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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.


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.

Dumbledoresgirl Fri 05-Jul-13 11:26:46

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

HerbertGistcool Fri 05-Jul-13 11:28:48

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!

TheSurgeonsMate Fri 05-Jul-13 12:37:47

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.

TheSurgeonsMate Fri 05-Jul-13 12:38:01

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.

whiteandyellowiris Fri 05-Jul-13 12:41:04

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.

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