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Julia33

Culture and taste (literally)

122 posts in this topic

DIL and I don’t get along, as I’ve described on other threads. I think at least some of it has to do with the different lifestyles of her parents and DH/myself. If one shops at BJs, the other goes to Costco. GM? No, Ford. We say Sprint, they say Verizon. We like natural light; their shades are usually drawn. And on and on, we differ on politics, religion and everything in between. DIL also strongly puts down anything that doesn’t fit her scheme of how things should be. She had been in our house a couple of times before she and DS were married and wasn’t critical. But the first time she was here after their wedding, she looked around our TV area and exclaimed, “[DS], they don’t even have a couch to sit on in front of the TV!” Right, we hardly ever watch TV, I thought - to myself. Or when exclaiming about a wedding invitation from one of DS’s friends, “They aren’t even going to have dancing! What’s the point of a wedding without dancing?!” My impression is that she thinks she and her parents always do things the right way, and has very limited tolerance for the idea that other people have other notions and maybe constraints. She and her parents are also critical of DS if his ideas don’t match theirs. Why she is defensive I'm not sure, but it seems to be a general trait not restricted to her opinions about us.

In general we ignore these differences. But food and nutrition is a tricky area. Our family is into healthy food, vegetables, go easy on the butter and salt. DIL’s family is into carbs, refined carbs, dumplings, puff pastry and more carbs. They eat a lot of fast food, white bread, waffles, pasta. These preferences are not budget-driven; money is not an issue. DIL’s mother has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, her father has an endocrine condition.

DS wants to eat more healthily, but he doesn’t want to upset DIL. So when she is away on job travel, he will buy himself a piece of fish to bake and have a salad, often but not every meal. She doesn’t like fish (money isn’t a problem re the food they buy) and he doesn’t want to cook for himself alone when she is home, so he foregoes it so they can cook and eat the same things. He has suggested that she would be annoyed if he cooked separately for himself, but I haven't asked him directly. He likes the food she likes, but he knows it isn’t good for him.

We were at DS/DIL’s home for a daytrip last month when her parents were staying there. DS had asked us to bring lunch because they didn’t want to do takeout and everyone there was preoccupied with caring for new DGS. So we brought a salad, sandwich fixings (white bread, cold cuts), some fruit and a covered vegetable casserole, enough for the six of us. DIL’s parents went out for an hour after we got there, and came back with burgers and fries from McDonalds and loaves of bread and sausage etc from a local store which they then fixed for themselves and DIL. DS had a little also when invited.

DIL and parents are probably sensitized to the fact we don’t think their diet is healthy and may be defensive, but I don’t think we can change our lifestyle to be less healthy. We haven’t ever knowingly made an issue of it, but they can probably sense it. Before DS and DIL were married, he and I were talking on a phone call in which food was mentioned, not anything judgmental, but DIL interjected in the background, “Oh, the nutritionist,” in a tone that sounded like a put-down. (I'm interested in nutrition, but not as a profession.) Maybe they had talked previously about the fact that nutrition is a focus for me.

Now DS has put on an extra 30 pounds in the seven years they have been together and recently tested positive for a problem with a digestive enzyme; doctors are trying to determine the precise cause.  It may or may not be related to diet. In any event, I wish he would eat more healthily. But I have never criticized anything about DS/DIL lifestyle.

I am also careful not to criticize DIL to DS, as he is aware things aren’t great between us and it bothers him. I gather from these boards that is something he has to work on, it’s up to him to recognize that it’s okay if his wife doesn’t like his mother, but since he loves both of us it is still a source of discomfort for him. 

So long story short – is there anything I can do to encourage him to eat more healthily in a way that won’t be offensive to DIL? I brush off most of the lifestyle differences, but this is concerning me.

Edited by Julia33

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As an adult, isn't he capable of taking the doctors orders?

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You can't and you shouldn't.  There is nothing you can do or say that will change anything and it will just cause hard feeling.  They know what is healthy.  They know they should eat healthy.  They just don't like to eat healthy.    

