Author Topic: I know the host sets the menu but...  (Read 3800 times)

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ncognito

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I know the host sets the menu but...
« on: April 18, 2007, 03:39:13 PM »
Not sure if this goes here or family & children but hopefully this will be okay.

My mom is planning on hosting a family dinner in a few weeks, (normally I host all gatherings because frankly mom can't cook but anyway), her & my dad just reunited 25 years after divorcing so she wants to host a simple meal at their home.

The problem is the menu. My youngest child (he is 6) is a very picky eater (he only wants to eat weinees, fried bologana, bacon and fried potatoes). Until recently I made the mistake of catering to him but I have since stopped becuase 1) he needs a balanced diet 2) he really needs to lose a few (about 10) pounds and all that meat/fried food is not the answer. Mom & I talked and had decided on ham, mashed potatoes, corn, some kind of bread and dessert to be provided by me (son will eat ham and corn if there are no other choices).

Well...mom for whatever crazy reason decided to run the menu by son and when he disapproved she has changed it to include all his favorites. I know I'm not supposed to argue with the host about the menu but she knows how hard I have been working to make him try new foods and to work on his weight issues. I just feel like she is trying to undo everything I have done. There is a lot of history with her insisting that I am too strict and overprotective (she doens't believe in saying no) so maybe I am reading more into this than I should but I really feel like she should respect my efforts to make son and his diet healthier.

Should I just keep quiet?

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: I know the host sets the menu but...
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2007, 03:44:00 PM »
can you feed your son a separate meal that you cook and bring along? what about feeding him before or after? Is anything on her new menu acceptable, or can you supplement some items?  Can you offer to bring a side dish or other option for everyone, for that matter?

She does get to set the menu, so I wouldnt say anything, really, not because it's not your place, but is this really the battle you want to have with her, when there are many other options available? If the other options are truly overwhelming, then I can see speaking up, but if they aren't, I'd just use one of them and not say anything. 

just my $.02, fwiw to you...

I hope it turns out well.
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

MDefarge

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Re: I know the host sets the menu but...
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2007, 03:48:13 PM »
Quote
can you feed your son a separate meal that you cook and bring along?

Please don't do this.  He will notice and it won't make him feel better about food or his eating habits.  Either ask your mom to change the menu back, or just leave it alone for the one day. 

Sibby

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Re: I know the host sets the menu but...
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2007, 03:56:00 PM »
...My youngest child (he is 6) is a very picky eater (he only wants to eat weinees, fried bologana, bacon and fried potatoes)...Well...mom for whatever crazy reason decided to run the menu by son and when he disapproved she has changed it to include all his favorites.

So now everybody will have to limit themselves to a menu of weinees, fried bologana, bacon and fried potatoes?  Sorry, but EW!  That is not a really an appropriate menu for adults, or IMO for a celebration.  How come your son's wishes are being catered to but no one else's are?  It makes no sense...

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: I know the host sets the menu but...
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2007, 04:02:52 PM »
...My youngest child (he is 6) is a very picky eater (he only wants to eat weinees, fried bologana, bacon and fried potatoes)...Well...mom for whatever crazy reason decided to run the menu by son and when he disapproved she has changed it to include all his favorites.

So now everybody will have to limit themselves to a menu of weinees, fried bologana, bacon and fried potatoes?  Sorry, but EW!  That is not a really an appropriate menu for adults, or IMO for a celebration.  How come your son's wishes are being catered to but no one else's are?  It makes no sense...

Sibby, I think it might be helpful to re-read the OP carefully, I think there is a misunderstanding (based on your post). 
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

ncognito

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Re: I know the host sets the menu but...
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2007, 04:07:45 PM »
...My youngest child (he is 6) is a very picky eater (he only wants to eat weinees, fried bologana, bacon and fried potatoes)...Well...mom for whatever crazy reason decided to run the menu by son and when he disapproved she has changed it to include all his favorites.

So now everybody will have to limit themselves to a menu of weinees, fried bologana, bacon and fried potatoes?  Sorry, but EW!  That is not a really an appropriate menu for adults, or IMO for a celebration.  How come your son's wishes are being catered to but no one else's are?  It makes no sense...

Why? Beacuse my mother doesn't believe in saying no. I limit the amount of time my boys spend with her for that very reason (which leads her back to yelling I am too strict and overprotective).
In the beginning this dinner started out as a nice idea but now I am frustrated and dreading it. It isn't fair to take son there knowing that she is preparing all his favorites and then have to tell him that he can't eat all of them. Son knows he is overweight and wants to change that (he wants to run the ball in football this year but is currenty over the weight limit to do so) but he is only 6 and even if I feed him before we go it isn't going to stop him from wanting to eat the foods he loves, especially he has only been allowed to have them on a very limited basis lately.

ETA: She is still serving the foods we first agreed on she is just adding the extras so everyone doesn't have to eat his favorites.

Chocolate Cake

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Re: I know the host sets the menu but...
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2007, 04:19:31 PM »
I suggest:

Take your son.  Give him very small portions of the food the hostess has decided to serve and larger portions of the healthy food offerings.

The next time your Mom hosts, be very firm and clear ahead of time that you probably won't come if her menu is limited to foods that aren't healthy for your child(ren).

