Author Topic: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.  (Read 2386 times)

craiglepaige

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Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« on: March 19, 2017, 04:15:08 PM »
As the title suggests, I need a place to vent my frustration regarding the stupidity and carelessness from my DW's cousin and her (cousin's) immediate family.

My DW's cousin, along with her son, sister and mother came to stay with us from out of state this past week and during that time I saw what I would describe as nutritional mistreatment of the baby.

The kid turned one this past week(That's why they were here) and during that whole week I saw TWO instances where the kid was actually eating something of actual nutritional value. One was on Friday morning where he had some strawberries and the other was this morning when he had a couple of pieces of banana, other than that, nothing but adult (mostly unhealthy) foods.

"Oh, baby wants fried chicken?"
*Sure, why don't we feed a 1yo fried motherfucking breaded deep-fried chicken.

"Hey I'm making fresh, deep-fried, Pillsbury dough donuts for breakfast. Then I'm going to cover them in sugar and cinnamon. Does the baby want a donut?"
*Sure, sure... Go ahead. Give your baby a spoonful of oil and sugar, that will be great for him.

"Baby wants soda?"
*Sure cause diet soda is better. Oh wait, after the diet soda you give the kid sweetened ice tea. Okay, that's better. I mean, it is tea right?

"Baby wants a sour apple Laffy Taffy at 9:30pm?"
*Sure please do cause that's better than the organic apple sauce we have in the fridge which you were told you were more than  welcome to have.

And it went on for a week.

I can't even describe how upset I've been since I realized the total lack of care regarding such an important aspect of a baby's life. 

I'll be honest, I'm not a person who only eats organic and only eats salads and so on and on. But I do know better than that. I don't drink soda unless it's a birthday party or something similar where an ice cold Pepsi hits the spot. I'd say I eat fried foods maybe once a month and donuts are a rare sight in this household. We just know better.

We keep a basket full of fruits in the kitchen. We keep organic juice in the fridge. We keep organic tortilla chips in the cabinets to go along fresh homemade salsa.  All of this was available to them and to the baby(minus the chips/salsa, although he did eat some chicken tacos from the restaurant down the street, so I guess he would had been fine) but instead we came home from work to find cheap juices(added sugars), soda, donuts, cookies and nothing but fake food that should never be given to a 1yo.  Fuckity fuck fuck...

I considered saying something but I quickly realized it wasn't my place to say shit. It sucks because I feel bad for the baby but this is my DW's side of the family and I know better than to get my hands involved in it.

They left this morning so we can go back to our normal, mostly healthy living.

I needed to rant...
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Kris

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 04:40:54 PM »
As the title suggests, I need a place to vent my frustration regarding the stupidity and carelessness from my DW's cousin and her (cousin's) immediate family.

My DW's cousin, along with her son, sister and mother came to stay with us from out of state this past week and during that time I saw what I would describe as nutritional mistreatment of the baby.

The kid turned one this past week(That's why they were here) and during that whole week I saw TWO instances where the kid was actually eating something of actual nutritional value. One was on Friday morning where he had some strawberries and the other was this morning when he had a couple of pieces of banana, other than that, nothing but adult (mostly unhealthy) foods.

"Oh, baby wants fried chicken?"
*Sure, why don't we feed a 1yo fried motherfucking breaded deep-fried chicken.

"Hey I'm making fresh, deep-fried, Pillsbury dough donuts for breakfast. Then I'm going to cover them in sugar and cinnamon. Does the baby want a donut?"
*Sure, sure... Go ahead. Give your baby a spoonful of oil and sugar, that will be great for him.

"Baby wants soda?"
*Sure cause diet soda is better. Oh wait, after the diet soda you give the kid sweetened ice tea. Okay, that's better. I mean, it is tea right?

"Baby wants a sour apple Laffy Taffy at 9:30pm?"
*Sure please do cause that's better than the organic apple sauce we have in the fridge which you were told you were more than  welcome to have.

And it went on for a week.

I can't even describe how upset I've been since I realized the total lack of care regarding such an important aspect of a baby's life. 

I'll be honest, I'm not a person who only eats organic and only eats salads and so on and on. But I do know better than that. I don't drink soda unless it's a birthday party or something similar where an ice cold Pepsi hits the spot. I'd say I eat fried foods maybe once a month and donuts are a rare sight in this household. We just know better.

We keep a basket full of fruits in the kitchen. We keep organic juice in the fridge. We keep organic tortilla chips in the cabinets to go along fresh homemade salsa.  All of this was available to them and to the baby(minus the chips/salsa, although he did eat some chicken tacos from the restaurant down the street, so I guess he would had been fine) but instead we came home from work to find cheap juices(added sugars), soda, donuts, cookies and nothing but fake food that should never be given to a 1yo.  Fuckity fuck fuck...

I considered saying something but I quickly realized it wasn't my place to say shit. It sucks because I feel bad for the baby but this is my DW's side of the family and I know better than to get my hands involved in it.

They left this morning so we can go back to our normal, mostly healthy living.

I needed to rant...

Oh, God.

I once had to distance myself from and eventually end a friendship with someone I'd known for years when she had children, for this exact reason. Soda in a baby bottle. Enough said. And that was not the only example (because when one is that stupid, it wouldn't be, now would it?).

My sympathies that this is happening in your family-in-law. How does your wife feel about it?
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craiglepaige

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 05:20:59 PM »

Oh, God.

I once had to distance myself from and eventually end a friendship with someone I'd known for years when she had children, for this exact reason. Soda in a baby bottle. Enough said. And that was not the only example (because when one is that stupid, it wouldn't be, now would it?).

My sympathies that this is happening in your family-in-law. How does your wife feel about it?


Yup, I could see doing the same. Fortunately we only see them about once a year, so this won't be an issue (although they are planning on coming back in July *sigh*)

Regarding my wife's opinion, I've kept all of this to myself because of previous situations dealing with the same people. It's just not worth it.  My wife is a great mother and she would never do such things to our son, so no worries from me.
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Cassie

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 05:55:06 PM »
That is truly horrible. I had my kids young but was always careful about nutrition. That kid is not going to have any teeth left. Plus childhood obesity and diabetes is really going up. Also kids never used to have sleep apnea but now they do. I feel so sorry for the baby.

Letj

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 06:06:15 PM »
I know this is a difficult situation to address directly but I do think you had a moral responsibility to either say something or act. Frankly, if I saw this happening in my house, I would take over the feeding of the kid and prepare/buy healthy alternatives and feed the kid myself and if they didn't like it, well fuck them.  Some people just don't know better and they have to be told. I know we live in a society where everybody seems to be afraid to express their opinion for fear of offending. I buy in to no such notion.  It takes a village and I am my brother's keeper and if you don't like it, well too bad.

Mezzie

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2017, 06:39:25 PM »
I used to watch a kid who was raised on food like that (he got real food when I was around). When he ended up hyperactive, they put him on a ridiculous dose of Ritalin and he became very slow and lacked a personality. It was sad.

