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to discuss differences in feeding dd with exp, or should I just accept difference and let it go. but its bugging me and dd wants me talk to him.

(22 Posts)
tomhardyismydh Thu 02-Jun-11 11:45:07

I always make home made meals and think carefully about the snacky stuff dd eats in terms of health and nutrition. I never give dd frozen or micro meals as I think they are full of salt etc. I always eat with her at the table whether I want to or not.

She has dinner with her dad once mid week and some times at the weekends.

He always feeds her frozen or micro meals, shaped tinned spaghetti etc and never any vegetables, she has told me he gives her too big portions, he makes her sit at the table until she has finished and he does not eat with her. for instance a whole ready meal Shepherd pie with tinned spaghetti. DD is 5 and I wouldnt expect she would be able to even eat the full portion of shephards pie let alone with spaghetti. and I would rather she has veg anyway. she came home with tummy ache and didnt settle sleep because she was full and said she had a stitch.

last time he gave her gammon, tinned tweeny spaghetti and toast and again she said her tummy was hurting and had a stitch.

yesterday he took her to the pub abd she had a portion of starter chicken wings ate them all, an adult spagbol and then a nickerboker glorry. she had beads of sweat on her forehead when she came home and her tummy was enourmous she didnt go to sleep untill after 10 because she needed a poo.

Im not sure if I would be unreasonable to raise this with him, but cant rely on dd being able to tell him she is full as he will make her eat it up. I want to be able to talk to him about how dd should be eating without it causing a row, or should I just accept that its only 2 nights a week at the most and just let it go.

strandedbear Thu 02-Jun-11 11:48:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pelagia Thu 02-Jun-11 11:49:40

Depends on your relationship I suppose, but as it is bothering DD, you should do something.

Either be straightforward and have it out with him. Or if its easier to be a bit cunning, how about DD 'makes dinner for daddy' like a quiche that she could take along with her a few times, get her to paint a (SMALL) plate that she wants to keep at his house, things like that.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Thu 02-Jun-11 11:51:41

Talk to him about child portion sizes. Give him some of those IKEA plastic plates for children and tell him that is enough for a 5 yo. She can't be eating an adult portion.
I would let him feed what he wants though. If she eats healthily at yours it doesn't really matters spag bol and shepperd pies is not unhealthy.

GeekCool Thu 02-Jun-11 11:51:56

He digestion will have a harder time with the food she is given by him as she is used to eating home made and I would suggest the potential salt levels in what he is giving her (compared with her normal diet) will also make her feel unwell.
Expecting her to eat so much is not on and yes you should definitely bring that up.
One to two meals a week without veg will not do her any harm, although she just may not enjoy the food he is giving her,

worraliberty Thu 02-Jun-11 11:55:59

YANBU those frozen shepherds pies are full of shit.

But the portion size is a big issue here.

Have you heard about this from anyone other than your 5yr old? I'm just thinking they do tend to exaggerate...especially about amounts.

GinniferAndTonic Thu 02-Jun-11 11:56:53

I wouldn't comment on the type of food - after all she eats healthily most of the time.

But the portion size issue must be tackled. I have a naturally small appetite and I suffered horrendously as a child being made to eat too much. It's unhealthy and psychologically damaging, so yes, I think you need to say something. However, do it nicely: a grown man simply may not realise what a small (girl) child's portion should be like.

Pandemoniaa Thu 02-Jun-11 11:59:58

It won't hurt her to learn that different food is eaten at different houses. Also, she has a healthy diet most of the time so the occasional ready-meal won't cause too much damage. I wouldn't be happy with the portion sizes though or the fact that she isn't allowed to stop eating when full so I second the advice about telling your ex that the amount of food she's being fed is causing problems. If necessary, supply him with an appropriately sized plate. I've never liked this sitting at the table until everything is eaten rule anyway - even if you have fussy children. Most of the adults I know with eating disorders were subject to pointless and punitive regimes like this.

PumpkinBones Thu 02-Jun-11 12:01:52

DS came home from school before with leaflets from Change4Life re portion control (they had adverts on TV too)
http://www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/Pages/kids-portion-sizes.aspx

If you want to be non-confrontational about it, you could use this - say she's come home from school with info, and you've realised you need to watch portion sizes - ask him to help by using a particular plate / letting her choose her portion size / etc - there are some other tips on there.

I wouldn't be so concerned about the types of food, as you say it is only 2 meals a week.

QuackQuackSqueak Thu 02-Jun-11 12:02:42

I don't think the type of food matters that much really as she is eating very well with you and only with him once a week.

Expecting her to eat that much though! He's going to make her ill! Doesn't over eating stretch the stomach over time? Causing people to feel the need to eat more and end up obese?

Is he stupid? Does he not realise that small children eat less?