I have a son and DIL exactly like yours.  I learned to drop the rope (mostly). .  I can tell you that in my case you just get use to it and let them be.   It took me a while but I finally learned that it's not my place to tell my AC what to eat or that he needs to loose probably 80 pounds.  My relationship is more important and nothing I say is going to change anything anyway.  Sometimes, it isn't easy. It still annoys me, I just don't say anything.   It is really hard to watch my overweight son with a bag of chips on his lap devouring the bag.  It upset me so bad that  I just had to walk away  Both  also like their carbs neither likes vegetables.  She puts half a container of Ready Whip on her pumpkin pie. DIL drinks probably a case of regular pepsi a day.  If she just cut out the pop I think she'd lose some weight. I know my son has made efforts and succeeded to loose weight in the past, he just puts it back on. I haven't observed DIL making any efforts to diet- maybe she has but I haven't seen it.   I've never made a comment to her,    They told my sister that they feel obese people are discriminated against.  I just mentioned caring for bariatric patients in the hospital in casual conversation that had nothing whatsoever to do with them and observed them rolling their eyes at each other.  They are very sensitive about it.   My sister gets upset when she spends a lot of time cooking holiday meals and she doesn't eat them.  (She doesn't complain she just doesn't eat)  I quit paying attention.  (Although it's hard to overlook half a container of whip cream on a piece of pay especially when she nakes a big deal out of it.)  They for some reason feel they need to bring their own groceries to my house.  At first it irritated me because I do buy what I think they want including pepsi for DIL.  I have their carbs and my vegetables.  I provide a choice.  Now I just don't care.  You want to buy your own groceries- go for it.

You aren't alone.  You'll learn to let it go.

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If your DS asks I would offer him some nutritional tips. If not leave it alone.  He is going to do what he does until it's no longer working for him and natural consequences are always such a great motivator for change anyways.

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Sigh... If sounds as if your 2 FOOs are just oil & water, unfortunately. Granted, some of the differences seem minute and easily handled (as in, "Oh sure, Costco's is good, too!"). And some arem't really your concern, like the fact that they keep their shades drawn. So, IMO, it's very wise that you generally "ignore these differences."

But the food gap is broad and significant. I don't blame you for worrying about DS. I would too, and I feel for you on that (for you, too, skipped). But I agree w/ PPs that you can't/shouldn't say anything. DS knows what he needs to do. It's up to him to do it or not. If you say anything, no matter how gently, he may take it as "interference" and dig his heels in about eating pasta, etc. A little childish, perhaps, but even adults do this sometimes, IME. Hopefully, in time, he'll decide, himself, to opt for a healthier diet.

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I don't see why you'd change your lifestyle, nor anyone else expecting you to.

You do you, let others do themselves.

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The food gap may be broad & significant, but if I'm serving a meal to picky guests, they will find something to eat at my table. I may not be a carb loader, but I may serve rice & gravy and biscuits along with green beans, salad & a pork roast. They can load up on carbs & meat. I'd eat as usual.....and not comment or be concerned about what's not on someone else's plate. 

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We don't tell our AC what to eat. It make me uncomfortable when people question what I eat, I assume it would make anyone unhappy if their food choices were dissected.

So, if I were you I'd say nothing. MYOB. ETA: you'd hurt feelings if you comment.

In our family some people are gluten-free, some vegetarians, some vegans, some sugar-free, some paleo, and some red meat/fish lovers.

Everyone seems healthy, nobody is overweight, everybody exercises.

We eat quite a large quantity of carbs (B vitamins are good for us) - bread/butter at all meals, pasta 4-5 times a week, rice and beans often, oatmeal most every breakfast, lots of potatoes. I don't believe cards to be unhealthy - it's quantity of food that's fattening. We eat dessert at lunch and dinner - but my serving is a sliver or a soup spoon.

ETA: I also find fault with what some people add to basic food - say my breakfast oatmeal, I don't add sugar, butter and cream - just a half banana sliced and skim milk. I don't smother my potato in butter and sour cream - I add pesto, duxelles, or red sauce. We serve our grands who live here the same -  just real food, homecooked.

