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My darling granddaughter has always been a fussy eater and a skinny little one, just like her mum! Just about every dinner time is a negotiation with sometimes very little food going into her. I have her 1 day a week, she always naps when shes with me, so is not as tired by the end of that day, therefore I believe making dinner time less stressful for all. My daughter has tried bribery, encouragement, & a chart. My question is, really, if they are in my home, do I just leave it to the parents to make her eat or should I interject and help them with a bit of “nan” advice?


Posted anonymously, 8th April 2014


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  • If they ask for advice, give it. If they don’t ask, then don’t get involved. No one likes to be told they’re doing it wrong. But for the one day a week you have her, things arway.


  • My grandson is super fussy too. Anything green on his plate and he screams the house down. Most nights he has chicken nuggets for tea. I tend to leave it to mum and dad, they know him best and probably wouldn’t except advice on what they already know is a difficult situation


  • I’d definatly suggest involving the child. Ask if she want to help make a pizza for dinner or a rainbow cake(quiche or omelette). some kids also prefer platters of various small things. have a look at bento boxes to get an idea of different varieties


  • In your house, you’re the cook and use your nanny wisdom when you have your granddaughter for yourself for the day. When there are certain things you notice that make your granddaughter eat better and fuss less, you’re are free to advise your daughter on this. When you daughter is there at dinner time together with your granddaughter, I think you should leave it to your daughter to deal with your granddaughter.


  • The best think my Nan did for me and my Mum does with my kids is making food fun, letting me spread the cream on the sponge cake, mix the bowl, let me taste all the elements going into the food & let me get a bit messy. I was the least fussy kid around and my kids don’t say no to trying anything, they don’t like everything but they will give it a go.giving advise will probably get your daughters back up, well it would for me anyway (don’t know why but I don’t take advise from mum too well) good lunch & how lucky for both your & grandchild that you are so involved! :)


  • definetley give any advice you can! im not sure her age, maybe a toddler if she naps. they are usually very picky and fussy! stick to fun food such as pasta (hide vegies), they take ages to eat. turn of distractions get her appetitie up. sometimes they prefer to be spoon fed lol


  • a doctor once told my mum to let my sister eat whatever she wanted just as long as she ate


  • I would interject and say what you feel, but ultimately they are the parents


  • This is a tricky one. I have had my mother in law give some suggestions about things. I’ve listened but not always heeded the advice. All kids are different and we need to realise this. My daughter is a plain simple fussy eater. She is happy with plain pasta, melted cheese, rice and soft eggs, cherry tomatoes, hommus and seaweed crackers etc. She eats all fruit just not many veges or meat (animal lover). I don’t try and force her to eat what we have (she seems to have highly sensitive taste buds and we eat lots of spicy food and she cries with one bit of pepper) and don’t save it to the next night etc. If we are having a stir fry with rice she has plain rice and soft eggs and can try ours. If we have Mexican she has a wrap with avocado etc. I don’t go out of my way but I do accommodate her taste buds. I know I hated vegetables when I was younger and would not eat not matter what my parents did. Now I love every one of them and can’t go a day with out veges.


  • Nothing wrong with making suggestions. That is what I do as a mum/nan. When you tell them something they instantly reject your comments, but by making some suggestions they will take this on board more easily.


  • This is surely helpful! Great topic, very helpful.


  • Give he nan advice subtly, don’t push it, just say this is what I do with her and she does this.


  • I think you know them best and if they’ll respond well to advice or not. Personally I would say yes, you can only offer your opinion and then it’s their choice if they take it or not.

    I know I won’t be coercing my child to eat. Once my daughter is old enough to understand, she will eat what she’s given or go hungry. Then she can have what she didn’t eat for the next meal and the next. If they’re hungry they’ll eat.


  • I think that you all not stress about it. Just make sure that there is good healthy food on the plate. If she is hungry she will eat. If not she will be hungry tomorrow. My kids all changed from not eating anything to eating their body weight and back again. Just no “treats” to get her to eat!! Only healthy options. You don’t want to start a food battle!!!


  • wait and see if they ask for help


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