AIBU to not want my MIL to give my daughter an ice-cream everytime she picks her up after school?

(126 Posts)
Millietj Fri 05-Jul-13 10:34:44

My MIL picks my daughter up from school on average twice a week - gives her sweets in the car home, then a biscuit and milk and then an ice-cream (not a little mini milk - yesterday she had a whole 99 cone - she's only five! On Monday it was a Magnum - not a full size one but still I'd struggle to eat a full one!) I pick her up at 5pm, take her home and we have dinner. Daughter has school dinners and they always have puddings.. So that's two puddings at least twice a week. I always let her have a treat after dinner - perhaps 5 smarties or something reasonable and tummy-size appropriate (sorry I know that sounds knobbish! but you know what I mean). My husband feels the same about this. We're not nazis at all about food and treats - she's very lucky with treats but surely all this ice-cream/biscuits/sweets before her dinner can't be nutritionally good for her???

I know grandparents are allowed to spoil children and if it was a one-off thing then we'd absolutely turn a blind eye and even appreciate the spoiling but it's a regular occurence.

Should we say something or are we being overly sensitive about it? I just want her to have as healthy a lifestyle as possible..

Would appreciate any thoughts just in case H and I are wrong about this.


ThreeEyedRaven Fri 05-Jul-13 10:37:33

I can totally see your point, however if DD is not overweight and eats healthily the rest of the time then I doubt its doing her any harm. one of my earliest memories is getting a pack of smarties from nana everytime I visited grin

Perhaps you could ask MIL to give DD smaller treats instead?

redskyatnight Fri 05-Jul-13 10:40:18

On the days your MIL picks her up, why not just not give her a pudding after dinner? Then she's simply had her "treat" before dinner rather than after.

I couldn't get worried about this, sorry. I think 5 smarties is a bit miserly for a 5 year old actually - my DC would be asking what had happened to the rest of the packet.

This week it's been hot and my DC have had ice lollies after school most days - and then no pudding after dinner. They don't appear to be nutritionally deprived.

LegoAcupuncture Fri 05-Jul-13 10:42:36

YABU. Just don't give her her 5 smarties after her tea if you're bothered.

If your mum did this would you have a problem, would you tell her not to do it?

You should stop the pickup arrangements, pay for your childcare. Or suck up grandma doing your family a huge favour.

arethereanyleftatall Fri 05-Jul-13 10:45:44

Agree with other posters. YABU. One of the best things about being a kid is sweets and icecream. My girls have an icecream most days after school if it's hot. They also have really nutritious dinners. They're not remotely fat or unhealthy.
I sometimes wonder if the reason both my DDs do eat so well (we had sardines, brown rice and broccoli yesterday for dinner, all eaten) is because I'm not miserly when it comes to treats. I'm teaching them to love food, all food.

Millietj Fri 05-Jul-13 10:48:50

TER, I used to love getting treats too - but a packet of smarties is one thing - a vat of icecream is another!! :-)

RSAN, perhaps it isn't five - maybe 10.. :-) I always base it what I would eat and I wouldn't eat more than one packet of smarties in a go and my tummy's much bigger than hers - that's why I wouldn't give her a whole packet! - she's always really happy with it so I don't she feels in any way deprived and don't forget she has a pudding in the middle of the day. H always gives her an ice lolly after school when it's hot but she can have an ice lolly every day if she likes - very different to an icecream!

the icecream being her pudding before her dinner is a good idea but it doesn't solve the problem of it being her second pudding that day...

Jinty64 Fri 05-Jul-13 10:50:26

If it was every day I would not be happy but I think twice a week is ok. I also think 5 smarties is ridiculous.

You could ask her not to give her sweets in the car due to the risk of choking as I assume she is driving.

I dont see the issue. When my son (3) visits me mum and stepdad he has so many treats. Always offered yogurts, sweets, crisps, chocolate and ice cream. Not all of it in one day obviously but my mum would if she thought he would eat it grin

If I had of given him 5 smarties he would have thought I had lost it or eaten the pack.

Jinty64 Fri 05-Jul-13 10:55:24

I think she would be better with good quality icecream than smarties, lollies and sweets.

Millietj Fri 05-Jul-13 10:57:39

Thanks Ladies - I appreciate your thoughts. So glad I asked as hated the thought of upsetting my MIL (whom I love LegoA - it's nothing to do with the fact that she's my MIL). I get the feeling that you're all sorry for my daughter - seriously she gets loads of treats - she's a really happy, well-looked after little girl. We're good to her - she doesn't know anything about our issues with the Icecream Saga - food is never discussed in a negative way at all - she's encouraged to eat well and her treats are never an issue in her eyes. We love food too and it's a positive thing in our house. I just wanted some unbiased opinions about a concern of mine.

I could have done without the implications that I'm "miserly", or being ungrateful though. We're quite happy to pay for childcare - G has insisted on picking D up when the days are light and we're delighted for her to do that as I want them to spend as much time together as possible - she's not doing us a huge favour by doing it. She does however do us huge favours all the time and is thanked on a regular basis and is loved by us all.

Ta. I feel better (apart from the jibes) now that I've had some unbiased opinions back and don't have to have a horrible conversation with G.


soundedbetterinmyhead Fri 05-Jul-13 10:58:12

I think you need to be pragmatic about this and weigh up the risk of offending your mil / making her more guarded around your daughter/ mil deciding that she does not want to pick dd up from school against the benefit dd having two fewer icecreams per week.

I'm guessing that this is your first born? My advice would be to give her fewer sweets / puddings on the days when MIL collects her. It's lovely that she does stuff with her gran after school regularly.

soundedbetterinmyhead Fri 05-Jul-13 10:59:36

oops crosspost - sorted.

malteserzz Fri 05-Jul-13 11:00:37

If it was every day I could understand but it's fine for twice a week
Cant believe you would struggle to eat a whole magnum and give her 5 smarties

redskyatnight Fri 05-Jul-13 11:00:43

Well make her take a packed lunch , if you're concerned about the school pudding. Surely having 2 puddings twice a week is hardly a huge problem? (school puddings for 5 year olds are tiny ime anyway)

notanyanymore Fri 05-Jul-13 11:01:14


malteserzz Fri 05-Jul-13 11:01:51

Also x posted glad you're feeling better about it

halcyondays Fri 05-Jul-13 11:03:59

one ice cream cone does not equal "a vat of ice-cream" in my book. I certainly wouldnt struggle to eat a whole magnum.

