I never did much babysitting when I was younger, and neither did my husband, so we were fairly clueless when we started leaving our infant son with babysitters on our occasional date nights. Were we supposed to leave dinner? Or money for pizza? Embarrassingly, we left one sitter with neither one evening before I had the good sense to check in with my sister, an experienced babysitter. She confirmed that most families leave her with leftovers in the fridge or at least some snacks. I apologized to our sitter — who turned out to be a Kitchn reader, even more embarrassing! — and vowed to treat our babysitters' meals a little more thoughtfully.
Of course, thoughtful doesn't have to mean difficult or time-consuming. I barely have time to slap on makeup and unwrinkled clothes, let alone make a meal, in the 15 short minutes before the babysitter arrives. Instead, I rely on a few time-saving methods to make sure our sitters eat great food without adding any extra work for me.