BittyB

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Re: I know the host sets the menu but...
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2007, 07:28:33 PM »
The hostess gets to set the menu, but as mom YOU get to set what your son actually eats!  I am greatly encouraged that you said your son wants to actually work on his diet, as he has realized that he can't play football if he eats too much unhealthy stuff.  6 is a bit young for lots of complicated reasoning, but you can try sitting him down and talking about what kind of food will be at Gramma's for dinner.  There will be his favourite foods, but since you both know that those aren't really healthy, he can have a little, or he can choose one, or some kind of compromise, and then the rest of what he eats is healthier choices, and then stress that this is a special occassion?  Of course, it's also unhealthy to throw your good dietary habits to the wind every time there is a "special occassion" because there doesn't seem to ever be an end to them, so I'd be careful about that.  However, preparing him in advance, and setting the dietary ground rules *with* him, may go a long way to heading off disappointment at dinner, or bad feelings.

When it comes to talking to your mom about it, just remember to pick your battles... 


caranfin

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Re: I know the host sets the menu but...
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2007, 10:43:38 PM »
I'd call your mom and gently say that while you appreciate her efforts to placate him, you are trying to cure him of his picky eating habit, and that he certainly can and will eat from the original menu
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

Shoo

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Re: I know the host sets the menu but...
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2007, 10:53:45 PM »
The hostess gets to set the menu, but as mom YOU get to set what your son actually eats! 

No kidding!  I was just thinking this very thing.

Your mom can cook whatever she likes.  However, assuming she's cooking regular food for the rest of the family, you can certainly decide your son will eat THAT food, and not the fried greasy food you're trying to avoid.

This may very well be a good opportunity for you to reinforce to your mother that YOU are your son's mother and what YOU say goes.  Even at her house.

kherbert05

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Re: I know the host sets the menu but...
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2007, 11:10:15 PM »
This isn't about the host setting the menu, but your Mom undermining your decisions as a parent. Tell Mom "Since you can't respect my parenting decisions, we will not be at the dinner".
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

ncognito

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Re: I know the host sets the menu but...
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2007, 08:15:45 AM »
This isn't about the host setting the menu, but your Mom undermining your decisions as a parent. Tell Mom "Since you can't respect my parenting decisions, we will not be at the dinner".

You have summed up exactly how I feel. There was no reason for her to run the menu by a 6 year old (who does that?) or to change it to suit him other than to say "I know mommy won't give you this stuff but look mommaw will cook whatever you want".

Sons weight and eating habits are unhealthy and without a doubt I am to blame for that up to this point but now that I am making an effort to change that I really need the rest of the family supporting me not completely going against me. She could have stuck with the original menu without depriving anyone of something they really wanted (trust me none of the other guests were looking forward to or expecting to be served the foods son loves).

If one of sons favorite foods were a traditional favorite served at every family gathering then I would never suggest it be removed from the menu because even at 6 he has to learn to make healthy choices but to cook his favorites knowing that only he wants them seems rather cruel and/or catty.

I really am leaning towards backing out of the dinner. I know that several posters have suggested "I pick my battles" but the more I think about it...this "battle" is important to me and my child.

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: I know the host sets the menu but...
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2007, 08:35:54 AM »
So apparently I misunderstood part of the OP...

Momof2boys, could this be an opportunity to teach him how to eat healthy in the face of really bad circumstances? Sometimes, there are no good choices for healthy food. At those moments, it imperative to make the best choice possible and have to sacrifice some things, rather than indulging.  It might be a step to teaching him to eat healthier.  But, you know him and the situation better than I do, so it may or may not be the appropriate time or place for this lesson for him.  And if this is the battle you want to fight, then go for it, definitely.  She does sound like she is trying to undermine you, upon further clarification... 
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

Chocolate Cake

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Re: I know the host sets the menu but...
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2007, 09:56:12 AM »
Momof2boys, could this be an opportunity to teach him how to eat healthy in the face of really bad circumstances?

Bingo.

ncognito

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Re: I know the host sets the menu but...
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2007, 03:53:14 PM »
So apparently I misunderstood part of the OP...

Momof2boys, could this be an opportunity to teach him how to eat healthy in the face of really bad circumstances? Sometimes, there are no good choices for healthy food. At those moments, it imperative to make the best choice possible and have to sacrifice some things, rather than indulging.  It might be a step to teaching him to eat healthier.  But, you know him and the situation better than I do, so it may or may not be the appropriate time or place for this lesson for him.  And if this is the battle you want to fight, then go for it, definitely.  She does sound like she is trying to undermine you, upon further clarification... 

I don't think you misunderstood. I am just really bad at being clear when I am upset. She is still seving the orginial menu but adding the other foods. You are right that I could and prob should use this as a learning opportunity but it just seems wrong that she is putting me (and son) in that position. If son was older it wouldn't be that big of a deal  but at 6 while he wants to lose weight he is likely to have a hard time keeping that in mind when his favorite foods are literally shoved in front of him at what should be a fun family gathering.

Like I said before if she wasn't going out of her way to make this a hassle I would just deal with it and go on but she is cooking foods that nobody but son wants and he is the one person that doesn't need them. It just makes no sense to me.