One of the biggest issues I have as a Papa Heroes is making sure I eat healthy and keep my daughter on the same track. A few days ago we where at my grandma’s birthday party and she decided to give a tiny piece of cake to Daniela.
This put me into a difficult situation because I love my Grandma and I could not find a way to tell her that it really bothered me that she decided to feed my daughter cake. I don’t mind if she does it when she is older but right now as a new dad I have to make sure that my daughter gets the needed nutrition.
After telling grandma that she should not have given my daughter cake, she replied as any Puerto Rican Grandmother would reply, that in the Old Days everyone would give cake and other things to the kids and they would be fine.
My biggest issue with that line of reasoning is that many of my family members suffer from Diabetes and many other illnesses that can be tied to nutrition. Most of them have decided to hide the fact that their poor nutrition got them in trouble.
I personally had terrible eating habits and still have a few I need to work on. Becoming vegetarian has given me the opportunity to take a look at the ingredients that go into my meals and making sure that they are nutritious enough for me.
I also have a hard time explaining to my family that my daughter will be brought up vegetarian. They clearly don’t understand it and I am worried that if I leave my daughter with any of them they will feed her things that I prefer her not to eat.
Have you been through that situation?
Do you know of kids with dietary restrictions and how do you communicate the importance of sticking to that diet to their grandparents and other family members who just don’t get it?
Although not vegetarians, I am always trying to make sure my kids (and myself) eat healthy meals and snacks. One of the hardest things to still do is to have older family members adhere to my wishes. They are slowly coming around but it hasn’t been easy.
Raul Colon says
I agree most of the time the older family members are the ones that have the biggest issues with adhering to the rules of good nutrition for the younger ones. My Older family members use the excuse of tradition in the attempt to feed me an others garbage.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
What has worked on some occassions is explaining that we have not reached that milestone when it comes to food. I constantly tell people about what I have read and how things are different than when they were parents.
Bobby Clubbs says
Ho, boy! That is a tough situation. I know that I struggle with my parents on this issue. They love to “treat” my kids to foods that I wouldn’t normally give my kids. It’s so tough to tell them “don’t love the kids that way.” I don’t have a good answer.
Raul Colon says
Thanks for stopping by. I guess with me it is my grandma since I don’t get to see my parents and My dad still has not met his granddaughter.
I guess anyway you put it to them since it is something that over the years got hardwired into their heads they will be upset when you correct them.
Maybe I will modify and use “Don’t love the kids that way”
Julio M. Rivera says
i understand that it can be difficult to put your foot down about your choices, especially with your parents or other family members. But i believe that when it comes to your children, the choices you make for their sake should be paramount to you, and you should consider your children’s well being as a priority over the feelings of any and all persons, including your family.
Also, they should reasonably understand that these are your children, and that your choices for them should be respected, as they would expect you to respect their choices for theirs.
Raul Colon says
I agree with you completely. But in my Grandma’s case it is not easy to tell an 83 year old on her Birthday that she is wrong.
I guess all the excitement of having the little one around makes them want to give them things I rather have her wait to experience later.
Your words will be in the back of my head new time it happens. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Ivelisse Arroyo says
Wow! It must be tough for you, no doubt in my mind! Although I know is difficult I know there is hope. I believe the basics to educate others on one’s way of doing something different (being vegetarian in your case) is trying to find some common grounds. I’ve seen a few veggie alternatives you’ve shared and I would be willing to try them since they sound common for me, like the mofongo of the other day, and the tostones the pana, for example. And if there is an alternative to sweets veggie style that you enjoy, maybe you can take it to grandma and say very enthuasistic (attitude and tone are key), I found something you can share with Daniela!
Same thing in family gatherings, maybe you dont eat what they eat, but you can contribute with something made veggie that they would like and is common to their ears and taste, even help grandma cut the verduras or veggies she uses to cook or other family members. I”m pretty sure you would like your family to embrace your veggie style, probably showing them common alternatives and share it with them they might start understanding what you are tryin to do. Keep enjoying doing things with them they always do, i dont know, feed the chickens, enjoy BBQ and bring something you can put on the BBQ but still spend time with them.
It’s a way of saying: “I dont expect you to be vegetarian but we can enjoy these together and keep the family unite and still have a great time”
Hope this helps in any way. 😉
Raul Colon says
You have some great suggestions which many of them we have used. Sadly in our culture (like in a few others) what is understood as tradition can affect many things.
I guess it is an Impasse of well Raúl is not eating any meat so why do we have to eat at vegetarian friendly place.
For now I am glad to spend time with them and enjoy myself as much as possible.
But you did give me some great ideas. Thanks.