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To ignore DSS's Mum's demands about food because I just can't cope?

(127 Posts)
balia Fri 27-May-11 20:38:28

DSS is a vegetarian. I'm not, neither is DH, but we respect his Mum's choices and feed him a veggie diet when he is with us. There has always been quite a high level of anxiety about food (MH issues) and we've always tried hard to make sure DSS is comfortable and secure that he is being fed according to his mother's wishes (she went through a phase of examining his stools - sorry, TMI).

But now she has informed DH she is going to become a vegan. She wants DSS to be fed a vegan diet and what's more, she is going to be an 'ethical vegan' so no foods flown in from other countries, apparently, even as ingredients in other food (so no Mango yoghurt, which was the example given - but surely yoghurt would be out anyway as it is dairy?).

Oh God. I just cannot deal with this. I work full time, (as does DH) we have two other DC's, one doing GCSE's right now and the other just about to start Reception. We do our level best to keep everyone fed a healthy and nutritious diet, on a budget, including my Mum who lives with us. I find it hard to manage doing an alternative meal as it is, I just can't cope with trying to work out what the hell DSS can eat now. DH says we'll just have to go along with her and feed him as we do now - but he is already asking questions about where different foods come from.


GypsyMoth Fri 27-May-11 20:40:25

either feed him what HE wants or tell her to provide all food

PenguinArmy Fri 27-May-11 20:41:21

Can you ask her to provide food or money.

I think you should go along with the vegan diet but compromise on the ethical side (as there are bigger cost implications for you)

I try to be a 'ethical' vegan myself but tight budgets effect how far we go. A vegan diet is or can be cheaper though.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 27-May-11 20:41:22

How old is DSS?

PenguinArmy Fri 27-May-11 20:41:52

what does she do for lentils and beans, aren't they normally sourced from overseas?

Choufleur Fri 27-May-11 20:42:09

How old is he? do he want to be an ethical vegan or is it just her? surely your DH has some say if he is little.

balia Fri 27-May-11 20:42:57

DSS is 9. And I cannot go back to the time when she was providing the food - it was horrendous. Eating Disorder Central.

stoppinchingthedummy Fri 27-May-11 20:43:21

how old is your dss? Bless u this must be so hard ....i agree with iloveTIFFANY feed him what he wants or his mum provides it for him!!

vanessasmum Fri 27-May-11 20:44:05

whose decision is it to be vegan? the dSS or the mum? it sounds like it might be the mum, in which case it is an imposition on the dss as well as yourself. how old is the dss and how active has he been in arriving at veganism?

TribbleWithoutACause Fri 27-May-11 20:44:30

I didn't want your post to go unanswered, how old is DSS?

If it's too much for you guys, is there anyway of coming to a compromise with his Mum at all? Could your DH talk to her and explain how it would be difficult for you guys to accomadate due to the above. How much is DSS with you?

Choufleur Fri 27-May-11 20:44:32

Does he want to be an ethical vegan, or even understand what it one is?

fedupofnamechanging Fri 27-May-11 20:44:42

Feed him what you are feeding him already and tell his mum that if this isn't good enough then she can send meals over to your house with him when he stays.

I would only feed him a vegan diet if he wanted it. I don't really think parents should impose their own choices on their children, beyond giving them a healthy diet, once their DC are of an age to express an opinion.

cupofteaplease Fri 27-May-11 20:45:12

This sounds like a nightmare situation, I would really struggle. If it was my own child who had chosen to become a vegan, I would give them the responsibility of writing their own shopping list/menu plan to ensure they got what they wanted, at no extra hassle for me.

As I don't know how old your dss is, or whether this is even his choice, I doubt you can ask him to do this. You could, however, suggest that his mum does this. Better still, if the cost of this 'ethical' food is going to be prohibitive, then I think she needs to buy the food herself or offer an amount of money to cover the extra cost.

TribbleWithoutACause Fri 27-May-11 20:45:46

Actually at 9 he should be able to make some of his own choices regarding his food, is he a vegan by his own choice?

honeybee007 Fri 27-May-11 20:46:55

How many meals do you make him per week? Maybe ask his mum to give you a menu type thing to give you ideas or suggest she freeze extra portions of meals she's happy for him to have and send them over with him? (in a 'while I work it all out in my head' kind of way)

It does seem unfair to be adding to your workload but you say there are mh issues which makes it hard to judge if 'ignoring' her wishes is for the best or not. If you suspect for example he is not getting a balanced vegan diet then you need to do more than ignore the behaviour if she is his main care provider.

You could ignore, and lie to dss about where the food is from but that could backfire.

humanoctopus Fri 27-May-11 20:47:45

As your dss is 9 years old, and unless he has allergies/intolerances that affect his health, then why would ye be discussing what ye feed him whenever he is with you and his dad?

honeybee007 Fri 27-May-11 20:47:52

Sorry I x posted please ignore

PenguinArmy Fri 27-May-11 20:49:17

As others have said then, it comes down to how much behind the decision he is as well. Can you explain to him that different houses mean different rules. It's hard for us to judge as it's one of those you have to there to get the true feeling for.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 27-May-11 20:51:29

YANBU. Veganism is one thing but what you describe sounds like a combination of control freakery, serious mistrust and possibly a transferred case of disordered eating or orthorexia. I would be worried about a child subjected to that level of food neurosis... they could easily become malnourished. I think your husband needs to have a long, hard chat with his ex and give her a reality check.

PenguinArmy Fri 27-May-11 20:51:50

FWIW my mother told me I wasn't allowed to be vegetarian until she was convinced I knew how to do it properly (and she was convinced I wasn't followed friends). I then turned vegan just before my 18th B'day and took control of all my cooking and asked her what to buy/brought it myself

YellowDinosaur Fri 27-May-11 20:52:11

My 3 year old ds gets that different houses have different rules.

Doesn't your dh get some say in what his son has to eat? And more importantly doesn't he?

ENormaSnob Fri 27-May-11 20:55:36

I feel really sorry for your dss.

SockShitter Fri 27-May-11 20:56:02

She can say he is vegan, but she can't tell you where to buy your food or who from. SO if that means smart price tomatoes from asda or veg from aldi sucks for her. I would stick to the vegan diet though. IF he is eating vegan at home mostly it will make him feel ill eating the occasional dairy.

CarolineGC Fri 27-May-11 21:03:02

Could this be about something other than food at some deeper level? like, maybe, control?

helenthemadex Fri 27-May-11 21:04:08

it does sound like a real pain and it is possible she is putting her beliefs on her child, but to go against her wishes could potentially just cause a lot of conflict

from what you say your dss is questioning where stuff comes from which does suggest he has a level of understanding about being an ethical vegan

could you not maybe write her a note asking for menu suggestions and also where to get the food from, another option would be to ask dss what he cant eat any more now he is a vegan

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