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Worried about GD's Diet

(51 Posts)
pinkym Sat 16-Nov-13 12:53:07

I hope I'm in the right section, this is my first post! I'm really worried about the foods my son & DIL feed my year old GD. Although DIL does not work, lunch is a baby jar, some baby crispy things, and a baby yoghurt, sometimes a banana. Tea is always bread & butter, cheese spread and more crispy things or baby cake. GD isn't allowed to try feeding herself (could be difficult with the jar stuff) and is constantly having her face & hands wiped during the meal. Even banana is fed to her with a spoon. I worry at the lack of variety in her food and the lack of nutrients from fresh fruit and vegetables. GD seems to get a lot of colds recently, I wonder if it's the diet, but daren't approach it in a direct way. Subtle hints and suggestions haven't worked.

whenim64 Sat 16-Nov-13 13:06:32

It seems to be the fashion to feed this sort of diet to toddlers, and I've seen my niece, a midwife, give her little ones the same things, although when they cook a roast dinner, they'll give the child some of that, blended but lumpy and fed to her. Do you help with feeding? I always hand a spoon to the child whilst feeding them, and let them experiment, and used to do batches of dinners for my grandchildren, so I woud be asked for the recipes. I took an Annabel Karmel book round, too, and played with the children whilst my daughter made a few finger foods from it, which went down well.

What about asking them all round for dinner and giving the child what you're having? They might not mnd the mess if it's in your house!

harrigran Sat 16-Nov-13 13:13:51

May not be what we did pinkym but sounds pretty much what the younger generation are feeding their children and by some I have seen that is a good diet. All children cope differently with feeding themselves my GDs were totally different in their capability. Mother sounds as if she is coping fine.

gracesmum Sat 16-Nov-13 13:32:43

How about (tactfully) suggesting introducing fruit via those packs of cut up fresh fruit from the supermarket? There is very little waste and DGD can feed herself - I know our DGSs love pieces of melon/grapes/apple/orange.They also love what they call "dippy bits" - pieces of red or yellow pepper or cucumber and hummus to dip them in! You DD may be worried about wasting food and to put your mind at rest, I think manufactured baby food items contain less salt pr sugar than they might have done in our day.
Sounds as if somebody needs the Annabel Karmel book in their stocking!

whenim64 Sat 16-Nov-13 14:35:22

My little grandaughters like dipping strawberries in fromage frais and cucumber or carrot sticks (blanched for a couple of minutes) in humus. A plate of assorted fruit and veg, some juicy raisins and chunks of cheese, and bowls of dippy stuff are always popular.

pinkym Sat 16-Nov-13 14:57:52

Thank you all, I feel a little better. My DIL and I do not have the kind of relationship where she would welcome my input about foods. When the topic has come up I've said things like "little George apparently loves hoummous and cucumber sticks" or any other food I've been told about other toddlers enjoying. There's never any response. When I've looked after Millie, food is packed for her, and as I'm very aware I'm MIL and not Mum, I don't vary it, although I give Millie a spoon of her own and allow her to handle the food, that she's not normally allowed unless it's tea time. whenim64, all your suggestions are exactly the sort of thing I'd feed and as for Annabel Karmel, I've seen the book round there, but it's obviously not been read! When they come round for dinner, Millie is fed first, I suggested she had the same as us one time, and was told that "they don't advise that sort of thing these days". Just think it's such a restricted diet and so lacking in variety, taste and textures. I'll continue to button my lip though! smile

nanapug Sat 16-Nov-13 15:19:45

Please, please do not say this is what children are fed nowadays. It is not, and I am sorry to say but it is nutritionally and physically wrong. A baby of one should be chewing and touching different textures and being messy and investigating flavours. I think your DIL needs to have some advice from her Health Visitor. You need to do some research pinkym and look at things like "Baby led weaning" which is the best way to feed babies, and what is being strongly advised nowadays. I hope I don't offend you, and come across too strongly, but I feel so strongly about nutrition and child development. Can you not have a word with your son and suggest that he gets advice. There seems to be an issue with not letting her get messy too which could also cause problems IMHO. I feel for you as it is so hard to deal with this sort of thing, especially when it is you DIL. I am afraid I couldn't button my lip sad

annodomini Sat 16-Nov-13 15:40:52

What are teeth for, after all?

