Author Topic: Child's food choices on trip  (Read 11551 times)

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SiotehCat

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2013, 03:06:00 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.

When my niece was a year old, my sister went to Vegas for 5 days. On the day before her trip, she came to drop off my nieces things and left me a sheet with all kinds of rules.

Things like, bed/nap times, no sweets, no coffee, etc... It was a page long. I thought it was so cute, but told her that , in all honesty, Im probably not going to follow any of them. My niece is 12 now and I am still the cool aunt.

Sharnita

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2013, 03:09:34 PM »
The meal plans are actually great because it makes it a lot easier.  You might even ask your brother if he has made reservations at any of the restaurants - people frequently make them ahead of time.  You can look at the menus online.  If i remember correctly they will get either two meals and a "snack" or three meals and a "snack".  Snack is in quotes because you can get a piece of fruit from the hotel restaurant or a huge muffin or ...

I think you can probably get an idea of the options available by looking at the menus online.  And I do think that a week of any kind of dietary change could be problematic.  If you suddenly switched from a high fiber diet to a low fiber diet you could be unhappy (or vice versa). Changing DS's diet could actually affect his ability to fully enjoy himself.


rose red

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2013, 03:17:16 PM »
Having fun on vacation like eating dessert before dinner is one thing, but junk food for every meal for an entire week can't be good, if only because junk food is addicting and the parents will need to retrain his eating after the trip.  Some junk food is fun, but there can be compromises like a hamburger with apple slices, chicken fingers with a side of veggies, etc.  Also, not all kids like junk food.  My friend's daughter always order sandwich with a side of fruit or applesauce, while her sister always orders chicken fingers with french fries.  They order their own food even at three years old.

WillyNilly

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2013, 03:24:13 PM »
I definitely think you should mention to your brother what your child likes. My cousin's (4 years) egg loves eggs, spinach, and apples. Refined sugar does bad things to him (really high sugar high, really cranky crash later). Knowing that makes it easier to keep him happy when out and about - its easier to give the kid an apple then an ice cream cone: he might pout a bit about it at the time but its much less annoying then the tantrum the sugar crash causes later.

I also wonder if you could do something like send a big fruit and cheese basket to their hotel room. Its a deluxe wonderful thing for them (who wouldn't delight in receiving a big fruit basket while on vacation?!?!), its not too expensive (in comparison to them taking your kid on vacation) and it means they will have healthy, easy to throw in their bag at the beginning of the day or eat as a snack after returning, fruit on hand.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 03:33:08 PM by WillyNilly »

doodlemor

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2013, 03:26:37 PM »
Relax, CakeBeret.  You've already instilled good eating habits in your son, and a week of other stuff is not going to cause harm.

I was very careful, like you are, when my children were small and I was the person cooking for them.  Once they went to school it was harder to  control their diets, and they

The early habits won out, though.  Now that my kids are adults they both eat nutritiously by choice.  Desserts can sit around for days, and not get eaten, to my great surprise.


amylouky

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2013, 03:40:04 PM »
This is a tough one, because a dietary change like that really could affect your DS's health and enjoyment of the trip. OTOH, I can see where you don't want to seem to be preaching to your brother about the way he feeds his kids.
I'd approach it as a food tolerance thing.. maybe say that DS gets belly problems if he eats more than one fried/processed/whatever meal a day. I know with my DS who is also 3, that would be completely the truth. He loves veggies and fruit and will pick an orange over a cupcake. If he eats too much sugar or fatty/fried foods in his diet, he'll get hyper/cranky from the sugar, the fat will give him a tummy ache or worse.. potty problems. And who wants to be on vacation with a hyper 3 year old who is crying from a tummy ache??
It is good that they have the meal plan, hopefully that will keep it from being an added expense.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2013, 03:41:58 PM »
Podding Doodlemor.  While my older 2 boys like some junk food and sweets now and then, they also like their vegetables and I must admit, sometimes they're better at eating their veggies than I am.  They're pretty good at selecting healthy food at a restaurant.  My eldest even will order an entree salad for himself and polish it off.   He's liked salads ever since the first fistful he snatched from my bowl when he was a little over a year old. 

So sometimes kids are pretty good about eating healthy food when they've learned that healthy food can be tasty too.  All three of them love yogurt and applesauce.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

WillyNilly

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2013, 03:45:40 PM »
This is a tough one, because a dietary change like that really could affect your DS's health and enjoyment of the trip. OTOH, I can see where you don't want to seem to be preaching to your brother about the way he feeds his kids.
I'd approach it as a food tolerance thing.. maybe say that DS gets belly problems if he eats more than one fried/processed/whatever meal a day. I know with my DS who is also 3, that would be completely the truth. He loves veggies and fruit and will pick an orange over a cupcake. If he eats too much sugar or fatty/fried foods in his diet, he'll get hyper/cranky from the sugar, the fat will give him a tummy ache or worse.. potty problems. And who wants to be on vacation with a hyper 3 year old who is crying from a tummy ache??
It is good that they have the meal plan, hopefully that will keep it from being an added expense.

