I have an excellent relationship with my daughter in law, she’s the mother of two of my beautiful grandsons. She’s only 21 years old. Occasionally some meals are healthy but it’s mostly takeaway, junk food and bad snacks. I hated when my mother-in-law told me how to raise my kids, I don’t want to make the same insulting mistakes. Should I just keep supplying the kids healthier meals and snacks and hope it rubs off on her or does anyone have suggestions of gentle ways to tell her? My two-year-old grandson is overweight and has asthma probably because of his diet.

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  • It’s clear that you care deeply for your grandsons’ well-being. Approaching this delicate situation requires sensitivity. Instead of directly addressing her choices, consider expressing your genuine concern for your grandchild’s health. Share information about the positive impact of nutritious meals on a child’s development and offer to cook together, making it a fun and bonding experience. Emphasize your desire to support her and be involved in the kids’ lives. This way, you’re coming from a place of love and collaboration rather than criticism.

  • Keep doing what you’re doing. Personally I wouldn’t try to tell her or give adnise, unless she asks for advice. Your concern may not be her concern and bringing it up may give her the feeling that you think she doesn’t feed her kids well enough and failing in your eyes.

  • Keep doing what you do. But whatever you do don’t ruin your relationship with her. You won’t do those kids much good if you are banned from seeing them. Being such a young mum I’m guessing that her friends don’t have children. Encourage her to make friends with other mums who have children her age
    So hopefully they can influence her. She might not know how to cook? Invite them over for dinner and cook your sons favourite meal. If she comments on it, ask her to come around and you can cook it together. What it really boils down to though is the relationship you have with her and her personality. Because if she is just lazy then there really isn’t much you can do to change the status quo.

  • I wouldn’t say anything, but definitely help out by “making extras” and offering them to the kids.

  • Don’t say anything. I would just keep supplying the kids healthier meals and snacks and also take over healthy meals and snacks and just say you made too much or the snacks were on special so you bought extra . A lot of mothers are time poor and resort to take-away as an easy option. i loved it when my mother bought over food or snacks when my kids were little.

  • Maybe she is struggling with finding time to cook healthy meals. Maybe she’s never had anyone show her how to cook healthy. Could you make them a weekly home cooked meal and gift it to them knowing that she must be extremely busy with two kids. I think she would very much appreciate the gesture. I know I’d absolutely love it if someone offered to cook meals for us. I literally have no time most days and I do what I can to put food on the table quickly.
    In stead of judging her and her food choices maybe consider empathy, compassion and kindness.

  • Oof, this is a hard one. It might be best to speak with your child who is married to your daughter in law and try to come from the most non judgmental place possible. The health of the kids is the most important thing, and creating positive associations with food now to carry on through their lives. I really don’t feel like she is doing her children any favours. It’s not fun feeling like the chubby kid in primary school, unfortunately I know from experience. In the mean time, keep giving them healthy food when in your care and fostering a love of being active and eating all the colours.

  • I wouldn’t comment – good is such a sensitive subject. I would just supply the kids healthier meals and snacks.

  • Sounds like the mother is doing her very best, you are also coming from a place of love, not judgement, she’s young no one can expect her to the a 5 star chef, maybe invite them over to your place and cook them a healthy dinner and get the kids involved, if the kids help they are usually more likely to eat the food, even a tiny bite is a win

  • I think you need to try and maintain the relationship but the health of your grandsons is also important. I noticed some other people has suggested a I was going to that you could cook together including the children. Could you speak to your son about your concerns?

  • Maybe tell her you love cooking and have wonderful memories of cooking with your mum/nanna/aunt whatever, and you’d like to cook with her and pass on your family recipes and special secrets. To her and the boys. If you could all get in and cook together or just with her sometimes as a special thing you could slowly teach her healthy alternatives without preaching to her.

  • Say you love spending time with her and can you do some cooking together? Explain you have some awesome recipes you’d love to teach her & at the same time it will be a fun bonding experience for you both. She wont feel judged, you can teach her some healthy recipes and hopefully have a great afternoon together

  • Maintaining a positive relationship with your daughter-in-law is crucial, and addressing this issue requires sensitivity. Instead of directly instructing her, consider these gentle approaches to encourage healthier eating habits for your grandsons:

    Lead by Example: When you have meals together, model healthy eating choices without explicitly commenting on her choices. Showcase how enjoyable and nutritious balanced meals can be.

    Offer to Cook Together: Suggest cooking together as a fun family activity. This way, you can introduce healthier recipes and involve her in the process. Emphasize it as a bonding experience.

    Express Concern for Health: Approach the topic from a place of concern for the child’s health rather than criticizing her choices. Mention the link between diet and asthma, expressing worry about your grandson’s well-being.

    Educate Together: Share articles, books, or documentaries about child nutrition and its impact on health. Offer to explore this information together to make it a shared learning experience.

    Ask for Her Input: Ask for her opinions and preferences regarding meals. By involving her in decision-making, she may become more receptive to healthier options.

    Consult a Professional: Suggest a visit to a pediatrician or nutritionist together. Frame it as a way to ensure the best care for the child’s health and development.

    Provide Healthy Options: Keep offering healthier snacks and meals, making them readily available. Gradually introduce healthier versions of your grandson’s favorite foods.

    Praise Positive Choices: When she does make healthier choices, genuinely compliment her efforts, reinforcing positive behavior.

    Remember, your approach should be non-judgmental, supportive, and focused on collaboration rather than imposition. Ultimately, it’s her responsibility to make choices for her children, but your guidance and support can make a positive difference in their lives.

  • Unfortunately unless she asks for your advice, don’t give it. You could offer to cook for her though

  • Just be upfront! Any person who respects you will value your honesty and constructive criticism. be kind though and don’t berate her

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