pinkym Sat 16-Nov-13 15:59:38

nanapug - these are all of my concerns, you certainly don't offend me. Sadly, my son gets very defensive if I broach subjects to do with Millie. DIL's Mum is quite elderly and doesn't seem aware of any problems, so she won't be passing comment or giving advice. DIL has lots of friends with babies and toddlers, but doesn't seem to pick up any ideas from them. I'm also concerned with the "not getting messy" bit, I've seen where that can lead with a relative's baby. If I don't button my lip, it will cause huge rows, just as it did over their wedding. Believe me, I struggle!

whenim64 Sat 16-Nov-13 16:03:23

Isn't that what pinky is saying, nanapug? Children do love to play with food and try different textures. One grandaughter lobs everything on the (fortunately clean) floor, then picks it all back up again. We've thought about saving time by just throwing it around her feet, a bit like feeding the chickens, for all she cares about her food being nicely presented! grin

nanapug Sat 16-Nov-13 16:29:33

I feel for you pinkym, it must be so hard xx

Riverwalk Sat 16-Nov-13 16:40:01

I think Pinky needs to tread carefully here - we're not talking about neglect or abuse - direct intervention via suggestions to DiL to see the HV or presenting her with research is likely to lead to a fracture in relations. Jar food will be the least of her problems.

The child's diet is adequate if a bit boring.

I don't like too much mess and was never charmed by food smeared all over small hands and faces but hope that I wasn't too obsessive. Both my sons loved food of all kinds and had very few fads, grandchildren the same.

This is about the relationship between the OP and her DiL.

Mishap Sat 16-Nov-13 16:44:46

I should stand back and just let them get on with it - I am sure she is well-nourished and it is not worth risking a falling out, especially with a DIL. Go with the flow, relax and let it all wash by. She can do all the dippy stuff and textures later - she will not still be doing this when she gets to school. So what if she is not doing it now? Does it really matter? Is she a happy little soul? She's fit and nourished and needs her grandma to have a good relationship with her family and not be ostrasised for interference.

Let is go!!!

I watch what my DDs do and think it's not what I would have done - but they are grown adults and it is their choice and no-one else's.

Once this little lass starts mixing with others more then she will have new experiences - and she will start getting messy I am sure!!

Chill out, stop worrying and go with the flow!

Riverwalk Sat 16-Nov-13 16:54:26

Also Pinky 'Baby-led weaning' is just another fad ... there's very little academic literature on the subject.

If your DiL is feeding from a spoon at this stage I think that's fine. smile

Ana Sat 16-Nov-13 17:03:44

I agree with what Mishap and Riverwalk have said - there's nothing so very wrong with the food your GD is being given, pinkym and it isn't worth attempting to intervene, however subtly, as your DIL could easily take offence.

In another few months GD will be that much older and will be wanting to feed herself and get messy - Mum won't have much choice in the matter!

nanapug Sat 16-Nov-13 17:36:26

I hate to disagree River, but I can give you a long list of academic literature on the benefits of BLW, as my DD has thoroughly researched it for her DD, and I am sorry to disagree with so many of you but the welfare of my GC would be more important than my DIL taking offence. The diet that has been cited contains minimal fibre and minimal iron. However, that is only my opinion, which was asked for by the OP, and she must decide for herself the way forward and accept that she will be given varying advice, all given in good faith.

petallus Sat 16-Nov-13 17:48:15

I think the choice here is between having a child who has a possibly less than ideal diet and a mother who is friendly with her grandmother or a child with the same diet and a mother who is not friendly with her grandmother.