I was a kid at the time, though (a teenage babysitter). I wish I'd stood up to his parents.
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RetiredAt63

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 06:48:32 PM »
And the only fat I saw in that description was junk.  Babies and children are growing so fast, and their brains are growing even faster.  They need a lot of good fats - saturated and monosaturated, mostly, to build new cell membranes and good myelin sheathes for the neurons.  That means whole milk.  Butter.  At one a child can be eating meat - and red meat too, not just chicken, they need the iron for hemoglobin.  Vegetables, ones with lots of colour.  Whole fruit.  Not much fruit juice, it is sugar, the nutrients and fibre are gone in the pulp.

I hope they take the kid to a dentist.  And I hope the dentist asks about diet.  Because this kid's teeth will be horrible.

 

Paul der Krake

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2017, 06:53:19 PM »
Oh man, that's tough. Depending on the parents, the consequences of opening your mouth can range from awkward to family-wide shitstorm.

You can tactfully bring it up, knowing fully it may fall on deaf ears, or worse.
Alternatively, you could stage an intervention, diffusing the heat on more people.

The nuclear option would be to report them to The Authorities. They may not care.

All options suck.

kayvent

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 07:02:10 PM »
The nuclear option would be to report them to The Authorities. They may not care.

TBH, I'd doubt if the authorities would lift a finger.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 07:04:05 PM »
The nuclear option would be to report them to The Authorities. They may not care.

TBH, I'd doubt if the authorities would lift a finger.
Yup, that clearly depends on the jurisdiction, severity of the problem, etc.

kayvent

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 07:06:59 PM »
The nuclear option would be to report them to The Authorities. They may not care.

TBH, I'd doubt if the authorities would lift a finger.
Yup, that clearly depends on the jurisdiction, severity of the problem, etc.

Touche. Where I live, they actively try to ignore any neglect caused by omission.

Hotstreak

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2017, 07:34:02 PM »
Gross.  I feel bad for that kid.

craiglepaige

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2017, 07:47:31 PM »
Regarding my desire, or lack thereof, to speak up about the situation, I hate to say it but I don't have the energy (you could maybe say cojones) to deal with the whole lot. 

It starts with the grandmother, goes down to the aunt(oldest daughter - single and extremely involved in the life/raising of the baby) and then the mother(youngest daughter - extremely babied), and not one of them understands the need for nutrition. The three of them are overweight (although the youngest not as much) and have been since I met my wife in '02.

I can't fight with this type of people.  To them, food is a source of happiness (sugar, fats, salt and more sugar) as opposed to a source of energy. Yes, food makes me happy, but the happiness comes from knowing I'm treating my body right and not from artificial sweets that release dopamine by enormous amounts.

I don't know... Maybe when they come back in summer I will have something to say.
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craiglepaige

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2017, 08:56:18 PM »
So, you are saying because they are fat, you can't talk to them about this? They are incapable of understanding - must be true because they are fat? What do you mean by " this type of people"?

No, that's not what I meant. I myself lost about 40lbs years back and have maintained the weight, so it's not based on their weight only. I changed my eating habits after realizing the importance of a healthy lifestyle but my opinion is that they will never change.

How do I know this? Because when I was losing weight and they were here for vacation, I expressed my desire to cook a healthy chicken/bean salad with "pico de gallo" and avocado on the side, and their answer was to drive to KFC and bring their meals back to the house with them. Pretty much a "go fuck yourself" response. 

Also, I have been on two other vacations with them and eating pan fried bacon, EVERYDAY for breakfast, along with eggs, toast and an insane amount of butter on the toast is the norm. Followed by a run to Dunkin Donuts. And lunch and dinner is not any better.

When I said "this type of people" I meant they don't eat for nutritional value, they don't give two shits about it, so to me they are not someone who I can sit down and have this type of conversation, specially now regarding the baby.
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RetiredAt63

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2017, 07:02:45 AM »
Actually some whole fruit and bacon (not a lot, more for flavour) and eggs is a reasonably good breakfast, it's the toast and doughnuts that are the killers there.  Eggs are super nutritious.

To cross threads, Tom Naughton over at Fatheads (http://www.fathead-movie.com/) is coming out with a book and movie (animated) for low-carb nutrition for kids.  Maybe give the book/movie as a birthday/Christmas gift?

craiglepaige

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2017, 07:17:22 AM »
Thanks for clarifying and giving more context. Having changed your eating for health reasons, I can see why this is important to you. You can keep being a good example. It sounds like you won't see them very often, but schools and peers will come into play at some point too.

I'm sorry, I don't understand the last part concerning peer pressure. Could you please elaborate?

Regarding the family members, it sucks royally because I want for them the same clarification and understanding I came to know regarding food vs nutrition but like posted before, I know the kind of mentality they have about the topic and it won't work, just won't. 
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craiglepaige

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2017, 07:24:37 AM »
Actually some whole fruit and bacon (not a lot, more for flavour) and eggs is a reasonably good breakfast, it's the toast and doughnuts that are the killers there.  Eggs are super nutritious.

To cross threads, Tom Naughton over at Fatheads (http://www.fathead-movie.com/) is coming out with a book and movie (animated) for low-carb nutrition for kids.  Maybe give the book/movie as a birthday/Christmas gift?


Yeah the bacon was in crazy proportions and it was pan fried on its own fat, so it was, other than actually being deep fried I guess, the worst possible way to eat it.

I love bacon. I absolutely love it. But I know better. The second day, after realizing the way they cooked their bacon, which we all ate(I myself had 2 slices with a hard boiled egg and a banana), I offered to broil it in the oven, knowing I could use the metal grid that was in the cabinet and then dab at it with a paper towel to remove the extra fat. To this they said that it would make the bacon dry and it wouldn't be as good.  I stopped eating bacon after that. I also stopped to offer help in the kitchen.

Thank you for the book. I'll make sure to get a few copies for my son and nieces/nephews.
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RetiredAt63

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2017, 07:52:41 AM »

Yeah the bacon was in crazy proportions and it was pan fried on its own fat, so it was, other than actually being deep fried I guess, the worst possible way to eat it.

Thank you for the book. I'll make sure to get a few copies for my son and nieces/nephews.

I do pan fry my bacon, but I stand at the bacon counter and pick the package with the least fat, and then the dog gets most of the fat, I keep just enough in the pan to saute an egg (I refuse to call it pan-fry, my cooking is gentler).  And the bacon goes on paper towel to drain.  But actually, pork fat is about the same composition as olive oil, mostly saturated and mono-unsaturated.  Lard was the main cooking fat (and beef tallow for fries) until recently.  I eat vegetable oils where the oil is easily extracted, and avoid those that need serious mechanical processing.  We seem to be getting less healthy as we eat more carbs and processed vegetable oils.  At least we aren't eating trans fats now.

Book and movie are in the final stages of production - I think they want it out before Christmas.

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2017, 08:41:55 AM »
That is sad.  I sometimes forget that I am in my little bubble where most parents really care about what they give their infants and toddlers. 