I would just not give her anything after her dinner on the days her granny collects her.

Millietj Fri 05-Jul-13 11:09:54

My God, this is unreal. Malteserzz - I don't scoff down a whole magnum and give her five smarties!!!! All I meant was that were I to eat a magnum I would find it too much so how would my daughter fit it into her tummy?! Are you seriously suggesting that I would sit there and happily eat an icecream and just toss her a few smarties???

She gets her smarties in her treat pot and skips away with them quite happily - this is when she isn't having a cupcake that I've bought her that day or whatever other treat she has after her dinner.

Soundedbetterinmyhead - she is my first born and last sadly - is your implication that I'm what... uptight/concerned over nothing/making a mountain out of a molehill?? Nice.

You lot don't take any prisoners, do you? grin

I feel so much better about the MIL/DD/Ice-cream saga but BOY do I feel crap about myself now.

EldritchCleavage Fri 05-Jul-13 11:14:54

Oh, don't, it's just the regiment of judgmental cowbags that haunt MN sometimes.

Op I think Malt meant she cant believe you cant eat a full magnum in general. No idea how you jumped to your conclusion of what she meant though

Jinty64 Fri 05-Jul-13 11:16:58

I think you have been let off quite lightly. If you post in AIBU you have to expect people's very honest opinion without frills. If you want the sugar and spice post in parenting.

malteserzz Fri 05-Jul-13 11:17:51

I meant that I would easily eat a magnum and so would all of the adults I know

arethereanyleftatall Fri 05-Jul-13 11:18:49

Woops, sorry OP. The en-masse YABU does seem a bit harsh (myself included)! I think we all thought you were being precious, but your subsequent posts detail you're not. Sorry.
FWIW, I actually agree re the 5 smarties. I think for children the thought of having sweets is treat enough, not the quantity. So I too give a pot often for pudding, with raspberries, blueberries for example and a few actual sweets on top. They're happy as hotels, as much as they would be with a whole bag.

KateSpade Fri 05-Jul-13 11:20:59

My brother does the same thing with my DD, op. He gives her all sorts of chocolate & Ice cream, but she's not even two yet. He thinks he's being really nice treating her, it's so hard for him to understand she does not need to eat chocolate!


redskyatnight Fri 05-Jul-13 11:22:26

At 5, DS could eat more than I could (burnt it all off by constant activity). I suspect your "logic" of comparing what you eat and factoring appropriately for your DD may be flawed.

At 5, DD ate like a sparrow and would not have finished a whole 99 by herself - but she self regulated, which I think is fairly common in children this age.

I suspect some of the comments are because you appear to have very rigid views. I'm not suggesting this is the case for you, but I do have one friend whose DD was found be very underweight at 4 - which the mum now realises is because she was so regimented in what she allowed her child to eat - carefully calculating calories and making judgements on how hungry she must be. Of course we all worry about our children, but it is ok to relax sometimes!

Bonsoir Fri 05-Jul-13 11:22:47

You have to knock this one on the head, I agree.

I think the entire point should be: when you pick her up after she has been with her grandmother, does she eat the dinner you put in front of her? I don't count the treat afterwards, just the main course of whatever meal you have made for her. If she eats that, then whatever her grandmother is giving her is not too much. If she struggles to eat the meal you give her but would normally be able to eat it, then you need to have a word with mil.

I wouldn't count it as 2 puddings tbh. Firstly, ime, school dinners are not that generous, and secondly, children need mor carbs than adults. I always had school dinners (with the pudding) as a child, and every night my mother made me another hot dinner invariably with pudding. I am not now and have never been overweight or unhealthy.

Millietj Fri 05-Jul-13 11:26:49

Jinty64, "let off quite lightly" - you do you think you are? Yes, I asked for opinions about one thing - not my attitude towards my daughter - simply one issue. It is possible, you know, to give a "very honest opinion" without being harsh and finger-pointing - it's called diplomacy. I don't need to be treated with kid gloves but I simply wanted opinions on the issue at hand - not on my treatment of my daughter.

"Cant believe you would struggle to eat a whole magnum and give her 5 smarties". You have "no idea" how I could jump to that conclusion. Really? No idea? I jumped to it simply by reading the sentence as it was written.

EldritchCleavage smile

Am going to go against the consensus and say yanbu. Treats should be occasional not several times a week. If my mil or mum was doing this I'd feel I could offer less at home. Our dc only have ice cream after tea on the weekend and then only if we've not had one while out during the day. During the week pudding is yogurt, malt loaf or fruit.
Everyone saying their dc are not overweight, that's great but lots of kids are and the habits they form now - eg constant snacking are what may lead to issues later on when they are not as active.

Sirzy Fri 05-Jul-13 11:29:31

I agree with others. If you want the free childcare then you have to accept sometimes things won't be exactly as you would want them. A few ice creams won't do any harm.

Personally I wouldn't get into a habit of always expecting a treat after tea (or school) but each to their own. I know when my parents pick DS he is more likely to persuade them he needs an ice cream/crisps/chocolate but I trust them to look after him so I trust them to feed him!

Mimishimi Fri 05-Jul-13 11:29:49

Could you give your MIL a box of mini-icecreams each fortnight and ask her to give your DD one of those?

Sirzy Fri 05-Jul-13 11:30:45

Millie - I do think it is you who read that point wrong. To me it was quite clear she was surprised you don't manage a full ice cream AND that she thought 5 smarties was a tiny portion

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 05-Jul-13 11:32:22

I don't think you are being unreasobable actually, she's only 5 and it's not a great habit.

It's just probably not worth upsetting MIL over. Maybe you could be a bit sneaky about it and mention how much your DD loves ice lollies to try and curb the ice cream a bit.

Mumsyblouse Fri 05-Jul-13 11:34:03

I agree with you that the sheer quantity of treats, puddings and biscuits can rather creep up on you.

