Trying to keep a 5 yo's diet healthy while at other people's homes..

Jamie Claire - posted on 03/14/2013 ( 9 moms have responded )

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We have always made sure we fed our kids the best foods. We don't allow any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. This is working great for us at home, however now that our daughter, Isabella visits her Nana and Grandad's and her Aunt's house more often we are finding it increasingly difficult to get other's to adhere to our strict diet guidelines. I'm aware that children need to have a treat now and then but I am really against putting these kinds of foods in my children's bodies. I want them to get the best out of life and it seems that my sister and parents only seem to see the "fun" in giving them junk.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to approach the subject with my family and make them understand how I feel about this.

Thank you
- Jamie :)

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Jamie Claire - posted on 03/15/2013

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Thanks guys, I will definitely take your comments on board. I don't want to upset my family over something like this, I was only seeking advice from those who may have had a similar experience before. I realise I can be quite controlling, but I highly doubt that my kids will be found hiding in the bushes somewhere downing a can of coke and scoffing a chocolate bar lol.

I do try and be as lenient as I can with these sorts of things as I am aware that not everyone shares the same views and opinions as me. I can't hide the fact that these sorts of foods do instil some sort of reaction within me, but in the future I will try and curb my disapproval and annoyance.

Please just keep in mind, that you can't see the full picture via the internet, and my family does sometimes give them these things to get a rise out of me. They are well aware of how I feel, yet still give them the candy (sometimes behind my back without asking) and then watching my reaction. This is the sort of behaviour I don't want my children to think is alright. They also may associate getting candy with being deceitful and hiding things from their parents (because my husband is stricter than I am in regards to these things) as they are only young and absorb everything they see like a sponge.

But thank you both for your input, I will take it on board and try and be a bit more lenient as it may also stop the spiteful behaviour.

Jamie :)

Amy - posted on 03/14/2013

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You can try talking to your family and ask that they only serve one or two sweets while the children are visiting. I understand that my kids like going to their grandparents and they get treats that I don't give in the house but I'm not going to deny them. As your children get older and visit friends homes you may end up with kids who rebel against your rules and then binge eat on the very foods you've restricted for so long. I'm not questioning your choices you are entitled to feed your kids as you wish but I would just try and lighten up a little when visiting family.

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Sarah - posted on 03/28/2013

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You say that your family does it to get a rise out of you and to see your reaction. Why not try not reacting or ignoring it. They may stop after they are not having fun with it.

Talk to your children about what they feel about it. Do they know that Grandma feeds them too much junk? Could they be polite and say "thank you but I'd rather have an apple"

The other thing is you could try to get a rise out of them. (If you think the relationship will stand it) Say something jokey like "So has Grampa given you so much candy we need to go to the dentist this week." Or "Did you have ANY vegetables today at Grandmas house?"

On the whole having a family member who spoils my children I try to bite my tongue. It is annoying but in the grand scheme of things I'm complaining about my kids getting treats. There are bigger things to worry about.

Anyway best of luck.

Mina - posted on 03/26/2013

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Also, as long as you are keeping your kids active and teaching them good hygiene (which I'm sure you are), I wouldn't worry too much about obesity and bad teeth. It's obvious that you have your kids best interest in mind. But a little snack here and there, will keep them from overdoing the snacks later in life. Teach them moderation.

Mina - posted on 03/26/2013

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Grandparents are known for letting kids slide with things they wouldn't normally do at home. Most people have great memories of the joyous visits to spend time with them. Those are memories that stick with them forever. It's like a little vacation from reality for kids. I don't see the harm. It can just be back to business as usual when they return home.

Margarita - posted on 03/23/2013

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Ahh, the things we do to spite the ones we love. My SIL gaver her other nephew an EZ bake oven in part because she knew he'd love it, but also because she knew it would nag the heck out of his homophobic father. I'm not sure ignoring it will make it go away, but I do suspect they will do it less and certainly stop sneaking candy to the kids if they stop getting a rise out of you. I do my best to keep GMOs to a minimum, and it came up in conversation when I was asked why my daughter doesn't get corn tortillas at home (I am Mexican) since it's obvious she loves eating them at abuelita's. My brother then pointed out that mom bought her tortillas in the states these days. I said I figured as much, and he said he was afraid I'd run to the bathroom and throw up. I simply told him I am not about to make a scene at my mother's house (I could have pointed out that GMO use is worldwide and that a number of Mexican farm workers staged a hunger strike trying to get GMOs out of the agriculture there, but it wasn't the point here). I try to feed my daughter as well and as healthily as I can, but eating stuff that I wouldn't eat at home when we're at someone else's house isn't something I can control, and I'd rather spend the time we see my mother (one week per year as we live quite far from each other) or with the in-laws (they use every artificial sweetener known to man to stay thin, but will cook with butter, clean their plates when they are already full and over eat at buffets and wonder why they can't lose weight...) etc., catching up and letting her get to know family. It's all about balance, and as long as they don't keep it a secret (that I definitely thing is wrong since they are teaching your children to deceive you and you should put your foot down on that one), at least you know what went in and how many extra veggie servings or how much less sugar to use on your next meal to even things out. Good luck! Balance is always tricky.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/15/2013

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Like Amy says, lighten up. A piece of cake, or dose of sugar isn't going to turn your kids into grossly obese monsters, and if you've already suggested to your family that you'd appreciate them not serving such things to your children, then you've done what you can, short of not allowing them over.

It's kind of a choose your battles thing. Are you going to continue to nag at your folks for their choices of what they feed your kids, and risk alienating the family, or do you bend on this one thing? I recommend flexibility.

Jamie Claire - posted on 03/14/2013

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Shawnn

I am not trying to dictate what others serve in their homes, I am simply trying to ensure my children aren't filled with chocolate cake and soda (like they were the last time they visited my parents house).

While I respect your outlook on how I feed my children, and appreciate that some may see it as controlling, I am happy with the way I am feeding my children and do not wish for them to become obese, unhealthy or have rotting teeth like so many children is todays society do.

I am not saying that they can't eat what meals are severed, I am simply asking how best to approach my family and friends and let them know that the "treat" they are handing my child is not something I would like my child to eat. I am in no way being rude, or asking my children to be disrespectful when offered something. I just do not want my children to be offered endless amounts of junk!!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/14/2013

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You cannot dictate what others serve in their homes!

There are going to be times that you don't agree with what is served in another's home. The only time that I consider it acceptable to ask for dietary adjustments is if one has a severe allergy. Otherwise, you are a guest in their home, and to dictate what you will and will not allow to be served is just plain rude.

You can try to point out to your family that you'd appreciate if they'd take your dietary guidelines into consideration when feeding your children, but if they don't choose to heed that, it's their house and their choice. If your kids are being taken out to eat, you can guide their choices yourself, because kids will generally order what they're comfortable with.

The alternative solution is to not allow your children to eat at anyone else's house, in which case, don't be surprised if people stop inviting your children anywhere, and you may even overhear comments about how controlling you are.

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