QuestionsCategory: ParentingCultural differences: my mother in law has very different views about what children should eat
stressed mum asked 1 year ago

Help!! On baby sit and sleepover days I just found out all my food rules are out of the window. What do I do without insulting her own deeply held beliefs 

1 Answers
Riverside Cares Staff answered 1 year ago

This is a complicated one… I suppose the first step is to think about how is this impacting your child. Children can manage different sets of rules with different people. As a nanny years ago the children I worked with knew when they were with me that they could not have certain foods, for example, sweets but when with their parents they were allowed some. They very quickly learnt what they could have with whom.
In order to really get to the heart of this it depends on how often it is happening. If the visits are not often and the children are generally healthy that suggests that it is not impacting your child in a big way, then you may decide to go with it for the sake of family relationships.  Evidence suggests that its okay to allow children (and adults!) all food in moderation, (there may be a few exceptions which are age specific for example honey and unpasterised products, so maybe your child gets more ‘occasionally’ foods with their grandparent than with you, and that’s ok.
If this is having a negative affect on your child then you probably need to have a conversation with your mother in law letting her know how this is impacting on the children and on you. Use an approach where you share what you have learnt and how you have developed a routine which works for the children and would like that to continue. Pick out things you are ok/happy with and make sure you mention these first. If there are lots of issues it may be best to go for small changes at a time.
Kind regards 
Jill Wheatcroft