I would tell him that she was over full every single time, maybe exagerate and say she was really ill?

tomhardyismydh Thu 02-Jun-11 12:07:38

Thanks for the replies, he often tells me when he brings her back what she has eaten and sometimes I ask for instance if that was the whole ready meal and say wow thats quite alot, etc, but that has been too subtle. when he brought her home from the pub, I was more straight forward in saying, that is far too much and he just said well she must have been hungry. a few fridays ago when she was staying over night they where planning on having a kebab take away and i did tell him not to get her donna meat as it is vile and didnt want her eating it, he said he would share a chicken breast one with her.

a few weeks ago she told me she does not like eating at the table on her own, him his gf and her teeneage kids eat a home made dinner later in the evening when dd has gone home. I understand that some people especially teenagers may not want to eat at 4.30 but think that her dad should eat at the table with her. He does cook and is a good cook so I dont understand why he never cooks for the two of them to eat together. She asked me to talk to him about it then and i explained I would but just see how things go for a while.

maybe I should tackle the portions first and then see how that goes for a while, but I honestly feel that the standard of ready meals etc are very poor and dd should not be eating them, but fear he will hit the roof when I mention this. we have had a very strained relationship for maybe the first couple of years apart and this year things are seeming to improve. A friend I was talking to suggests a portion guide for a child is two of their fist sizes, not sure how accurate that is, seems alot to me and obviously depends on the food.

yoshiLunk Thu 02-Jun-11 12:30:30

YANBU especially if it's causing her to have tummy ache. If she is used to mostly good and pure stuff i.e. not packed with additives then it's not surprising she's uncomfortable - this change is just as likely to affect as trying to eat more than she's used to. My sister gets rotten winds if she has anything with MSG in (sorry sis TMI)

The frozen ready meals really are shite you know, really.

Difficult to deal with though - I fear you may end up providing a supply of your own cooked meals to your ex grin

Definitely approach it gently as he will see it as criticism won't he? Maybe explain to him that you're finding she has a delicate stomach and maybe 'we' should be careful what 'we're' giving her, - might make him feel like you just want him in the loop on sorting it out.

exexpat Thu 02-Jun-11 12:44:23

As a start, could you suggest to him that he tries giving her ready-meals designed specially for children - smaller portion sizes and possibly lower salt etc? I think M&S and Tesco do their own ones, or there are things like littledish that they sell in lots of places. Maybe you could buy a couple and send them along with DD? That at least would give him an idea of more appropriate portion sizes for a child.

nocake Thu 02-Jun-11 12:44:55

You could tell him that she's been complaining about the size of the portions. Then it becomes about what she wants rather than being your opinion against his.

shirleyshortcut Thu 02-Jun-11 12:52:36

i dont think the ready meals once a week is cause for concern, but you could mention she is a little upset as she cant finish the large portions

QuackQuackSqueak Thu 02-Jun-11 12:56:27

You could just tell him that she is very upset about meal times, that she is finding eating alone very lonely and that the pressure to eat everything is making her very upset and also that she is in pain after.

You could say that she has told you, but of course you don't believe it, that he says she has to eat a whole adult sized ready meal plus spagetti on the side! "How could a child ever eat that much and not get obese/extremely ill? . . . although she does have terrible stomach pain after she gets home . . . ! Was she right? Do you really expect her to eat that much!" (may need some acting skills for this one)

Didn't know they did children's ready meals. Would be a start I suppose and as someone said would show him the difference in size.

QuackQuackSqueak Thu 02-Jun-11 13:07:08

It's also amazing that his new partner who has had young children of her own doesn't realise that it's too much food for a child.

tomhardyismydh Thu 02-Jun-11 13:12:16

exexpat that is a really good idea, I think asda do their own dont they? I may just happen to pick one up and say dd wanted this to take to his for dinner and open the conversation up that way.

Folicacid Thu 02-Jun-11 13:34:41

I think the best thing to do would be to discuss with him the eating alone situation, as that's what your daughter is most upset about it seems. Also, depending on what they cook, they could make a meal that your daughter could have at 4.30 ish, sit with her while she eats it and then reheat for everyone else later on. Like a one pot meal etc.

Or, would it be possible for her to have a snack at 4.30 on those two nights a week and then eat with everyone else later on?

tomhardyismydh Thu 02-Jun-11 13:36:58

they eat together after he brings her home folicacid

NomNomNom Thu 02-Jun-11 14:29:56

Please do something about this. If he keeps forcing her to eat more than she wants, he could be causing her to develop an eating disorder. It is a good thing that your DD realises when she is full, regularly eating more than this will lead her to lose this signal. I feel so sorry for her having read your description.

It is extremely cruel of her dad to do this. You must do something about this.

Obviously ready meals are crap for children. But how about picking your battles carefully? I'd say the portion issue is the bigger problem out of the two, so I'd suggest tackling that first, and when it's all sorted, bring up the food quality issue.

Can you speak to someone official about this? Have you involved solicitors before? Depending on what kind of person your DD's dad is, perhaps it's worth thinking about this as a possible avenue.

exexpat Thu 02-Jun-11 15:46:03

I just noticed you said he lives with his new DP and her teenagers - I think living with teenagers may well have skewed his idea of portion size, particularly if they are boys - my nearly-teen DS can eat twice an adult-size portion of most meals and still be back in the kitchen raiding the bread-bin/fruit-bowl/biscuit-tin an hour later. He may not realise that he is doing DD no favours by giving her huge portions.

The making her eat everything is rather more worrying - maybe he has a thing about not wasting food? Or could be a control thing....

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