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  1. #11
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    This may sound harsh - your children are the most important people in the world. If they are healthy eaters why would you let someone else f@&k that up? Diet is so important. If your partner can't see that then you need to put on your big boy pants and prioritise your children!

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  3. #12
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    I think diet has becomes quite polarised lately. Either it's obesity or this new fad of obsessive healthy eating which in itself can be an eating disorder.

    The simple answer is moderation. Sit down with your partner and the kids depending on their ages and make rules for the family for food. That Fri night they can have some chocolate and chips or it's take away night but through the week snacks are fruit, greek yogurt etc. Have one night a week where if they eat their healthy dinner they can have a bowl of ice cream

    If she refused I would probably be questioning the relationship. Not only that junk food was so important to her, but moreso her inability to compromise.

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  5. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post

    If she refused I would probably be questioning the relationship. Not only that junk food was so important to her, but moreso her inability to compromise.
    I can't see this getting resolved. We are both willing to compromise, but her I don't think her degree of compromising is going to be sufficient. E.g her kids will flat out refuse to eat any cereal remotely healthy, its fruit loops or frosties, her compromising is buying Nutri grain. I've tried pointing out that this has one of the highest sugar contents of all cereals, but I can't seem to get my point across without sounding anally retentive. I think our diets are polar opposites and I cannot see how we can meet in the middle. Even if myself and my ex were OK with the kids eating junk 2 - 3 days a week, there is no way my partner and her kids would eat healthy for even one day. A healthy meal gets picked at and then abandoned.. It seems absurd that a relatively good relationship is doomed because of diet, but like Waggers70 said "your children are the most important people in the world".

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    what's her rationale with the junk food? like I get the kids are addicted to it and a broccoli floret next to a chicken nugget probably compares pretty poorly. but she's an adult. she must logically know junk food is terrible for the health of her kids? so it's either she doesn't care or she's just too lazy to change? or both?

    my dh's SIL is the same. they eat no healthy food and feed their 2 year old DD a diet of crap. Oreos, nutri grain, McDonald's nuggets & fries etc. there's 2 food groups the kid exists on, sodium and sugars. I'll be surprised if she has any teeth left by the time she's 5. she's quite malnourished too, like scrawny and small for her age. developmentally a bit on the slow side too.

    I just can't fathom the headspace. it's a well documented fact these kinds of foods you're describing are like kiddie crack, so why do it?

    is she lazy? unable to cook? has she been living under a rock for the last 50 years and is unaware how bad these junk foods are?

    I totally get you and your ex being so concerned about it. I also think it's shocking that although you're willing to compromise, she's not.

  7. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewS View Post
    I can't see this getting resolved. We are both willing to compromise, but her I don't think her degree of compromising is going to be sufficient. E.g her kids will flat out refuse to eat any cereal remotely healthy, its fruit loops or frosties, her compromising is buying Nutri grain. I've tried pointing out that this has one of the highest sugar contents of all cereals, but I can't seem to get my point across without sounding anally retentive. I think our diets are polar opposites and I cannot see how we can meet in the middle. Even if myself and my ex were OK with the kids eating junk 2 - 3 days a week, there is no way my partner and her kids would eat healthy for even one day. A healthy meal gets picked at and then abandoned.. It seems absurd that a relatively good relationship is doomed because of diet, but like Waggers70 said "your children are the most important people in the world".
    But as I said, if it ends it won't be over diet, but lack of compromise. What is your compromise on breakfast? Is it just fruit loops/frosties vs muesli every morning? As she may not see you are meeting her in the middle. Why not have a rule that 2 mornings a week it's free choice, the other 5 is healthy? What about a nice light rye for toast to replace white bread? I'm very pro-moderation in food and believe controlling food tightly only leads to lack of self moderation and anxiety. But while we have cocopops in our cupboard there is also porridge, organic puffed wheat, we have light rye.

    I think you also need to know why her diet is so poor? Is it lack of education i.e. she really doesn't realise how bad it is? laziness? she loves junk food herself? Once you recognise the function it will be easier to work through.
    Last edited by delirium; 15-02-2016 at 16:27.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turquoisecoast View Post
    what's her rationale with the junk food? like I get the kids are addicted to it and a broccoli floret next to a chicken nugget probably compares pretty poorly. but she's an adult. she must logically know junk food is terrible for the health of her kids? so it's either she doesn't care or she's just too lazy to change? or both?

    my dh's SIL is the same. they eat no healthy food and feed their 2 year old DD a diet of crap. Oreos, nutri grain, McDonald's nuggets & fries etc. there's 2 food groups the kid exists on, sodium and sugars. I'll be surprised if she has any teeth left by the time she's 5. she's quite malnourished too, like scrawny and small for her age. developmentally a bit on the slow side too.