I personally have a lot of guilt about what I feed my son.  He is high-functioning autistic and a picky eater.  I have made some progress in small things like moving him from chicken nuggets to grilled chicken, and eating some fruits and a few veggies, but I still hate that he only eats about 5-6 types of dinners, and not all of them super healthy.  Now that he is 12, he is at least aware that he doesn't eat an optimally healthy diet, and that has made a difference, but the desire to eat healthy is at odds for him with keeping to his routine and comfort level. 

When he was that age, I made sure he had a healthy diet, with no soda in bottles or sugary snacks. 

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2017, 05:00:05 PM »
Like everyone else said, that truly sucks. Poor kid, and millions like him.

BUT I want to add that I believe there is little you could have said or done to make a difference, and probably would only serve to make things strained between everyone. I've talked to parenting "experts" about this sort of thing, and their typical advice is unless it's a matter of immediate and direct harm, stay out of it and just try to be a positive influence yourself. No matter how tactfully you try to put it, trying to tell someone they're parenting wrongly is going to go over like a giant ton of shit being dumped on their dinner plate. There's almost no way you could put it that wouldn't come across as meddling or that you somehow know better than them (even though you do know better).

I think the best that could be done would be to keep offering healthy alternatives to the kid at every meal, so that they might get the message subtly. For example, as they offer the soda, you could immediately say, "Hey, we have some milk here, would you like to give that to him instead?" Perhaps if you kept doing that without directly saying, "This option is healthier than what you are offering," it might somehow get through, although I really doubt it.
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kayvent

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2017, 06:01:10 PM »
Like everyone else said, that truly sucks. Poor kid, and millions like him.

BUT I want to add that I believe there is little you could have said or done to make a difference, and probably would only serve to make things strained between everyone. I've talked to parenting "experts" about this sort of thing, and their typical advice is unless it's a matter of immediate and direct harm, stay out of it and just try to be a positive influence yourself. No matter how tactfully you try to put it, trying to tell someone they're parenting wrongly is going to go over like a giant ton of shit being dumped on their dinner plate. There's almost no way you could put it that wouldn't come across as meddling or that you somehow know better than them (even though you do know better).

I think the best that could be done would be to keep offering healthy alternatives to the kid at every meal, so that they might get the message subtly. For example, as they offer the soda, you could immediately say, "Hey, we have some milk here, would you like to give that to him instead?" Perhaps if you kept doing that without directly saying, "This option is healthier than what you are offering," it might somehow get through, although I really doubt it.

I gotta dissent with this view.

First, do you realize that hundreds of billions of dollars are lost each year in the USA because of obesity and diabetes? Unless you want to totally or mostly privatize healthcare in the USA, the ill-health practices of such parents is a or public concern.

Second, we're literally talking about something that will take decades off that child's life. Will reduce their prospects in life and reduce their life quality. If nothing is done.

When someone is doing something harmful, you aren't silent. You are loud. That kid, when they are 30-some, over-weight and struggling to sleep at night and breath in the day, it does them no good while they prick their finger that some non-blood relative decided to be tactful towards their parents when they were young. One rebukes the one they love; one is silent to the faults of those they hate.

I am not saying one should burn the stage at the first opportunity but I do think they should at least be active subverters or educators.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2017, 06:43:26 PM »
I personally think that feeding infants and toddlers soda is akin to blowing second hand smoke in their face. If you wouldn't let someone puff away in a toddler's face without saying something, then soda should have the same response. These foods are known to be harmful and are ridiculously easy to avoid giving to kids so young. We aren't talking about just processed lower quality foods like chicken nuggets or mac n cheese, which are not the best but still nutritionally useful to some degree and sometimes the only foods toddlers will eat. We are talking about foods that are legit BAD for you - and foods the child would probably never notice or ask for themselves if the parents weren't purposefully loading them up on it. Kids that age need only 2 liquids - milk and water - and the child's pediatrician will surely have informed the parents of this. If the parents are offering soda, it is because they are either completely ignorant to how harmful it is, or they genuinely don't give a crap and find it "fun" to give sweets to the child. Hopefully it is the former and not the latter.

I honestly don't know how to best approach it, given that the parents will probably just sneer at you, or roll their eyes, or worse argue. But to me, that child deserves to have someone say something on their behalf...even if the words go unheeded. Parents like this often conveniently fail to tell their pediatricians about their bad habits, so sometimes family members are literally the only ones in a position to say something about negligent behavior. Young children are completely vulnerable, they have no voice. Worst case, you end up fighting an honorable but losing battle with someone who is harming their kid (either intentionally or unintentionally). Nothing will change but you will be able to sleep at night knowing you stood up for a kid who is being treated in a negligent fashion. Best case, the parents feel embarrassed enough to look into it further and realize they need to make a change.


« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 06:49:39 PM by little_brown_dog »

Pigeon

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2017, 07:23:08 PM »
Like everyone else said, that truly sucks. Poor kid, and millions like him.

BUT I want to add that I believe there is little you could have said or done to make a difference, and probably would only serve to make things strained between everyone. I've talked to parenting "experts" about this sort of thing, and their typical advice is unless it's a matter of immediate and direct harm, stay out of it and just try to be a positive influence yourself. No matter how tactfully you try to put it, trying to tell someone they're parenting wrongly is going to go over like a giant ton of shit being dumped on their dinner plate. There's almost no way you could put it that wouldn't come across as meddling or that you somehow know better than them (even though you do know better).

I think the best that could be done would be to keep offering healthy alternatives to the kid at every meal, so that they might get the message subtly. For example, as they offer the soda, you could immediately say, "Hey, we have some milk here, would you like to give that to him instead?" Perhaps if you kept doing that without directly saying, "This option is healthier than what you are offering," it might somehow get through, although I really doubt it.

I agree completely.  Besides ramping up family hostility, the only thing going off on them would accomplish is to make sure you won't be around to provide a positive influence on the child.

There is zero chance that these people don't know on some level that feeding the kid all this crap is not healthy.

craiglepaige

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2017, 09:51:41 PM »
As I posted before, these family members are not around often and although they are overall nice people, there is some distance between me and them given the fact we don't interact much other than maybe a few times a year.

I don't deal with them through social media nor do I text/chat/phone them. I see them when they are in town and the two previous family vacations (bigger group). I'm sure if I was to voice my genuine opinion it wouldn't go nicely. I'm thinking of bringing this up to my wife and seeing if she is willing to reach out to her younger cousin.  But knowing my wife, I'm not sure she will.

Also, this is a bit personal of the baby's mother, but the father of the baby died in a car accident last year, so she has had to deal with everything by herself and that's why I see the older sister stepping in a trying to help. Unfortunately not one of them is  concious of their eating habits and I don't know if they ever will be.

Another good example: as I was pouring myself coffee on Friday morning I asked the older sister if she wanted a cup. She said yes and I asked if she wanted cream or milk and sugar. The reason why I asked was because my wife uses sweetened cream and a little goes a loooong way, so I was surprised when she said cream AND sugar. I explained to her that the cream was already sweetened and she insisted on having both.