Mysteriously, on MN, everyone's children eat ice creams every day, puddings at school, biscuits before bed and never ever are they larger than stick thin. Anyone who suggests they might slightly want to limit this type of consumption is considered somewhat restrictive/joyless or has good/bad food issues. It makes you wonder why nearly 1/3 of children are overweight, and a majority of adults.

Op- I realised that mine were having too much sugary sweet puddings/cakes/ice creams about two years ago, we had got exactly in the school dinner pudding plus ice cream after school, plus the odd biscuit in the evenings habit (also not the healthiest breakfast cereal) and I had that awful experience at the swimming pool one day when I realised my dd2 was one of the tubby (fat) ones...I hadn't noticed it before then. I didn't do anything drastic, just cut down on the everyday ice-cream which had become a habit (due to generous granny) and encouraged her to eat more fruit/veg/proper dinners. It has worked to some extent.

I think it's a bit difficult to say anything to your mum (I did in the end- I phrased it more like 'I think we are all putting on a bit of weight, we are eating a lot of ice creams and things, what do you think about cutting them down a bit')- if that won't work, just make sure that if she's had one pudding at school and/or an ice cream, everything else is super-healthy and that extra treats/snacks don't creep in- so it's fine to say 'you've had an ice-cream today so why don't you have fruit/yoghurt now' instead of the smarties. Your mum maiy not mind though, if you mention it, depends on the relationship. One off treats it's fine, but regular childcare sometimes it's ok and necessary to discuss these things (I disagree you don't have these discussions and just have to suck it up as they are providing free childcare- we don't have that type of relationship, ours is more of a shared care/decision-making situation in which my mum has opinions too!)

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Fri 05-Jul-13 11:34:28

I can see where you are coming from because it's not just an ice cream is it? It's the whole sweets/biscuits/ice-cream thing. Do you still give her a treat after dinner on the days that MIL has her? If you do I would be inclined to swap that for some fruit or something like that if you want to give her a treat. When I look back on the junk that MIL used to feed my two it makes my hair curl, jelly and icecream for breakfast, big bags of pick 'n mix from Woolworths, endless fish finger sandwiches to name just a few things. Now mine are adults the treats from Nana haven't shaped how they eat now, they both have a sensible attitude towards treats.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 11:45:12

Yabvu its only 2 days iut of 7, i wiuld suck it uptbh or find akternative childcare

JRmumma Fri 05-Jul-13 11:50:28

I dont think you are being unreasonable here and would agree that sweets, then biscuits, then an icecream is too much of the wrong stuff all in one go. I wouldnt worry about the school dinners pudding, or the amount of calories that your daughter is getting as long as she is not having these at the expense of being able to eat her dinner when she gets home.

Out of interest, is your daughter asking for food after school? I mean is she hungry, or is your MIL just giving her these things as she wants to treat her grandchild? Your MIL can 'treat' your daughter by taking her to the park or something like that, it doesnt have to always be about food.

If she is hungry after school, then how about she has dinner at Granny's instead? and then if she needs another snack a bit later, you can decide what the additional food is? or if you like her to eat with you as a family, then suggest some other thngs that your DD likes to MIL and say you are trying to cut back her intake of sugary foods in general and not make an issue of the fact that you feel like she is getting loaded up on cr*p every time she sees Granny?

Yes kids can get away with eating lots of high enery-low nutrient foods as they are growing and constantly on the move, but I personally dont think that treats should always be food as thats possibly sending the wrong message to them. Plus it should never be at the expense of them being able to/wanting to eat more nutrient dense foods which they need more.

formicadinosaur Fri 05-Jul-13 12:13:02

Im going against the grain and think it is too much too often. Puddings at school, lots of adult sized treats with gran twice a week plus five smarties a day! the daily chocolate is as daft as the adult size ice cream. She is being set up to expect something unhealthy after every evening meal and day time meals and every time gran appears. In the long term this could have a negative effect on her health. Her blood sugar levels will be all over the joint anyway. Wouldn't it be better to establish healthier habits early on?

In our house we have treat day. It's one day a week and one item - so an icecream maybe or chocolate. My boys may also have a piece of cake if we we are offered it at a friends house or if we have guests. Sometimes we make healthy alternative treats

Ill pro ably get slated for m opinions but lots of my friends have the same approach.

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 05-Jul-13 12:27:57

Your problem is that you used the word MIL and didn't put the fact that your MIL pushed to pick her up and you would be happy to pay for child care.

In MN land you're supposed to be so grateful for the child care and that you have a MIL who wants to be involved (cue 'I wish my MIL was still alive/gave a shit) that she can do whatever she wants. And there's practically a competition as to who gives less of a damn about their children being given coke/sweets/ice cream which of course has no impact on their health because they're 'very active.'

I'd ask her to pick one thing a day to give your DD. Ice cream or biscuits or sweets. If she saw her once a fortnight it would be no big deal but twice a week all that is going to have an impact.

Millietj Fri 05-Jul-13 12:30:41

Lots of differing opinions coming out now.

I think the key is moderation in everything. So I'm going to do as suggested by someone v reasonable on here and buy G an 8-pack of ice-lollies and D can have them whenever instead of an ice-cream. I had sweets (Mr Freezes, Battle of the planets (yum), chocolate) on a daily basis when I was young and I've never had a weight problem. D eats fruit and veg and doesn't have a clue about calories - I truly hope it'll be a long time before she understands the word and I really hope she never ever learns to care about it. I never want food to be an issue for D but at the same time it's my responsibility to ensure that she has as healthy an attitude to food and treats as possible. And I think a part of that is not making food an issue or a big thing.

And I stand by some smarties in a treat pot rather than the whole pack.

Good to know about school puddings being tiny though - that's somewhat of a relief.

A couple of people mentioned suck it up or find alternative childcare - ever heard of discussing things in a diplomatic way with people? My MIL is a reasonable and kind woman and guess what? I'm a reasonable and kind woman too. Our chat - if it happened - would never end in such a dramatic way as her withdrawing her "services" or me denying her.

To everyone who replied nicely - thank you I really value your opinions.