The issue is not whether the child's diet is adequate but whether or not OP has any right to criticise or change it.

pinkym Sat 16-Nov-13 19:01:59

I can see all sides of this debate. I'm not about to interfere or dictate anything. I am concerned about the lack of nutrients in the diet, but am all too aware that it's not my place to comment. Both son and DIL get very defensive and take any attempts to make suggestions as being criticisism, I love my GD too much to risk alienating them and not seeing her! Thank you all so much for your input, I think I'll have to continue to try and bring things into conversation in the hope they'll be picked up!

nightowl Sat 16-Nov-13 19:55:18

I don't think 'baby led weaning' is just another fad Riverwalk. There is in fact no research evidence that spoon feeding is the most appropriate way of weaning or that purees are necessary - these have simply been accepted as the norm in our society. Other societies have weaned in other ways.

Having said that, I agree with others that there is so much at stake in terms of maintaining a friendly relationship with your son and DIL and you are obviously treading that line very carefully pinkym. Good luck! Many of us face dilemmas of one kind or another in relation to our DGC. I feel I learned from my own mistakes as a parent and I want to pass those lessons on - but our children have to do things their own way.

dahlia Sat 16-Nov-13 20:07:09

Oh, PinkyM, how I empathise with you - it's always so difficult to make suggestions to a daughter-in-law without sounding critical. I've given up, and try to be more relaxed as suggested by other Gransnet members already. Even if I were to speak out, my opinions would be ignored anyway, so best to keep lines of communication open and only offer advice when it is requested. I didn't have my Mum around when my two were really small, and I'm sure I made loads of mistakes at the time.

thatbags Sat 16-Nov-13 20:26:54

"Baby led weaning" is just the latest name given to what mothers have been doing since the year dot.

I'm with the non-interferers. Just leave well alone and let them get on with it. It isn't really any of your business unless you have been asked to look after the child and arrange all its feeding yourself.

Mishap Sat 16-Nov-13 21:08:18

It does not sound to me as if this child is receiving insufficient nutrients. She has jars (which are fortified) and bananas (roughage etc.) and the baby crispy things which are also fortified. She's just not doing a lot of chewing - but she is capable of it, and has the rest of her life to do it in!

If there was a problem, the health visitor would have expressed concern.

I remember when I was working in child guidance (as was) a child was brought in who would only eat chocolate and cauliflower. The doc's comment was:"Sounds like a perfect diet!"

The most concerning thing is that you are worrying and that is a shame as it interferes with your enjoyment of the babe. I do not think you need to be worried.

I often watch my DDs with their children and think they are not doing things as I would - diet, sitting at the table, lots of TV etc. etc. - but they re their children and must do it their way. Sometimes I do different things with the children when I have them - and occasionally the girls will say "Oh that is a good idea!" So maybe you could just do things a little bit differently when GD is with you and something might rub off if you feel there is something that needs to rub off.

penguinpaperback Sat 16-Nov-13 21:09:05

I would be more concerned the child is not allowed to handle any food or try feeding herself with a spoon. Does your daughter in law see friends with young children? Or read mumsnet or books for information? I would think she must know babies like to try to feed themselves at that age. But I'm probably with the perhaps best to say nothing group. You have my sympathy pinkym. It must be hard to say nothing.

penguinpaperback Sat 16-Nov-13 21:19:33

Sorry pinkym reading back I see you have already mentioned your d-i-l sees friends.

Faye Sat 16-Nov-13 22:00:32

pinky when your GD gets a bit older and you babysit at your house you will be able to offer her a larger variety of healthy food. In your case I would say nothing.

I have to admit to speaking up on behalf of my now five year old granddaughter though. It's hard to do and has caused a few rows with my SIL who I otherwise get on fairly well with. He was making GD eat large portions of food. Often she would say I have had enough and she was made to eat more, one time she attempted to get off her chair five times. This type of thing and the large portions of food she was served up all the time caused her to start putting on a lot of weight. My SIL does a lot of the cooking and I think my daughter was oblivious. What do you do, my SIL seemed to think she was naturally a large child and her older sister a thin child. When common sense was being handed out, SIL was at the end of the line.