My kid and food

[deleted account] ( 13 moms have responded )

I'm torn and unsure how to handle this situation. Feel free to turn this into a debate, since that's what this community is for. But really I'd like to know how you handle what your kids eat when they are not in your care.

First off, we eat healthy at my house. I'm not militant about it. My daughter gets excited to see McD's and knows what Coke is and ice cream is a favorite treat. But overall, we eat very healthy. I don't buy junk to keep in the house (except ice cream), and I cook mostly from scratch, and am careful to include plenty of grains, protein, fruits and veggies in our diets.

I also want to say that I've never made a big deal about what she eats when other people are watching her. Part of being a grandparent or aunt is getting spoil the kid, right? My thought has always been, "She eats well at our house, I won't stress about what she eats when we are out, or when she's with other people."

It has become an issue lately though. Some relatives act as if we are depriving our daughter. This statement was made in response to me saying we don't have cheerios in the house, "When you have a kid, you've got to feed her." I'm really not exaggerating.

So last time my daughter spend a few days with her grandmother, she came home with diarrhea. I know she had more sugar than her body is used to. I didn't say anything. Last night my husband and I went on "one last date before the baby". My daughter stayed with her great-grandparents. She LOVES it over there, and they adore her. They also have the worst eating habits of anyone I know, and I've always considered it a treat for my daughter to go over there and get spoiled for a few hours. This morning she woke up covered...literally throw up and diarrhea.

I've had to stop myself from calling my husband's grandmother to ask exactly what my daughter ate. I don't want to be too controlling. But at the same time, the way she eats in the care of her grandmother and great-grandmother is affecting her. My husband has been a little quiet about it this morning, but I know he's thinking about it.

How far is too far? Should I pack food for her when she goes to someone else's house? How can I address the issue diplomatically? I'm not mad at these people. I really do love them, and I know they love my daughter. But how can I get them to see that treats are MODERATION.


Becky - posted on 03/10/2011




I have a combo feeling on this. Do I think you're overreacting? Maybe a little. How often is she going over to grandma's house? If it's every once in a while, then I don't think what she's eating over there should be too much of a concern, as long as she's eating healthy most of the time having a day of treats isn't going to harm her. Unless, she has a food allergy. Some food allergies show up as upset stomachs with vomiting and diarrhea. It wouldn't hurt to find out what she is eating and see if there's a connection.

[deleted account]

I don't, personally, have any problem w/ what my kids eat when they are w/ other people. But... if the food she is eating while in the care of others is making her sick... and not just a little tummy ache from eating too much, but actually puking and stuff.... it HAS to stop and you are not out of line at ALL. If they won't cut down on the crap that is making her sick then you should send food w/ her.... and if that doesn't resolve the problem then you probably shouldn't leave her in their care anymore.

I'm sorry you are having to deal w/ this!


View replies by

Krista - posted on 03/10/2011




They obviously love her very much. I would approach it from a place of concern, not accusation. Just say, "The morning after she was at your house, she woke up very sick, with vomiting and diarrhea. I was just wondering if she ate anything unusual." After she tells you, just say, "Okay, that's good to know, 'cause I want to give her doctor a quick call and ask about it, and he'll probably want to know what she ate."

Let them stew for a day.

Then, call back and say, "I talked to the doctor, and he said that it sounds like she had too much sugar and fat for her little system to handle, and that we'll want to be really careful with that stuff. He said we could still give her treats once in awhile, but just enough for a little taste."

Yes, it's lying, but it's probably what your doctor would say ANYWAY. And it keeps you from being the bad guy, it focuses solely on what's best for your daughter, and if it makes them feel a little guilty...well, maybe that's what's needed.

Nikki - posted on 03/10/2011




I would have a chat with them and let them know what happened. Don't think of it as a confrontation and you will be fine. My mum used to be the same spoiling my daughter and I had to get stern with her because it was effecting Isobel's sleep and behaviour. Since she is a little older now I am just a touch more relaxed but funnily my mum has looked after her this week and I explained if she gave her any sugar she wouldn't get her to bed until late. She didn't believe me, gave her chocolate and she was up 3 hours past her bed time, awake 2 hours before her normal morning time, out of routine and over tired the next day. Let's just say I don't think my mum will be handing out the chocolate's any more! lol

Amber - posted on 03/09/2011




My son's grandparents (on both sides) know how we feel about eating healthy. My son is allowed treats and things, but we limit it. Our families are pretty healthy too, they just like to give him treats too.

When I drop my son off at my mom's house, she'll ask about going out to dinner or any over the top desert their having. I don't feel that she has to, and didn't ask her to do that. She just does it so that I can say no if I feel the need to (which has only happened once).
My in-laws are out of town, so I'm there when he's with them. So, luckily for me, that's not an issue.