I think metabolism and exercise are key. I stay slim with lots of exercise, very small portions. We keep our metabolisms running high by working out daily.

Maybe offer to run or go to the gym with DS - not as a weight thing, for fun together?

Edited by JanelleK
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No, it's rude to ever discuss weight or diet. 

Edit: talk about weight with your ds and dil if you'd like VLC. 

Edited by PattyGram
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I'm another one for it being rude to discuss diet, health or weight. You know they are sensitive to these topics, I would steer clear of anything related to these topics and find something else to talk about. Any health changes have to come from your son. 

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I'm also one who would probably say don't go near this. With a 40 foot pole. Especially when they have a new baby. 

On top of my pregnancy weight gain, DH and I both gained weight the first few months after ODS was born because we ate a lot of take out and easy to grab snacks. We were so overwhelmed with him, he was kind of a high needs baby, that we just couldn't even process the idea of trying to figure out cooking meals. If anyone had breathed a word to either of us about our eating or weight gain then I'm pretty sure an immediate break from that person would've happened. I work in health care, I'm well versed in what is healthy diet and what is not, and am usually able to maintain a healthy weight. Just not right now and that's a long story - and again, it's got a lot to do with energy needing to go else where and just not really being in a mental space to deal with it. I know this, and anyone pointing it out to me is going to be out of my life. 

Your days of having a say in what he eats are long over. It sounds like he understand what healthy food is and is not, but their household eating habits can only be decided between the two of them, period. If he wants to have a healthier diet at home, it's his job to sort that out with DIL. 

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I fed my kids healthy home cooked meals when they lived at home, what they do once moved out of my home is on them. Your ds and dil need to work this out for their self's, hopefully they do it before health issues set in. 

 

PS what I have in my home, I keep my home, what I do in the privacy of my home is no more a DIl business then it is for me to judge her on her home or her parents home. Don't change your self to suit anyone however I do try and accommodate when it comes to serving dinners and keeping favorite things on hand. 

Edited by JustaGrandma
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Your son knows what he needs to do. He shows it by how he eats when his wife is away. However he is choosing to follow her unhealthy path with food when they are together and he is knowingly doing so. Nothing you could say will change this. If your DS asks you for help then you could make a suggestion to eat more veggies and less carbs but that's about it and only if he brings it up. Your DS will have to decide for himself if he wants to put the effort into healthy eating. It's completely out of your hands.

I think the way DIL's parents treated your lunch was terribly rude. They could have eaten the parts of the meal, at least the sandwiches, and waited until the next meal after you had left to make a fast food run just as I expect you wouldn't complain about what your DIL serves but eat what you can of it. But their rudeness and DIL's doesn't sound limited to just food.

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Well, y'all could have DD's ILs....Hong Kong natives, traditional Chinese....try going to dinner where you & your DD are the only non-Asian people in the place, and I don't eat rice....FIL does the ordering for the table...sometimes there is no English translation on the menu...DD understands just enough Chinese to say "no, YeYe, not that" when she hears something she doesn't like. I actually tried the jellyfish, it was like chewing rubber bands...mango pudding, however, was really good. Overall, the experiences have been positive. 

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Half the battle with weight gain is easy access to prepared food thats salty and fatty and as a result craved- The other half is not being active enough to burn it off- Obesity is a growing issue, an issue most dont want to discuss- Ive complete respect for anyone who is like "yep, I love bacon, mac and cheese, ramen and pizza with extra pepperoni and I hate vegetables, my body, my life- But anyone who is like yep, I dont have time to eat right? Horse manure- Theres tons at the grocery store thats both healthy and "fast" and tons of blogs specifically dedicated to preparing healthy food in a snap- Its simply just not what some people want- They want junk but wont say so-

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On 10/30/2017 at 9:39 PM, Julia33 said:

DIL and I don’t get along, as I’ve described on other threads. I think at least some of it has to do with the different lifestyles of her parents and DH/myself. If one shops at BJs, the other goes to Costco. GM? No, Ford. We say Sprint, they say Verizon. We like natural light; their shades are usually drawn. And on and on, we differ on politics, religion and everything in between. DIL also strongly puts down anything that doesn’t fit her scheme of how things should be. She had been in our house a couple of times before she and DS were married and wasn’t critical. But the first time she was here after their wedding, she looked around our TV area and exclaimed, “[DS], they don’t even have a couch to sit on in front of the TV!” Right, we hardly ever watch TV, I thought - to myself. Or when exclaiming about a wedding invitation from one of DS’s friends, “They aren’t even going to have dancing! What’s the point of a wedding without dancing?!” My impression is that she thinks she and her parents always do things the right way, and has very limited tolerance for the idea that other people have other notions and maybe constraints. She and her parents are also critical of DS if his ideas don’t match theirs. Why she is defensive I'm not sure, but it seems to be a general trait not restricted to her opinions about us.

In general we ignore these differences. But food and nutrition is a tricky area. Our family is into healthy food, vegetables, go easy on the butter and salt. DIL’s family is into carbs, refined carbs, dumplings, puff pastry and more carbs. They eat a lot of fast food, white bread, waffles, pasta. These preferences are not budget-driven; money is not an issue. DIL’s mother has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, her father has an endocrine condition.

DS wants to eat more healthily, but he doesn’t want to upset DIL. So when she is away on job travel, he will buy himself a piece of fish to bake and have a salad, often but not every meal. She doesn’t like fish (money isn’t a problem re the food they buy) and he doesn’t want to cook for himself alone when she is home, so he foregoes it so they can cook and eat the same things. He has suggested that she would be annoyed if he cooked separately for himself, but I haven't asked him directly. He likes the food she likes, but he knows it isn’t good for him.

We were at DS/DIL’s home for a daytrip last month when her parents were staying there. DS had asked us to bring lunch because they didn’t want to do takeout and everyone there was preoccupied with caring for new DGS. So we brought a salad, sandwich fixings (white bread, cold cuts), some fruit and a covered vegetable casserole, enough for the six of us. DIL’s parents went out for an hour after we got there, and came back with burgers and fries from McDonalds and loaves of bread and sausage etc from a local store which they then fixed for themselves and DIL. DS had a little also when invited.

DIL and parents are probably sensitized to the fact we don’t think their diet is healthy and may be defensive, but I don’t think we can change our lifestyle to be less healthy. We haven’t ever knowingly made an issue of it, but they can probably sense it. Before DS and DIL were married, he and I were talking on a phone call in which food was mentioned, not anything judgmental, but DIL interjected in the background, “Oh, the nutritionist,” in a tone that sounded like a put-down. (I'm interested in nutrition, but not as a profession.) Maybe they had talked previously about the fact that nutrition is a focus for me.

Now DS has put on an extra 30 pounds in the seven years they have been together and recently tested positive for a problem with a digestive enzyme; doctors are trying to determine the precise cause.  It may or may not be related to diet. In any event, I wish he would eat more healthily. But I have never criticized anything about DS/DIL lifestyle.

I am also careful not to criticize DIL to DS, as he is aware things aren’t great between us and it bothers him. I gather from these boards that is something he has to work on, it’s up to him to recognize that it’s okay if his wife doesn’t like his mother, but since he loves both of us it is still a source of discomfort for him. 

So long story short – is there anything I can do to encourage him to eat more healthily in a way that won’t be offensive to DIL? I brush off most of the lifestyle differences, but this is concerning me.

I have a question- Many people wouldn't consider handing someone who is falling down drunk another beer so why are people so accommodating when it comes to food and think nothing of serving someone who is obese 3 helpings?

Plenty of people who eat healthy receive criticism for doing so- Best you can do is lead by example- You don't sound like a food **** to me, just someone interested in nutrition -- nothing the matter with that- But I certainly understand your concern-

 

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On 10/30/2017 at 1:07 AM, Mame925 said:

The food gap may be broad & significant, but if I'm serving a meal to picky guests, they will find something to eat at my table. I may not be a carb loader, but I may serve rice & gravy and biscuits along with green beans, salad & a pork roast. They can load up on carbs & meat. I'd eat as usual.....and not comment or be concerned about what's not on someone else's plate. 

