When I'm home from college, I babysit constantly. I love how curious and sincere the kids are. If I ever want advice on my cooking, I know exactly who to feed because kids are mini food critics. I've learned over the years to never leave the house without a snack and to always let them lick the spoon when we all bake brownies together on a rainy day. If you babysit as much as I do, I'm sure you've picked up on a few of these trends too. Here are the 10 facts all babysitters know to be true.

1. Presentation is everything.  

sweet, bilberry, berry, blueberry
Jocelyn Hsu

It's amazing how presentation can make food so much more appealing. The kids I babysit for will gobble up a grilled cheese if I shape it like a butterfly; yet they'll struggle to finish it if I simply slice it in half. If you're cooking for the kiddos, try to rearrange their food so it looks a little more exciting. You'll have as much fun making it as they'll have eating it.  

2. You'll never cut fruit like Mom and Dad do. 

cream, sweet, apple
Helena Lin

I cannot cut an apple without a little voice mentioning, "that's not how Mom and Dad do it." I was unaware that there was a wrong way to cut an apple but apparently there is. This response is not just limited to apples either. It turns out that I cannot cut peaches, mangos, pears, or really any fruit besides bananas for that matter. I have even tried varying my techniques but clearly I still have not found the method that Mom and Dad use. 

3. Bruise free or bust.

dairy product, sweet
Delissa Handoko

I'm sure my fellow babysitters have witnessed the tantrums that can follow the revelation of a bruised banana. Young kids are extra sensitive when they are hungry so every time I peel a banana it's a serious gamble. The good news is that there are plenty of scrumptious recipes for ripe bananas.   

4. If it's green...good luck! 

pomegranate, salad, vegetable
Amanda Shulman

Another known fact in the babysitting community is that green foods are permanently associated with being gross. I remember telling one of the little boys that I babysit for that I love guacamole. Upon hearing this he just stared at me as if I had three heads and announced "but it's green and mushy!" I simply told him that "it might be green and mushy but it's also delicious." Needless to say, he did not believe me.  

5. They'll be your little sous chefs. 

meat, egg, cereal, rice
Spoon University

When the weather keeps us all inside, I always suggest that we bake. It entertains the kids and everyone enjoys the end result. Although you will end up doing the majority of the baking, they are excellent helpers. As most babysitters know the kids always want to crack the eggs and lick the spoon. Always let them crack the egg but have them do it in a separate bowl so that your brownies don't have an unwanted crunch. 

6. Snacks are a must.

peanut, almond, nut
Christin Urso

The one time I took the kids I babysit for to the park without a snack it ended with a flying Mr. Potato Head and a lot of tears. That is one mistake that I will never make again. Whether it's gold fish or trail mix, snacks are a must.

7. Gotta love gummies. 

pepper, tomato, vegetable
Kevin Rodriguez

Growing up, I never had fruit snacks in the house – they were literally the forbidden fruit. Maybe this is why I still get excited when the kids have them as a snack. Every kid I babysit for seems to have a least favorite flavor so I find that I always have a pile of gummies to enjoy.  

8. "This smells funny...try it!"  

bread, vegetable, lettuce, cheese, tomato, salad
Kavitha George

If the milk smells funny or the food tastes weird, the kids will not grab something new until you share their pain and try the spoiled food.

9. Pasta, please.

pasta, spaghetti
Jennifer Cao

Although I can cook more than just pasta, nothing is better than when I arrive to see that box of spaghetti on the counter. It's easy to cook and I have yet to take care of a kid who detests this dish. Whether I'm caring for sauce kids, or butter kids, this meal is always a big hit.   

10. Ice cream is always the answer. 

pastry, goody, sprinkles, sweet, cake, candy, cream, chocolate
Torey Walsh

Whether it's to reward the kids for excellent behavior or to cool off on a hot summer day, ice cream always seems to be the answer. If there's not a local ice cream shop within walking distance, I like to make my own frozen treat with the kids. Either way the kids have fun and enjoy a tasty treat. There's no better way to end the day than with little kids who have ice cream cones in their hands and smiles on their faces. 

The next time you babysit be sure to watch how the kids' smiles grow when they see ice cream and how their noses' scrunch up when they smell food that they despise. No one can deny the fact that little kids add excitement to every meal.