Request for Advice -- Two Children/Different Diets

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My daughter's 7-year old cousin is here for the summer. The cousin has been put on a special, and very restricted, diet. My daughter doesn't want to be so restricted in her eating habits (she eats vegetables, but craves pizza and ice cream, too -- things her cousin isn't allowed to have).

Any advice on how to deal with this is appreciated. (For instance, should I insist that my girl also maintain her cousin's diet, as a way of supporting her cousin and because allowing my girl to eat pizza in front of the cousin is akin to torture for the cousin? Or should I find a way to give my girl the diet she normally maintains, while insisting that the cousin stay on the special diet).

It's a somewhat time-sensitive question. My daughter wants pizza for lunch, something that's definitely not on the cousin's diet.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 20 June 2010 15:20 (eleven years ago) link

politeness suggests that you make your daughter tough it out today, & you should talk things over with her afterwards & figure out what she thinks---if your daughter is old enough to understand norms of politeness etc.

Euler, Sunday, 20 June 2010 15:44 (eleven years ago) link

normally i'd agree, and i still might agree. but it's all summer, and my mother-in-law, who drives them to camp and so has them overnight from time-to-time, isn't requiring my daughter to be on the diet. plus my daughter doesn't eat meat, and boiled/grilled chicken, turkey, fish is on the diet for lunch and dinner. all of these factors make it hard for me.

but my gut instinct is that you're right.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 20 June 2010 15:49 (eleven years ago) link

well, you can play it by ear; I was just thinking that for today, before you get things figured out, I'd recommend erring on the side of politeness. Surely you can talk it out with both your daughter & the cousin?

Euler, Sunday, 20 June 2010 15:54 (eleven years ago) link

Yeah, they're old enough to have input here I think, though let them know that you're the final arbiter.

Grisly Addams (WmC), Sunday, 20 June 2010 15:59 (eleven years ago) link

yeah, i think you're right. there are some additional issues with the cousin, but the cousin will certainly have no problem if my daughter is made to stay on the diet with her.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 20 June 2010 15:59 (eleven years ago) link

wait the diet has meat and your daughter doesn't eat meat?

call all destroyer, Sunday, 20 June 2010 16:06 (eleven years ago) link

the cousin's diet includes lean meats (boiled chicken, turkey and so forth). my daughter isn't on the diet, and the only meat she eats is chicken nuggets, and that's becoming more and more of a rare occasion (she doesn't like the idea of eating animals).

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 20 June 2010 16:11 (eleven years ago) link

my daughter does eat fruits and vegetables, tho, and those are staples on the diet.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 20 June 2010 16:11 (eleven years ago) link

You may already do this normally but it might be interesting to get the kids (more?) involved with shopping and cooking the things they can both have. Take to farmer's market, allow to pick out new/weird/colorful etc foods, research recipes together, whatever fits your plan. If it feels like a game and you set it up as a special adventure for the summer, it could be something v memorable for them both.

the soul of the avocado escapes as soon as you open it (Laurel), Sunday, 20 June 2010 18:43 (eleven years ago) link

Kind of the "Man, painting this fence is so much fun!" approach?

the soul of the avocado escapes as soon as you open it (Laurel), Sunday, 20 June 2010 18:44 (eleven years ago) link

worth a try. as it stands, the cousin went back to my mother-in-laws a few minutes ago. i have a feeling they'll cave-in on the diet. we'll see.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 20 June 2010 18:47 (eleven years ago) link

How about giving them meals where you can stick different ingredients/elements in bowls on the table and let them help themselves -- customisable to their individual likes/requirements. Like, uh, fajitas in one bowl, sauce(s) in another, chicken in another, veg in another, etc etc, they put the meal together themselves according to what they like and are allowed. Does that make sense?

Meg (Meg Busset), Sunday, 20 June 2010 20:22 (eleven years ago) link

(I use this tactic a lot with mine, one of whom is fussy as hell with multiple allergies, the other will eat anything.)

Meg (Meg Busset), Sunday, 20 June 2010 20:23 (eleven years ago) link

at the moment, the deeper problem is that the cousin refuses to eat anything -- except oatmeal and eggs -- on the diet. right now it's a waiting game. she refuses to eat and the family, to their credit, isn't caving-in. we'll see who gives first.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 20 June 2010 21:21 (eleven years ago) link

damn, i'm sure she's on the diet for good health reasons but i was an ultra-picky eater as a kid and i'm glad my parents were understanding and tolerant.

call all destroyer, Sunday, 20 June 2010 21:37 (eleven years ago) link

she's on the diet for very serious health issues.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 20 June 2010 22:17 (eleven years ago) link


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