Sirzy Fri 05-Jul-13 12:32:24

If she is so kind and reasonable then why didn't you just talk to her about it rather than coming on here complaining?

CrispyHedgeHog Fri 05-Jul-13 12:32:58

Isn't that what grannies are for though? Treats and a bit of spoiling? It's not every day and your dd knows it's different at home so I really don't see the harm tbh

Mumsyblouse Fri 05-Jul-13 12:34:37

Yes, I agree chatting about it is probably the best solution, and providing her with an alternative.

There was some evidence that we ate around the same calories in the 1970's but people are much fatter now, not clear whether this is due to moving less, the type of food eaten and so on. Two/three puddings/snacks for most people, especially in later life, will result in you being fatter and I don't think setting up those patterns is a good idea, having said that you sound relaxed about food and I certainly haven't said anything to my dd2 about being a bit chubby, just convinced my mum to stop buying the multipacks of minimagnums and eating them daily!

Here's how I'm feeling about this issue: It's never me who gets to give my child a treat, I'm so busy making sure "her diet is reasonable the rest of the time" so that her father can buy her hot chocolates and her granny can give her icecreams and her nearly 365 friends can have birthday cake at every cut and turn.

Enough! Tonight, I BUY HER AN ICE CREAM. I want some of the fun stuff too.

I might even have one myself.

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 05-Jul-13 12:39:43

Yes Sirzy. The OP is so awful that she came on here to check that she and her DH weren't being 'overly sensitive about this' before talking to her MIL, so she didn't have an unnecessary discussion and risk upsetting her needlessly.

I wouldn't be happy with my mil giving my dd that amunt of junk either

just because shes doing childcare, your still in charge imo

I would ask her to lay off the treats a bit

DonnaMoss Fri 05-Jul-13 12:41:36

My MIL gives dd (4) chip shop chips and great big sausage every weds lunch when she picks her up as she cant be arsed to make anything proper for lunch. I hate it but I bite my tongue as she helps so much with childcare. I see your point op, but at least its only a couple of times a week.

TanglednotTamed Fri 05-Jul-13 12:43:05

5 Smarties isn't miserly - in this house it would be lavish. I often give my 5yo (and 3yo and 2yo) a single chocolate button after their dinner. They have fruit for pudding and then something else. Some days it's bigger, like a piece of cake, and some days it's a token thing like a single button. They're always perfectly happy with that. It's often more just for the sense of having a treat, not for filling up space.

GlobalWarning Fri 05-Jul-13 12:45:27

My mum picks up my kids every week and brings them treats. I don't care, she does me a huge favour. If it happened twice a week I would be delighted! She could feed them an ice cream factory!

GlobalWarning Fri 05-Jul-13 12:48:21

shock at single chocolate button. Why bother? And seriously OP, chat to her. It probably is too much

ImNotBloody14 Fri 05-Jul-13 12:49:12

Im looking after my friends dcs this week and twice weve gotten ice cream after lunch ( around 3ish). Its been warm and we've been out running about and it just seemed like a nice treat to cool them down. I really dont think it's excessive tbh. Its a treat. A nice one and they're all healthy dcs ( my own two are with us aswell so it wasnt like i wouldnt do it with my own) who ate their dinner in the evening.

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 12:51:58

I think you sound lovely, OP, and are just trying to get it right with both your MiL and your DD. Without knowing the size of everything it's difficult to judge, but I would guess that if she still eats her dinner (without pud) and isn't putting on weight then it's fine, and a lovely grandma treat.

I could easily eat a whole Magnum. I was a bit annoyed to have to share mine yesterday with DD, but she really is a bit too wee to have a whole one to herself (3.5) and it was my bribe to get her out of the paddling pool in the park. Was lovely though, a chocolate caramel one, yum yum yum.

TanglednotTamed Fri 05-Jul-13 12:57:06

Why bother with the single choc button, Global? Because it makes them happy! Why give them an entire pack of chocolate buttons when they are perfectly happy with one?

They do have bigger amounts of chocolate at other times, this is just an after dinner ritual. A bit like having an After-Eight could be, I suppose!

kelda Fri 05-Jul-13 12:57:26

I wouldn't have a problem with this. In fact, it's more likely my MIL has a problem with me giving my own children ice creams/cake.

They are all health, very active and very skinny, we're talking first percentile for weight, so verging on underwieght.

I let them have either a cake or ice cream every day. In fact today, they will have both a cake (croissants for mid morning snack), and later this afternoon they will all have an ice cream - mini magnums or a mini cornetto. We don't have desserts after dinner.

FlipertyJibbert Fri 05-Jul-13 13:06:09

What i dont understand is why you havent already mentioned it to your MIL. I would have asked if she could please only give one small treat per day ages ago.
I didn't like my DC's grazing after school either. I liked them to have a small snack straight after school and then eat properly at supper time.
I also wouldnt want her to be given milk. I think sweets and biscuits and icecream and milk would ruin anyone's appetite.

If, having spoken to your MIL,she carries on regardless then you can come and have a proper MIL rant on MN.

JRmumma Fri 05-Jul-13 13:09:54

I also dont think you are being unreasonable or moany by coming on MN to ask for opinions OP. I think thats a bit unfair of people to suggest you are being a whiner and should just get over yourself. Its YOUR child we are talking about and if you are unhappy about her diet when with Granny then you are entitled to ask that it be changed. I certainly would be doing that!

Apologies in advance if this sounds a bit self pitying

But, I watched my grandad die yesterday, he was known to my dc and nieces and nephews as grandad ice cream, as he always gave them one whenever they visited (quite often too)
I would give anything to have him back here giving them ice creams sad

Life is so precious

SaucyJack Fri 05-Jul-13 13:19:24

I do actually agree with you. A treat per day is lovely, but pudding then sweets then biscuits then ice cream then smarties is excessive for a five year old.

Mumsyblouse Fri 05-Jul-13 13:25:09

Aww, Pattie I know what you mean, sorry about your grandad, I certainly associate my grandparents with certain foods and treats.

greensmoothiegoddess Fri 05-Jul-13 13:34:42

Op I am another one who agrees with your concern and I do think you should say something. I see kids at primary school and slight chubbiness is the new norm. It's rather alarming as this wasn't the case, say, 10 years ago. A slim child is a rarity in our parts. I am convinced that junk food grazing is the main culprit.