Your family obviously loves your daughter. I'm sure that if you tell them how if negatively affects her health, they will make the changes that are necessary. I sometimes get teased by my family, but everybody is respectful. And the most important thing is that they are watching what they give my son.

April - posted on 03/09/2011




if Eliza gets sick every time she visits, eventually she may make the connection and might not want to go over there anymore! I also think it is important for you to call and ask what she ate. Maybe they didn't give her too much...maybe she has a food allergy that you're not aware of. Perhaps, she does have allergies that you are aware of that are listed as ingredients in the foods she is being given ( but aren't the main ingredient). Peanuts, for example, are in almost everything so if she had a peanut allergy she'd have to be more careful (I am not saying that she does have a peanut allergy). I wouldn't worry too much about being polite, IMO. I think your relatives should know these aren't little puke burps she is coming home with, it's all out vomiting and diarrhea.

[deleted account]

We have a similar issue with my in-laws. When Ethan goes to their house he does eat crap, they give him biscuits, ice-cream and chocolate etc and then wonder why he isn't eating his lunch - I let this slide though because I know he eats healthy with me at home, and they are doing me a huge favour looking after him so I can go to the hydro-therapy. If it was making him ill though I would definately speak to them about it because that isn't accpetable. They may not even realise that what they are feeding your daughter is making her ill, especially if she doesn't get ill until after she is home, telling them that when they over feed her she is ill may stop them doing it.

On the packing food for them to eat at grandma's house, the food I put in doesn't get eaten, more often than not he isn't offered it, I still take it though just in case one day she gives it to him :-)

Ashley - posted on 03/08/2011




I think you should tell them what has happened not to hurt there feelings but they love her to and im sure they wont want to make her sick just explain she has a bad response to junk food also even if she isint used to much junk food is it normal to puck and have diarrhea. my son dosent get much ether but when he does he normally gets over loaded and has never had that reaction possibly a mild allergic reaction. Anyway after you explain i doubt you will need to worrie about them feeding her to much. Really hope that everything works out

Kristy - posted on 03/08/2011




When your baby girl is coming home literally SICK from eating poorly at other peoples houses (no matter who they are) you have every right to pick up the phone and ask what she has been eating (expecially since its you and not them who is taking care of a sick baby with a bellyache) I think packing food for her is a great idea, but truth be told, it seems to me in her grandmothers and great grandmothers homes, your food probably wouldnt get touched. (Im also assuming these are your in-laws) Yes everyone gets to spoil the grandbabies, but at what cost to the child? A treat every now and again is fine, but when its interferring with a childs health (and making them sick) thats definatly where the line should be drawn. Im a pretty open person when it comes to my son, if I dont like how something is being handled in reguards to him, I let it be known. Im here to protect him... Thats probably why I dont see eye-to-eye with my mother in law, but at this point, Im no longer worried about it.. You have to do what is best for that little girl and if having a family talk about it over dinner (at your house, lol!) is best, then I would start planning a menu! Good luck!! :)

[deleted account]

I don't have this issue often because my family is so far away, but my parents and his mom did think I was a little nutty. Before she was eating much solids (which she didn't really eat a whole lots before about 14 months) I said no to a lot of things. They just kind of shrugged and said oh well maybe next time. The last time we visited she was 16 months and I did allow a few cookies and such, but they also didn't want to give it to her all the time or in large amounts. Hopefully if you just nicely point out that large amounts of junk food are hurting her tummy then you won't have to go so far as to give measurements. I think if I asked nicely and they still didn't listen I would tell them no more treats and start packing snacks. I would be really upset (and I'm sure you were too) if my daughter woke up like that.

[deleted account]

Thanks. I know I do need to say something. I just need to figure out how to word it nicely, and still get my point across. I don't like being so controlling as to say, "half cup of chips" or "handful of m&m's" but it may come to that. You'd think it would be common sense to not let her eat a whole bag...but then I think they see it as a privilege and treat. I WANT my daughter to be around her grandparents and great-grandparents and consider myself very lucky that we all have such a great relationship. But I'm like you, Kati, I hate confrontation.

[deleted account]

I would contact them. You don't want your daughter to be sick everytime she comes home from there. There's nothing wrong with a treat or two, but she doesn't need to eat surgary junk the whole time she's there. Make sure they know it's making her sick. I would think if I told my family that my daughter was throwing up and having awful diarrhea then they would stop.

Rosie - posted on 03/08/2011




are you sure she's not sick, like having a virus?? if you are sure it's not, then i really think you should say something to them. make them understand you are fine with going to mc donalds or whatever, but once is fine. any other junk is not, it clearly affects her health. you may have to specifically tell them how much she is allowed to have. instead of saying only in moderation, say one happy meal and that's it, or 1/2 cup of chips and that's it for the night,no candy after that.

if they still don't listen, i dont' know what to say. i'm not good with confrontation, sorry. hope they agree with you!! :)

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms