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Family feeding DS sugar
How did you handle?

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#1 Felix101

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:53 AM

DS is 7 months, and has been on solids for just a couple of weeks. We are doing baby-led weaning, so he is usually given some of whatever we have at meals.

My MIL in particular loves to give him pretty much everything I don't want him to have, in particular things with sugar (such as buscuits - which she feeds him the second I turn my back). I have spoken to her about the fact that I don't want him eating sugary and processed foods (explaining that yes, that includes ice cream in a cone... No he doesn't want it, because he doesn't know what it is and I'd like it to stay that way). I cook a lot and hate processed foods for my DH and I, so it's not surprising that I feel the same way for DS. My MIL told me I was being silly, and a little bit wasn't going to hurt. Whilst I see where she's coming from I asked her to respect my decision. She said ok. Then asked 15min later if she could give him another biscuit (granted, this time she asked... Haha). I said no... She waited til I went out for 10min and gave it to him then....

I don't see her much, so I'm normally ok at handling it, but given the festive season she is going to be around a bit, as will the rest of DHs side of the family, who I know are going to be the same.

I'm not very confrontational, and whilst I explain things, I know they will just pretend to listen and start feeding him even more of what I don't want him to have. I'm ok with letting the odd thing slide, but it's going to be so much more than that.

So I'm interested to hear how others have handled meddling family who can't just let you feed your child how you would like to original.gif

#2 Soontobegran

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:58 AM

I'd be more concerned about the fact that she ignored your requests rather than the fact that your little one had a biscuit.
You need to let her know you are angry about her defying you.

#3 Feral_Pooks

Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:06 AM

I think you need to pick your battles and have a good think about whether this is worth the angst. This time of year is tough enough as it is. If it were me, I'd let it go. Chances are that the more you push, the more she will push back. One strategy I've used is to sit back and let DS eat whatever it is, without comment, and then say after a few moments " looks like you enjoyed trying that, it's nice trying new things just for a little taste, thanks grandma" and then I take it off him and eat it myself. I honestly CBF having drama over something like a bikkie.

#4 MrsShine

Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:16 AM

Unfortunately this is just what (most) grandparents do! We were raised very healthily on a Mostly vegetarian diet, and not a lot of treats and my sister is now very big on cooking, organic food, unprocessed etc. etc. yet our own parents will happily buy her DS a block of chocolate! Not a bar - a whole BLOCK!!! He also gets iced chocolates with whipped cream, Coke, lemonade and hot chips regularly when he's in their care....she is completely exasperated about it. But he's 11yrs old now so it's not going to change. For some reason GP's just like to spoil the GC! If its not every day like you say I wouldn't worry abt it oo much.

#5 Feral timtam

Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:27 AM

Perhaps try a different tactic?

I let my relatives feed my children whatever they want on one condition. They have to tell me exactly and in detail what has gone into the child's mouth so that I know what they have eaten in case of a reaction. I figured they were going to sneak foods to my kids behind my backs and my family seems to be a bit more responsible about what they give my kids.

What would you rather? Your MIL being open and upfront about giving your child processed foods and you knowing what they've eaten if they react to it or your MIL vehemently denying giving your child anything and your child having a violent reaction to it and ending up in hospital with you unable to tell the medical professionals what your child ingested to cause the reaction?

#6 cinnabubble

Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:44 AM

I'd just keep him away from her. She doesn't respect you and your choices enough to listen, so don't give her the opportunity.

#7 Lalliana

Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:58 AM

I know how you feel OP. We have my DSD on Failsafe due to suspected ADD however my MIL thinks it's nonsense and that there is nothing wrong with her. I know she does try and buys things thinking they will be ok (like organic sausages which are not failsafe) but aren't. I've tried to tell her what is ok and what isn't but I've found that it's easier now just to pack everything she can eat when she goes over there and hope that my DSD follows her diet despite possible temptation. I know it's difficult but you have to accept that sometimes family just doesn't listen.

#8 mini mac

Posted 22 December 2012 - 11:01 AM

I hear your pain. This was exactly me about a year ago with my MIL and DS1.

When you say you don't want your child to have something for ANY reason, you would think family would listen, especially when you've said it multiple times.

My reasons weren't dissimilar to yours, but also MIL would give DS1 food he wasn't ready for and choke worthy for a baby (she would give him whatever his 13 month senior cousin was having... Let's just say he ate and got whatever he wanted, way too much sugar IMO)... I didn't want DS to have so much sugar so young, there was absolutely no need!

For the first few months I really tried to stopped her. I kept explaining my aversion to my little one having so much processed sugar. Especially as I usually had brought food just for him knowing what she would ply him with, it was really frustrating! She would give him sugary biscuits and packet junk/lollies/chocolate when a healthy salad was on the table that he would happily munch on, or he'd already eaten enough and kept loading him up on sugar.

In the end, as DS got a bit older too, I got sick of repeating myself, I felt like such a stick in the mud, DH's family would all listen to me make excuses for why I didn't want DS to eat whatever he was being given...

So I've compromised, as long as DS has eaten some healthy stuff now I let MIL give a few treats (not even half as many as his older cousin gets!) and then I'll say he's had enough. Although I don't really like it, she gets to spoil him a bit and I don't sound like a broken record. And its not an everyday occurrence, its about every other weekend or so.

In saying all that, if you are firm in your beliefs, you should stick to your guns and keep making your point. If all the family hear her defy you over and over, then if you turn around and say something like 'I won't come visit until you promise not to give my baby xyz etc' there has been enough evidence around for you to not look like a rude DIL.

#9 mini mac

Posted 22 December 2012 - 11:03 AM

QUOTE (tamjk @ 22/12/2012, 08:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Perhaps try a different tactic?

I let my relatives feed my children whatever they want on one condition. They have to tell me exactly and in detail what has gone into the child's mouth so that I know what they have eaten in case of a reaction. I figured they were going to sneak foods to my kids behind my backs and my family seems to be a bit more responsible about what they give my kids.

What would you rather? Your MIL being open and upfront about giving your child processed foods and you knowing what they've eaten if they react to it or your MIL vehemently denying giving your child anything and your child having a violent reaction to it and ending up in hospital with you unable to tell the medical professionals what your child ingested to cause the reaction?

That is a good idea!

#10 TopsyTurvy

Posted 22 December 2012 - 11:42 AM

I controlled treats by giving them things that were ok.

So if they wanted to give a treat it was a very plain 1/2 arrowroot biscuit, or one tiny chocolate button etc.

By allowing them some freedom to give an occasional treat from an approved list, we avoided a lot of this angst.

#11 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:56 PM

Pick your battles. You don't see her much so it's not happening all the time. Is it really worth getting into conflict over the odd buscuit?

If she gives him something you don't want him to have just quietly take it off him. It gets much harder to avoid processed food as they get older. I fond it was better to let my kids have the occasional treat and teach them everything in moderation.

#12 sarkazm76

Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:03 PM

"He had allergies" usually works and saves me from saying "if you want to feed YOUR 2 year old a bunch of absolute crap and chemicals go right ahead but that sh*te will not be going into my child".

#13 Feral_Pooks

Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:08 PM

I love feeding my kid chemicals and crap because I'm a bad parent who doesn't care about him original.gif

You'd be amazed how fine a bikkie is, actually.

#14 katniss

Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:29 PM

QUOTE (cinnabubble @ 22/12/2012, 08:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'd just keep him away from her. She doesn't respect you and your choices enough to listen, so don't give her the opportunity.

My MIL used to constantly feed my DS1 crap all day long. I didn't mind 1 or 2 treats but not all day long. So we banned her from being alone with him! She was narky at first but got the hint. She's still not perfect but not as bad as before.

#15 Dylan's Mummy

Posted 22 December 2012 - 03:08 PM

I have he same problem with my MIL. She wants To give my bub biscuits too. She thinks that just because something was ok when she was raising her kids in the 70's that it still fine now. I told her that I don't want him eating surgery things. She started a huge argument with my husband and I and went off onto tangents that had  nothing to do with babies. She says to "I had 5 kids, I know", yes, I'm going to take parenting advise from someone who swears around kids and thinks there is nothing wrong with smoking while pregnant "it didn't affect any of you" she says to rhem, yes, that is why 4 of them have asthma.

I also don't want her to get into the habit of giving him too much junk because she gives my 9 year old SS so much rubbish from the moment we get to her house (I try to get my husband to reel it in a bit  ut he doesn't) and I don't want my bub to start having those expectation. I know grandparents are meant to spoil their grand kids not to a rediculous state

Next time she tries to get me to give hima biscuit or  anything else I don't want him having, I am going to say that the companies that make baby food aren't allowed to add sugar or salt to their food for a reason.

#16 Ritaroo

Posted 22 December 2012 - 03:22 PM

I disagree with the comments it's just a biscuit or pick your battles. I think whether eating a biscuit is harmful or not is not the point. As your child's mother you have every right to raise the child how you see fit. You have your reasons and I think it's disrespectful for your family not to follow those wishes. They don't have to agree with you and may think you are over reacting but each to their own and if you have said no sugar, they should respect that.

#17 Nobody Cool

Posted 22 December 2012 - 03:44 PM

I have a toddler and a seven month old and I have a blanket "no" policy on junk food as babies because I find this is an issue that I think works best with clearly defined boundaries.

The problem I find with "just one bikkie" is that it can become a slippery slope which people read as permission to feed your kid crap all the time. These days there is always some occasion, or some event, or one little piece of x,y,z and it can really add up if your MIL, Aunty Joan, Cousin Steve etc etc all think it is OK to give your baby a little "treat". That's why I play fun police/bad cop and have a firm "no thanks" approach up until about 18 months. I kind of figure this is the one time in their life that I have the most influence when it comes to food so I want them to start off on the right foot.

I also think it is very disrespectful for anyone to be pushing the point if you have already asked them not to.

#18 Mummy Em

Posted 22 December 2012 - 03:45 PM

I would just keep bub with me as much as possible, and get ready to put my hand in the way if she tries to stick something in his mouth. Hopefully she will eventually get the idea that if she wants to be allowed to be with him unsupervised, even momentarily, then she will have to tow the line whether she agrees or not. He's your child and you have the job of keeping him safe and healthy.

#19 TheWanderer

Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:15 PM

Wow the fun police are out in force today!  One of my fondest childhood memories is getting spoiled by my grandparents and getting the odd sneaky treat that I may not have gotten at home.

LoL to the blanket no junk food policy... all I can say is "poor kid"... just glad I didn't grow up in that house... I bet it is a real hoot!

#20 halcyondays

Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:29 PM

The "odd sneaky treat" is one thing. The problem is when people use food manipulation as a way of putting down the mother's parenting choices. Some people enjoy watching a baby devour food so much that they overdo it, and "one sneaky treat" turns into 4 biccies, an ice cream and a chocolate bar for a 7 month old.

I'm not much help, OP, I actually had a paediatrician's letter banning my kid from eating most processed foods, and they still ran around after him- I lost the plot when I was in hospital after giving birth to my second DS and they were running around after my toddler trying to feed him a rum chocolate ganache cake. He didn't like it, wasn't interested, and they still persisted.
Apparently, they thought it was so delicious, they wanted him to enjoy it too.

#21 Holidayromp

Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:37 PM

The OPs child is 7mo FFS - I would be pretty p*ssy too if people didn't listen and kept feeding crap.  The baby has only just started solids.  This is a very important time because if they don't get crap they don't miss it and want it whenever it is around.
This is an issue I would be happy to go into battle for time and time again.  I have done it for my kids because I want what is best for them not filling them up on crap at such a young age.

#22 TheWanderer

Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:43 PM

It really does fall into the so what category.  Getting a letter from your doctor is a joke, though a note from your mum might have been hard to get in this case.

Grandparents are supposed to spoil kids, and yes that includes feeding them junk and sending them home wired.  It is just how the world works.  I think it is a bit pointless getting all up tight over it...  a thank you for minding your kids may be a better choice than being control freak.

The next thread is in venting forum winging that the grandparents don't want to babysit for you.

#23 cinnabubble

Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:44 PM

If I had a grandparent feeding a baby of seven months crap like that, there's no way in hell I'd want baby sitting from them. In fact, we've never asked for or accepted offers babysitting from the irresponsible grandparents in six years, so I practice what I preach.

#24 TheWanderer

Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:54 PM

I can see your point.... because the occasional bit of junk food is going to cause the child to spontaneously combust, or at best embark on a destructive gluttonous path of Maccas, KFC and clocolate icecream until they have a heart attack at 20.  Either that... or it won't actually matter a damn in the grand scheme of things.

#25 Relish*

Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:57 PM

QUOTE (TheWanderer @ 22/12/2012, 02:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow the fun police are out in force today!  One of my fondest childhood memories is getting spoiled by my grandparents and getting the odd sneaky treat that I may not have gotten at home.

I never understand why people take one issue and turn it into something completely irrelevant just for the sake of being a b**ch to the OP. Do you remember being given icecream and chocolate at 7 months of age against your mother's wishes? No? Then what the hell are you talking about?

OP, your baby is very young, and having just started solids I completely understand where you're coming from. Of more concern to me would be the lack of respect she's showing you as the parent. You need to stand up for yourself perhaps, if it were me he wouldn't be left alone with her and I'd just make it clear that's her own fault for showing she can't be trusted to respect the decisions you make as a parent.

We are vegetarian and if someone gave my baby (the toddler I don't mind so much as she can make her own decisions about what to eat) a piece of chicken or similar when I had specifically asked them not to, I'd be pretty ropeable. Not because of a tiny piece of meat, but because they thought they had the right to trump my request. Totally agree that you should pick your battles, but this is one I would certainly pick.

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