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Hack my nephews diets, it worries me

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 29, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Of course I don't have much control of my nephews, and I know most of the issue is because of my sister and brother-in-laws truly terrible diet and awful choices. My brother-in-law will eat anything in site, and doesn't want to "waste anything" thus he gorges himself constantly on anything. My sister loves sugar filled drinks and snacks, and as long as I can remember would always hide stashes of candy in random places.

My nephews will ONLY eat fruit. I haven't seen them eat veggies unless they're dipped in ranch or something similar. Usually a few bananas, tons of apples, oranges, grapes, and pears throughout the entire day, and they'll barely touch meat when served it. I can never get them to eat nuts unless they'e covered in chocolate, and we constantly catch them going through and even climbing on things to grab the junk food my sister tries to hide like "fruit" filled bars, soft mints, and other similar items. The worst part is every hour they will say they are hungry, sometimes even less than that. I know it is because I can never get them to eat much food that will keep them full.

My worries is that they're just so hooked on sugar, and will keep this cycle till they're older. Is there some sort of trick I can do to get them to eat more veggies, more meat, and less fruit and sugary items? Any parents out there with helpful hints or suggestions that you've used?

I'm also the only Paleo eater in my house, which I know is an important factor.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on May 30, 2012
at 12:04 PM

+1 for Russell Crowe!

46c9fbd45b82453f6a2dfe614a853314

(1876)

on May 29, 2012
at 10:07 PM

I agree, they could be doing a lot worse than fruit! My 2 nephews (9 months and 3 years) are only fed Eggo waffles, blue gatorade, and chicken nuggets. They are hyperactive and behind in every developmental milestone. It makes me cringe, but they aren't my kids, it isn't my place to say. I'm just going to continue to feed my son homemade, organic baby food!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:09 PM

I think Karen is right. Paleo is not necessarily healthier for you, I don't tolerate nuts at all for example, but tolerate lots of non-paleo foods are okay. You'd come over like a christian trying to convert people.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on May 29, 2012
at 05:34 PM

If you have to do something, the best is to just serve healthy TASTY food. And leave it be. If someone says "Where's the bread?" or "I want spaghetti" then you can say "Sorry, don't have any of that." If they then ask Why, then you can say "It's not real good for people." But again, leave it at that. If someone asks you a question re your diet, answer, but keep it VERY short and simple. Let them ask if they want.

4b05d725a8332e8e917a4ca58b6e8a1e

(1239)

on May 29, 2012
at 05:33 PM

+1 for maneuvers.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on May 29, 2012
at 05:27 PM

You're young, you've recently discovered a great way to eat and live, you want everyone else to benefit from your experiences and new knowledge. Now imagine that you are vegan rather than primal. Or that your sister, equally sure of the wonders of her new vegan diet (or religion or political stance or ...) comes by with the same level of enthusiastic proselytizing because it will SAVE YOUR LIFE! How does that turn out? As an ex-raw vegan proselytizer (every bit as enthused as you are) I can tell you, not so good.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 29, 2012
at 05:26 PM

Do you have reason to believe these kids aren't healthy?

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on May 29, 2012
at 05:23 PM

Overall, I agree. My wife gave my nephew (who supposedly refuses to eat meat) some bacon which he ate happily. My brother (his father) was pissed. But that is because my brother is trying to be vegan. If you can find real foods that the kid enjoys and the parents are okay with, then you'll have a lot more success adding in those foods rather than trying to change some existing part of the diet.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on May 29, 2012
at 05:17 PM

You won't win in this situation against your sister and brother-in-law. Family battles over food can get incredibly vicious. Find something else to worry about that won't trigger a family feud.

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4 Answers

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4
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on May 29, 2012
at 05:48 PM

Fruit, while not a good thing to hang your hat on dietarily, is far better than candy and chips. Let's start with the positives here.

My 2 1/2 year old daughter is a fruit bat. Fruit all day long. I'm not worried because I know someday she will get more with the flow. But it's hard to reason with someone who doesn't speak English very well and whose grasp of logic is faint at best.

Try to find some foods that they will eat that will help with satiety. Full-fat Greek yogurt, cheese, and ham are foods that my daughter likes. She likes dried fruit like raisins and cranberries in the yogurt, alas, but whatever. Stock lower fructose fruits like blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. You can also sneak all kinds of things into smoothies like veggies, yogurt, and nut butters. Maybe they have a latent taste for olives or avocado that hasn't been discovered yet.

Don't push. Don't argue. Don't debate. Make it as fun and tasty as possible. Sometimes kids are automatically interested in whatever adults are eating, so be a good example.

46c9fbd45b82453f6a2dfe614a853314

(1876)

on May 29, 2012
at 10:07 PM

I agree, they could be doing a lot worse than fruit! My 2 nephews (9 months and 3 years) are only fed Eggo waffles, blue gatorade, and chicken nuggets. They are hyperactive and behind in every developmental milestone. It makes me cringe, but they aren't my kids, it isn't my place to say. I'm just going to continue to feed my son homemade, organic baby food!

8
Da20058e445fa4c5ce328132379521b3

on May 29, 2012
at 05:18 PM

Maneuver thyself into chef'ing the breakfasts. Fill them with saturated fats. It will take quite a few hours before sugar will seem like a good idea. I hope. (EDIT: and bacon too!)

If all fails (we can't all be Russell Crowe) - then you'll have some squishy and slothy nephews to use as bean bag chairs. Silver Lining!

4b05d725a8332e8e917a4ca58b6e8a1e

(1239)

on May 29, 2012
at 05:33 PM

+1 for maneuvers.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on May 30, 2012
at 12:04 PM

+1 for Russell Crowe!

4
58d456f4c4d551a697e65ada8c32ad4f

on May 29, 2012
at 05:42 PM

Its great that you really are worried about the health of people you love. But in all honesty, you have to let people to their own thing. Which means let your nephews' parents be their parents. If they don't care what their kids eat, that's their issue. You can give suggestions, but its a really tricky thing to do with out coming across negatively. I personally eat really healthy, and have recently gone paleo after being gluten free for years. I have also lost a lot of weight in the past few years, while I've watched my boyfriend of 6 years eat a ton of crap and gain 50ish pounds at the same time. Sure we eat healthy together, but I can't control (nor do I want to be that kind of person) what he does in his own time.

3
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on May 29, 2012
at 05:12 PM

Bacon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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