This^^^^. Julia, I realize you didn't ask about that, but it sounds to me as if there's some sort of silent food war going on, Julia, between you and DH, on the one hand, and DIL and her parents on the other, even if not intentional. When asked to bring lunch, you and DH brought mostly "healthy" foods (salad, etc.). DIL's parents ran out and bought what they prefer. That was rude of them, no doubt. But they might have felt their preferences were being ignored, even though you probably weren't thinking that when you brought the food.

In the future it would probably be better to bring more of a variety or do pot luck. (I know that in this instance, DS asked you to bring the food, but I'm speaking in general.)

A note about DIL's comments - She sounds very opinionated... sigh... Granted, IMO, it's "normal" for a DH and DW to discuss, among themselves, what they don't like about someone else' choices. But, it's not so wise to do that in a 3rd party's earshot (in this case, yours). And it's downright rude, IMO, to do if that 3rd party is the one whose choices are being criticized! So sorry about this, but glad you ignore... But I know you didn't ask about that either...

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8 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

.....sounds to me as if there's some sort of silent food war going on, Julia, between you and DH, on the one hand, and DIL and her parents on the other, even if not intentional. When asked to bring lunch, you and DH brought mostly "healthy" foods (salad, etc.). DIL's parents ran out and bought what they prefer. That was rude of them, no doubt. But they might have felt their preferences were being ignored, even though you probably weren't thinking that when you brought the food.

Julia had a choice to bring food her DIL and her son's PILs would like or stay true to what she thinks about healthy food and bring that. I think it's confusing that she made neither choice.   eta: No doubt in my mind, it would have been better to do as Mame suggests.

Much of what Jullia brought was decidedly NOT healthy.  White bread and cold cuts certainly are not healthy choices. Some brown bread is super healthy and maybe some cooked meat and cheese to slice is healthy. Salad and casseroles may or may not be healthy depending on the ingredients.

Julia doesn't say if DS PILs knew she brought food before they went out for an hour and came back with McDonalds - if they did know Julia brought food, they could have just tried to eat what she brought. Seems flakey of the PILs, but now Julia knows for the future.

Sounds as if these people just shouldn't attempt meals together, meet at times when no food is involved.

Exercise, a couple hours of exercise daily would help everyone in this mess.

eta: to what Rose says below, I doubt the PILs were watching at their daughter's home for what Julia brought through the door. I don't look at what other people bring in if it's not my home and I am not the host. That's on the son in this case.

eta: to what Imp says below, it's always best, if it's not your money, to never guess what others can or can't afford. We are in the middle of a nasty mess currently, involving someone who thinks we can afford much more than we can - it's judgemental and makes me/us furious.

 

Edited by JanelleK

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1 hour ago, JanelleK said:

 

Julia doesn't say if DS PILs knew she brought food before they went out for an hour and came back with McDonalds - if so, they could have just tried to eat what she brought. Seems flakey of the PILs.

  Maybe not. But Julia said (bolding mine), "DIL’s parents went out for an hour after we got there, and came back with burgers and fries from McDonalds and loaves of bread and sausage etc from a local store..." 

So it  seems to me they would have been aware that Julia and DH came in w/ packages, etc. But perhaps not if they were "preoccupied with caring for new DGS," as DS said.

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Is DIL nursing? Pregnant women can't eat cold cuts, and I know some women choose to stay away from it while nursing as well. 

She doesn't like fish, so her husband eats it while she's away. I honestly don't see an issue w/that, but I also don't see what money has to do with it. She doesn't like it. Why would she eat something she doesn't like, when she has other options?

The kids and I love one particular meal. Wolf loathes it. So, if Wolf's not going to be home for supper, we have the meal he hates. Or if there's leftovers from a favourite meal of his, he'll choose to have that, while we have the meal we love. *shrugs* 

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2 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

  Maybe not. But Julia said (bolding mine), "DIL’s parents went out for an hour after we got there, and came back with burgers and fries from McDonalds and loaves of bread and sausage etc from a local store..." 

