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How do I get my MIL to stop feeding my kids junk?

(26 Posts)
Marigoldy01 Sat 07-May-16 15:36:38

It started innocently enough, a small treat every now and then, but now it's getting ridiculous.
My boys are twins and will be 3 soon. She basically lets them 'graze' all day on packets of chips, biscuits and lollies and then wonders why they don't eat dinner. AND when they don't eat their dinner, she hands them another biscuit! Then right before bedtime, another biscuit!! And again as soon as they wake up, it is driving me crazy! It's not even the good kind of junk, it's orange coloured chips like rashuns, cheap sugary biscuits and very hard and chewy lollies that get stuck in their teeth.
We visit my inlaws almost every weekend, which I am trying to cut back on. But lately I've noticed my boys becoming more and more fussy with what they eat at home even though I don't allow any of the aforementioned junk in the house. I feel bad because my MIL has emphysema which has been worsening and maybe she feels she needs to treat them heaps while she has the chance. She's the kind of person that shows love through food, and it's hard to explain but my partner and her and basically the whole family don't really 'talk' about personal matters, which makes it hard and uncomfortable to address this. They all are quite close but it confuses me coming from a family where we are quite open and want to talk and help each other.
I just feel like crying I'm so frustrated! Please help sad confused

RJnomore1 Sat 07-May-16 15:38:24

You need to man up and say no even if it upsets her.

Marigoldy01 Sat 07-May-16 15:49:00

Ok short and sweet, I like it wink

iwantavuvezela Sat 07-May-16 15:51:19

Can you tell her at a recent visit to the dentist you were told not to do this! Place blame on the professionals!

NannawifeofBaldr Sat 07-May-16 15:51:24

Erm, this is happening in your presence?

Say no for goodness sake, and why haven't you already?

albertcampionscat Sat 07-May-16 15:54:32

Is there another way she could treat them? 'No you can't play (insert x harmless game) at home, but maybe granny will let you...' Or 'Absolutely no blueberries at home, but if you ask granny very nicely...'

ilovesthediff Sat 07-May-16 15:56:49

Take her aside, say you don't want an argument but they are your kids and she has to stop this. End of.

Marigoldy01 Sat 07-May-16 16:01:06

Thanks, loving the idea of putting in on the dentist! I guess I do need to say a straight up NO though, but I'm worried she will continue doing it behind my back. She's my go-to baby sitter.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 07-May-16 16:02:51

I would say that on a recent visit to the dentist one of your sons was found to have very bad tooth decay, advise that cutting back on the sugar is a must so that his tooth doesn't need removing. Suggest some alternative snacks she could give them instead.

No good granny would want the child's teeth out

brassbrass Sat 07-May-16 16:09:50

I was going to say don't let her have them unsupervised but you are present when this is happening! If it was once in a while then it wouldn't matter but you say it is every week which to my mind is a routine.

It really is up to you and your DH to say no more from now on. There is no way I'd be happy about them foregoing a decent dinner for a biscuit instead.

By allowing them to be exposed so much at a young age when their teeth are still coming in you are enabling a legacy of crap eating habits and rotten teeth. Bad eating habits are hard to undo.

brassbrass Sat 07-May-16 16:11:34

Also take healthy snacks with you so you have something to offer them while you are there. Make sure she has a supply of these when she is babysitting.

Marigoldy01 Sat 07-May-16 16:21:26

Thanks for your suggestions. I'm not always around to stop it, she usually waits until I'm doing something and then it's too late to take whatever it is off my sons without ending up in tantrums and then I'm the bad guy.
I take healthy snacks which I have found left untouched before. It doesn't help that her other grand kids eat this way almost daily as they live close by and their parents are okay with it, which would make me the weird difficult mum who just wants her kids to be healthy!

RiverTam Sat 07-May-16 16:26:58

I'd find yourself another babysitter. Trouble us, when you depend in someone for free childcare you don't get as much say in whats allowed. And I would fully explain yo your DH (though why he needs this dxksinubg I can't think) exactly what the issue is and he mans up and speaks to his mum.

RiverTam Sat 07-May-16 16:27:42


brassbrass Sat 07-May-16 16:54:04

Don't be afraid of being the bad guy. You are their mum and with that goes responsibility for their physical and mental health. From time to time you will have to make unpopular choices it's part of being a mum.

wizzywig Sat 07-May-16 16:55:16

This sounds like my mum. I see her once a month now

Marigoldy01 Sat 07-May-16 20:39:47

Thank you everyone for your responses and support. I feel confident now to talk to her about it even if it might be upsetting for her to hear. I suppose I've put it off because everyone around me doesn't see it as a problem which will make it even harder to address!!

Florentina27 Sat 07-May-16 21:35:59

If you are close to her you can just politely tell her that you are trying to cut down on sugar as they won't eat proper meals anymore, if not ask your DH to tell her, she might feel better about it coming from him, but he'll have to do it when he sees her treating them with biscuits instead of coming from nowhere as shell know he's just a messenger

Pixienott0005 Mon 09-May-16 09:01:36

This is why I hate mother in laws. They do it deliberately.

Tell, not ask, her to calm it down. Take the sweets off them when she gives them to the kids and say naughty grandma knows she's not allowed to give you sweets.

ftmsoon Mon 09-May-16 09:11:56

Pixie blaming MILs exclusively is unnecessarily inflammatory, my DM is just as bad.
OP you need to take charge, get DH to support you and blame the dentist!

TrainBridge Mon 09-May-16 09:26:28

Pixie Think you might be projecting a bit.

Anyway, OP, I think you will need to find an alternative babysitter as well as having the conversation, that way she know you have another option and she's more likely to do as you ask. Which will be hard for her, habits are hard to break and food as love is very ingrained for lots of people.

RiverTam Mon 09-May-16 09:37:55

Oh, FFS Pixie, what a crock of shit. Not all MILs are like this, and plenty of DMs are.

pratiaalba Mon 09-May-16 09:46:46

Well, pixie, my MIL is not at all like that. She gives sweets after she's asked us (and she makes sure not to ask in front of children, so they don't pester).
She knows dental issues are a huge worry for many parents, and weight issues - she's a parent herself- and ensures she has a wide variety of healthy nibbles if we're round.
She's fab.

MrsPatrickDempsey Mon 09-May-16 10:45:13

Blame the health visitor (let's face it; everyone else does!). Say that she came round and lectured you about healthy eating, health benefits of cutting out sugar, increased childhood obesity etc.

lindseyyyy Mon 09-May-16 17:11:52

My MIL is like this. Can't fucking bear the woman.

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