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  1. #1
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    Default Partner has poor diet - help!

    Hey there, I came across this website when I was googling for some information regarding an issue I have. Hopefully I can get some advice! I have shared care of my 2 daughters 7 and 9 and have a partner of 1 year who also has 2 girls of a similar age. The girls get on OK and we have discussed moving in together. However there is one seemingly minor stumbling block that is causing more and more issues. My ex and I have always had good diets and our kids have good diets, lots of fruit veggies, salad plus their diets are varied and they like to try anything. They even eat stuff I wouldn’t touch – raw sea cucumber for example! However my partner and her children have very poor diets, fruit loops or bacon sandwiches for brekkie, dinner is generally stuff like chicken nuggets and chips or burgers plus ice-cream. Snacks are readily available all day chocolate, chips etc so often meals will be left barely eaten, they eat very little salad or veggies and the only fruit they eat is strawberries. This is causing havoc at mealtimes, they rarely eat what I cook, they will refuse to eat salad and vegetables and now my girls are following suit. Breakfast time, the only thing my partners girls will eat is fruit loops or frosties, now my kids refuse to eat weetbix, muesli or anything remotely healthy insisting it’s not fair, which I guess its not. But I’m not sure what to do. I really don’t want my kids to subsist on a daily diet of junk. I’m happy for them to have chicken nuggets and chips, for example, on an occasional basis, but not every day. Although this may seem like a minor issue, we are now having dramas every time the 4 girls are together at meal times and I can’t see a solution. Therefore I am really reluctant to move in together, which is causing issues with myself and my partner. My ex-wife is also unhappy about the kids having more and more junk food. If I’m still at work, my partner will feed all 4 kids and invariably it will be junk food. Any help would be appreciated.

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    I can't advise from experience but it seems that me that you and your partner need to get on the same page and send the same message to all the girls. It will need to work for you both and your diets too.

    What does your partner say about it? Is she aware you have an issue with the diet? Does she want her girls to eat healthier, but junk is just too convenient?

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    That sounds like a tricky situation... what does your partner think about the food issues? If she is open to improving the families diet can you work out an action plan between you to phase out the junk food? Without her being on the same page it will be very hard.

    I've been driving a change to our diet & it became much easier when DH got on board. We used to have lots more processed food & junk in the house but now it is minimal. I stopped buying junky snacks & substituted them with fruit or healthier versions. We also meal plan & that cuts out a lot of the excuses for getting 'easy' food.

    Can you get the kids on board by involving them in cooking etc? E.g. instead of takeaway burgers teach them to make their own as a fun activity? Maybe get them to pick a recipe to try from a cookbook? (And only offer healthy food based ones to pick from - I'm a big fan of Jamie Oliver).

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using The Bub Hub mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsErinR View Post
    I can't advise from experience but it seems that me that you and your partner need to get on the same page and send the same message to all the girls. It will need to work for you both and your diets too.

    What does your partner say about it? Is she aware you have an issue with the diet? Does she want her girls to eat healthier, but junk is just too convenient?
    I've broached the topic quite a few times and she and her friends think I'm a bit of an oddity because we eat healthy and don't really see it as an issue. I totally believe in compromising in a relationship, but I can't see how I can with this issue. The girls eat so well and love their food, I'm happy for them to have junk once in a while, but not every day or even every other day. They use to love things like fresh fish now all they want is chicken nuggets...
    Last edited by DrewS; 12-02-2016 at 15:56.

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    That sounds really tough. I'm in no position to offer advice on anything to do with older children or the minefield of step-parenting, but I hope you can come to a good agreement.
    Is it just poor education around nutrition resulting in excessive junk food? Or time constraints, and a need for something convenient? Maybe if you work out why these food choices are being made you could more easily work together on changing them.

    I know it's like this Golden Rule to always respect other people's (including your partners) parenting choices, but some choices are objectively better than others, and eating a primarily healthy diet is one of them.

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    Honestly i cant see it getting better. Id live seperately.

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    I think it has to start with your new partner being on board.
    Does she know how to prepare healthy food? Is she willing to make the switch gradually? Can you work out some sort of schedule where on X days you eat healthy and on Y days the kids can have their nuggets chips etc.

    I haven't been in your shoes so it's just theoretical.
    Hope you guys can work it out.

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    It was similar here when we moved in together- except I didn't have kids.

    As I am home more in the evenings, I just took over cooking, and the kids either ate it or went hungry. If my husband cooked (usually once a week) it was "junk" and I just accepted that.

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    It boils down to one thing you guys don't have the same values. If eating healthy is important to you, if health is important and you don't want your kids eating fat, processed sugar and chemicals at each meal than you should re consider your relationship. Having an occasional maccas meal or the odd coco pops breakfast is fine but if this is a way of life for your partner and they don't see a problem with it then you need to figure out if you want to continue. The huge issue here is that when you start eating crap your taste changes and it very difficult to go back to health food. Of course your children will eat crap if that's what is handed to them and then they will get used to it.
    Sit down with your partner and have a serious talk. We are in an obesity epidemic, 30 year olds are having heart attacks. Many people can not function without medication and much of this is linked to diet. Kids are having behavioural problems because of the food they eat. There are studies that suggest the crap food we eat changes the brain and it actually becomes addictive. Maybe explain this to her and if she still thinks it's a joke then you need to figure out if you can live like that.

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    The kids can't eat it if you don't buy it - so you and your partner need to stop buying it. If she can't agree that healthy eating with the occasional treat is normal and right - then sorry but I'd be walking. The transition might take a little while, but without an initial agreement it will never work. You are responsible for your daughters' health so put your foot down or don't share mealtimes.


 

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