    I just can't fathom the headspace. it's a well documented fact these kinds of foods you're describing are like kiddie crack, so why do it?

    is she lazy? unable to cook? has she been living under a rock for the last 50 years and is unaware how bad these junk foods are?

    I totally get you and your ex being so concerned about it. I also think it's shocking that although you're willing to compromise, she's not.
    I think she got into that trap where her kids wouldn’t eat the healthy meal she prepared, she wouldn’t persist and rather than send the kids to bed hungry, they’d get jam and toast or a peanut butter sandwich. Which kid is going to opt for fish and steamed veggies when the other option is jam and toast and a yoghurt… So I think she had good intentions many moons ago, but now it’s so much harder for her to get her kids to eat well now they are older.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewS View Post
    I think she got into that trap where her kids wouldn’t eat the healthy meal she prepared, she wouldn’t persist and rather than send the kids to bed hungry, they’d get jam and toast or a peanut butter sandwich. Which kid is going to opt for fish and steamed veggies when the other option is jam and toast and a yoghurt… So I think she had good intentions many moons ago, but now it’s so much harder for her to get her kids to eat well now they are older.
    yeah but that's just laziness and poor parenting (no offence). as a parent your job is to have their best interest at heart and persevere with it. not giving in to what the kids want because it's all too hard otherwise.

    she's set the precedent now and I think it would be very very hard to turn things around.

    the only way I can think you even start is to do it slowly. like instead of oven chips or fast food chips, make your own potato wedges at home. involve the kids in the cooking process too so they feel more connected to the food they're preparing and eating. still serve with ketchup or sauce of choice, but it's at least one step closer to being a bit healthy and one step away from fast food crap.

    chicken nuggets/strips could also be made at home using lean chicken breast meat (strips or chunks) that are home crumbed and oven baked.

    there's also scope for homemade fish and chips. burgers could be a goer too just ensure they contain a bit of salad and a slice of tomato.

    I think there's scope to try and "trick" the kids (aka slowly converting them) into healthier habits but I think the biggest stumbling block is your partner. if she's not on board with this you're going to struggle on your own.

    I feel bad for you and your kids. her kids even. it's a terrible habit she's allowed them to fall into.

  10. #18
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    Occasional lazy and poor parent here!

    I commend you OP on having instilled such good habits in your children. I wish I had had your success!

    Offering another perspective - she may feel like you are the one being imposing and unwilling to compromise here (depending on your approach). Changing eating habits for the better is a marathon and not a sprint, and she may be feeling completely overwhelmed by the prospect of 'get it right or we can't move in together'.

    It may feel to her like a failing on her part which may make her feel like you are judging her on a failing, which cycles into defensiveness (of course I don't know this, just putting out suggestions).

    I think nutrition is so important, and I totally understand where you are coming from, especially as you have such well-trained children :-) I wonder if it would be better long term to go gently - get her on side first and see that you are caring about the wellbeing of her children as well. You want her to be around for a long time and part of that is eating well. If you can get her to concede that, then you can work together.

    Help her to understand that you know it will take time to make changes, that you're on her side and you will help her. But she has to come to the party by trying, and supporting you at mealtimes.

    Maybe you can start by making some healthier versions of her kids' favourite meals?

    I'm not saying you have been overbearing in your approach, but I think it will help if she can see it as a shared goal that you are approaching together, and that you don't expect a complete turnaround overnight.

    And if it's as simple as she doesn't value it and is unwilling to accept that this is something you value strongly, then it may be that counselling can help. Good luck - I know how tough it can be to navigate such opposing values :-)

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  12. #19
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    To me nutrition and eating healthy is a fundamental/non negotiable. Especially with kids involved.
    I don't feel that you should drop your standards.

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    You haven't answered the question about your partner's own diet. Is she obese? Does she eat predominantly rubbish too? What do you both eat when you are alone together, without the kids?

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