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AIBU to object to 3.5yr old having a bottle of yazoo milkshake?

(42 Posts)
gemma4d Sun 14-Aug-11 16:29:57

OK, I shall abide by the decision of mumsnet:

Background> 3.5yr old DD1 is a nightmare eater. She likes hotdog sausages, chicken nuggets and jam on toast - I don't offer these often so most meals involve screaming and crying (and thats just me!).

So MIL and SIL bought her a bottle of Yazoo strawberry milkshake and served up the entire thing for her (500ml). She drank the lot as she was thirsty and it was tasty, one minute later she was crying as her stomach hurt, and of course she didn't eat any lunch as she was full. This is the most milkshake DD has had in one hit, but she is always being given large amounts of milkshake, and other unhealthy food, at MILs.

I have been considering banning ALL snacks and drinks (except water) between meals to see if it improves her eating at mealtimes, but am worried this might be the wrong thing to do - DD is a bit of a natural grazer and has healthy snacks (healthier than meals sometimes!) with me and my mum. Just not at MILs.

Would I be being unreasonable to object and tell MIL and SIL to stop giving her milkshake, or at least limit it to one SMALL cup a day? Am I being PFB? They are doing me a favour looking after DD, and OH pointed out this is how he was raised, but it drives me mad and really is not helping my never ending battles over food.

BTW MIL has her 2 mornings a week while I am at work, plus MIL and SIL have her all Sunday.

BertieBotts Sun 14-Aug-11 16:32:33

I think it would be okay as a treat, but not every day. And milk-based drinks should probably be after food rather than just before, really.

GypsyMoth Sun 14-Aug-11 16:34:29

Make her fruit smoothies if she loves milkshake so much!

Use this to your advantage

Poweredbypepsi Sun 14-Aug-11 16:35:11

It wouldn't worry me as long as it's not everyday but if you feel uncomfortable with it them talk to MIL.

BornToFolk Sun 14-Aug-11 16:36:04

Not PFB at all. 500mls of milkshake is a lot for a small child. No wonder her stomach hurt!
If it were a one-off, I probably wouldn't say anything but if they are going to be looking after her a lot, you need to say something.

A1980 Sun 14-Aug-11 16:36:05

What do you think will happen to her if she gets milkshake on the odd occasion. That she will die or become obese?

She's managed to develop a taste for hotdogs and chicken nuggets as you say: who gave her those in the first place? You?!


smoggii Sun 14-Aug-11 16:37:00

Time to bring in 'the intolerances' i think. You might want to tell MIL that although she enjoyed said milkshake that amount made her a bit poorly and that you think she might have a low level dairy intolerance so you would like to limit the amount she has for the time being until you can be sure that's not the case. You can also say that you are worried about deficiencies and are trying to encourage consumption of X. it might sound a bit PFB but it's your child, I think as long as you say it nicely and don't attack what they have done it might work.

If you have had positive experiences with your HV that MIL is aware of then you might want to fib that this was suggested by HV (this won't work if you have moaned about poor advice from HV in the past).

You could of course provide everything you want her to have when she goes there.

NormanTebbit Sun 14-Aug-11 16:42:57

I have a tricky eater.

I would ask them to limit it to a small cup and give it as a treat. Also I would ask them to give healthy filling snacks - it's not hard, bits of toast and banana, a yoghurt, you know..

Also - I wouldn't restrict snacks so young and I would try to take the heat out of eating at mealtimes a wee bit, as it can turn into a battle that you will not win. If she is a 'grazer' I found it helpful to offer 'bits' along with a main meal - houmous, salad, cucumber, carrot sticks, cheese sticks - just uncomplicated food which gives her some control over what she is eating.

I also wouldn't worry too much - they need the calories and can help build up her appetite (if that is a problem.)

gemma4d Sun 14-Aug-11 16:49:37

Thanks for the replies ...
smoggii loving the idea, lol!

A1980 - I will not plead completely guilt free but have to say.. there are not and never will be hotdogs in my house, they are full of rubbish and I would never serve them for dinner. She got that particular one from ... MIL!

A1980 Sun 14-Aug-11 16:52:24

Sorry Gemma that wasn't clear from your OP. I would be more annoyed at them giving her a hotdog than i would milkshake they are really bad for you.

Sidge Sun 14-Aug-11 16:53:18

There's grazing, and there's eating all day long so she's not really hungry and so won't want to eat meals. At the age of 3.5 I think restricting some snacks so she can eat a better meal is reasonable.

