In-Laws Feed 3 year old Crap No Matter What We Say
We are having a major issue with the in-laws with regards to what they feed her when she visits, and any advice would be wonderful.
They are so helpful and great in other ways, but when it comes to food, they are awful. For a start they complain if we look at ingredients on packets, or if we even dare mention that sugar or grain is bad for our daughter. When she goes over for the day, she is typically fed such wonderful things as spaghetti hoops on toast, sausage rolls, aspartame laden yoghurt, chocolate, sweets, and now very sugary juice. This was after saying no more sugary juice only yesterday!!
We have told them from the start that we don't want her eating junk food, and when ever we mention why something is bad for her, they basically tell us to shut up about it and act really offended. We have spoken to them countless times about the issue, but they just do it behind our back regardless. It seems like they have no clue what healthy food is, and it's driving us mad! She comes home from her granny's house angry and hyper, and it can be a struggle getting her to sleep.
The problem is that they are so helpful and good in other ways, so I don't want to limit her visits. They just won't listen to anything we say, and act as if we are conspiracy nutjobs or something when we say anything. I should also add that her granny is permanently on Weight Watchers.
What can we do?!
1. send food with her
2. if that does not work stop the visits until they agree to not give her crap food
3. or just say "eh, it is only at granny's" and get over it.
None of the choices are great but they are the only ones I see working.
Canio6; your first option sounds like the best, and of course failing that we'll just have to deal with it. It's just difficult doing nothing when you know your child is getting fed unhealthy food that could cause her problems. They already know that grain disagrees with her tummy, but they don't want to know. On the positive side, she does tell us what she ate when she comes home, so we usually find out when they give her stuff behind our back.
Man is Truth; your post made me and the OH LOL
How often is she there? If we are talking 5% of her life then I would let it go. If she is there daily or several times a week all day my answer would be different. My parents eat clean, but they still give my kids treats when they come over. Drives me batty! I think my mother is secretly worried my already thin children will lose weight without the junk. Even though it has been 3 months and they have both gained a pound. My oldest one will occasionally refuse and say, no that is junk. I secretly smirk inside.
Luckily they only spend maybe 15 days a year with them since we live 10 hours away.
Yeah, it is tough. Could you get your doctor to say that grains do not agree with your little one (or just say that your doctor said it) to reinforce the importance of not feeding her food of which you do not approve? Often I've noticed older folks/parents etc do not want to be told they are wrong when their kids turned out fine blah blah. Yet, if a doctor or expert say it then boom, change of heart.
Originally Posted by Annana
That's how my parents are with my niece and nephew. My brother and his wife feed them well, but when they come over here for a week, once or twice a year, the junk food is on like Donkey Kong.
Originally Posted by primalswan
I have found citing a gluten allergy/intolerance gets people to not to look at me weird. Of course, if I add in a large number of Americans are actually gluten intolerant and don't know it, then they look at me weird.
Originally Posted by canio6
We have been tempted by the doctor idea, but I couldn't bring myself to do it, even though it's not really a lie. I may still do it, but to be honest, they'll probably give her grain anyway.
She goes there twice a week as it gives me much needed time to myself, but I'm tempted to go down to once a week even if I do get less time to myself. We try to feed her lunch before sending her over, but even when we do, they give her a second lunch! When told it would make her fat, they used the age old excuse of, "Well my kids turned out fine!"
I'm just sick of them doing things behind our back and completely going against our parenting. We are also homeschooling, and her great granny keeps telling her that she has to go to school and that all her friends will be there. And of course my daughter gets very upset about the whole thing now.
That sounds like a nightmare. Honestly, I think you have to put your foot down and make it no days a week. Obvioiusly that would be hard for you. I am not sure about your area but some places groups of mothers set up organized play times where one week one mom keeps the kids for an afternoon, the next week another does etc. That way everyone gets some free time. Another option is a local play group or school...somewhere she can go to socialize (that 'school' all her friends go to) and let allow you time to unwind. It could be a day or two a week. I am not suggesting sending her outside for schooling permanently.
I would have also recommended to pack foods and send them with her. Then, there should be no excuse to feed her anything else. My sister packs a little cooler for my nephew while he visits. I feed him the food he is given. Much easier than having to prepare anything myself.
These are your in-laws and they aren't even listening to their own child's requests in dealing with your daughter's eating? I would be so annoyed that I would just make visits stop until they can actually follow rules. Replace diet with stuff like bad manners, TV watching, excessive cursing, other bad behaviors. If they continued to subject her to late nights, yelling at each other all the time, or them teaching her how to do bad things, would you even hesitate to stop their visits?