By the way, half a tube of Smarties is 89 calories. This labelling is very sneaky as it looks like it is 89 calories for the whole tube so tiny is the small print. Crikey that's nearly 200 calories. So I totally get the 5 Smarties thing. VERY sensible!

FlipertyJibbert Fri 05-Jul-13 13:37:32

The best thing to do would be to teach your DD to say no to extra treats. She s not too young.

I used to tell my kids, from a young age, that it was reaonable to have one treat each day and that they could choose what it was. Obviously there were lots of occasions where exceptions were made but generally they kept to the one treat a day 'rule'. I told them to make sure they really enjoyed their treat
Now they are in their late teens and early twenties they still, mostly, stick to one treat a day. grin Although, obviously at their age it is up to them what eat.

I also 'let' them have a fizzy drink once a week at the pub. It made meals out a proper treat for them.

3MonthMaid Fri 05-Jul-13 13:56:57

YABU using the term "Nazi".

YABU about the ice cream too. Big deal....

Millietj Fri 05-Jul-13 14:09:06

Pattie, so sorry about your grandad and your post didn't come across as self-pitying at all. It's a valid point and reminds me that grandparents are supposed to spoil!

3monthmaid - thanks for your incredibly insightful input.

mummytime Fri 05-Jul-13 14:09:08

My children do eat a lot of sweets, ice creams most days etc. And are stick thin! The DDs do a reasonable amount of exercise, DS I have no idea where he puts it, but I suspect if he's busy he just doesn't eat.

However OP I wonder about your relationship with food, if you think 5/10 smarties is a treat or couldn't eat a magnum (especially if a multi-buy one rather than an ice-cream can one, as they seem to be smaller).

Also my DC would leave half of it if it was too much. They have a much healthier relationship with food than me.

The overweight children I know have an unhealthy diet all around and are restricted from exercise.

Beechview Fri 05-Jul-13 14:10:31

I think that sounds like too much sugar - puddings, sweets, biscuit, ice cream, treat all in one day a couple of times a week.

Have a word with mil to see if she can cut back two of the treats and leave it to one?

NoComet Fri 05-Jul-13 14:11:36

What a lot of fuss over two ice creams a week.

Honestly just give her less tea.

Millietj Fri 05-Jul-13 14:18:35

Mummytime, you're very thoughtful but please don't worry or wonder about my relationship with food. I suspect you haven't read all of my posts as I'm sure you'd understand, if you had, that I had a very healthy "relationship" with food. Actually, healthy probably isn't the right word as I eat too much sweet stuff but my appetite is a healthy one as is my weight. And just because someone is thin doesn't mean they're healthy. My issue isn't (and never will be I hope) with her weight - it's about her insides and her general health - sugar levels etc...

StarBallBunny, you clearly haven't read all the posts either - it's not just two icecreams a week but as you're so quick to write me off as "making a lot of fuss" I can't actually be bothered to inform you.

Sorry if I haven't responded to all the decent replies - thanks for taking the time to reply. smile

Millie you could also check what kinds of puddings are on offer at school because that might make you feel better too - at our school at least a couple of times a week, pudding consists of fresh fruit and/or yoghurt.

I think you sound lovely op you clearly want to find a balance that suits everyone without upsetting people and/or depriving your child.

It's so great that your mil loves your dd , helps out and wants to treat her and yes that's what grand parents do. BUT, it does sound excessive. I know if it was my dd who can at times have a sparrows appetite all that before fibber would fill her up ,leaving very little room for tea. Some kids can quite happily devour a supermarket and still eat dinner snack and drink a gallon of milk before bed and if you have one of those children then I'd say not to worry. However if your dd just picks at tea and is filling up on these ice creams biscuits and sweets then I think you do need to impose a limit. Once a week and maybe it wouldn't be worth it but any more than that and it does eat into your chance to give balancedmeals. She didn't say she wants no treats just less and portion appropriate. That's reasonable request ini

IMO not ini

StickyProblem Fri 05-Jul-13 14:26:24

Last time I checked (a long time ago) I was allowed 20 weightwatchers points a day (I'm sure they've changed how they calculate it all since) and a full-size Magnum was about 30 points -a day and a half of an overweight dieting adults allowance. Those things are huge in terms of calories and fat! YABU to find a whole one a bit much (although in my family we now eat too many Mini Magnums)!

ladymariner Fri 05-Jul-13 14:35:31

I think you sound lovely Op, wanting opinions before deciding whether to chat to your mil. Thats why you have a great relationship with her and long may it continue.
Personally I don think there is a problem, if you feel she is having too many treats whilst with her GP then simply miss out the treat after tea. My parents have always spoiled my ds, he had a sweetie jar there and ice cream on tap, so we were careful what we gave him and it was all fine. It's not worth upsetting her over this smile

Just an aside though to the poster who gives a solitary chocolate button as a treat, I do think that's miserly to coin a phrase from earlier. Be very careful they don't rebel and go the other way as they get older, in the primary school I work at there are several children with food parties etc they are obsessed with getting as much sugar etc down their necks as possible. It's quite scary to see.......just saying xx

MsMunch Fri 05-Jul-13 14:36:11

Yeah I think it is too much, the ice cream alone sure but not the sweets, biscuits then ice cream. Our in laws do it and we reign them in but it's a battle. They will hand out a bowl of Pringles and a choc bar half an hour before tea! Lemonade or juice by the half pint...oddly they were not at all like this with dh as a boy.

They are really proud that the dc eat all sorts and are adventurous in restaurants but only offer them deep fried junk at their house. They have some compulsive panic over indulging, mean well but...

Ifcatshadthumbs Fri 05-Jul-13 14:42:09

I don't know why you're getting such a hard time OP everyone is fixated on the 5 smarties! I don' t do any kind of pudding after tea, which I think stems from the fact that we never had it as kids. It would just never occur to me tbh.
Personally I think sweets, biscuits and ice cream in one day is excessive, particularly if she's had pudding at school.

