Shared custody and a non(w30) compliant ex...help!


Bricek

Recommended Posts

Hello all, I really need some advice!

My (excuse my lack of a better term and my obvious disdain here) moron of an ex husband feeds our children absolute garbage! Think pizza, cookies, kraft mac and cheese, and- oh the horror- McDonalds. He is the quintessential "Disney Dad"- no discipline, shows up bearing gifts or goodies EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

His latest parenting fail involved buying my four year old a plastic gun and allowing him to shoot my ex in the face without so much as a "no sir we do NOT shoot people"...of course, I ripped the gun from my son's hand and could harldy fathom why he would bring a gun over in the first place, let alone completely disregard the behavior and subsequently act like I was a nutcase for getting so upset. Hence, EX!

The problem I have is that I would like to make my kids paleo at my house, but I fear the constant switching back and forth between no gluten and then an onslaught of sugar and grains will be even more detrimental. He refuses to listen even though he typically eats healthy and wouldn't eat the crap he feeds our boys.

Am I correct in this assumption? I just know that the longer I am "clean" the worse it is if I get glutened.

Of course I still feed them the most nutrient dense stuff that they will eat, but they are resitant because they don't have consistency between the households. They love grilled chicken, broccoli, sweet potatoes and a variety of other fruits and veggies, but heaven forbid I tried to feed them fish or take their yogurt away. I have managed to replace their milk habit with Bolthouse Farms "Green Goodness" mixed half with water. They LOVE that stuff(so do I, truth be told)! I just feel like they eat the same stuff over and over and still want bagels and graham crackers, if not m&m's and other such disasters. Plus, I hate being the "bad" parent. Yes, I realize the irony here, but explain that to a two and four year old.

I apologize for the lengthy post, but I am so frustrated and would appreciate any suggestions!

Thank you in advance:)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with jeepifer. I'm a Step-Mom; the kids eat Paleo in our house and don't when they aren't with us.

In terms of being the "bad parent", sometimes the kids will say something to the effect of "why aren't you my friend?" meaning "why aren't you letting me do whatever I want?" My response is to tell them that I'm not their friend, I'm one of their parents, and that means that sometimes I have to make decisions that they don't like; that is part of my job as a parent.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really feel for you. My kids are grown now but when they were little my ex had them every second weekend. He basically never fed them a meal during the day just kept filling them up with crisps(chips), chocolate marshamallow cookies and as much coke as they could drink. Then he'd complain it wasn't worth making dinner for them at night because they never ate it. Well there's a surprise :angry:. The fallout when I got them back was horrendous - it took them days to settle down, even my son's school said they always knew when he's been at his dad's because of his behaviour. All my protests fell on deaf ears.

As the other's have said, there's nothing you can do except set your rules for when they're with you. My kids used to pull the 'But Dad gives is this, dad lets us have that'. My stock reply 'I'm not your Dad. Here, in this house, we eat this, we don't have that etc.' I know what you mean about the constant change in diet, no it's by no means ideal but, I believe, that any improvements in nutrition are worth it. They might be eating crap when they're with him but at least they'll be eating better nutrition with you. I know it's really, really hard not to stress about it but just do the best you can. Good luck with it all

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ladies, thank you for your responses!

I feel as though I need to clarify a little though because in all of my ranting (sorry!) my real question got muddled-

Because I know my ex will never educate himself enough, or at all on this subject, he will always feed them this way and I'm wondering whether it would be worse for them to be whole 30, or even paleo, at my house only to be bombarded with sugar and the like at his.

From all I've read, you can indeed create a gluten intolerance, and I'm already a diagnosed celiac and find that when I abstain and then get glutened, it's far worse than when I had somewhat of a tolerance to the misery.

I just worry that they will come home on Monday and be sick detoxing for a few days and then return to Dad's the following Monday and be sick from the reintroduction for a few days. That's not something I wish for my little babies:/

Bottom line: would it be better to keep some dairy and grain to prevent the constant roller coaster?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm severely gluten intolerant but I honestly don't believe you can create a gluten intolerance by cutting it out. I think what happens is, if we cut it out for long enough our gut actually starts to heal and so when we reintroduce gluten our bodies deal with it by trying to rid themselves of it. I do understand where you're coming from, your kids will be gluten free, getting gluten, gluten free and so on. Personally, I still feel that any good nutrition is better than none. You didn't say how long they were with each of you. Unless it's a month about or more, I'd doubt that going gluten free with you would make them worse.

