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to expect the In-Laws to make a bit of an effort with daughter's diet?

(153 Posts)
Ellybellyboo Fri 17-Nov-17 09:28:53

DD (age 16) can't have any gluten. She's coeliac and was diagnosed just over 8 years ago.

DD copes pretty well with it but has been having a bit of a hard time with it recently. She just wants to be able to go and get a burger with her mates and has been eating stuff she shouldn't. All her friends are brilliant with it, but she feels a bit awkward and like she sticks out like a sore thumb

We don't live near our families but travel up to visit every 6/8 weeks or so and we're travelling back for Christmas. Staying with my Mum and Dad, and visiting the ILs for Boxing Day.

Every single time the subject of DD's diet comes up with MiL we end up having the same conversation. MiL will always comment that "we never used to have all these allergies" that she doesn't have a clue what to feed DD and I always end up agreeing to take something with us for DD to eat or we'll go out to eat or just completely avoid mealtimes. Over the years I've given her loads of information, recipes, web addresses, etc, etc, etc

Anyway, MiL phoned last night to talk about Christmas. Doesn't know what to feed DD. I asked what they were planning to cook - cold left over meat, mashed potato, pickles, salad. I said that was fine, don't worry, DD could eat all of that. MiL said she wanted to try a new recipe with the potatoes so DD wouldn't be able to eat it. I asked MiL if she could just scoop out a portion of mash for DD first, maybe bung her a jacket potato in the oven. MiL ummed and ahhed then asked if I could just bring something with me as usual.

In all honesty, I'm just a bit fed up with it. I don't think I'm asking for the earth here. DH rang her back and told her not to worry about feeding us, that we'd come over after lunch. Now she's having a hissy fit.

Compared to my Mum - who always cooks one big gluten free meal for all of us, she hits up the Free From section in Tesco, makes stuff like pastry from scratch with GF flour. Really makes an effort and never makes DD feel uncomfortable by giving her different meals, or a crappy ready meal

MiL/FiL are good, competent cooks (FiL used to be a bloody chef) so is it really that unreasonable to expect them to make some effort?

LittleMyLikesSnuffkin Fri 17-Nov-17 09:35:38

I wouldn't bother eating there at all if that's their attitude. Visit by all means but tell them you'll be going on to eat elsewhere/have already eaten when you arrive. Your MIL is a dickhead.

Ausparent Fri 17-Nov-17 09:35:42

Sadly because gluten seems to be included in most fad diets, people don't seem to appreciate how serious Coeliac disease is.

YANBU to feel frustrated, especially since it would be easy for her to accommodate your daughter.

Perhaps you could remind her of the difference between being intolerant and allergic? You could also point out that the first recorded case of Coeliac disease was about 8,000 years ago hmm

I am also a firm believer that MIL is DH's problem and would dispatch him to deal with it.

Good luck OP

custarddinosaur Fri 17-Nov-17 09:40:36

YANBU. They could try and make more of an effort couldn't they?

What in the wide world can she be wanting to do with the mash?

Sympathies though, I have to avoid alcohol (food intolerance, makes me really ill if I have it), and family and friends will still cook things like casseroles with red wine in, or put sherry in trifles. And then be miffed and make under-their-breath remarks about fussiness when I can't eat it. And just try going to a restaurant come Christmastime and finding anything on the menu that isn't laced with the stuff one way or another.

BarbarianMum Fri 17-Nov-17 09:42:11

I think your dh has the right attitude - your MiL has had 8 years to "get over" your dd's diagnosis and is just being blooody difficult. Roast dinner/Christmas dinner leftovers is actually one of the easiest meals to feed us coeliacs - keep stuffing /yorkshire puds separate, use cornflour in the gravy and youre there. You have to go out of your way to add flour to potatoes!

At the end of the day your MiL dorsnt have to cater but your can show some solidarity and refuse to make your dd stick out.

ADuckNamedSplash Fri 17-Nov-17 09:43:30

YANBU. Your DH handled it perfectly - if MIL isn't willing to accommodate her GD, the consequence is that you spend fewer meals with her. If she doesn't like that, it's within her power to change it - point this out and then let her sulk.

Takeoutyourhen Fri 17-Nov-17 09:43:46

It is a shame that MIL can't just reserve a few spoonfuls of mashed potato for your daughter and use the rest for her new fangled recipe.
I absolutely understand. For us it is "a bit of dairy/gluten won't harm" tinkly laugh and/or "what can he eat? Are carrots/mushrooms/beans okay?" so they either don't listen to the hundreds of times we've explained what he has to avoid or it's a big show of what a big fat inconvenience it is.
The gluten free market has expanded and improved so much, because more people are choosing to avoid it. Great that your own mum accommodates the dietary requirements.
How about you make something so delicious, just for DD and not share it when MIL any everyone wants to tuck in? grin

Justbookedasummmerholiday Fri 17-Nov-17 09:44:21

Stick to the get there after lunch plan. Then tell her she can't invite you for a meal but expect you to shop for it!!

Daffodils07 Fri 17-Nov-17 09:44:46

Can you explain that celiacs is not a allergy, it is an auto immune disorder.
Like diabetes is a auto immune disorder, arthritis is an auto immune disorder.
People do not realise how serious eating gluten for celiacs can be and how ill it can make people.
Have you tried asking celiac uk for some info leaflets you could give your mil?

blackteasplease Fri 17-Nov-17 09:45:12

Does sound like she is trying hard not to accommodate you!

Pp may have the answer that because others cut it out as a fab or less important reason then those who really have serious health problems have to face this kind of unkindness .

