Author Topic: Child's food choices on trip  (Read 10972 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

CakeBeret

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4258
Child's food choices on trip
« on: March 28, 2013, 02:08:29 PM »
My son, age 3, is going to Disney sometime this year with my brother and his kids. My brother invited DS and is paying all his expenses.

My only concern with this trip is that Bro and his kids eat a lot of junk food and I don't want my son eating corn dogs and potato chips for an entire week straight. DH and I agree that we don't mind the occasional junk food, but we also want our son to have nutritious food on the trip too. So if they are grabbing lunch from a hot dog stand, that's fine, but if they are eating at a restaurant I'd like them to order DS something non-fried and with vegetables.

(My son is not a picky eater at all--he loves hot dogs and will choose to eat them if given a choice, but he will also eat grilled chicken and broccoli if that's what is put in front of him.)

Is there a polite way to ask my brother to make some healthy choices for DS, or is that out of line? I know that if we ask, Bro will abide by our wishes, but I'm not sure if it would be terribly wrong to ask. How can we phrase it without coming off preachy or judgmental? To be honest, I don't think my husband will let DS go on the trip if we don't talk to Bro about food choices, so it will come down to either talking to Bro or not sending DS at all.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

SiotehCat

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3708
Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 02:13:02 PM »
I think you should not send your DS on the trip.

I understand wanting to control what your son eats, but I don't think you should ask your brother to order something different from what he is feeding his children.

rose red

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7648
Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 02:16:45 PM »
Is he the type to let his own kids eat junk food for a week?  If not, why don't you ask what the meal plans are for the trip.  If yes, then tell him you want to have a meeting regarding your son's diet.  This is your brother who is paying for the trip so it sounds like you get along.  If it's not possible for him to agree for whatever reason, than you can simply cancel.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 02:18:21 PM by rose red »

Two Ravens

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2317
  • One for sorrow, Two for mirth...
Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 02:18:29 PM »
Best just to not let him go, or accept that he's going to be eating junk. How could you enforce something like this anyway?

It seems rather ungracious considering your brother is paying for a week long trip to Disney.

blueyzca01

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 388
Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2013, 02:18:35 PM »
Sadly, in a lot of restaurants, junk food is usually cheaper than something healthy, like grilled chicken with veggies on the side.  I just visited a Steak n Shake for the first time:  the hamburger was $2.90 and the salads started at $6.50

Im going to assume that youve got a decent relationship with him, or else Id doubt hed be interested in being responsible for and paying for your kid.  Since bro is covering all the expenses, why not offer him $50 or $75 and ask that he use it to buy everyone some healthier dinners while theyre on the trip? 

Tell him what you said earlier:  if youre grabbing lunch from a hot dog stand, that's fine, but if they are eating at a restaurant I'd like you to order DS something non-fried and with vegetables. 
No one ever says, "Why me?!?!" when something good happens.

bah12

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5192
Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2013, 02:25:28 PM »
I'm pretty big on making sure that I, DH and DD have nutritionally complete and healthy meals pretty much always.  But, I'm also of the mindset that during a vacation, having to think about calories and fat all the time sort of ruins the experience.  (I actually like grilled chicken/fish and fresh veggies anyway, but don't stress if DH and DD spend a few days eating junk if we aren't at home).

Personally, for me, if I were sending DD (also 3) away for a week, I'd be more concerned about her being happy and comfortable.  If her cousins would all be eating french fries, I know she'd notice if she was told she had to have broccoli...and be upset about it (potentially making it more difficult for the adults caring for her).  And yet, I do get that when you allow your children to be "spoiled" by relatives, then undoing all of that and getting them back into their normal routines is tough...so it's a balance.  And a week is kind of an awkward time...it's definitely a long time to be eating nothing but junk food and definitely long enough to have them get used to an alternate diet, but not quite so long that if they did eat junk the entire time, it would cause health problems (other than maybe an upset stomach from sugar and grease).

That being said, I think it's fine to talk to your brother about your son's diet. Just say that you are teaching DS about healthy food choices and want that reinforced on the trip...if they are at a restaurant where he can have veggies over fried foods, then that's what you'd like ordered...and this especially if he won't complain that his cousins are eating something else and asking for that. 

As for your DH, I hope he understands that this is an opportunity for him to bond with his uncle and cousins and his uncle is going to take good care of him.  If you want to request a certain diet, I think that's fine, but I don't think that the diet/food choices alone should dictate if he goes or not.  I also like the idea of offering some money to cover the meals that you do want him to eat.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21462
Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2013, 02:27:36 PM »
I'd ask what the plan is for meals.  Are they getting the meal plan?  If so cost might not be as much of an issue.  I think you could ask your brother to make sure he gets a fruit/vegetable at two of his three meals (not counting fries) and that he drink milk or water - stuff like that.  Being more specific than that seems a bit unrealistic. I do think I'd find out the general approach to meals first.

Carotte

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1136
Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2013, 02:28:37 PM »
Does his kids have any say in what they want to eat (or are they too young/ don't have a say?) because there's a wide range of why someone would feed primarily junk food to kids, one being that it's easier because" the kids won't throw tantrums.
So I think reminding your brother that your son quite like vegetables is a good step, that way he actually knows he can order something and it will be eaten. Maybe he'll even be gratefull to show his kids that there are alternate options and that their cousin likes them.
A little white lie could also do, something about DS pediatrician wanting him to eat plenty of veggies to avoid constipation (and it's actually true that if your son is not used to a diet of junk-food it could throw off his body functions).