IWipeArses Fri 05-Jul-13 14:45:17

Ice cream is very nutritious, fats, carbs, protein, just what a healthy five year old needs. Unless she's on a diet?

mummytime Fri 05-Jul-13 14:46:01

A Magnum is 260 calories or 6 WW points, I have no idea wher 30 could have come from.

However OP I would probably suggest she gets boxes of the mini ones, and gives bread etc. or fruit as a snack if you DD is hungry (my children have also been known not to eat at school).

JRmumma Fri 05-Jul-13 14:59:02

iwipearses not sure i agree there. But its not about healthy/unhealthy foods, its about a balance and overall healthy or unhealthy diet and a little bit of anything isnt bad for you, but if OP thinks these treats are making the balance of her daughters diet wrong then maybe a bit less of the nutritious icecream????

IWipeArses Fri 05-Jul-13 15:05:15

You can't get much more balanced than ice cream, it's like breastmilk.
Is she getting fat, is that the problem?

kelda Fri 05-Jul-13 15:26:49

'You can't get much more balanced than ice cream, it's like breastmilk. '

Not unless it's actually made from breastmilk! grin

babyhmummy01 Fri 05-Jul-13 15:31:32

Some of the posts on here are crazy!!!!

Op if your relationship with ur mil is as good as you say then have a quiet word with her, ask her to either give dd the sweets or an ice cream but not both if that makes you more comfortable.

I really think ppl ate fixating on the wrong issues here. How the op chooses to treat her kid is entirely her business. The question was should she approach mil or not. It's quite simple to me, if mil is going against the op's parenting then she needs talking to. End of.

IWipeArses Fri 05-Jul-13 15:41:04

Kendall,it is. Cows breasts. grin

FlipertyJibbert Fri 05-Jul-13 15:50:04

It is odd that everyone is going on about the excess calories, I would be more concerned about the amount of sugar and teeth decay. I would worry about calories if it were spoiling her appetite or if there were weight issues.

If the OPs DD is having sugary treats over an extendeded timescale it's bad for her teeth. sad

PaperSeagull Fri 05-Jul-13 16:07:11

It does sound as though your DD is eating an awful lot of sweets, what with Granny's treats, puddings at school, dessert after dinner at home. If you are really concerned about a possible sugar overload, you could do a packed lunch without sweets and cut out the dessert after dinner. Alternatively, you could ask your MIL not to give your DD any treats, or to cut back to one ice cream a week or whatever. But if I were in your shoes, I'd implement the first option. It is always easier to control one's own behavior than to try to place restrictions on someone else (even in the nicest possible way). And grandparents often want to treat their grandchildren, so I can understand your MIL's impulse.

I hate this idea of sweets etc being given to children being called 'treats'. They aren't dogs.

IWipeArses Fri 05-Jul-13 16:20:51

But Fred, the children will spoil if they have a pleasant time often.

Sirzy Fri 05-Jul-13 16:32:37

I know what Fred means, it's part of a healthy balanced diet. Making something a "treat" somehow makes it more desirable to a child.

AaDB Fri 05-Jul-13 16:38:37


My ds had pudding after his school lunch and after his dinner, and always has. Ice cream could be a pre dinner treat.

Your dd does not need a treat in the car, milk and biscuits, an ice cream and who knows what else. It's way too much.

I'm also going to go against common opinion. Grand parents should help parent. Most adults should understand that this much junk food isn't healthy. Neither is the message that gps are there to provide unhealthy food choices as a alternative way of showing love.

We don't have family support. Over indulgence is as bad as neglect. GPS giving my ds a massive bag of Haribo just before a long car journey and enough toys to satisfy him on xmas morning says a lot about their issues.

HabitualLurker Fri 05-Jul-13 17:01:40

I've not read the whole thread, but agree with those saying that it's not so much the excess of treats now (and sorry, but I do think ice-cream twice a week every week is too much) but the eating habits it instils for adulthood.
I'm obviously in the minority, but I don't see it as normal to have a sugary treat every day.. doesn't that defy the definition of a treat?
If this is a long term arrangement I'd have a tactful discussion with your MIL about it. What was your H's upbringing like? Is she treating your D 'cos that's normal in terms of eating habits for her or 'cos she's enjoys the pleasure it gives your DD (I'm not implying that's a crime btw)

lurkerspeaks Fri 05-Jul-13 17:07:27

I'm surprised you would rather she have an ice lolly (frozen sugar water) over ice cream which actually has some nutritional value....

I do however think you could ask your MIL to only do one treat at a time, though.

witchface Fri 05-Jul-13 20:02:58

When i was in primary school i used to go to my grandparents after. They used to eat ridiculously early (hangover from being a farmworker i think) and would give me some or at the very least a sandwich while i was there. I would then go home and get a second tea there.

In secondary although i went home after school i carried on with the sandwiches etc because it was normal by then. No surprise, eating habits shot, got fat. There were other factors but this was a major one - i would find some way to put a stop to it.

Punkatheart Fri 05-Jul-13 20:28:28

I would have agreed with this post when my daughter was little. I WAS a food nazi and when my daughter was old enough - she rebelled hugely. I regret being so rigid. Five Smarties sound much too controlled. But I also agree with arethe - now I make an eton mess if I want to get fruit into my fussy teenage daughter. There is a compromise.

newryan Fri 05-Jul-13 20:30:52

Amazed at the amount of sugary stuff some posters allow their dcs! We don't have pudding as such, they can have fruit after meals if still hungry. The dentist told me this is the best time to give fruit as in between meals it does a lot of damage to teeth. I never buy sweets but the dcs are allowed to buy some with their pocket money if they want to but only on weekends. We sometimes have ice creams at the weekend too, and fizzy drinks only on special occasions.

Sorry but I am amazed that people give sweets every day after dinner! Why????

So no, OP, YANBU! I would say to MIL that the rule is sweets/ice cream only at the weekend, or whatever you want to rule to be. If people give my dcs sweets they know to save them for the weekend.

thegreylady Fri 05-Jul-13 20:33:28

I look after dgs's 4&6 twice a week and the rule is one treat only before tea and one after.The treats are one of the following on each occasion:
mini milk lolly or Calippo
3 jelly babies or mint imperials each
a freddo bar [not dgs1 he doesnt like chocolate or ice-cream or chips!!!]
a bag of hula hoops to share
a Sprite to share
a jammy dodger each

Could she have a packed lunch on the days she is picked up by her Gran? Then she can have an uber healthy lunch which kinda balances it out.