Half a litre of artificially sweetened milk isn't really a good meal replacement, she'd have been better off having a glass of milk and some crackers or cheese. Why are there tears and screaming at mealtimes (whether hers or yours)? You give her a plate of food, if she doesn't eat it you remove it without fuss or comment and that's it until the next meal. No arguments, no negotiation, no cajoling or bribery, no promise of pudding or something nice if she eats one spoonful etc. It's just food - she either eats it or she doesn't, and if she doesn't she's old enough to know that there's nothing else until next time. To "allow" her refuse meals and then be given a half litre of sugary milk is madness.

Is your MIL providing childcare whilst you work? If so you need to find some compromise on her food, or look for alternative childcare.

redexpat Sun 14-Aug-11 17:03:26

Jo Frost extreme parenting had a fussy eater recently. Iplayer it for what I thought was reasonable and easy to follow advice.

GrownUpNow Sun 14-Aug-11 17:21:18

I wouldn't let the kids have a milkshake as a drink, plus they only get a drink after their meal anyway, except if they ask for one, in which case they get water.

They could have it as a sweet treat, so after dinner as a pudding, probably with fruit. And would not manage the whole lot hopefully, 500ml is a lot.

gemma4d Sun 14-Aug-11 17:53:58

SIDGE - I have heard that idea before and it sounds sensible, but I'm just not sure:

I put a plate of (normal, healthy) food in front of her, she screams and cries and makes out like its poison, I generally go with "well, you don't HAVE to eat it" when things get really loud & stressed, then I serve pudding (nothing over the top to compensate - normally fruit or yogurt), then she has one snack (about 10.30am and 3.00pm-ish), then repeat the whole thing again.

She seems to be able to only eat breakfast, 2 snacks and 2 puddings and either won't eat lunch or dinner (if there is nothing for her) or else she will eat a little (if there is plain bread, or fishfingers, or sausages). This is why I have considered no snacks, but worry that she then won't be eating ANYTHING.

BTW a snack is fruit like 1 banana or 1 pear, or 1 organix goodies bar (oat based), or 1 bag of Fruit Flakes (high in sugar I know, thats not so good!), or a few small breadsticks - until recently she wouldn't eat ANY dip but I have managed to get her to have a little bit Philadelphia with them.

I know this is going off topic from my AIBU but I am ALWAYS up for ideas! I have done all the normal suggestions like getting her to grow the food, cook it with me, presenting it in shapes and faces, hiding veg, etc.

gemma4d Sun 14-Aug-11 17:56:29

redexpat - was that the kid who ended up with a giant plate of chips in front of the TV? If so then my DD is totally different (although just as awkward) - and we would never give in like that! Let me know if its a different episode and I'll have a look.

Kytti Sun 14-Aug-11 18:03:55

Crazy. UABU

I can't understand why people have fussy eaters. They eat what you give them, or they go hungry, end of. You won't give hotdogs or junk food, ever? Well, you're setting that child up for a lifetime of desperately craving that kind of stuff.

Your MIL does you a huge favour. Don't you like how your DH turned out? If you don't like it, look after your child yourself and continue to be a neurotic parent. And as for the person who said you should say your child has a mild intolerance, good God, what's wrong with you all?

Your child is 3 1/2. It will not kill them to skip a couple of meals. It will, however, teach them who is in charge.

Everything in moderation is the key. A little bit of what you fancy does you good.

LuceyLasstic Sun 14-Aug-11 18:05:39

stop making food a battleground

serve it up, if she eats it , great

if she doesnt, take it away. Dont try and coax, persuade, bribe, force. dont even talk about the food, discuss other normal things. dont give anything else till next meal.

milkshake now and again is fine

RedHotPokers Sun 14-Aug-11 18:10:54

Milkshake fine IMO if not given in excessive amounts, and if child generally has a balanced diet.
I alternate smoothies and milkshake for after school 'treats' for my DCs. The milkshake quantity i go by is about two-thirds of a childs small beaker. 500ml is excessive for an adult i'd say.

Re the picky eating, I would limit snacks to fruit/salad only, and would limit puddings to fruit only. Its very easy for them to fill up on carbs and then not feel hungry enough for dinner.

