Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Please Feed My Grandchildren Healthy!"

This is what the mother-in-law said to me while visiting over the 4th of July Weekend.  Laughing while she said it, she also had a hint of desperation in her voice.  Apparently she fears our kids are doomed to a life of poor health misery.  Ah, well.

According to Hubby, this all started when he was a small child and his mother declared sugar to be evil, claimed that ice cream causes diabetes, and threw out all the candy and ice cream in the house.  This would have been in the early eighties, way before most people were worried about carb or sugar intake.  As it turns out, she was not entirely wrong.  She lost over 100 pounds in recent years and kept it off, so she knows a thing or two about a thing or two.  Still, she frequently subscribes to more radical views of nutrition and health.  Currently she is a vegan, aspiring to living a raw foods-based lifestyle, and does not believe in 'good fats,' trying to eliminate all fats and oils including those in avocado, salmon, etc.

We try to convince her that we eat healthy foods, just in unhealthy amounts.  We are not vegetarians, but believe lean meats can be part of a healthy diet.  Our insistence that we eat healthily is somewhat undermined by the bags of potato chips frequently found in our pantry, however.  It's kind of a hard sell that we don't eat processed foods when we have corn dogs in the freezer.  ;)  I admit, it wouldn't kill us to have a little less meat and a little more salad.

When we started the boys on solid foods, MIL shocked me by stating, "there's no nutrition in formula."  She was being supportive of our decision to start the boys on food, but it blew me away!  No nutrition in formula? 

Shortly after starting them on cereal, carrots and squash, I compromised my own desire to introduce several more veggies before beginning fruits, when she just would not let go of the idea that we should give the guys bananas.  This event did lead me to a new understanding of children:  BANANAS ARE CRACK FOR BABIES.  We love feeding them 'naners because it makes them so happy, but it is the one thing they will eat until they literally 'overflow.'  We walk around smelling like banana spit up the rest of the day.  It did not, however, interfere with our introduction of more veggies so all was well and we are glad we offered bananas and later apples.

Lately we've introduced finger foods in the form of animal crackers and biter biscuits.  Apparently MIL just sees that we are giving the kids cookies.  She sees our chips, sees us giving the kids 'cookies,' and now we are terrible parents leading our kids down the path of obesity and diabetes.  This is when she begged us to feed the kids well.

I try to take it with a grain of humor, but it really hurt.  I put a lot of work every week into washing, steaming, and pureeing veggies and fruits for the guys.  They don't get any jarred food.  They don't drink juice -- only formula and water.  I am really, really trying to make sure they get a variety of wholesome foods.  I'm proud of what I have done for their nutrition. 

This is one thing I'm doing right, dammit!

I don't need a medal or anything -- although it would be nice.  Just recognize my efforts, please!

Please note, I love MIL, but she is trying to get me to give the kids Green Tea, refuses to understand why they can't have tomatoes, and twice a week gets a McGriddle for Hubby's 15-year-old brother.  Maybe, just maybe, I know what's right for my babies?


  1. MIL's are so tricky... mine is the opposite. She offers french fries to little babies and Coke to not-yet-toddlers. I end up sounding like the uptight, demanding daughter-in-law when I mention that my 2yo doesn't need gum yet. Not much you can do but grit your teeth and keep on keeping on. Either that, or you can say something like "Well, we each have the chance to raise our own children..." but then you risk alienating her. Not much advice... but I feel your pain!

  2. Thanks. I know. Deep breaths. She means well, and just has the boys' best interests at heart.