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Only offer one meal for the guests?

(84 Posts)
NotInchristmasSpirit Sat 26-Nov-16 16:58:27

Hello all,

I have Changed my name for this post smile

To cut the long story short I am currently looking after a family members children whilst she is away visiting her new partner for three weeks ( I know!)

The children nearly 2 and 6 years old and I am finding meal times incredibly stressful and the " holiday " has only just started , before agreeing to look after her children I knew meal times would be difficult but not this difficult.. They have been refusing to try anything I cook and they chuck the food on the floor and scream / cry

Their mum has happily spoken about what she gives them to eat and she said the other day that on average she gives them 5 take aways a week and the rest of the time finds something out of the freezer because she isn't confident in cooking but she does feel guilty about this and wants to change. I know she loves her children to bits and would do anything for them and also I can't judge because I enjoy a good take away but I don't get it often.

But Would I be unreasonable to only offer one meal and that's it? Or should I get things I know they will eat because after all they're not my children and they need to eat?

ChoudeBruxelles Sat 26-Nov-16 17:02:37

So long as it's not things that they're unlikely to eat (very spicy things) I think you're fine. Although I would then let them have some toast or something a bit later if they're hungry. TBH though most 2 year olds are not good eater

PinkSwimGoggles Sat 26-Nov-16 17:03:39

cook whatever you do but maybe offer something plain (bread, pasta, rice) on the side do they don't go hungry.

SharingMichelle Sat 26-Nov-16 17:03:55

Oof. Rather you than me.

Yes, you only need to offer one thing. And no, you certainly don't need to get takaways in for visiting children.

Can you make life easy for yourself? Find a couple of simple meals they will eat and repeat them?

What have they rejected so far? How fussy are we talking?

Nospringflower Sat 26-Nov-16 17:05:35

I would try and give them what they want / will eat within reason. They can't be that fussy if they are eating takeaway?

WorraLiberty Sat 26-Nov-16 17:08:30

You should have asked her what takeaways she buys, made sure she gave you the money to cover them, and then fed the kids that.

It's probably bad enough for them that their Mum has disappeared for 3 weeks.

I would keep everything else as 'normal' and in routine as possible.

happypoobum Sat 26-Nov-16 17:08:47

Has she left you money for all these takeaways?

You are saying a child under 2 has five takeaways a week? shock That's an awful lot of salt,never mind anything else.

Just offer them what you are having and give them toast if they won't eat it. I can't imagine how you reconcile this she loves her children to bits and would do anything for them with this
I am currently looking after a family members children whilst she is away visiting her new partner for three weeks

blaeberry Sat 26-Nov-16 17:09:12

Don't offer a range of things at meal times but equally go for simple things they are likely to like. Maybe offer bread and butter or banana if they completely refuse but nothing else. So beans on toast, fish fingers, peas, sweetcorn, pasta dishes (eg. With tomato sauce and grated cheese), meat and two veg, pizza, sausages, jacket potatoes and tuna... Chucking food on the floor is not uncommon with two-year olds but not acceptable for six-year olds.

WaggyMama Sat 26-Nov-16 17:10:04

Tell her it's not working and she needs to come home - they probably miss her too.

littlesallyracket Sat 26-Nov-16 17:11:47

Are you feeding your friend's kids on their own, or do you have kids/partner who are sitting down to eat with you?

If your friend's children are eating with you as a family then no, YANBU to give them what you''d normally be eating and offer no alternative. You shouldn't have to spend a fortune on takeaways or start cooking completely separate meals for them if they're having mealtimes with you and your own family.

If you're feeding your friend's kids on their own, then personally I'd just give them whatever she's said they will eat, whether it's something you approve of or not. It's not worth the hassle to fight a battle with someone else's kids every night for three weeks.

I'd also add that the kids are probably feeling really unsettled in general. Their mum's disappeared for three weeks with her new boyfriend and three weeks is a very long time for children as young as two and six - the two year old in particular probably has no idea what the hell's going on. So giving them whatever food is familiar/comforting to them might help.

ShowMePotatoSalad Sat 26-Nov-16 17:16:03

God, this sounds horrendous. You must be some good friend, OP.

Your friend can't expect you to get takeaways for them (5 times a week as well...sorry I don't mean to judge anyone but WTF).

I think you need to carry on regardless...I personally wouldn't make a special meal for them. If they don't have allergies etc there is no worldly reason why they couldn't eat what your family has.

They are bound to refuse it because they're probably so used to particular things now and everything else is way out of their comfort zone.

What sort of meals have they been refusing?

ShowMePotatoSalad Sat 26-Nov-16 17:17:14

Also I agree with WaggyMama I would be so tempted to ask her to come back and get them.

Also, why on earth did you agree to have them for 3 weeks?! Sorry, OP...I know you are probably just a lovely person who wants to help a friend but IMO you've been taken advantage of.

expatinscotland Sat 26-Nov-16 17:18:14

Did she give you money for takeaways? Bet not. I'd tell her she needed to come home, but then, I wouldn't have taken her kids for 3 weeks whilst she swans off to shag some bloke.

WorraLiberty Sat 26-Nov-16 17:18:27

before agreeing to look after her children I knew meal times would be difficult but not this difficult..

So the kids are even difficult at meal times when eating takeaways with their Mum?

Difficult in what way? Maybe it's something else other than the actual food that's making them this way at meal times?

WorraLiberty Sat 26-Nov-16 17:20:36

Btw, the OP says the kids and their Mum are family members, not a friend.

Not that it matters really.

ZoFloMoFo Sat 26-Nov-16 17:21:33

So she feeds them 5 takeaways a week and has left a 2 year old with you for 3 weeks to go and visit a new partner.

What a shit mum.

Tell her it's not working out and you need her to come back, now.

ShowMePotatoSalad Sat 26-Nov-16 17:22:32

Well spotted Worra. I wouldn't do this for a family member either

AndNowItsSeven Sat 26-Nov-16 17:23:08

She left her dc for three weeksto visit a boyfriend. The dc have more going on than poor diet.

NotInchristmasSpirit Sat 26-Nov-16 17:25:56

Hey all

We all eat meals together and I always cook one meal . They have been served Pasta Bol, and then other meal Boiled potato, chicken, carrots and peas! Both meals went on the floor followed by lots of tears and screaming.

I knew it was going to be difficult because of their eating habits and the fact my family rarely get a take away but I thought they might be different in a new environment around people who are also eating the same meal as them.

ConvincingLiar Sat 26-Nov-16 17:26:02

ZoFloMoFo has said what I was thinking. Perhaps there's some back story that makes this all sound less crap. Eg the takeaways are home prepared and healthy.

I agree with cooking one child appropriate meal and take it or leave it. I would let my 2 year old have weetabix/toast/fruit/yoghurt if he rejected his tea, but nothing exciting.

ConvincingLiar Sat 26-Nov-16 17:26:51

They might learn to suck it up (eventually). My toddler is a lot more fussy at home than in nursery.

ShowMePotatoSalad Sat 26-Nov-16 17:27:29

"The children nearly 2 and 6 years old"

Her kid isn't even 2 yet....just noticed that. Nearly 2 or actually 2, I feel bloody depressed at the thought of young kids eating 5 takeaways a week. sad

Blu Sat 26-Nov-16 17:27:38

Blimey , OP, you are a very good family member to take this on. Are her visits away likely to be frequent?

I think 3 weeks is a long time for a 2 and 6 year old to be without their parent, and not the time to start challenging their eating habits.

The things from the freezer that they will eat sound easy enough, just heat them up alongside whatever else you are cooking. It will be less stressful than dealing with crying, food chucking , non eating kids.

The Familiarity will help them.

Thetruthfairy Sat 26-Nov-16 17:29:03

She has left her kids for three weeks and feeds them take-away meals.
I can't get passed that. How rubbish for those kids.
Surely the mum has been in contact? What does she suggest you do?

MrsRhettButler Sat 26-Nov-16 17:29:29

Did the nearly 6 yr old throw food on the floor? If it's not just the little one doing this then I'd say there's behavioural problems not just food problems.
Have you tried fish fingers and waffles? I'd try to find something they will eat and just repeat that, I wouldn't even mind doing it separately if it was something as simple as freezer food to be honest.

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