How do I ask my mom to not feed my son junk food when she's babysitting him?

Q: I have a 15-month-old and my mom watches him while I go to school during the day. He eats all kinds of processed junk at her house. Now when he’s home with me, he won’t go for the nutritious foods that he used to. What should I do, without being too harsh on my mom?

A: It’s important to speak up, not just to get your toddler’s eating habits on the right track again, but so you’re not distracted by this when you’re in class. You can be honest with your mom, without seeming to accuse her: “Mom, it’s important to me to establish healthy eating habits, and I need your support to do that when I’m not here.” If she gives you the old “but you ate it and turned out fine!” line, politely remind her that we’re more aware of good nutrition these days than we were then.

And help make the task of keeping your boy fed easy for her: Shop for some healthy snacks to leave at her house.

You may still have to live with a few treats—it is Grandma’s house, after all—but with a little discussion, you can reach a nutrition compromise.

Answered by Rosie Pope

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