So it  seems to me they would have been aware that Julia and DH came in w/ packages, etc. But perhaps not if they were "preoccupied with caring for new DGS," as DS said.

Benefit of the doubt- (no idea Julia/husband brought food)  Or likelihood- (there's already a complex food issue in play, they more than likely knew Julia/husband brought food)-

Highly unlikely that someone who prefers sausage and fast food like Mc Donald's would pass on cold cuts / deli meats if hungry- And considering the food history that Julia shared, it's possible that the offering of a salad and vegetable casserole was seen as passive aggressive- So they left and brought back sausage and Mc Donalds instead-

I honestly and truly don't understand our society when it comes to food- Smoking, drinking, drug use: BAD- Guns: BAD- Sexual assault: BAD- Freedom of speech: Bad! So much policing -- but obesity is catered to- It makes no sense- None-

It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Throw your weight around-" 

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8 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

Is DIL nursing? Pregnant women can't eat cold cuts, and I know some women choose to stay away from it while nursing as well. 

She doesn't like fish, so her husband eats it while she's away. I honestly don't see an issue w/that, but I also don't see what money has to do with it. She doesn't like it. Why would she eat something she doesn't like, when she has other options?

The kids and I love one particular meal. Wolf loathes it. So, if Wolf's not going to be home for supper, we have the meal he hates. Or if there's leftovers from a favourite meal of his, he'll choose to have that, while we have the meal we love. *shrugs* 

Of course, sausage and Mc Donalds is SO much better for nursing mothers! Not salad, not veggie casserole- LMAO .. Oi!

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2 minutes ago, Komorebi said:

Of course, sausage and Mc Donalds is SO much better for nursing mothers! Not salad, not veggie casserole- LMAO .. Oi!

Listeria is the concern w/deli meat...so yes, cooked food from McDs IS a better option, b/c listeria is killed by cooking. I would go for the McDs over salad or veggie casserole, esp when nursing, b/c protein was what I needed and craved...plus, since losing my gallbladder, salad, and anything w/broccoli can be an extremely painful experience. And a burger and fries can be eaten one handed while juggling/nursing baby, a salad and casserole, not so much.

If she's nursing, baby may have shown that they react to gassy veggies, onions, an host of other things.

There's a lot of things that might be at the root of this, rather than just a DIL turning her nose up b/c it was food from MIL. 

 

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18 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

Listeria is the concern w/deli meat...so yes, cooked food from McDs IS a better option, b/c listeria is killed by cooking. I would go for the McDs over salad or veggie casserole, esp when nursing, b/c protein was what I needed and craved...plus, since losing my gallbladder, salad, and anything w/broccoli can be an extremely painful experience. And a burger and fries can be eaten one handed while juggling/nursing baby, a salad and casserole, not so much.

If she's nursing, baby may have shown that they react to gassy veggies, onions, an host of other things.

There's a lot of things that might be at the root of this, rather than just a DIL turning her nose up b/c it was food from MIL. 

 

That ^ is a common response, one of which contains the usual excuses-

I was sitting at a table once with an overweight diabetic who was chiding another overweight diabetic for eating too many of the cookies that she brought while knoshing on one of the cookies she brought- I looked at her and she was like, "I've been this size all my life- I have a problem with my thyroid-" I was like, "Well that may be so, but that's about your 12th cookie and his 6th- So don't even try to stare me down and shut me down- Opening your mouth to eat is one thing- Opening it to talk, opens up a discussion-" And that ended that-

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The easiest solution? Just come straight out and say, "I prefer to eat food that isn't wholesome over food that is-"  Be honest- Julia and her son could come to some understanding, with the right discussion- Something along the lines of I don't like your food choices, you dont like mine, so how about we just bring what we like to eat for us and you provide what you like to eat- As a result, they'll enjoy each others company -- unless someone holds a grudge-

Edited by Komorebi

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