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<p>Let me start by saying my mother thinks I am "a snob because we are vegetarian".   My mother and stepfather and my in-laws always manage to give DD food containing carmine, fish oil, lard, gelatin, etc even though when she goes to visit, I send food with her.  My mother in law SWORE she read the yogurt label she was giving DD (she said "oh I had an open quart of yogurt so I gave her some of that rather than opening a new one, but don't worry, I read the label") and lo and behold, it had gelatin and MIL didn't notice it. My mom gave DD hot chocolate that had mini marshmallows in it which contained gelatin, but she didn't think to read the label.  She also gave her chapstick for christmas that had carmine in it.</p>
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<p>I just want them to read the labels and ask me if they aren't sure (in the event that they are babysitting).  I am feeling like a nuisance because I am "strict" in their words, which I totally disagree with.  I just want some reassurance that it is ok for me to raise my children the way I think is right.  I am doing what I can to make it easier for them by sending food with DD, and for some reason they insist on giving her other things.  Is it ok for me to insist that they read every label?  It seems to mostly be with products they wouldn't expect to have beef fat, gelatin, etc like pop tarts (UGH), pie crust, yogurt, hostess cupcakes...</p>
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<p>When I tell my mother how important it is for us to be true to our beliefs, she gets defensive.  I can't even talk to her about it.  I am not preachy with her.. but she seems to feel either attacked or guilty for some reason. Any suggestions? </p>
 

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<p>It sounds like they're trying minimally (at least it's not hot dog chunks) :) but just missing the mark. I mean, let's face it, to a casual observer our reticience towards ingredients they've never even known existed seems odd. Maybe another conversation, not in the moment, but at a time when everyone is getting along and you and mom are alone is in order? Something along the lines of, I know our eating choices may seem odd and it is really hard sometimes to tell what has animal products in it. A well-meaning sweet treat really can derail all that we're trying to do nutritionally. Would it be possible to only feed baby the foods that we provide next time we bring baby over? That could go well, (or could not)! That's a hard place to be!</p>
 

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<p>It sounds like they just keep missing ingredients, but are really trying -- not trying to undermine you? If they genuinely want to help, maybe you could go through their pantry & make a list of 'approved' foods (including the brand names) so they know if something's on the list, it's OK, and if not, or if they bought a different brand, they need to pass on it or call you. Otherwise, I would just insist that they only feed her the foods that you've provided.</p>
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<p>I have been vegetarian or vegan since I was 12 (I'm 28 now) and my dad is still completely clueless with what I (and now, my son) can eat. My mom has a pretty good idea but still is shaky, so she knows to call me if she's about to buy something for me & she's unsure. My inlaws don't know anything about the ingredients but buy the same 'safe' brands over & over so they know DS & I can eat it. What has helped all of them TONS is looking for "VEGAN" or the V in the heart on products they buy. They thought it was so cool when I pointed out to them that many vegan products are labeled as such, and it's made it way easier for them to pick up food we can eat. Since it sounds like your DD is vegetarian, not vegan, that may be less useful for your family but it's still something you can mention to them.</p>
 
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