Visiting friends for the weekend who eat very unhealthy - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 86 Old 09-24-2009, 08:19 PM
 
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Personally I'd pick one or two things and just endure the rest.

Mine would be the artificial sweetener and the pop.

At breakfast I'd just lightly say "Oh the kids will have some butter and cinnamon and sugar on their pancakes. I don't let the kids eat artificial sweeteners" "Oh water will be fine for us."

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#62 of 86 Old 09-24-2009, 08:39 PM
 
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I run into similar (but not as bad) problems when i visit my dad. You know - the food is always good, and not necessarily junky (sometimes from trader joe's, but canned/bottled) but they get barely any fiber in their diet, where we're USED to a lot, so I always have pooping issues for the whole time and then a few days after, and just generally feel yucky.

They also exclusively drink diet soda... and always try and pick some other flavors of diet up for us, which is just a big "NO" on the aspartame, for us, but they don't get it. And then they send us home with piles of food that we don't necessarily want because of the other issues... Meh.

They also insist on cooking when they come to our house *sigh*... which is so nice, but they think we're crazy when I choose the organic chicken or organic milk or whatever at the store. They think we vastly overpay for food. I think they're paying in their health (at least that seems pretty obvious to me, considering their health situation...), but what do I know, I'm not a doctor (they can totally afford better food - she's a lawyer and he's higher up in the government... they definitely make a lot more than we do, and have no kids at home and fewer other costs)

I feel your pain, I guess, OP. Aspartame is a big struggle for me with my dad and his wife.

But then, I'm a total foodie and clearly a food snob, so I guess there's that aspect.

I think in this situation, I'd have to go with bringing some nice maple syrup and holding my breath through the rest. Offering to cook is really nice, but speaking personally, I really HATE when other people are trying to cook in my kitchen. It makes me crazy. LOL I assume most other people don't feel that way, though, but I'd have a hard time offering because of my own hang-ups with it.

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#63 of 86 Old 09-24-2009, 09:03 PM
 
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I think you should just let it go. If your family eats mostly healthy foods except once a year and white bread is considered a splurge to the junk food side in your family then I don't think you need to stress yourself out with anxiety over what you eat on this vacation.
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#64 of 86 Old 09-24-2009, 09:11 PM
 
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At first I was going to say just be cool and eat what you can handle....but on second thought do you or the kids have stomach upset when you eat junky foods. I know I do.... and after spending the evening at a friends'... my kids don't seem to do to well on junk.
I know I used to get sick when I ever ate at one friends house... I know now it was from a certain perservative that I don't do well on.
So you know what your fam can handle without 20 trips to the bathroom.
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#65 of 86 Old 09-24-2009, 09:14 PM
 
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I think you should just let it go. If your family eats mostly healthy foods except once a year and white bread is considered a splurge to the junk food side in your family then I don't think you need to stress yourself out with anxiety over what you eat on this vacation.
I agree with this, frankly I would be so hurt if someone I allowed to stay in my house and offered hospitality to felt this way about my food. I really don't think there is a nice way around this without creating the potential for hurt feelings. If you have never brought a gift before and show up with a food basket I am still not sure if that would go over well.

IMO aside from offering to treat them for a few meals out which can be done under the guise of wanting to repay their hospitality, I would suck it up. I hope I don't come across as harsh but I am dealing with a similiar situation and this thread struck a note with me.

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#66 of 86 Old 09-24-2009, 09:20 PM
 
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I was thinking about this some more... b/c I am very much a let it go, it's not a big deal type of person (say, about stuff like soda, goldfish crackers, fast food, birthday cake ) BUT, for me personally, I feel horrid if I eat/drink certain things. Which is why I mentioned not being okay with aspartame - I get migraines. Red 40, artificial sweeteners, icky versions of nitrate loaded hot dogs - I cannot eat myself without feeling ill. My children, and DH, are not near as sensitive, though. So, if it was me, I would be grocery shopping for the family (or stashing food in my suitcase) or spending the money and insisting on taking everyone out to eat (maybe use wanting to get out and explore various parts of town as an excuse). I just would not have a good time if I felt crummy.

I don't think your hosts would be offended by a little grocery shopping. If you bought fruits and veggies, etc., they would likely be happy you wanted to help with food costs. We have relatives who often make trips to the store while staying with us, and I'm not offended b/c they wanted a specific type of beer, or diet soda, or even junk food (so, they do the opposite of what you would be doing).

I guess if no one in your family will feel sick from what they serve, and it's just a nutritional annoyance, I would just go and eat as it sounds like you have in the past. If there are sensitivities, I would gently find a way to offer more healthy food choices while you are visiting.

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#67 of 86 Old 09-25-2009, 02:36 AM
 
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This kind of issue is one of the many reasons I am grateful for my ds' severe food allergy (to corn) We have to bring our own food everywhere we go.

If it were me I would just claim picky/sensitive kids and say you are bringing stuff you know they will eat to take care of snacks and to be sure there are some healthy items on hand (bring enough for everyone). And offer to take care of a breakfast, a lunch, and a dinner if you are staying a couple of days out of gratitude. That is a nice thing to do anyway when visiting.

Maybe bring some Annie's mac'n'cheese and some all natural, nitrate and filler free beef 'hot dogs', and other things that are similar enough to not be offensive but should be liked by all? Or order pizza for everyone one night? That way there should be enough for leftovers for lunch (if you order enough). It would probably be easier to just focus on the few things you absolutely can't get over and let the rest go.

I personally couldn't let the hot dogs, drinks, or syrup go. Ditto on the foods with lots of chemicals and dyes. They can be really hard on the digestion of people who don't regularly eat that sort of thing. If we didn't have the allergy issue that is.

There are lots of ways to handle this kind of thing without saying anything about their food choices. You can be polite and creative without being judgmental. Even just choosing the junk or fast food you ARE comfortable with as an alternative could work.


 

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#68 of 86 Old 09-25-2009, 02:56 AM
 
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OP in your case i would offer to take them out for a meal. and then offer to cook one too casually and go on a grocery trip rather than show up with grocery. if you plan to cook take their nabits into concern and not cook what you would typically cook but would not suit their diet. kinda try to acheive middle ground.

i am lucky that my dd would refuse such food. definitely the hot dogs and the pancakes and jiffy popcorn. and even if they served pasta with spaghetti sause that would work well for us.

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#69 of 86 Old 09-25-2009, 09:15 AM
 
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Call ahead of time --"oh just a head's up, I'm bringing a cooler full of food for lunches and snacks so you don't have to worry about feeding the kids all weekend. No, no I insist. And you must let me cook at least one meal or take you out to dinner to thank you for your hospitality."

Do they have kids too? Make sure you bring enough to share.

I understand how you feel, but time with friends is too precious to let some white bread and trans fat get in the way, IMO.

ETA - I'm not always creative with food and feeding a visiting family of 4 might be enough to make me break out the frozen chicken nuggets too
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#70 of 86 Old 09-25-2009, 09:17 AM
 
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And I agree with a pp, find middle ground. Maybe some high quality hot dogs (?) and some Hansen's root beer or cider or something.
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#71 of 86 Old 09-25-2009, 09:30 AM
 
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I was thinking about this some more... b/c I am very much a let it go, it's not a big deal type of person (say, about stuff like soda, goldfish crackers, fast food, birthday cake ) BUT, for me personally, I feel horrid if I eat/drink certain things.
Me too! I couldn't let something like that go. I would be ill. I'm not even sure I could get some of that food down. Seriously. I'm vegan and my kids are vegetarian, so at least that would remedy the hotdog problem. My kids' behavior would be out of control and it would possibly make for a very difficult weekend. I have tummy issues, and if I ate that much trans-fat and artificial flavorings and additives, I'd be spending the weekend on the toilet.

OP, I would take some food for you and your family. Heck, when my BILs and their families visit us, or we visit them, we all take food with us. (We're all healthy eaters, but with me being vegan and dh and the kids being vegetarian, we don't want anyone to feel responsible for our food choices.) Tell your friends you don't want to eat them out of house and home, and bring some good healthy snacks.

