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Old 02-18-2011, 06:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My mother in law

I am frustrated because we live very close to my mother in law. She is a very good mother in law (I love her as my Mom) but food. Every time we came over, there is always brownies, ice cream, chocolate... you name it. She is a very good cook, baker. Food tasted so good. But of course it is so unhealthy. My children love to go to grandma house and skip dinner (or just eat a little) so they can have extra desert.
I often skinned my chicken before I cook. She keep everything on and add more butter.
On Christmas, cookies pile high, 9 grand kids went through 3 Bryer icecream box per night. That continue for the whole 2 weeks. Some of the kids are quite big.
When some one said about discipline, she said:the good thing about being grandma is to spoil grand kids.

My kids were not big but they are not skinny either. Last month, the doctor said that my 5 years old girl has BMI a bit high. I showed a little concern. However, My mother in law is mad at that statement. But I appreciate the doctor said that so I can help her to be more active and make some good choices.

I just wonder how can I tell her cook healthier food, less sweet. But I don't want her to feel upset about it. That would help every body shed pounds include herself.
Mai
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Mai,

How often do y'all visit her? Maybe you should try cutting back. BTW what's her address? I'd like to stop by for some treats.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Are we related????

My MIL is the same, she can turn green beans unhealthy (adds bacon, butter, a ton of salt). But she prides herself on feeding her family. I am worried about our weekend visits. She lives 3 hours away, so when we visit we stay for 3-4 days, and we visit about once a month in nice weather.
I need to find a way to eat my own foods without insulting her. I don't want her to think I am saying her cooking is unhealthy. It's not horrible for someone not trying to lose weight, but for me, it will stop me dead in my tracks.
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mike, You can get treat at all time.

Williamscouple, She live 5 miles away form us. We see her 2-3 times a week. The kids love them. I love them too. I just wish she would cut back on the butter, skin the chicken.
She is a great cook. I am a great cook myself too. I love to bake and cook for people. But I was terrified to know how much fat and sugar there is in treat. Once I make NY style cheese cake, delicious, but I would never eat a whole piece of cheese cake.

Every time I cook I try to cut out the fat. And it taste just find, nobody notices the different. Check out my new way of making french fried.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I live with mine while we're living in Turkey, and she puts oil in everything! So, healthy cooking is hard..even vegies and salads become soaked in it.

First, try and sit down with her to explain to her that she can love on your kids, but if she loves them she should be concerned about their health too. Maybe if you get her from a motherly aspect it will open her eyes, and she'll be more open to the ideas for healthy cooking. She can still spoil them, but she can swap out some of the less healthy ingredients for better ones. She can make some fantastic fruit salads with strawberries, mandarins, pineapples, and bananas, or use stevia instead of sugar.

She's probably just excited that she doesn't have to follow all the rules she had to while raising her kids, thinking she can let loose, and not have to worry about the consequences. But the truth is, she will still have to be accountable if your childrens health is put at risk from all the extra sweets. I mean, she wouldn't give a diabetic sugar just because she isn't their mom right? So, it sdhould be the same with her grandkids, and in fact, she should be more contious of how she feeds them than any other kids rather than the opposite.

Sit down with her when you both have a lot of time, and when the kids are away, so you won't be destracted. Bring your husband, and all of you discuss it together. Bring any information from their doctor, and possibly even bring her with you to their next doctor visit so she can hear it herself. She may just think your being irrational, because noone likes to think a child is obese. We usually just see it as a phase, babyfat, and that since they are great balls of energy they will burn it all off...but in the meantime it's doing damage which we can't see. What they eat as children will determine for the most part how they eat as adults. Their grandmother should know that.

Also, ask her if her grandmother did the same thing, and if her mother in law did the same thing when her kids were small..ask her how it made her feel. Try and put her in the position to experience what you are going through. Also, explain that if she makes all those goodies every time they come over, then eventually there won't be anyting the kids see as a special treat. How can she reward them when it's normal to get goodies?

There are plenty of healthy treats out there, but she may not really be aware of them if she was raised cooking pies, and sweets in that manner. She may not really know how to substitute with healthier ingredients. Try and show her, or cook something healthy (which would normally seem unhealthy) and bring it for her to try...then after she eats it, and loves it, admit to her it's nutritious...

You can also send healthier treats with them.

