit of a jealous man with no peg on which to hang a royal crown unless, of course, he is from Monaco.
The French chopped off the head of King Louis XVI and changed their minds on keeping a monarchy - voting "non" in 1793, 1815, 1830 and finally in 1848, with frequent sprinklings of Bonapartism. This ensured that the French people would never again be treated to such a wonderful spectacle as "The" royal wedding.
Mr Petit complains that The National is a British broadsheet. I suggest he tries one of the other English language newspapers if he wants to see a different "middle-class" bias.
Brian Warren, Abu Dhabi
I refer to the letter from Marcel Petit, in which he criticises the amount of coverage of the British royal wedding. I wonder whether there is a small element of jealousy involved here, given that he apparently does not expect Prince Albert's wedding in Monaco to generate the same amount of interest. Given that some two billion people around the world apparently tuned in to the TV coverage, it seems that not only the British were interested in this event.
Surely the reason why so many did want to see and read about the royal wedding lies in the undeniable ability of British royalty to put on an event - be it a wedding or a funeral - with far more historical pomp and circumstance and finery than anyone else seems able to do. Given the years of practice that the British royal family and successive governments have had in arranging such events, this is not surprising.
No one is forced to watch or read about it, but in this tempestuous period in many parts of the world - not least the Middle East - isn't it great to have something so pleasant to watch or read about and to be able to enjoy the escapism of a fairy tale wedding for a day?
Lyn Soppelsa, Dubai
Gratitude for medical help
The article One man who helps so many (April 29) profiled the Indian expatriate K Kumar, the chairman of the Indian Community Welfare Committee, who helps Indians in need. Sincere thanks to him and all his volunteers who stood behind us when our only child was diagnosed with blood cancer. We will be really grateful for the rest of our lives. I hope that their efforts will cause my little one to come out of this and lead a normal life ahead.
Prasad Charmapurikar, Dubai
Gratitude for medical help
I was surprised when I read the article Two dead in petrol tanker crash (April 26) and came across the statement that on Emirates Road "an average of 288,000 vehicles pass in one direction during rush hour". Assuming a generous four hours of rush hour, this equates to 1,200 cars per minute. Surely this is incorrect?
Neil Hamp-Adams, Dubai