Before I added any sugar to the coffee, after I had added the cream, I asked again and she said to add some sugar to it. I added an almost full tablespoon and gave her the cup. She took one sip of it and made a face and asked for the sugar container and spoon. Then to my utter amazement she added four heaping spoonfuls of sugar to the already extremely sweet coffee.  My mind was blown.

How do you tell someone who does that that sugar, in such large amounts, is not good for you? How? I mean, these are overall smart girls and they should absolutely know better.
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kayvent

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2017, 04:00:20 AM »
Before I added any sugar to the coffee, after I had added the cream, I asked again and she said to add some sugar to it. I added an almost full tablespoon and gave her the cup. She took one sip of it and made a face and asked for the sugar container and spoon. Then to my utter amazement she added four heaping spoonfuls of sugar to the already extremely sweet coffee.  My mind was blown.

How do you tell someone who does that that sugar, in such large amounts, is not good for you? How? I mean, these are overall smart girls and they should absolutely know better.

Math? I assume "heaping spoonful" is a tablespoon since you used a tablespoon earlier. So that is five tablespoons which is fifteen teaspoons which is sixty-three grams of sugar. A young lady should consume at most seventy-seven grams a day. This is not including the sugar in the sweetened cream. I'd have literally done the math then and there then explained she just consumed a almost full day's worth of sugar in a cup. I presume she didn't realize that she was consuming a diabetic amount of sugar; if she knew she was I'd think she would have choose not to.

Poundwise

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2017, 07:50:20 AM »
The nuclear option would be to report them to The Authorities. They may not care.

All options suck.

I strongly disagree with this approach. Not only is it unlikely to work, but even if stuffing kids with sugar were treated as abuse, what would it accomplish? The family clearly loves the baby, and the way they show love is by overfeeding.   What if they refused to change the baby's diet... would he get taken away from an otherwise loving family?

An approach that I think might be effective is to use parental peer pressure.  For instance, if you took the family to a baby gym, playground, or play space where they saw a lot of the upscale parents were making healthy choices for their kids, that might make them think.  Or, if you were to invite a couple of families who have sensible eating habits over to your house while your relatives are there, they might learn something. You would have a good excuse... "I'm sure you'll love meeting them, they have a baby your age!" or "They have young kids too and their 9 year old just loves babies!"

The main hitch with this plan is that if they are feeding their baby candy, the other children will want it too, and of course they will offer it to the other children because it's an easy way to be the most popular parent.

P.S. Another good reason to take them to baby gyms, museums, etc. is it gives the family another way to show love to the baby, too. And they had better find a way get him to run off some calories.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 07:54:36 AM by Poundwise »

golden1

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2017, 08:09:33 AM »
Quote
Before I added any sugar to the coffee, after I had added the cream, I asked again and she said to add some sugar to it. I added an almost full tablespoon and gave her the cup. She took one sip of it and made a face and asked for the sugar container and spoon. Then to my utter amazement she added four heaping spoonfuls of sugar to the already extremely sweet coffee.  My mind was blown.

This is my BIL.  I always ask him if he wants a little tea with his sugar.

I think that getting off of that much sugar takes a gradual reduction.  In my 20s I loved soda and put 3 teaspoons of sugar in my tea.  Now I drink tea black and coffee with just a splash of milk.  I no longer really like soda except once in a rare while, and only a few sips.  It took me just moving down gradually from three sugars to two to one to 1/2 to finally one day I forgot the sugar and realized I no longer missed it.  Now if I put sugar in tea or coffee, it is all I can taste and I hate it. 

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2017, 08:27:18 AM »
Your relatives sound like they are chemically addicted to sugar.  It sounds like it's generational as well.  Feel bad for the child but agree there isn't much you can do except talk to your wife.  No parent wants to hear criticism, especially from in laws.
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swick

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2017, 09:26:27 AM »

How do you tell someone who does that that sugar, in such large amounts, is not good for you? How? I mean, these are overall smart girls and they should absolutely know better.

Math? I assume "heaping spoonful" is a tablespoon since you used a tablespoon earlier. So that is five tablespoons which is fifteen teaspoons which is sixty-three grams of sugar. A young lady should consume at most seventy-seven grams a day. This is not including the sugar in the sweetened cream. I'd have literally done the math then and there then explained she just consumed a almost full day's worth of sugar in a cup. I presume she didn't realize that she was consuming a diabetic amount of sugar; if she knew she was I'd think she would have choose not to.

Good math, but if you really want someone to cut down their sugar and illustrate just HOW BAD it is, you need to be going with the WHO recommendations which is less than 10% of calories from added sugar, ideally less than 5%. 10% for the average woman would be about 25 grams or 6 tsp. THE AMOUNT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN BEFORE THE AGE OF 4 IS 0.

OP - I feel your pain, I use to work child development in low-income daycares and the shit that parents would send their children to school with and feed them for meals use to make me feel pretty hopeless about our future.

I have found you can't lecture, but if you can show them out of love, and make it concrete you might have a chance. Most people, yes even smart ones, aren't always aware of how much sugar is in stuff, or they see grams and such and can't equate it to real life. Also, you are battling what is being more and more recognized as an actual addiction. There is a host of chemical, biological, and psychological stuff wrapped up in sugar addiction. If it were a matter of data and logic and cold hard facts, none of us would be consuming it, at all.

If you can come at it from a "learning" mindset, instead of a lecturing "this is bad for you and I know better" way you will have much more luck. Also, this is probably something your wife should be doing, she'd probably have better luck.  I have had many versions of the following that I have pulled out ith family, with friends, in the classroom.

Opening: Hey cuz, I got a little worried about mom (whoever they love most) because doc said they are getting diabetes and I wanted to understand it - so I started looking into what causes it. I had NO IDEA that sugar played such a big part of it! So I started looking at labels and I got super confused. Did you know there are over 50 different names for sugar? Talk about making it hard! I also had a hard time wrapping my brain around grams. Can you help me figure it out for some of our favorite foods?

I looked online and apparently, there is 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon, so let's use that, way easier! I'm a visual person, will you help me?

Hmm let's look at the coke. Okay so this says there are 39 grams of sugar in a can, that is, let's see...39/4 ...wow! almost 10 tsp of sugar, I wonder what that looks like? *Grab sugar bowl and measures out 10 tsp into a bowl*

But we don't have coke too often, I wonder how much sugar is in: fruit flavored yogurt, juice, cereal? <---Take a look and repeat process of measuring out sugar.

This is crazy! We are only supposed to be having 6 tsp in an entire day!  I can't believe they put sugar in EVERYTHING! You know, I think I want to try and cut down my sugar. Maybe do one of those challenges I keep seeing on Facebook. Any chance you want to join me? We could do it together!

Reasons why this works:
It is visual -  a good online resource for this is Sugar stacks it shows you pictures of various foods and how many sugar cubes are in it:http://www.sugarstacks.com/beverages.htm

You are not lecturing, implying anything about their knowledge or parenting skills. They will be more open to the idea if they are not feeling personally attacked.

You are asking for their help. People are much more willing and open to things if they are helping you with something.

Coming at it from a "Beginner's mind" and not being fake about it, even if you know all of this, helps people become more open to learning. It's not knowledge you are lording over them, it is something you are empowering them to learn with you.

