Good nutrition is essential for children to achieve their full developmental potential. Unfortunately, parents sometimes don’t have the time or the money to prepare fresh, nutritious meals for their kids.
An indulgent aunt who wanted to help her SIL offered to babysit and feed her niece healthy food. Her SIL disapproved of her culinary indulgence, and they had a tiff. The aunt asked the forum, “Am I wrong for always feeding my niece ‘fancy’ expensive food?”
Here’s the whole story.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW?
The original poster (29, F) has a niece (5, F) who is her SIL’s (24, F) daughter. Her boyfriend left her at the beginning of this year, and she has been a single mom. She is having difficulty balancing raising her daughter while working a minimum-wage job.
OP OFFERED TO BABYSIT HER NIECE
Because of this, OP offered to babysit her niece on most weekday evenings so her mom could work extra shifts and not worry about paying for a sitter. This arrangement has been going smoothly for the last two months.
“My niece is an absolute angel, and we have gotten so incredibly close,” says OP.
OP NOTICED LACK OF FRESH FOOD IN SIL’S FRIDGE
“I’ve noticed whenever we’ve been over to my SILs that her fridge is severely lacking in fresh foods,” says OP.
She, however, doesn’t blame her SIL for this one bit. “I understand how expensive grocery shopping can be and how much of a privilege it is to buy fresh food each week,” she explains.
SIL TOLD OP TO FEED HER DAUGHTER CHICKEN NUGGETS AND FRIES
When OP first started babysitting her niece, her SIL instructed that her daughter’s favorite foods were “frozen chicken nuggets and fries.” She insisted that she’d be happy if OP fed her that every meal.
OP HAS TRIED TO MAKE UP FOR THE LACK OF NUTRITION IN HER NIECE’S DIET
Says OP, “I’m super big into cooking. I’m also very into nutrition and making sure meals are well-balanced. So I couldn’t bear to feed my niece chicken nuggets and fries at every meal, knowing how unhealthy the two are in the long term.”
So, OP introduced her niece to more vegetables and meats/seafood to ensure she was getting adequate nutrition. “I’ve made her pan-seared salmon, steamed Chilean sea bass, ma po tofu, Peking duck, lemon asparagus, and braised bok choy, to name a few. And she LOVES every single dish! I also blend her a fresh fruit and vegetable smoothie every evening as a little dessert,” explains OP.
OP’S NIECE TURNED INTO A HUGE FOODIE
“My niece has become a huge foodie and will try anything I cook. She’s even interested in helping cook alongside me,” informs OP.
SIL DISAPPROVES OF THIS
OP didn’t see anything wrong with what she was doing until her SIL called her three days ago to confront her.
“She told me to stop feeding her all this ‘fancy rich people food’ and accused me of trying to turn her daughter against her,” says OP.
OP’s niece now refuses to eat chicken nuggets at home and requests to eat some foods OP makes.
OP TRIED TO HELP BY ORDERING GROCERIES FOR SIL’S HOME
“A month ago, I ordered a bunch of fresh groceries to their home because I knew my niece had taken a liking to my food,” informs OP.
However, a few days later, when OP asked her niece if she and her mom had cooked anything, she said “no” and that her mom had thrown most of it out.
OP CALLED HER SIL UNGRATEFUL
“I was appalled but chose not to confront my SIL. It made me livid to have her bash me for caring for her daughter’s well-being and nutrition,” says OP.
So, OP told her as such and called her SIL ungrateful for throwing out the groceries and that she should be thankful her daughter is eating well. Unfortunately, that did not end well.
“I heard her start crying on the other end before just hanging up on me,” says OP.
OP FEELS NUTRITION SHOULD BE A MOTHER’S TOP PRIORITY
“I do feel for her (and I told her as such), but our top priority should always be her daughter’s well-being, which I feel like she’s putting aside by asking me to stop feeding her,” says OP.
Am I not seeing something here? Am I wrong,” she asks.
The verdict was mixed.
YOU ARE RIGHT TO LOOK AFTER YOUR NIECE’S HEALTH
“You are right to look after your niece’s health—BUT if your SIL is working extra shifts, what makes you think she has the time to cook, even if you send groceries?
