Celebrating Valentine’s Day for Nannies and Au Pairs

You Don’t Have to Spend a Dime of Your Own Money

Nannies and au pairs can have a lot of fun with their charges without spending a dime of their own money. Although some in-home caregivers like to buy their charges presents and cards I am not even spending my own money on gifts. Instead, I am just going to make some fun meals and yummy treats with the children.

Here is what I have planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the kids:

I will start my Valentine’s Day celebration at breakfast. It’s easy to make pancakes, then use heart shaped cookie cutters to cut out a Valentine shaped breakfast. I plan to top the pancakes with strawberries. I actually prefer using a thawed bag of frozen strawberries with the juice than fresh strawberries if available. If the parents allow you to, cover the strawberries with plenty of whipped cream.

For lunch I am using the same heart shaped cookie cutters to make Valentine shaped sandwiches. First, use a rolling pin on the bread to make it easier to cut. Spread peanut butter and red jelly or jam on the bread. I don’t recommend cold cuts as they are difficult to cut with a cookie cutter. Use cookie cutters to make the sandwiches fun heart shapes.
For dinner, I plan to let the children make their own heart shaped pizzas. I like to buy pre-made pizza dough from the grocery store but you can find mixes in the baking aisle at the store or find dough recipes online. First, I form the dough into hearts. I fill little bowls with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and other toppings the children like. I let them add their toppings to the dough and cook it.

If the children love baking you can make a sugar cookie recipe from scratch. But, it is fine to use pre-packaged cookie dough when making Valentine’s cookies with children. Roll the dough out on a non-stick surface. Add a touch of flour to the rolling pin before you try to roll the dough or it will stick. I let the children place the cookie cutters on the dough to cut out Valentine’s shapes. After the cookies cool, allow the children to decorate with white and pink frosting and sprinkles.

Cupcakes are easy to make with a box cake mix instead of making the recipe from scratch. Red velvet cake is great for Valentine’s cupcakes, but any flavor will work. Mini muffin pans create bite size cupcakes for the family to enjoy after dinner. Decorate the cupcakes with creamy icing. White icing can be turned into pink with a bit of red food coloring. Allow the children to stir the white icing and food coloring so they can see the frosting change colors. Use candy sprinkles and cinnamon red hot candies to decorate the cupcakes.

For Valentine’s Day, serve the children red juice. You can find 100% fruit punch juice in any grocery store.

What are you doing with your charges for Valentine’s Day?


  1. We are doing the red dyed water and white carnation (and other flowers) experiment to see if they will change color. Also strawberries are on sale here, so purchased those along with chocolate sauce and whipping cream.We also are doing Valentine Math!

  2. My 4 1/2 yr. old "charge" made her own valentines last week, using red heart doilies glued on white paper and addiing stickers. She also made valentine cards for her teachers and administrators, as well as her parents. I would rather spend time with her doing this, rather than getting the "pre made" cards at the stores. I made a heart shaped sandwich for her lunch last Friday, and today we will make jello jigglers!

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