BertieBotts Sun 14-Aug-11 18:13:44

Wow, I've just got myself a yazoo milkshake from the shop, assuming the one your DD had would have been one of those tiny multipack ones, but the ones I buy are 500ml! That's huge for a 3 year old! I can't drink one in one go without feeling sick either, or before a meal.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 14-Aug-11 18:20:20

Could you make 'milkshakes'. My DM used to blend up banana and milk. I used to love this (not when she made homemade tomato ketchup though. I still haven't forgiven her for that). Maybe add berries or similar. Not only is it much more healthy but involving DD in making it might help with the fussiness a bit. Ditto smoothies.

Sidge Sun 14-Aug-11 18:21:51

gemma4d I sympathise as I had an incredibly fussy child (DD1) who hardly ate a thing for a long time. Things aren't as black and white as Kytti thinks they are.

But why give her fruit or yoghurt if she hasn't eaten any of her meal? From her perspective why eat boring old mash and veg (or whatever) if she can refuse, make a big fuss, have all the attention and eyes on her, and STILL end up with something sweet and yummy like fruit or yoghurt? You need to toughen up and be consistent - that's your dinner, like it or lump it but if you don't eat it there is nothing else until the next meal - at all, except water. She won't starve and she doesn't need sugary snacks (even fruit is sugary really) between meals. She'll soon learn that actually eating your meals is the way to go, and even if she eats a small amount she can then have her yoghurt after.

I learned all this the hard way, we had months of DD1 hardly eating a thing and me getting more and more stressed ending up making two or three different meals for her, me and DH. Crazy! Then I realised 99% of it was my fault and got tough. She's now nearly 13 and eats anything except pizza and melted cheese, and my DDs 2 and 3 are really good eaters because I was firm from the start.

ImperialBlether Sun 14-Aug-11 18:31:04

I've just checked it out online and there are 300 calories in 500g of Yazoo.

That's more than she would eat for a meal, isn't it? Were they giving it to her as a snack? If she was thirsty, couldn't she have water or sugar free squash?

VeronicaCake Sun 14-Aug-11 18:38:32

If your DD is already self-limiting to a small breakfast and four snacks of fruit, yoghurt, breadsticks etc each day maybe that is what she needs for now. If you could make some of the snacks contain a bit more protein (cheese, egg mayo or houmous as a dip maybe?) then her diet might be a bit low in calories but it wouldn't look too bad.

And then what she ate at mealtimes would become a much less significant issue and you could feel more relaxed. I do believe that children vary in how fussy they are, but we make fussy eaters to the extent that we problematise the way children eat. There are some lousy unhealthy diets out there. But there are plenty of children who eat a limited but essentially balanced diet, and who should be supported to be a bit more adventurous where possible but not fretted about. Because then the fretting becomes a source of attention (and children want all attention positive and negative) and this simply reinforces selective eating. Sidge's advice sounds about right although it isn't easy to implement if you already feel anxious. But the change has to come from you. So long as DD isn't pale, listless and her teeth aren't falling out just carry on doing what you are doing and just tell yourself that she is just fine. Ignore whining for extra snacks. Offer sensible meals and ignore her behaviour at the table.

I agree 500ml of milkshake sounds like a lot but unless they are looking after her a lot I wouldn't mention it. Being spoilt by indulgent relatives and allowed to make ourselves sick on sugary food is a rite of passage. Eventually most children learn that they actually don't want the third Mars Bar (everyone apart from my DH who was still making himself sick on profiteroles at a friends wedding 2 weeks ago).

fedupofnamechanging Sun 14-Aug-11 18:43:35

Gemma, if you wanted to give her better quality hot dogs, Tesco do a meat free range, which imo taste like the real thing, but are not made from mechanically recovered meat, so possibly better for her.

My 3 year old dd is a grazer and I just give her lots of healthy snacks throughout the day, rather than worry about her not eating 3 proper meals. She still gets all her nutrients, just not in standard way. I think it is better than battling every mealtime.

I would ask the IL's to reduce the milk shakes and offer just milk or a bit of fruit juice or water instead.

halcyondays Sun 14-Aug-11 18:49:49

What sort of thing do you usually give her for meals? Will she eat things like raw carrot sticks, plain pasta etc? If she knows she is getting something sweet after her dinner, then she knows she won't go hungry. Personally I wouldn't offer her something sweet if she doesn't eat any of her dinner, I would let her have a slice of bread and butter but not yoghurt.

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