I don't think Yabu at all and I would and did in my case be having a gentle word with mil.

It's lovely they are spending time together though.

jenbird Fri 05-Jul-13 20:53:33

YANBU. I think if it were just an ice cream then fair enough but not sweets and biscuits too. I am amazed that so many people think it is acceptable to have such high sugar diets and i think that it is wrong that people normalize them.
I think your approach to food and your MIL sound great.

neunundneunzigluftballons Fri 05-Jul-13 21:08:59

OP I can completely understand where you are coming from. My own mother used to give my daughter all sorts of rubbish when she came to visit and wanted to give her all the rubbish firsts when weaning, chocolate, cake, icecream. That was fine since we saw her at most monthly but when we moved nearby when dd was 3 and now she was going to see her weekly or biweekly I told her it had to stop. She was very understanding and is much better now.

As an aside I was on holiday recently and up until then I thought my daughters were very slim but when I saw all of the central European children I was frankly shocked by just how slim the children were and I mean really slim. It reminded me how conditioned we are back home to think fatter children are the norm when in fact that is a symptom of our overeating society.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 05-Jul-13 21:14:36

YANBU. I think that is too much for a 5 year old.

I am amazed you couldn't eat a full magnum .. I could eat two <shame>!

Prozacbear Fri 05-Jul-13 22:12:04

I think you MIL sounds absolutely lovely - which you obviously appreciate - have a sit down with her and involve her in the 'new plan' going forward, I'm sure between you, you can come to a happy agreement.

Though I have to say, I don't understand this 'treat' thing. DS is only 2.4 and I can't imagine him ever being on a schedule of treats - I don't 'treat' myself, it feels ritualistic. I eat cake, when I feel like it, and want DS to do the same, not fetishising certain foods as treats. That isn't directed at you OP, more of a general observation.

littlewhitebag Fri 05-Jul-13 22:27:54

My mum has just returned from holiday. She took my DD (age 15) and my DN (age 5). According to DD my mum allowed DN to have 5 (yes 5!) ice creams one day. They were AI though so at least they got their moneys worth. DN looked very well on their return.

Honestly - its ice cream. It won't kill them a few time a week.

Groovee Sat 06-Jul-13 02:31:43

My MIL told me a story about how every Saturday her MIL would take DH out (he was around 1) and get him a cream horn from the bakers. She said she used to cringe but she said there are something's you just have to let go over your head and it's true sometimes. You do just have to let it go and be grateful that they have each other and a lovely relationship.

claraschu Sat 06-Jul-13 04:11:39

This would really bother me too. Limiting sugar is one of the things that people on here get very self righteous and judgemental about (you are a horrible parent if you try to keep your kids from thinking sugar is the most wonderful treat on the planet).

If MIL is a reasonable person, you should be able to talk to her about this.

BubaMarra Sat 06-Jul-13 06:15:38

In the summer we have only icecreams as sweets. If you look at calories AND nutritional content, ice cream is way better than most of other sweets.

mrscog Sat 06-Jul-13 06:34:21

You sound lovely OP but food threads always tend to end up hostile. Here's my opinion:

Discount the school puddings - they're small and assuming your Dd is active, probably burnt off and forgotten about by the end of the lunch break.

I wouldn't allow any eating in the car whilst driving due to the choking risk, plus I think it's a bad habit unless absolutely necessary in a hurry.

I wouldn't worry about the ice cream size - if I bit all the chocolate off my 16mo (who's a bit smaller than average) could polish off a magnum - if you melted it down the volume would be similar to a glass of milk (200ml I think).

I would possibly ask mil to not give any more treats that day if Dd had had a full size ice cream - seems enough for one day.

Ps - would you really struggle to eat a whole magnum??! Do you just not like ice cream that much? That's the only but of your post that's unreasonable!! smile

exoticfruits Sat 06-Jul-13 06:57:25

It sounds as if it has been going in for sometime and yet you haven't spoken to her about it.
She sounds lovely and not at all 'difficult'- why not just try a friendly chat when you are both relaxed ?

JRmumma Sat 06-Jul-13 07:00:59

P*ssing myself here at the comparison of icecream and breastmilk!

roundtable Sat 06-Jul-13 07:19:26

I'm with you op.

pianodoodle Sat 06-Jul-13 07:32:20

My opinion would be it's a bit too much but everyone has their own ideas.

If it's more than you'd like her to have MIL sounds like she'd understand and I don't think it's unreasonable to ask her to limit the sweets etc... A bit.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Sat 06-Jul-13 07:41:19

MIL and my Dad give mine far too many treats. As a consequence, they hardly ever have any from me. Fruit for pudding, ice creams only if we aren't seeing Granny that week. If they ask for treats at home, I say, yep fine, but there won't be sweets at Granny's.

It used to really irritate me, and still rankles tbh, but would rather have their spoiling attitude than FIL, who shows no interest in them whatsoever. Step-mum is closest in step to me, and treats them to exciting fruit like mango, or home-made popcorn.

YANBU re the five Smarties btw. I would still not give mine a whole packet and dd is 10. They are designed as adult portions.

Mimishimi Sat 06-Jul-13 08:42:08

Pretty sure icecream several times a week is not healthy at all actually. They don't have that many calories, less sugar than a glass of juice, overall fat is highish but not excessive ( not more than the average meal) but of those fats, they are really high proportionally in saturated fats and that's the stuff that accumulates around your internal organs and builds up like plaque in your arteries. So it's possible that you could eat several a week and look fine if you are burning the calories but have huge problems down the line with heart related troubles.

Mimishimi Sat 06-Jul-13 08:45:12

Depending on portion size of course though. A couple of mini-Magnum's probably wouldn't hurt but fullsize icecreams have more than half your recommended daily intake of saturated fats. Having a few bowls of icecream would be worse.

