I have the opposite problem to most parents. Rather than a picky eater, I am the mother to a 5yo daughter who simply loves to eat. She has not encountered a single food that she doesn't like, and has a voracious appetite.

The obvious benefits aside (always eats her veggies, no bargaining required), my problem is that she is always asking for food, which is a challenge when I'm not with her.

I am able to control her caloric-intake through the administering of several small, healthy meals/snacks throughout the day, and by only giving her milk or water to drink, but when she is with grandparents, aunts, uncles, they often don't take care to limit her intake (sometimes even calling her appetite "cute", and giving her open access to the box of donuts, fruit tray, juice, treats, bread, etc.) My family acts as if they're flattered or amused by a child that doesn't have to be coaxed to eat.

She has a healthy body and does regular activity, but is starting to get a little hefty.

What would you suggest as the best way to approach the subject with relatives, without insulting them, and without the risk of them using the words size, weight or fat in front of my daughter (I want to avoid any possible body issues).

asked 01 Nov '09, 22:16

YMCbuzz's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%

+1 ! I was over-fed as a child by my grandmother ! it is really annoying for the child when she grows up as a chubby person for no fault of hers !

(02 Nov '09, 15:25) Preets

I know someone who also resents the fact that she grew up chubbier than most because someone who loved her wanted to "spoil" her. Thanks for sharing, that's good to remember :)

(03 Nov '09, 03:24) YMCbuzz

It sounds like you may have an easy out if you spin it the right way. Your relatives seem to give her open access to all manner of unhealthy things. You can approach this as a mom concerned with junk food.

You can tell them that you don't approve of all this junk food and that you're ok with them giving your little girl as much healthy food as they want. Given the quantities you're probably talking about, you may have to remind some that "healthy foods" in this case means real healthy foods as opposed to a box of lite cookies that are only healthy if you're eating a small number.

I know in my family, if my mom said we could have zero junk food, there'd be a relative or 2 which thought it was every kid's God given right to the occasional bit of junk food and would just say, "don't tell your mother" with a confidential bonding wink. If you face similar people, you can set limits like 1 candy bar a day. Whatever the limit, the people that might see you as 'over the top' with a total prohibition may see you as simply setting reasonable boundaries with a quota.


answered 02 Nov '09, 14:11

Dinah's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%


+1 for definition of "healthy foods" :)

(02 Nov '09, 14:32) Emi

Well, the way you've explained it in your question makes perfect sense. Maybe you could explain it that way while your daughter isn't present to anyone who might be responsible for feeding her in your absence and suggest they only offer her healthy foods.

In her presence, I'd suggest just being the "good example" and not eating anything you wouldn't want her to eat and explaining to whomever is offering that you are all following a healthy lifestyle. It will be hard to completely avoid insulting anyone, and if you're diligent about what she's eating most of the time, I'd say just relax and let her have a treat on those occasions where you think not allowing the treat might offend someone.


answered 02 Nov '09, 02:07

2qtpies's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I agree with 2qtpies and Dinah but would like to add:

You could also send "approved" snacks along when you will not be with your child the whole time. Things like an apple or fruit cups or whatever you don't mind your daughter filling up on. The visual representation may help skeptical family members understand what is okay and what is not.


answered 02 Nov '09, 14:54

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

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Asked: 01 Nov '09, 22:16

Seen: 4,003 times

Last updated: 02 Nov '09, 14:54