I'd let my kids try the soda. ONCE! I'm quite sure they would gag at the fake maple syrup, though.
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#72 of 86 Old 09-25-2009, 02:00 PM
 
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Call ahead of time --"oh just a head's up, I'm bringing a cooler full of food for lunches and snacks so you don't have to worry about feeding the kids all weekend. No, no I insist. And you must let me cook at least one meal or take you out to dinner to thank you for your hospitality."

Do they have kids too? Make sure you bring enough to share.
See, a call like this would be a total relief to me, since I'd prob'ly be overwhelmed with cleaning right before they came, LOL, so this would be "one less thing" for me to worry about.

Whereas having my friends call while I'm in the midst of all the cleaning, asking whether I'll be able to offer healthy alternatives to the foods we normally serve, would be dumping a load on me at an already-overwhelmed moment.

And, yes, I'd be very much looking forward to the actual visit -- but I tend to procrastinate so much on my housework that I tend to get a tad stressed slightly "before" the big moment.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#73 of 86 Old 09-27-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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Yeah- if it were me I would just bring my own food and cook for them, like some others have said.
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#74 of 86 Old 09-27-2009, 06:52 PM
 
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This kind of issue is one of the many reasons I am grateful for my ds' severe food allergy (to corn) We have to bring our own food everywhere we go.

If it were me I would just claim picky/sensitive kids and say you are bringing stuff you know they will eat to take care of snacks and to be sure there are some healthy items on hand (bring enough for everyone). And offer to take care of a breakfast, a lunch, and a dinner if you are staying a couple of days out of gratitude. That is a nice thing to do anyway when visiting.

Maybe bring some Annie's mac'n'cheese and some all natural, nitrate and filler free beef 'hot dogs', and other things that are similar enough to not be offensive but should be liked by all? Or order pizza for everyone one night? That way there should be enough for leftovers for lunch (if you order enough). It would probably be easier to just focus on the few things you absolutely can't get over and let the rest go.

I personally couldn't let the hot dogs, drinks, or syrup go. Ditto on the foods with lots of chemicals and dyes. They can be really hard on the digestion of people who don't regularly eat that sort of thing. If we didn't have the allergy issue that is.

There are lots of ways to handle this kind of thing without saying anything about their food choices. You can be polite and creative without being judgmental. Even just choosing the junk or fast food you ARE comfortable with as an alternative could work.

ditto, sometime I love the fact we have to follow a special diet because it gives us an excuse not to eat food I find horrifying. I would say one weekend won't kill them but I would also bring say, half the food you would need for every one to limit what they eat. For example instead of the soda with red 40 in you could bring 7 up, bring real pancake syrup and mix you approve of although not sure I would go as far as whole wheat since thats a bit of an acquired taste but maybe something like bisquick? (I dunno whats in it, were GF). Just bring extra of foods you do approve of thats not to far out there but won't offend them. Like if you were to bring all natural/organic food you would probably offend them but if you bought stuff that you can find at a regular store thats a healthier option, say cheerios instead of fruit loops I think your less likely to offend.

Seriously?
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#75 of 86 Old 09-27-2009, 10:13 PM
 
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Wow, I am by no means a food snob, people around hewre would be horrified by what I let my kids eat, but that grossed me out just reading it. I don't know how you could eat that every day, every meal without getting physically ill. I mean it is one thing if your kids are used to all that but yours are not.

I know you are probably willing to compromise and let them have hotdogs once or twice. If they will actually eat them. Where else can you compromise? Pancakes with real syrup? Microwave popcorn with less fake (the make some all natrual ones...orvil reddenbokker i think). Maybe offer to take the kids out for lunch......bring a fruit basket as a gift? I don't know. Good luck.

ETA - i just realized it was for a weekend and not a week. I would just make sure to bring snacks for everyone so that your kids will fill up on that and eat leass at meals. and better syrup. that sugar free stuff is just gross.

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#76 of 86 Old 09-27-2009, 10:46 PM
 
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If I couldn't go and be cheerful and polite about the food served in the house, I'd stay at a motel or I'd stay home. It really is only one weekend.
I agree with this.

I do think it would be reasonable for you to bring some simple snacks/foods that your kids do eat (with enough to share, of course) and offer to prepare a meal or two while you're there.

I'm curious though... if you only see these people "once a year", how do you know what they eat on a daily basis?

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#77 of 86 Old 09-27-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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do people really think Annies mac and cheese is *healthy*? It is still white pasta and powdered processed 'cheese'.
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#78 of 86 Old 09-27-2009, 11:46 PM
 
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do people really think Annies mac and cheese is *healthy*? It is still white pasta and powdered processed 'cheese'.
I don't think anyone thinks it's "healthy," but the ingredient list looks a lot better than Kraft's. Especially if you avoid artificial colorings like the plague!

Annies: ORGANIC SEMOLINA PASTA FROM DURUM WHEAT, CHEDDAR CHEESE (CULTURED PASTEURIZED MILK, SALT, NON-ANIMAL ENZYMES), WHEY, BUTTERMILK, BUTTER, SALT, NATURAL SODIUM PHOSPHATE.

Kraft: Ingredients: ENRICHED MACARONI PRODUCT (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, FERROUS SULFATE [IRON], THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID); CHEESE SAUCE MIX (WHEY, MILKFAT, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SALT, SODIUM TRIPOLYPHOSPHATE, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF CITRIC ACID, LACTIC ACID, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, MILK, YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6, ENZYMES, CHEESE CULTURE)
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#79 of 86 Old 09-28-2009, 12:00 AM
 
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I would have the same problem as Yooper. My Dd would lose her mind if she ate like that.
My husband once got on his high horse about letting the kids have donuts b/c I kept saying no and I told him exactly why but he wants it not to be true...and lo and behold DD cried and screamed and could not handle anything all day. she was leaping around and driving him crazy...for what ? A stinkin donut.
So my DD definitely could not endure an entire weekend like that. I feel, thoughI could tell that, too any of my friends My friends know how we eat and if I were going to their home I could say, "Oh no way can Dd have that. I brought these alternatives to keep the peace all weekend; Otherwise we will all go crazy" My friends would laugh and that be it.
I can't imagine a single one of my friends thinking that I was being uppity.

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#80 of 86 Old 09-28-2009, 01:23 AM
 
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do people really think Annies mac and cheese is *healthy*? It is still white pasta and powdered processed 'cheese'.
and it is gross. no one who eats kraft is going to be satisfied with this as a subsitute. better to just have a pb and j and move on with life.

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#81 of 86 Old 09-28-2009, 01:47 AM
 
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I'd bring my own food.

I've gotten to where I am much more concerned about our health and feeling good than about if it will bother people

and I try and be as nice about it as possible

I'd talk to DD about it before hand also and let her know what we can and can't eat

I let her have treats and do accept food for her I wouldn't always have but for the most part, guess I'm snobby about it and I am okay with that.

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#82 of 86 Old 09-28-2009, 08:10 AM
 
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I would call them ahead of time and say that some of the foods they eat you and your kids don't eat/like and ask if they have any alternatives,
I think it would be really rude to ask someone to provide alternatives if you aren't allergic to something.

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#83 of 86 Old 09-29-2009, 09:04 AM
 
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So, how did it go?
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#84 of 86 Old 09-29-2009, 10:15 AM
 
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If I couldn't go and be cheerful and polite about the food served in the house, I'd stay at a motel or I'd stay home. It really is only one weekend.
I agree.

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I'd let it go, but seriously consider bringing maple syrup as a gift... Most people do love it, just don't/can't justify the cost (and neither could I if I bought it in the store - but I buy it from a local place for $25 a gallon every winter
The hot dogs...the sugar free syrup...to me, they suggest a diabetic diet. Is the soda sugar free? Is the pancake mix whole wheat or high protein? In that case, real maple syrup could seriously hurt someone who is a diabetic, someone who might not want to offend a guest by not tasting the gift.

And this is coming from the perspective of a diabetic's wife.

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#85 of 86 Old 09-29-2009, 10:35 AM
 
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I would bring my own food. When we have just let it go by saying, "oh it's only the weekend or it will hurt so & so's feelings," we have ended up sick & detoxing for a few days. That's not worth it to me.

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#86 of 86 Old 10-04-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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So, how did it go?
This.

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