Ducklings45 Sat 06-Jul-13 08:45:39

YABU!! Just don't give her a treat after dinner on those days! And 5 smarties sounds very mean and controlling, either give her a whole mini pack or none at all!

My dc have a 'treat' after dinner but that's fruit or a yogurt they have a real pudding at the weekend grin

IWipeArses Sat 06-Jul-13 09:32:19

Minimishi, actually it's ll established that saturated fat is not unhealthy, it's just not as widely disseminated as the Flora bullshit about cholesterol being bad for you etc. you think breast milk is poly unsaturated?

jessjessjess Sat 06-Jul-13 11:45:04

OP, you wouldn't eat a whole tube of smarties? Are you one of those people who eat half a bloody chocolate bar and put it in the fridge?

JRmumma Sat 06-Jul-13 11:47:43

Sat fat, or any nutrient is required by our bodies to some extent but we should be trying to stay within recommends amounts as a population. The science of nutrition is obviously more complicated than that if you want to make it so, and different people have different needs. But as a general rule, id say that if a single food item provides more than half of your GDA of sat fat (as someone else suggests above) then you should probably encourage your child to meet their needs from a wider range of foods than just ice cream. Same as they shouldn't regularly get their recommended daily salt intake from a packet of crisps.

Mumsyblouse Sat 06-Jul-13 12:08:51

Eating a mini-magnum or a cornetto every day was exactly what pushed my dd2 into being a bit chubby (ok, the ginger biscuits and her failure to eat the 'proper' food in favour of any pudding didn't help). If that's really the only sweet thing a child has in a day, I don't think it will do any harm whatsoever, it's when it is coupled with the sugary breakfast cereal, the pudding at school, the biscuits in the car, the pudding after dinner/snack before bed that it becomes part of a really unhealthy package. Taking away the expectation of a daily ice-cream (not started by me) has helped a lot.

I think the people who think if you don't call these types of foods 'treats' are kidding themselves. You can't pretend to little kids that eating a carrot stick is just as delicious as eating a mini-magnum, it isn't and it's not very authentic to try to pretend otherwise (cue those people whose toddlers prefer carrot sticks- come back when they are teenagers and see if that's still true). I think it's better to talk about how tempting sugar is and how sweet a lot of our food is now, and that there are good reasons to limit it somewhat, and also why eating fruit and veg (veg in particular) is a good idea- stops constipation, roughage good for you, vitamins and so on. Trying to pretend all foods are equal and there is no 'treat' food is fighting a losing battle, IMO of course.

IWipeArses Sat 06-Jul-13 12:18:56

Roughage isn't particularly good for you actually, damaging to the intestines, fruit is much healthier. But it's sweet, so evil.

IWipeArses Sat 06-Jul-13 12:21:19

I doubt the kids getting enough sat fat actually. Cheap ice cream will have more veg oil than cream n and school dinners will hardly have adequate amounts of sat fat. Fat should make up 30-40% of daily calories, prob more for children actually.

JRmumma Sat 06-Jul-13 12:22:59

Treats don't have to be food! They should more often than not be something else anyway IMO.

Blissx Sat 06-Jul-13 12:25:14

Would appreciate any thoughts just in case H and I are wrong about this.

Just the ones that agree with you OP? Seriously, the way you spoke to malteserzz was really quite rude and uncalled for. However, apart from that I do think YANBU in worrying and there have been some sensible compromises suggested by others. Hope you get the outcome you want grin

JRmumma Sat 06-Jul-13 12:29:43

If roughage is bad and fruit is evil, are you suggesting arses that we should be buying all of our children's food from the Iceland freezer section, except their daily icecreams, which we should get from somewhere much more artisan as to ensure their cream content?

To suggest f&v isn't good for you is absolutely ridiculous.

Mumsyblouse Sat 06-Jul-13 12:33:18

I used the word roughage to indicate fibre, and whilst large amounts may be irritating (also if you have IBS not good), you have to have enough for very practical reasons. My dd has now learned why you need to eat some vegetables or salad with every meal, and fruit as well in moderation, if you don't want to have horrible constipation. Quite a practical consequence and much better than trying to pretend carrots are treats.

Drhamsterstortoise Sat 06-Jul-13 12:56:38

I'm with you op.I think one or two treats a day is fine but sometimes it gets a bit much.My dd is a fussy eater and it's only made worse by the fact that everywhere she goes she is offered sweets and lollipops.There has to be a limit.You are not being mean.You are the parent.Could your husband say it to granny?I know grandparents love to spoil grandchildren with treats but in my case dd sees both sets of grandparents almost every day!Also agree with another poster who said that treats do not always have to be food.I know a child whose granny picks her up from school every day and brings her straight over to the shop for a big ice cream and then it's home for chips and pizza.The child is very overweight and I think it's very unfair.What child is going to say no thanks!I completely understand where you are coming from.You are trying to find a balance.

JazzDalek Sat 06-Jul-13 14:23:24

YANBU, that is far too much sugar and I'd have put my foot down long ago. It's not just about weight, it's about health. No way would my kids be allowed biscuits, sweets and ice-cream all in one day, and before dinner, at that.

Constantly amazed at the amount of rubbish people give their children, and it is so prevalent that my DCs feel hard done-by. Especially now it's summer and they are always playing outside with the (overweight) kids next door, with their constant supply of sugary artificial crap.

Don't even get me started on the fucking school paying lip-service to healthy eating but handing out Haribos and lollipops as rewards every chance they get angry

I do agree with a PP that our perception of a healthy weight is becoming skewed. Watching the kids come out of school at pick-up time (which I have to because DD is ALWAYS the last one out) it's obvious that many of them are overweight or on their way there. Unsurprising given the number of mums, dads and grannies waiting to pick them up with bags of sweets and crisps in hand.

Drhamsterstortoise Sat 06-Jul-13 14:45:46

I was in Switzerland a few years ago and noticed that all the families with young kids in the park had picnics with lovely healthy snacks and lots of fresh fruit.We all noticed how few overweight people there were.Noticed the same in Australia.When I take mine to the beach or park here I see a lot of sugary drinks and crisps and sweets.There's just no need.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now