You are creating an us vs. them (food industry) situation instead of a "me vs. you" situation. Yes, you need a certain amount of personal accountability and responsibility, but when you are trying to change world views, giving them a personal out (for now) can help them get on board as it is not like you are personally criticism them and making them feel like shitty people.

It turns it into a shared experience that allows you to help and slowly dribble out advice and resources longer term.

Going after their parenting and trying to change how the feed their kids does ZERO good if the parents aren't fully on board and doing it for themselves as well. It won't stick.

Like I said, this whole experiment would be way better coming from your wife, since it is her family and she knows them and she may be in a better headspace than you to engage them.



little_brown_dog

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2017, 10:00:51 AM »
Unfortunately, the time to say something has passed, although if they are visiting again in the summer you might get another opportunity. If it were to happen it would have been during the visit, and preferably related to the most egregious offense like the soda (not everything because that is overwhelming and will definitely seem like you are criticizing their parenting overall, not just a single behavior). Since you are not close, there is no way to address this after the fact without causing a major issue. I think you need to let the issue lie for now but definitely consider what you will do if you see it again, as chances are you will witness it happen once more in the summer time. I also agree that ideally it would be your wife saying something gently, preferably in private to her cousin so the woman isn’t completely embarrassed/humiliated/defensive.

I am interested in learning of the demographics of your wife’s family – in my experience, particularly questionable infant/toddler feeding habits tend to occur in lower income/working class families with lower educational levels and generally difficult life circumstances. One group that seems to have a particular problem with soda consumption are hill people/rural working class in Appalachia (aka Hillbillies). Sadly these nutritional habits are like so many other social and health ills, born of bad habits passed from generation to generation and continuously solidified by poverty and low education and nutritional awareness. The good news is, most parents really genuinely want the best for their kiddos, which means that if they learn something isn’t good and it is relatively easy to fix, then they will attempt to remedy the situation somewhat. For people like your wife's family, the best they can often do is reduce their consumption, not completely change their eating habits. Unfortunately, nutritional dysfunction is another damaging situation too many kids get stuck with just by virtue of who their parents happen to be.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2017, 10:12:47 AM »
Also wanted to mention....sugar addiction is a real thing. The more sweet stuff you eat, the more tolerance you develop to it. People who routinely eat tons of sugar often find sickeningly sweet things delicious, whereas others who eat less sugar can't stand more than a few bites. They realize they eat alot of sugar, but the problem is, things don't taste sweet or palatable to them unless they have high doses of the stuff. 1 teaspoon of sugar in tea/coffee is plenty for someone who eats a low sugar diet and they find the beverage very good. A sugar addict will need quadruple the amount to achieve the same level of palatability. It's frightening how the concepts of tolerance that we apply to alcohol or drugs also apply to sugar.

I slowly weaned myself off a higher sugar diet to a low sugar lifestyle where I now try to keep my consumption within the WHO guidelines (6 or fewer tsps a day). At first, achieving this was near impossible because 1) Sugar is EVERYWHERE and in high doses, and 2) everything that isn't sweet doesn't taste very good to you. One small chai from starbucks is my whole allotment of sugar for the day. I was able to do it slowly over time, but it took a masters degree, lots of money and time for home cooking, reading nutrition labels constantly, and a willingness to suck it up and readjust my tastebuds to less palatable food, to do it.

Scandium

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2017, 10:43:44 AM »
Like everyone else said, that truly sucks. Poor kid, and millions like him.

BUT I want to add that I believe there is little you could have said or done to make a difference, and probably would only serve to make things strained between everyone. I've talked to parenting "experts" about this sort of thing, and their typical advice is unless it's a matter of immediate and direct harm, stay out of it and just try to be a positive influence yourself. No matter how tactfully you try to put it, trying to tell someone they're parenting wrongly is going to go over like a giant ton of shit being dumped on their dinner plate. There's almost no way you could put it that wouldn't come across as meddling or that you somehow know better than them (even though you do know better).

I think the best that could be done would be to keep offering healthy alternatives to the kid at every meal, so that they might get the message subtly. For example, as they offer the soda, you could immediately say, "Hey, we have some milk here, would you like to give that to him instead?" Perhaps if you kept doing that without directly saying, "This option is healthier than what you are offering," it might somehow get through, although I really doubt it.

I gotta dissent with this view.

First, do you realize that hundreds of billions of dollars are lost each year in the USA because of obesity and diabetes? Unless you want to totally or mostly privatize healthcare in the USA, the ill-health practices of such parents is a or public concern.

Second, we're literally talking about something that will take decades off that child's life. Will reduce their prospects in life and reduce their life quality. If nothing is done.

When someone is doing something harmful, you aren't silent. You are loud. That kid, when they are 30-some, over-weight and struggling to sleep at night and breath in the day, it does them no good while they prick their finger that some non-blood relative decided to be tactful towards their parents when they were young. One rebukes the one they love; one is silent to the faults of those they hate.

I am not saying one should burn the stage at the first opportunity but I do think they should at least be active subverters or educators.

hah! Good luck with that! Telling people how to parent is probably the most offensive thing you can do. Nobody wants to be told! Do you have kids? How would you feel if people criticized your parenting?
Have you allowed any screen time before 8 years old?
Have you used rear-facing car seat until 4 years old?
Do you read with them at least 30 min per day?
Do you have a pool? Many children die in pools..
Are you teaching them a 2nd language? This reduce risk of alzheimer's.
Are you feeding them fatty fish twice a week?
Are they eating 5-8 fruit servings a day?

There are a millions things you can be criticized for. You're better off keeping it to yourself, unless you want to be the biggest jerk everybody hates.. It's a free county were we make our own choices, unfortunately not all of them great. But we have to accept disagreements and not meddle in other's affairs. This "societal problem" thing is just a BS way to force people do do what you think they should do.

Moustaches

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2017, 11:08:25 AM »
Also wanted to mention....sugar addiction is a real thing. The more sweet stuff you eat, the more tolerance you develop to it. People who routinely eat tons of sugar often find sickeningly sweet things delicious, whereas others who eat less sugar can't stand more than a few bites. They realize they eat alot of sugar, but the problem is, things don't taste sweet or palatable to them unless they have high doses of the stuff. 1 teaspoon of sugar in tea/coffee is plenty for someone who eats a low sugar diet and they find the beverage very good. A sugar addict will need quadruple the amount to achieve the same level of palatability. It's frightening how the concepts of tolerance that we apply to alcohol or drugs also apply to sugar.

I slowly weaned myself off a higher sugar diet to a low sugar lifestyle where I now try to keep my consumption within the WHO guidelines (6 or fewer tsps a day). At first, achieving this was near impossible because 1) Sugar is EVERYWHERE and in high doses, and 2) everything that isn't sweet doesn't taste very good to you. One small chai from starbucks is my whole allotment of sugar for the day. I was able to do it slowly over time, but it took a masters degree, lots of money and time for home cooking, reading nutrition labels constantly, and a willingness to suck it up and readjust my tastebuds to less palatable food, to do it.