Oh Joy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1357
Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2013, 02:32:26 PM »
I get it.  Really.   :)

How would it fly with DH if your request was along the lines of 'You know DS usually eats pretty simply at home, and I find he sleeps and listens best on his routine.  I don't want you to eat anywhere special just for DS, but would you mind helping him choose things that have less sugar or aren't fried when they're on the menu?'

Best wishes.

CakeBeret

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4258
Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2013, 02:32:32 PM »
OP here. My brother lets his kids order what they like in restaurants--they are older and capable of making their own food choices. Bro would be ordering my DS's food, so he could easily guide him to, say, have apple slices instead of fries with his sandwich. I wouldn't want to institute some sort of hard rule or create an additional expense, and I certainly don't want to come across as ungracious.  :-\

ETA, to answer some questions: They do get a meal plan at Disney, though I am not very familiar with it/what it entails. And they always drink water, so that's not a concern.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 02:35:04 PM by CakeBeret »
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

Bexx27

  • Striving to meet the minimum requirements of social acceptability
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1882
Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2013, 02:35:39 PM »

I understand wanting to control what your son eats, but I don't think you should ask your brother to order something different from what he is feeding his children.

I agree. I just don't think you can ask your brother to do this, other than a casual "make sure he eats his vegetables!" How will your son react to being told he must eat grilled chicken and broccoli while watching his cousins eat chicken fingers and fries? I know how my own 3-year-old would react and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, much less my kind and generous brother. And it's definitely not fair to expect the whole family to change their diet so your son won't feel left out, whether or not you approve of their choices.

One week of a not-so-healthy diet will not give your son heart disease, and a 3-year-old is capable of understanding that vacations have different "rules" and he will go back to his normal diet when he gets home.
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

StuffedGrapeLeaves

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 872
Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2013, 02:41:09 PM »

I understand wanting to control what your son eats, but I don't think you should ask your brother to order something different from what he is feeding his children.

I agree. I just don't think you can ask your brother to do this, other than a casual "make sure he eats his vegetables!" How will your son react to being told he must eat grilled chicken and broccoli while watching his cousins eat chicken fingers and fries? I know how my own 3-year-old would react and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, much less my kind and generous brother. And it's definitely not fair to expect the whole family to change their diet so your son won't feel left out, whether or not you approve of their choices.

One week of a not-so-healthy diet will not give your son heart disease, and a 3-year-old is capable of understanding that vacations have different "rules" and he will go back to his normal diet when he gets home.

This.

cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17667
Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2013, 02:44:26 PM »
OP here. My brother lets his kids order what they like in restaurants--they are older and capable of making their own food choices. Bro would be ordering my DS's food, so he could easily guide him to, say, have apple slices instead of fries with his sandwich. I wouldn't want to institute some sort of hard rule or create an additional expense, and I certainly don't want to come across as ungracious.  :-\

ETA, to answer some questions: They do get a meal plan at Disney, though I am not very familiar with it/what it entails. And they always drink water, so that's not a concern.
put this way, I think you can ask him. Let's say that they will be eating at fast food places - tell him that whatever he chooses for DS's meal is fine (It's probably best that your son will eat more or less what his cousins are eating), but if possible you would prefer that DS drinks milk or water and not juice, or has apple slices instead of fries.

Or if they eat at a restaurant, ask him to order a side of salad or brocolli with "whatever everyone else is eating".

And maybe send some healthy snacks/Kashi/string cheese/little peanut butter cups etc with them (enough to share) so that will cover at least some nutrients.

If my brother had offered to take my three year olds son to disney, I wouldn't worry too much about one week of not-the-best food.


            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30648
Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2013, 02:45:17 PM »
Of course you can!

Of course you can pass on your Care and Feeding Instructions about your children to the people who will have charge of him. You *should* give info on things like when or if he needs to nap, whether he needs full darkness to get a good night's sleep, how to tell that he's hungry early enough to do something about it, etc.


But I would suggest that you don't say "Please be sure to order him something healthy and not junky." And don't say, of course, "don't order him the junky food you guys usually eat."

Instead say, "Son likes broccoli and grilled chicken, and he likes Other Healthy Food as well." Tell them that HE LIKES to get some vegetables in every day.

Tell them that his "system" does best when he gets these sorts of foods--some vegetables every day, for his "elimination" system. And a minimum of high-sodium foods so he doesn't get heartburn or something.

Judah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4769
  • California, U.S.A
Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2013, 02:59:05 PM »

I understand wanting to control what your son eats, but I don't think you should ask your brother to order something different from what he is feeding his children.

I agree. I just don't think you can ask your brother to do this, other than a casual "make sure he eats his vegetables!" How will your son react to being told he must eat grilled chicken and broccoli while watching his cousins eat chicken fingers and fries? I know how my own 3-year-old would react and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, much less my kind and generous brother. And it's definitely not fair to expect the whole family to change their diet so your son won't feel left out, whether or not you approve of their choices.

One week of a not-so-healthy diet will not give your son heart disease, and a 3-year-old is capable of understanding that vacations have different "rules" and he will go back to his normal diet when he gets home.

This. I used to leave my kids with my sister all the time when they were little. One of the things they remember most about their stays with Aunt Jenny is that she always let them have dessert before their dinner.  I would never have allowed that, but staying with Aunt Jenny was special, with special rules. And it turned into a cherished memory for them.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys