My in-laws won’t stop giving our daughter chocolate

A reader asks if they should cancel an Easter visit to the grandparents, but Mariella Frostrup suggests their child’s weight issue should not be viewed in the context of one weekend

The dilemma We were planning to visit my mother-in-law with our two young children over Easter. We asked her to be careful not to give our six-year-old daughter too much chocolate as she is overweight. She was furious. She said that we were controlling and always expect the rest of the family to pander to our desires. Furthermore she argued she’d always made her grandson chocolate cake, hot chocolate and biscuits. Although I am happy for a grandparent to give some treats, I wanted her to hear our concern. Our daughter has been weighed by the health team and labelled “very overweight”. I don’t want her to grow up with weight issues and subsequent dieting obsessions and eating disorders. Should we still visit? If so, on what terms?

Mariella replies Unusually, I find myself taking sides. Obviously you have a problem you need to deal with as regards your daughter’s weight, and it’s understandable you are concerned. However, that’s a health worry to address with a long-term plan, not by micro-managing a weekend sleepover at your husband’s parents.

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Alex Vidal