Absolutely - sugar is on the same spectrum as cocaine in my opinion.
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acroy

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2017, 11:24:54 AM »
Like everyone else said, that truly sucks. Poor kid, and millions like him.

BUT I want to add that I believe there is little you could have said or done to make a difference, and probably would only serve to make things strained between everyone. I've talked to parenting "experts" about this sort of thing, and their typical advice is unless it's a matter of immediate and direct harm, stay out of it and just try to be a positive influence yourself. No matter how tactfully you try to put it, trying to tell someone they're parenting wrongly is going to go over like a giant ton of shit being dumped on their dinner plate. There's almost no way you could put it that wouldn't come across as meddling or that you somehow know better than them (even though you do know better).

I think the best that could be done would be to keep offering healthy alternatives to the kid at every meal, so that they might get the message subtly. For example, as they offer the soda, you could immediately say, "Hey, we have some milk here, would you like to give that to him instead?" Perhaps if you kept doing that without directly saying, "This option is healthier than what you are offering," it might somehow get through, although I really doubt it.
+10
Unless you are some sort of personal-skills ninja, or the parents are very open, there is no way to criticize the parents w/o being taken wrongly and just damaging the situation. Few people like to be preached at. Lead by example. It does work.
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Moustaches

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2017, 11:32:34 AM »
Like everyone else said, that truly sucks. Poor kid, and millions like him.

BUT I want to add that I believe there is little you could have said or done to make a difference, and probably would only serve to make things strained between everyone. I've talked to parenting "experts" about this sort of thing, and their typical advice is unless it's a matter of immediate and direct harm, stay out of it and just try to be a positive influence yourself. No matter how tactfully you try to put it, trying to tell someone they're parenting wrongly is going to go over like a giant ton of shit being dumped on their dinner plate. There's almost no way you could put it that wouldn't come across as meddling or that you somehow know better than them (even though you do know better).

I think the best that could be done would be to keep offering healthy alternatives to the kid at every meal, so that they might get the message subtly. For example, as they offer the soda, you could immediately say, "Hey, we have some milk here, would you like to give that to him instead?" Perhaps if you kept doing that without directly saying, "This option is healthier than what you are offering," it might somehow get through, although I really doubt it.
+10
Unless you are some sort of personal-skills ninja, or the parents are very open, there is no way to criticize the parents w/o being taken wrongly and just damaging the situation. Few people like to be preached at. Lead by example. It does work.

I think we can all agree feeding a baby soda is dumb, but there are countless of other examples where I have gotten parenting advice from busybody older relatives that is just as stupid.  Parenting is more of an art than a science anyway - how sure can we be of certain parenting styles being absolutely correct for any child?

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galliver

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2017, 12:34:10 PM »
I don't think when the in-laws/cousins refused your offer to cook it was necessarily a "fuck you"...it was likely more that you thought you were offering a treat and they thought it sounded nasty. (It sounds delicious to me, btw. But people who don't eat many vegetables often spurn them.) If you want to help this child, you'll have to convert his parents. And you'll never do that with plain grilled chicken and steamed broccoli.

One of the most interesting articles on food I've ever read, I can't find now, but it was either by or about this author and maybe his book: https://www.amazon.com/Dorito-Effect-Surprising-Truth-Flavor-ebook/dp/B00LD1RWVK . The basic premise: our collective diet(s) went south when we bred flavor out of food, and then added it back in to processed food products, splitting apart "delicious" from "nutritious". So if you want to convert them, I think you need to show them it's possible to have both...in fact that it's actually tastier.

Make a burger that knocks McD's out of the water. Make crispy baked chicken. Serve with delectably creamy garlic-cauliflower mashed potatoes, homemade coleslaw, etc. Make meatballs with hidden spinach and a veggie-loaded sauce; serve with white pasta because wheat tastes like cardboard. And personally, I'd prioritize making vegetables delicious over keeping them low-cal...I would do broccoli and carrots in butter, tempura green beans, etc. I have converted a number of people including myself to brussels sprouts with this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/216028/brussels-sprouts-in-a-sherry-bacon-cream-sauce/ . Point is, make it familiar with a twist, make it look and smell delicious (to THEM), make it fun, get them to eat with you. Then you have a foothold to further nudge their food choices; maybe they'll ask for your recipe, maybe they'll try something if you recommend it.

Or, if that's too much effort, you could call it not your business what someone else feeds themselves and their kid, and possibly stop interacting with them if you really can't bear watching it (that'll be the end result if you try to tell them how to live their life and parent, anyway).

kayvent

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2017, 05:33:30 PM »
hah! Good luck with that! Telling people how to parent is probably the most offensive thing you can do. Nobody wants to be told! Do you have kids?

One child. I was a single, teenage parent.

Quote
How would you feel if people criticized your parenting?

Appreciative. I make mistakes, some of them through regular ignorance and some by getting lost in forest. If a friend gives me a critique or advice on parenting, I take note of it. After all, if they aren't the type of people who I can rely on to give good counsel, why am I communicating with them in the first place? Do you surround yourself with untrustworthy people?

Quote
Have you allowed any screen time before 8 years old?
Have you used rear-facing car seat until 4 years old?
Do you read with them at least 30 min per day?
Do you have a pool? Many children die in pools..
Are you teaching them a 2nd language? This reduce risk of alzheimer's.
Are you feeding them fatty fish twice a week?
Are they eating 5-8 fruit servings a day?

Just for fun: yes, yes, yes, no, yes (I live in a bilingual province), only once for complicated reasons, and no.

Quote
There are a millions things you can be criticized for.

I think that is a false equivalence. There are differences in styles. There are some sub-optimal choices that get made due to complications. And we can disagree with cost/reward analysis on some topics. But no one, with full-knowledge, thinks stuffing a child full of sugar or grease is a healthy life choice. Perhaps if they were in the middle of town and the child was screaming, that is an option but OP describes them as being surrounded by healthy options and going out of their way for unhealthy.

Quote
It's a free county were we make our own choices, unfortunately not all of them great.

I think you missed my point. My point was that no parent would knowingly malnourish their child like that if they knew better. Since they did, therefore they probably didn't know. Is it really a choice if they don't know the options? If someone is texting while walking, do you let them fall down the manhole cover because that is their choice or do you realize that if they were paying attention, they'd probably like to not fall down the open hole a few paces ahead?

Second, what about the children? Don't they get a choice? By the time they are in a position to learn, they'll be teenagers or young adults, perhaps dozens or a hundred pounds over-weight. If you asked their future 30-year old self if they'd rather have liked fried chicken and donuts and other junk as a one-year old or the ability to walk a flight of stairs without being winded, I really doubt they would be picking the former. I don't think a parent should make that type of choice on the behalf of their child.

Quote
But we have to accept disagreements and not meddle in other's affairs. This "societal problem" thing is just a BS way to force people do do what you think they should do.