^ Now that I think about it, I remember when I was a wee child and my parents would take vacations we would drive several hours to get there. At first my parents were ok with me having friend food at lunch stops - it was vacation splurge a bit. But we all figured out pretty soon through trial and error that greasy fried foods would cause me to get motion sick on the second leg of that long drive.

Disney is a lot of motion (rides). And no one likes a puking kid. Advising your brother on non-greasy food choices need not only be about your kid's diet but also just about everyone's enjoyment!

Docslady21

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2013, 03:58:29 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.

When people invite my children places at their expense, I try to make it as simple and carefree as possible because I am grateful for their hospitality. That means I don't determine bedtimes, food choices, or schedules. If I don't like their style, I don't send the kids. But I don't do anything that makes life harder for people doing my family a kind deed.

rose red

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2013, 04:11:48 PM »
When people invite my children places at their expense, I try to make it as simple and carefree as possible because I am grateful for their hospitality. That means I don't determine bedtimes, food choices, or schedules. If I don't like their style, I don't send the kids. But I don't do anything that makes life harder for people doing my family a kind deed.

But isn't it easier to ask them to order a side of veggies with the meal than dealing with a potential meltdown or stomach issues by eating junk food all week long?  If asked ahead of time and the brother says that's too complicated, then they can keep the child home.

Oh Joy

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2013, 04:15:14 PM »
Relax, CakeBeret.  You've already instilled good eating habits in your son, and a week of other stuff is not going to cause harm.

I was very careful, like you are, when my children were small and I was the person cooking for them.  Once they went to school it was harder to  control their diets, and they

The early habits won out, though.  Now that my kids are adults they both eat nutritiously by choice.  Desserts can sit around for days, and not get eaten, to my great surprise.

(Just using your post as an example, doodlemor, not picking on you specifically)

It sounds like our OP doesn't need any convincing that this trip won't ruin DS's chances at future health, but she's juggling DH's concerns as well, KWIM?

Zilla

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2013, 04:19:28 PM »
There's no nice way to say it to bro without sounding judgey of his choices.  Sure you can say, "Kid likes grilled chicken and broccoli" and he will note that.


Then when it's time to order from the picture kid menu, what is your kid going to point at?  That's where bro will just "spoil" him that week and let him eat what he wants.  And will your son eat his healthy stuff while his cousins are all enjoying the foods they want?


I agree with others, let him have a week or not send him.  If you do send him, I would just mention that you try to include a veggie with every meal and hope they remember.  But not sweat it if they don't.  You can also send along a bag of healthy snacks for him to eat on the run to help cut down on the junk food intake.

rigs32

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2013, 04:43:41 PM »
Allearsnet.com has menus for all the disney restaurants.  Talk to your brother about where they plan to eat and perhaps suggest meals that will go over well with your son (both as to taste and health).

CakeBeret

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2013, 04:51:46 PM »
Okay, would this be a fair compromise?

-Tell Brother that Son behaves best when he doesn't have too much sugar (which is very very true) and will get tummy troubles if he doesn't get enough veggies
-Send along some homemade granola bars (made with applesauce, shredded apple, and raisins) that the whole family can take for snacks
-Send a fruit basket to their hotel room (love this idea!)
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camlan

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Re: Child's food choices on trip
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2013, 04:57:29 PM »
I sometimes take care of my nephew (8) and niece (12) for up to a week at a time. My SIL, their mom, is very careful about what they eat, cooking everything from scratch and really limiting candy and sweets. When I first started taking care of the kids, I was asking her about nearly every meal.

Now that I have a better feel for what she wants and now that she knows I won't be stuffing the kids with candy to keep them quiet, these are the rules that we've come up with:

There will be one meal of hot dogs, mac & cheese from a box, and peas. This is their all-time favorite meal.

The kids will be taken out for ice cream one or two times.

The kids will be given at least one fruit and one vegetable daily. (Although I don't promise they will eat it. I am not forcing the kids to eat anything. Fortunately, they eat pretty much anything I put in front of them.)

We will bake one batch of cookies and the kids will get to eat some. (The rest go home with them as a present for Mom and Dad.)

The kids will get one piece of candy every day, after lunch, from Great-Grandma's candy bowl. This is a family tradition, starting with my grandmother.

Because my niece gets very cranky if she doesn't eat at regular intervals, SIL provides a big bag of healthy snacks for both kids.

So, I'd come up with some minimal requirements for your son's meals, like one fruit and one vegetable per day, and limited sweets. If there's anything that would make your brother's life easier, like "He needs to eat every three hours or he throws massive temper tantrums," or "If he eats too much greasy food, he'll throw up," please tell your brother that, as well. Send him off with a big bag of healthy snacks.

If that's not enough for your DH's peace of mind, then maybe he shouldn't go.
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