Fairylea Fri 17-Nov-17 09:45:57

Yanbu. Sounds like she is being deliberately difficult, especially as you had already told her dd could eat the majority of the meal. I would send her over some clear information about your daughters condition and explain that it isn’t a “fad” and can make her seriously unwell. If she isn’t even prepared to try to understand it I don’t think there’s much you can do! I know it’s a bit different but we have the same situation with our son who has autism and the rest of my family. They reckon they never used to have children with autism who could talk “back in the day” so ds clearly doesn’t really have asd! confused

Ellybellyboo Fri 17-Nov-17 09:46:15


God know what they're planning on doing with mashed potato. She mentioned something about white sauce, so maybe some kind of gratin. No idea. But they could just save DD some plain mash, make white sauce with GF flour, shove a spud in the oven for her.

If it was my mum we'd have normal mash and she'd be trying out recipes on the other 350 odd days of the year that we're not there

It's so frustrating. We've explained it a million times to them, I've given them print outs, shown them websites, etc. It pisses me off.

Fairylea Fri 17-Nov-17 09:46:52

Sorry cross posted with you. I would be really pissed off too!

LaBelleSausage Fri 17-Nov-17 09:47:42

Urgh, how unkind.

My DM is coeliac and I’ve already have been messaging to let her know there are gluten feee sausages in bacon and ready made stuffing in the Asda freezer section to see if she might like those, have bought gluten free bread sauce I saw in a garden centre, stocked up on enough gluten free chocolates etc.

It’s one meal on one day and it’s not a big effort at all to make everything gluten free so that she doesn’t need to worry.

honeysucklejasmine Fri 17-Nov-17 09:48:46

I don't blame you for being thoroughly fed up. Definitely taking the right approach - if she won't cater, don't go.

BarbarianMum Fri 17-Nov-17 09:50:40

OP honesyly this isn't a case of someone who just "doesn't understand " - this is someone who is willfully refusing to understand. Just don't engage.

dangermouseisace Fri 17-Nov-17 09:50:48

YANBU. It's not that difficult to do just gluten free, and coeliac is bloody serious. It's normal for a caring family member to accomodate health problems. If after 8 years they don't have a clue what to feed your DD then it just sounds like they are being a bit rude. Your MIL has made it clear that she doesn't want to accomodate your DD for lunch, so she has no right to throw a hissy fit if you decide to come afterwards. It's not like you are not coming at all! She really needs to get a grip.

JaneEyre70 Fri 17-Nov-17 09:51:58

I wouldn't eat there. My granddaughter (3) has got coeliac disease. I've got a section in my freezer of gluten free things, a separate shelf in the larder for her GF stuff (she's obsessed with GF hobnobs at the moment) and generally tend to buy things for all the grandkids that she can have anyway so she never feels different. Seeing what she's like if she has eaten gluten breaks my heart, and at Christmas/family meals the entire meal is GF so there are no potential issues. It makes me furious that people say it's an allergy... no it's bloody not. And I would never make a meal that she was excluded from sharing.

LoniceraJaponica Fri 17-Nov-17 09:53:40

Her ignorance and obtuseness is breathtakingly rude. Whenever we have anyone over to our house with dietary needs I always take them into account. We have this wonderful thing called the internet where I can check ingredients for suitability.

She is either stupid or rude - or more likely both, and has no right to dictate whether you eat at their house if she won't accommodate her guests. I am angry on your behalf (and on anyone esle's behalf who doesn't get catered for). It isn't difficult.

HeyRoly Fri 17-Nov-17 09:54:01

I'm not surprised you're angry. Your MIL really could make the effort to understand what gluten free means and why her granddaughter needs to be gluten free. As for refusing to separate out a bit of mashed potato, I mean FFS.

Notevilstepmother Fri 17-Nov-17 09:54:32

Sounds to me different to most of the MIL posts, you don’t have a DH problem. :-)

He has stood up to his mother, she is sulking, the best way to deal with sulking is to ignore it.

I’m with your DH, go after lunch and maybe next time she won’t be such a pita.

Potatoes ffs, leave them alone.

Sarahjconnor Fri 17-Nov-17 09:58:41

Your dh did a great job of sorting it - put it, and her out of your mind smile

jigglytuff Fri 17-Nov-17 10:03:03

So basically, everything she was planning to cook was fine until you said that and then suddenly she found a way to make it unsuitable for your DD to eat? Fuck that.

They're being really passive aggressive about this - stick to your guns.

Lunde Fri 17-Nov-17 10:03:08

Your MIL is BVVVU - how hard is it to cook a potato for her GD? She cannot have it both ways - expect you to eat there but do everything to make your DD feel unwelcome. I would stop eating at their house if this is her attitude to DD.

I feel very sorry for your DD trying hard to fit in with her friends. It sounds like burger places are way behind - here in Sweden the major burger chains such as Burger King and McDonalds will all serve you a burger on a gluten-free bun if you ask.

CotswoldStrife Fri 17-Nov-17 10:04:15

We have been doing tours of secondary schools this year and have seen that some schools have an allergy-free area of the kitchens pupils cook in for lessons. Even if it was an allergy rather than an intolerance, it's not unknown these days and widely observed!

Is your MIL scared of making her ill, or is it that she doesn't believe it exists/DD is being picky over food? From her comments, it does rather sound like disbelief.

It must be extra-awkward for you if DD feels singled out anyway, I don't blame you not eating there as it obviously won't help your DD's feelings at all.

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