In the USA, it is literally a societal problem. People with diabetes and extra weight literally cost the public health system gobs of money. If the public system was dismantled or people had the ability to leave it, then it wouldn't matter.

craiglepaige

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2017, 05:51:50 PM »

If you were to invite a couple of families who have sensible eating habits over to your house while your relatives are there, they might learn something. You would have a good excuse... "I'm sure you'll love meeting them, they have a baby your age!" or "They have young kids too and their 9 year old just loves babies!"


Haha it's funny that you mentioned that because since they were up here for the baby's birthday, they asked to have a small get together at our place and invite some family members with kids.

We were totally cool with that and my wife asked how(and who) many people they were thinking of having over in order to put a small menu together. We quickly realized there were going to be about 5-6 kids(all under 5) and my wife mentioned making some PB&J sliders with fruit on the side for the kids.  To this, her cousin responded, "Son's Name eats fried chicken, let them eat fried chicken. I'll order a tray from the supermarket."

Hahahaha... I mean, come on. That's just beyond insane. Needless to say, we had plenty of fruit at the ready and my wife still made the sliders for the kids. Not all of them are the fruit and sliders, some definitely ate fried chicken, but come on, don't be an ass and not offer a healthy item for the kids to eat.




Or, if that's too much effort, you could call it not your business what someone else feeds themselves and their kid, and possibly stop interacting with them if you really can't bear watching it (that'll be the end result if you try to tell them how to live their life and parent, anyway).

I'm more than likely going this route. I brought it up to my wife and she said her younger brother, who's extremely closed to the cousin, mentioned something about the soda while he was down there for vacation during the holidays and was pretty much told to mind his business. So now that I know that, I won't really put the effort into this matter. Sucks but I don't need to get into an argument over this.
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Cole

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2017, 05:54:07 PM »
Actually some whole fruit and bacon (not a lot, more for flavour) and eggs is a reasonably good breakfast, it's the toast and doughnuts that are the killers there.  Eggs are super nutritious.

To cross threads, Tom Naughton over at Fatheads (http://www.fathead-movie.com/) is coming out with a book and movie (animated) for low-carb nutrition for kids.  Maybe give the book/movie as a birthday/Christmas gift?

Holy crap with the recommending eggs and bacon for breakfast. Eggs are literally the number 1 source of dietary cholesterol and bacon is not far behind. This is horrendous advice. Even the egg industry acknowledges that a single egg puts you right at the upper limit of dietary cholesterol per day for an ADULT! That doesn't even factor in any other dietary cholesterol (animal products) you consume a day.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 05:56:16 PM by Cole »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2017, 06:02:58 PM »
Actually some whole fruit and bacon (not a lot, more for flavour) and eggs is a reasonably good breakfast, it's the toast and doughnuts that are the killers there.  Eggs are super nutritious.

To cross threads, Tom Naughton over at Fatheads (http://www.fathead-movie.com/) is coming out with a book and movie (animated) for low-carb nutrition for kids.  Maybe give the book/movie as a birthday/Christmas gift?

Holy crap with the recommending eggs and bacon for breakfast. Eggs are literally the number 1 source of dietary cholesterol and bacon is not far behind. This is horrendous advice. Even the egg industry acknowledges that a single egg puts you right at the upper limit of dietary cholesterol per day for an ADULT! That doesn't even factor in any other dietary cholesterol (animal products) you consume a day.

Eggs are no longer being demonized.  Cholesterol is an essential building block of every single cell in any organism's body, it is part of the cell membrane. It is essential for proper nervous system development.   All the steroid hormones start with cholesterol.  Would you be equally unhappy if I had said an egg salad sandwich is a good lunch? 

Plus, if you don't eat it, your liver makes it.  Plus, people who have extremely low cholesterol have high mortality.  The graph between cholesterol and mortality is a U shaped curve, not a straight line.

craiglepaige

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2017, 06:22:19 PM »

I am interested in learning of the demographics of your wife’s family – in my experience, particularly questionable infant/toddler feeding habits tend to occur in lower income/working class families with lower educational levels and generally difficult life circumstances.

Well my wife's family is overall upper'ish middle class. No issues with financial disasters, drugs, lack of education or the such. You could say they are pretty above average on every measurable aspect.

Now concerning the cousins and aunt, their household is well above the median regarding income, having a head of household (wife's uncle) who is the top person in a specific section of one of the world's greatest companies. From previous conversations, I'm guessing he makes upwards of $200k a year and has been doing so for the last 10 years or so.

Now I have thought about this before and I think that because of his job demands, he may not have been around as much and all the parenting came down to the mother.  Ever since I have known her she has been overweight, and I'm guessing it was the same long before that, so therefore it's a systematic issue from beforehand.
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stoaX

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #41 on: March 21, 2017, 06:33:41 PM »
The nuclear option would be to report them to The Authorities. They may not care.

TBH, I'd doubt if the authorities would lift a finger.
Yup, that clearly depends on the jurisdiction, severity of the problem, etc.

Touche. Where I live, they actively try to ignore any neglect caused by omission.

My neighbor of 3 months routinely beats her kids, the cops show up, the social workers parade through, and nothing ever changes.  At least where I'm at the authorities wouldn't even show up for a nutritional complaint. 

OP:  sorry you had to deal with this...

stoaX

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #42 on: March 21, 2017, 06:40:43 PM »
Like everyone else said, that truly sucks. Poor kid, and millions like him.

BUT I want to add that I believe there is little you could have said or done to make a difference, and probably would only serve to make things strained between everyone. I've talked to parenting "experts" about this sort of thing, and their typical advice is unless it's a matter of immediate and direct harm, stay out of it and just try to be a positive influence yourself. No matter how tactfully you try to put it, trying to tell someone they're parenting wrongly is going to go over like a giant ton of shit being dumped on their dinner plate. There's almost no way you could put it that wouldn't come across as meddling or that you somehow know better than them (even though you do know better).

I think the best that could be done would be to keep offering healthy alternatives to the kid at every meal, so that they might get the message subtly. For example, as they offer the soda, you could immediately say, "Hey, we have some milk here, would you like to give that to him instead?" Perhaps if you kept doing that without directly saying, "This option is healthier than what you are offering," it might somehow get through, although I really doubt it.
+10
Unless you are some sort of personal-skills ninja, or the parents are very open, there is no way to criticize the parents w/o being taken wrongly and just damaging the situation. Few people like to be preached at. Lead by example. It does work.

+1

kayvent

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #43 on: March 21, 2017, 08:13:44 PM »
The nuclear option would be to report them to The Authorities. They may not care.

TBH, I'd doubt if the authorities would lift a finger.
Yup, that clearly depends on the jurisdiction, severity of the problem, etc.

Touche. Where I live, they actively try to ignore any neglect caused by omission.

My neighbor of 3 months routinely beats her kids, the cops show up, the social workers parade through, and nothing ever changes.  At least where I'm at the authorities wouldn't even show up for a nutritional complaint. 

OP:  sorry you had to deal with this...

A woman I know has multiple children. Doesn't have full custody of any of them. Long story. Years ago, child protective services (SD) were called on her because she refused to take a kid of hers to the doctor. Kid developed a chest infection. SD refused to look into it. Then the same thing happened again with another kid. This time SD opened an investigation since a relative reported it but SD refused to interview many in the childrens' families. Years later, she refused to take a kid to the doctors'. This time nothing bad happened and SD refused to investigate. Months later, pneumonia and she refused to give the kid medication one weekend. You can guess who didn't care.