I know no-one likes to experiment with their kids but I'd just try to keep their diet as healthy as possible while they're with you. This may not be a full W30 but whatever you feel is healthiest for them. The more good nutrition you get in them the better. At the end of the day, it's going to be a bit trial and error but I really do feel for your predicament, good luck

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, what Kirsteen said. Actually, giving your gut the time it needs to fully heal gives it more capacity to handle it when you've been glutened. Obviously, if you're celiac or severely intolerant, your mileage will vary, but an impermeable gut lining is a good thing!

You may not get to that point with your kidlets, as they are constantly being dosed, but just keep doing what you're doing!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, thank you!

Kirsteen, we switch back and forth week on, week off. I for some reason thought that I had read a blog post by Robb Wolf saying that we can create intolerance by abstaining for a long period and then overloading our system, but I could be mistaken. My GI doc told me that I "triggered" my celiac by being gluten free for so long (not because I knew anything about gluten, but because I worked for a weight loss clinic and survived on grilled chicken salad) and then sharply returning to grains with a vengeance. I went crazy and basically spent a month eating girl scout cookies and pizza.

This could all be misinformation as I'm reluctant to trust doctors considering they still reccommending the SAD!

I will just try to make sure that when they come home I keep lots of fruit and strachy veggies in the rotaion the first couple days so that hopefully they dont have to withdrawl from sugar. It is amazing to see the difference in their demeanor when they eat healthy and even they know they feel better, but still can't do a cost/benefit analysis at their age. At least I know they do love healthy food so that as they get older and can make the distinction they will hopefully choose to eat better!

Thank you all so much for the help and support!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sigh. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition and it can't be caused by abstaining from gluten and then eating it again. It's much more likely you were coeliac before and that just brought it to a head, your gut would have started to heal when you were off the gluten and then when you went back on it, the gluten caused damage again and the symptoms started to show. Coeliacs can be asymptomatic for a long time, some people never find out. The ignorance of the medical profession at times boggles the mind!

Have your kids been tested? It can (but doesn't always) run in families.

I have heard you can create intolerance (as opposed to full blown coeliac) by abstaining from a certain food from a period of time and then reintroducing it. Kinda happened to me with dairy after spending a year in Asia where I never ate it. But if you don't eat dairy your body stops producing lactase, which is the enzyme needed to digest it, I imagine a similar thing could happen with gluten. Both dairy and gluten are a) quite allergenic anyway and B) often adulterated and hyper refined with all sorts of crap. I can see where Robb Wolf is coming from on that one, but I can't imagine you'd get the same result if you abstained from, say, peaches, for a year, and then ate a bunch of them.

Not much you can do about what your ex does in his house - if they eat paleo with you though they may lose the taste for some of those junky foods. Some foods I used to like now taste awful, so the tastes can change.

However, if one or both kids turn out to be coeliac he will have to make changes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow I totally feel your pain! I am a step-mom and my husband and I are doing the Whole30 and will continue to eat Paleo after. My two step-daughters (6 and 4) also alternate a week with us, a week with their mother, back and forth, back and forth. Anyway, since we started our Whole30 we've been talking about eatting healthier and we don't have as much "crap" in the house. We still have snacks for them but I've started making them have a lot more fruit instead of sugary desserts. Anyway, my step-daughter (6yrs old) started saying she was on a diet. I told her no you are not on a diet, you don't need to be on a diet, we are just eatting healthier. I knew that comment would end up biting me! She goes back to her moms and of course both girls talk about how we are earting healthy (I don't know if the "diet" word came up), but they came home this week saying their mom told them that kids don't need to eat healthy, that is only for grown ups. REALLY??!!! Kids don't need to eat healthy!! And what had she given them for dinner?? McDonalds!! Fabulous.

So we will just go on eating well at our house, hopefully it will counterbalance what they eat at hers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.