If your SIL doesn’t have the time to cook fresh food, naturally, it must be trashed. She doesn’t need you criticizing her for struggling—which is what you did by calling her ungrateful for a gift she did not ask for.
If you want to consider your niece’s health at home, please ask your SIL if you can prepare frozen meals to defrost. Invite her to dinner weekly to foster healthy nutrition and familial relations.”
YOU COULD DO SOME MEAL PREP FOR YOUR SIL
“That was very kind and thoughtful of you to send her foods you thought she’d use. I like one of the ideas of doing some meal prep for her, or what about even simplifying the food you cook for your niece while it’s still nutritious? Maybe your SIL also feels that her cooking ability isn’t as good as yours and the food you make your niece is too complicated/takes too much time.”
CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHED FOR A PROBLEM BETWEEN ADULTS
“I’d like to disagree. I do so from my viewpoint as a single mother who is always one minor incident or errant away from “pasta with pesto again, kids.” If my children eat elsewhere, it is the host’s right to cook as they please and prefer as long as they observe some restrictions as allergies and health concerns like no caffeine for the little one and not more than half a glass of wine for the teenagers.
Do they use buffalo mozzarella, salmon steaks, organic tomatoes, or real butter? Fantastic, I love my children to experience all the flavors!
Did I bite back a few tears in the beginning when it was frustrating how much my situation deteriorated? Sure, but it is a “me” problem, and the children should not be punished.”
NUGGETS AND CHIPS EVERYDAY IS ABUSE
“Nuggets and chips are abuse if it’s every day, honestly. Kids would likely be malnourished unless there is plenty of veg, fruit, lentil, etc., in the first two meals – which is unlikely with a parent who serves nuggets and chips daily. This is why so many American kids are overweight and have poor health outcomes as a result.”
MORE FROM WHATANIKASAYS
We have an innate responsibility to help our elderly parents. This means ensuring they are safe, happy, and cared for. But does this responsibility extend to your in-laws as well?
FIANCÉE’S BROTHER SAID “NO” WHEN WE ASKED TO STAY AT THEIR HOUSE FOR WORK TRIP AND NOW WANT TO BE OUR HOUSEGUESTS FOR THEIR TWO WEEKS VACATION. WHAT SHOULD THE OP DO?
Family dynamics can be complicated, especially when it comes to houseguests. The interaction between various members is at the core of these complicated dynamics. A couple who live near the ocean with many tourist attractions have house guests regularly. Read on to know what happened!
HUSBAND WANTS SAHM WIFE TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS HOUSEHOLD MONTHLY EXPENSES FROM THE MONEY SHE IS MAKING WITH SIDE GIGS. IS HE WRONG?
Both partners need to have a clear understanding of their financial situation and work together to manage their finances. When one partner starts dominating and making all the decisions in the household, it can lead to resentment and problems. Find out more!
AFTER CHEATING ON HIS WIFE AND DIVORCING HER, HE NOW WANTS HER TO LOOK AFTER HIS NEW BABY. THIS IS NOT ONLY INSENSITIVE, ALSO UNFAIR
Divorces can be complicated, especially when children are involved. But what if your ex asks you to babysit the child he is expecting with his new girlfriend? This can be a difficult decision, as you may have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, you may not want to be involved with your ex’s new family. On the other hand, you may feel an obligation to help out with your child’s half-sibling. Here’s what happened!
AUNT AND UNCLE DECIDES TO LEAVE OUT ONE OF THE THREE NIECES AND NEPHEWS FROM VACATIONS. SAYS, “SHE IS TOO OLD TO THROW A FIT”. IS THIS FAIR?
Learning doesn’t take place if unacceptable behavior isn’t questioned or challenged. Before you know it, lousy behavior turns into a bad habit. This is the lesson a couple wanted to teach their niece when they refused to take her on vacation. The child’s mother feels they are punishing her daughter for acting like a child.
STEPDAUGHTER MAKES SNARKY COMMENTS ON STEPMOTHER’S “EMPLOYMENT” STATUS. DAD’S DEMANDS AN APOLOGY. SHOULD SHE? WE THINK NOT
Apologies are a necessary part of our lives. These two little words – I’m sorry – are pretty powerful. But, would you apologize to someone even if you were not to blame, to smooth things over? Here’s what happened between a daughter and a father!