Years later, SD approaches her and asks if they can help her regain partial custody of one of her children. It was at this point that I lost all respect and faith in child protective services. While I still believe the legal system in my province is fair w.r.t. gender, those series of events and others have shown me that SD can be very sexist.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #44 on: March 22, 2017, 01:50:08 PM »

I am interested in learning of the demographics of your wife’s family – in my experience, particularly questionable infant/toddler feeding habits tend to occur in lower income/working class families with lower educational levels and generally difficult life circumstances.

Well my wife's family is overall upper'ish middle class. No issues with financial disasters, drugs, lack of education or the such. You could say they are pretty above average on every measurable aspect.

Now concerning the cousins and aunt, their household is well above the median regarding income, having a head of household (wife's uncle) who is the top person in a specific section of one of the world's greatest companies. From previous conversations, I'm guessing he makes upwards of $200k a year and has been doing so for the last 10 years or so.

Now I have thought about this before and I think that because of his job demands, he may not have been around as much and all the parenting came down to the mother.  Ever since I have known her she has been overweight, and I'm guessing it was the same long before that, so therefore it's a systematic issue from beforehand.

Thanks! Sounds like it really is a habit/family dynamic thing rather than a lack of nutritional awareness thing then. I am also glad to hear your wife's younger brother said something about it. As long as someone said something once, then you don't need to beat a dead horse. Brother mentioned it, they ignored his concern, well that's about it then.

Scandium

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #45 on: March 23, 2017, 10:17:11 AM »
I think you missed my point. My point was that no parent would knowingly malnourish their child like that if they knew better. Since they did, therefore they probably didn't know. Is it really a choice if they don't know the options? If someone is texting while walking, do you let them fall down the manhole cover because that is their choice or do you realize that if they were paying attention, they'd probably like to not fall down the open hole a few paces ahead?

Second, what about the children? Don't they get a choice? By the time they are in a position to learn, they'll be teenagers or young adults, perhaps dozens or a hundred pounds over-weight. If you asked their future 30-year old self if they'd rather have liked fried chicken and donuts and other junk as a one-year old or the ability to walk a flight of stairs without being winded, I really doubt they would be picking the former. I don't think a parent should make that type of choice on the behalf of their child.

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But we have to accept disagreements and not meddle in other's affairs. This "societal problem" thing is just a BS way to force people do do what you think they should do.

In the USA, it is literally a societal problem. People with diabetes and extra weight literally cost the public health system gobs of money. If the public system was dismantled or people had the ability to leave it, then it wouldn't matter.

We'll congrats, you're probably the only parent in the world who would accept critique of your parenting. Everyone else would tell you to shove it.

I'm not buying the "they don't know better argument". Unless they live in a cabin in the woods of Canada there is no way to avoid knowing that fried chicken as donuts are bad for you, especially a baby! They know, and they don't give a shit. Welcome to humanity.. I used to live in the liberal illusion/fantasy of "if only people knew us much as I do they would make all the right choices!" *read in most demeaning voice possible. Newsflash; no they wouldn't. Sucks for the kids, but parent's make dumb choices for their kids all the time. The sooner you learn to accept it the happier you'll be. The kids will just have to exercise it off when they get older I guess.

This is really the best argument against public healthcare. Most people are ignorant idiots and a) I don't want to pay for their dumb choices. b) I don't want to give government a reason to literally control your every meal. Unfortunatley I don't really want to stumble over people dying in the streets either..

Yes I'd be tempted to let the idiot fall down the manhole, maybe he/she would learn next time.. When I see people texting and driving I hope they crash into a tree, hurting only themselves. If they take themselves out they at least won't harm anyone else.

Poundwise

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2017, 12:49:34 PM »
Aw, c'mon.  Would you begrudge healthcare to the baby when he grows up diabetic? He really doesn't have a choice. The problem always is that people who make poor choices take others down with them.

Quote
Haha it's funny that you mentioned that because since they were up here for the baby's birthday, they asked to have a small get together at our place and invite some family members with kids.

We were totally cool with that and my wife asked how(and who) many people they were thinking of having over in order to put a small menu together. We quickly realized there were going to be about 5-6 kids(all under 5) and my wife mentioned making some PB&J sliders with fruit on the side for the kids.  To this, her cousin responded, "Son's Name eats fried chicken, let them eat fried chicken. I'll order a tray from the supermarket."

Hahahaha... I mean, come on. That's just beyond insane. Needless to say, we had plenty of fruit at the ready and my wife still made the sliders for the kids. Not all of them are the fruit and sliders, some definitely ate fried chicken, but come on, don't be an ass and not offer a healthy item for the kids to eat.

Oh well.  Sometimes peer pressure helps... I think that if I were the only one giving soda and candy to my baby, and all the other parents around were feeding their kids water and fresh fruit, I might start feeling a little self conscious. Though sometimes there is more behind the unhealthy eating... maybe if the mother and father have a distant relationship, the mom can't bear to deny her child anything because she has nobody else to love. I have seen this happen. Is the child overindulged in other ways? 

nvtribefan1

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #47 on: March 23, 2017, 09:52:56 PM »


I do pan fry my bacon, but I stand at the bacon counter and pick the package with the least fat, and then the dog gets most of the fat

You are not doing your dog any favors.  The are subject to just about all human diseases.  I trim most of the fat before grilling or baking my bacon.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #48 on: March 24, 2017, 07:30:17 AM »
I do pan fry my bacon, but I stand at the bacon counter and pick the package with the least fat, and then the dog gets most of the fat
You are not doing your dog any favors.  The are subject to just about all human diseases.  I trim most of the fat before grilling or baking my bacon.

My dog is an arctic breed and very active.  I have learned that a no-grain food and extra fat keeps her energetic and her coat in good shape.  Not enough fat and her coat is dry and rough.  She is middle-aged and everyone thinks she is a puppy - maybe I know my dog's needs better than you do?

BTW, correlation is not causation, but has anyone noticed how autism in children, along with type 2 diabetes and obesity, has crept up in lockstep with our increasing consumption of carbs and decreased consumption of fat, especially animal fat?  Our bodies need fat, and essential fatty acids are called that because we need them and cannot make them. And these days we eat relatively little of them.

Re cooking, my biggest issue with fried foods would be 1. what fat is being used, and 2. all the carby breading with no nutritional benefit.

BlueHouse

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Re: Need to vent... Child malnourishment.
« Reply #49 on: March 25, 2017, 10:45:55 AM »
My brother is very intelligent, but he's kind of a dummy about some things.  When his daughter was a baby (like, maybe 3 or 4 teeth), whenever we'd get into the car to go somewhere, she'd get a baggie of cookies.  I asked "hey, why not give her some apple slices?" and his response was that children's brains need sugar and fat to develop and that they can't tell the difference between different types of sugar/fat.   

<sigh>
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