I know it's so hard when the grandparents want to spoil. I went through it with mine too.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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In our family it's not my MIL that goes overboard in the kitchen, it's my mother. We've had some conversations about it, and mom is trying, but even she would admit that the kids get a lot more junk at her house than they do at home. I agree with what lastri said about "treats" being treats and okay once in a while, but not okay for everyday. Maybe you should make a deal with grandma that she keep that in mind.

The other thing you might to is organize a family version of "Biggest Loser", since I'm guessing that MIL is overweight? Then you can whip out a bunch of recipes and share them with her and she'll be all over it.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Have you ever thought of inviting your mother-in-law to your place instead of going to her house? That way, your family will only be exposed to the foods you prepare. Your mother-in-law only knows what she has learned over the years. My mother-in-law was also one to bake cookies and pies every time we went there - until she was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes about 4 years ago. She has lost almost 50 lbs. since then because she had to change the types of foods she ate and she now bakes low-fat and low-sugar foods.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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you could try and volunteer to cook. Just say you want her to have a break for a few nights and spend some time with the grand kids.
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Help me be a good Sister in Law!

My nephews and sister are coming to see me this weekend. They eat quite healthy at home, and I don't want to undermine my sister's efforts (the kids like good for them foods!), but I want to have the visit be special and that includes foods they don't get every day.

Is it OK to bake cookies with them?
I'd like for them to realize that different places they go, different foods will be served, and they may enjoy them, but, I'm not going to be preachy or pushy - any suggestions on how to approach that?

The menu at this point is "make your own pizza" (with great whole grain crusts, nice tomato sauce, some cheese, and various other things you can add)
Salad
for dessert - cookies? or do I have to stay with fruit?

Breakfast will be fruit, oatmeal, cereal (not sugary) and eggs available, fruit juice.

Lunch will be a picnic on Boston Common (before the Circus!) - suggestions?

Thanks!

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Old 04-28-2011, 05:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would not say a thing to your mother-in-law. Here's why: it's very, very hard to 'undo' the damage from things that are said, if the person is proud of her cooking and cooks out of love.

Instead, I'd look at it as a challenge like any other challenge in dieting - and there are many - and be creative about dealing with it on the spot, every new occasion.

One thing you could do is say, 'Everything looks so good, I want to have a little bit of it all.' Then do just that: take a LITTLE bit of each thing. Eat and comment and ask about the recipe. If she tries to push more onto your plate, say, 'No, if I have more of this, I won't have room for some of the rest of all the good stuff you have here.' And stick to that, rigidly, taking a very little piece of everything.

This is something you have to deal with when dieting, and it NEVER goes away, not in restaurants, not when socializing. You just have a doubly-loaded situation because it's family and that makes emotions become even more important. You want to set boundaries, but basically you are going to end up telling her how to cook and how to entertain and NO ONE wants to be told those things. So you have to adapt.

This is a great way to teach your children how to adapt, too, because they will be in more of these situations than you can possibly imagine.

The thing is, there aren't evil foods, there aren't 'no-no' foods, bad foods, unhealthy foods (when you are merely visiting someone frequently, not living according to their diet every day). People sell diets by demonizing foods and carbs and fats and kinds of cuisines and fast foods, etc. No wonder people end up going back and craving exactly those foods!

You have a calorie allowance you can live with - by eating less calories or moving your body more. THAT'S the lesson to teach kids, not that they have to avoid foods like the plague, especially foods that taste good, and especially foods they will encounter in millions of situations in life. They can eat more if they want, but then they have to make up for it by eating less later. Don't go home and give them the 'good foods' after leaving your mother-in-law's, for example. All you're giving them is calories, which is all your mother-in-law's food is, too.

You can leave her house and say, 'Wow, it's soup and salad (not so much dressing) for dinner tonight, guys. We really overdid it, but grandma loves to cook!'

It's not a power struggle of good food vs. bad food. It's learning to deal with food in your life. It's the best lesson you can give a kid - someday, they'll be following one diet after another, each restricting some foods and 'allowing' others, as if people forgot they had taste buds! We're an obese nation, yes, but we also have probably more diet books, diet programs, diet products, diet centers, diet drugs, diet-everything-that-can-possibly-be-sold than any other country I can think of!

If a country has grocery shelves that look like ours (diet this, diet that, information plastered all over the label, telling you what's 'GOOD' and what 'BAD' thing is missing), then that is a country that has bought the marketing strategy for diets to the hilt, for great profits!
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