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Kids and candy--is this normal?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Background: We generally try to eat healthfully, but I have a sweet tooth and seem to have passed it to my 4.5 y/o. If DH had his way, our kids would never have any kind of sweet at all, but since I enjoy it so much I tend to be more indulgent. We usually don't eat candy/sweets daily, or even weekly, but Halloween-Christmas there's def an increase.

My concern is that DS1 has no control when it comes to candy. I just bought some dark chocolate truffles, let him have one after lunch. OK, all done. Except once I left the room, he climbed on the counter, took the package off the fridge, and stuffed his face! We had the same problem w/ Halloween candy--he was only allowed a certain amount, and he drove us all crazy trying to find the rest and eat it. Is this normal 4.5 y/o behavior? I can't decide if I just shouldn't have any sweets in the house at all ever, or try to allow him to learn some self-regulation, but honestly, I think he'd just eat himself sick. Repeatedly!

We've had many conversations re: nutrition, cavities, overall health. He's gotten info from his dentist and pedi (run of the mill like they give everyone, DS has no dental, weight or health problems, just a sugar jones) I'm at a loss as to whether this is a phase and not a big deal, or something I should be addressing (and not sure how I would, other than banning all sugar). I also wonder if DH's negativity towards sweets plays a role (forbidden fruit). Or is this just a kid thing?

Advice for my sugar monster, please!
post #2 of 27
We don't eat alot of candy. Both my kids and dh have sweet teeth and eat more than I do, I'd just toss it all personally.

We do let the boys have 1 piece when they ask. They do know they can't have more than 1 piece per day and usually several days go by without them even asking.

If I had a kid who was sneaking it after I'd allowed some, I'd probably get rid of it. But again, I don't eat it either so that may be easy to say.
post #3 of 27
Perhaps if he had it *more* regularly, he'd be less inclined to binge? We often (maybe three times a week) have a handful of m&ms - like 10 per kid - after dinner. I think sweets in moderation are fine. When things (not just food) are usually 100% off limits kids seem to crave them. Ah, the forbidden fruit .
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3*is*magic View Post
Perhaps if he had it *more* regularly, he'd be less inclined to binge? We often (maybe three times a week) have a handful of m&ms - like 10 per kid - after dinner. I think sweets in moderation are fine. When things (not just food) are usually 100% off limits kids seem to crave them. Ah, the forbidden fruit .

Please this is not ment to offend the above quote just giving a different viewThis pharse always gets me. I get it from my family mostly in the sense that DS wouldn't be so hyper if I gave him some sweets Also if something is 100% off limits how can they crave it if they never had it. DS doesn't ask or crave candy because he never had it. He craves things when he taste it. Like ever since he started having carrot cake and pies that is what he ask for because he now has the taste for it.

Our family is a little opposite from the OP in that I want the children into the healthy eating but DH is a little more slack. We don't do candy or chocolate for him. DS has never eatten candy and he is 3. He do eat our whole wheat carrot cake, cheese puffs, pies and some other little sweet stuff.


Anyways I do eat these crap at times but I do not eat things I don't want him to have as yet in front of him. I know he will learn about it later but why get him started so early he has how many years ahead of him.

Also you don't have to get rid of it all but have a stash hiding somewhere and bring out what you don't mind him eating on the days or times you don't mind it. Make sure he doesn't know where it is. When we do have things in places DS always goes in there and ask us to gave him some.

I was and in a sense still a sugar monster
To me it can be personality because the saying above had a different affect on me. Growing up we was NOT restricted from eating junk food or candy. My parents cooked from scratch but my dad loved his junkfood. I wish it was different as I seriously struggle when it comes to chocolate and certain other sweets. I am a little child I cannot stop myself. When it is in my face I eat and sometimes even though I get headaches from it I can't help myself..I just hate how I can be especially around chocolate. Not to mention I have 2 permanent teeth already gone, one at 11 and a next at 19.

DH is different they were more restricted and didn't have as much sweets growing up as I did and he contains himself so well. I don't know how he can open a chocolate and not finish the whole thing..
post #5 of 27
This seems to turn into an either/or conversation about sugar, and I think its just different for every kid.

I remember *being* the kid who had no self control over sweets and remember being so flabbergasted by the kids who wouldn't finish their cupcakes or whatever. We ate healthy food at home, and sweets were not forbidden. Some kids just don't seem to be as cumpulsive as other kids about sugar, and I think it has less to do with how they are raised than we would hope.

I definitely have the four year old with no self control. In fact, if he has sweets with any regularity whatsoever, sugar becomes an enormous, horrible battle. The halloween candy was a freaking nightmare. ALL DAY LONG begging for candy. We gave one piece with dinner until it was "gone" (I ended up throwing more than half of it away). Next year we are going to do an all you care to eat for a couple days then throw it all out.

We are all hardwired to crave sugar. It is rare in nature and packed with easily digested calories. Some of us have a harder time with the overabundance that others.

I don't know what the answer for our 4yo is, but I can say that after the holidays, sugar is going to disappear for a long time.
post #6 of 27
You mentioned chocolate. Was it all types of candy or just that one? Chocolate is high in magnesium and my 1yo who I think has some deficiencies can smell it from like a mile away.
post #7 of 27
Hmm, I don't know how common it is, but my kids are fine with just getting a little bit and being done. They have a small amount of sweets for special occassions. We tend to choose all natural things, but still don't have it often. Dh does have his stash, and they could get to it if they wanted to, but they don't.
post #8 of 27
This is such an interesting question, about allowing sweets, not allowing them, rules and regulations about sweets in the house, binging, control, etc.

I would love to bring my kids up with healthy attitudes about sweets. I think my older ds mostly appreciates this, but he definitely has a sweet tooth. This year at halloween, we let the kids have 1 or 2 pieces of candy each day, and then about on day 3 I caught my 5 yr old sneaking candy from waaay up high where I had put it waaaay out of reach (or so I thought). We are not fanatic about keeping kids away from sweets, we eat healthy otherwise, but we don't usually have sweets in the house, and apparently knowing there was a bag full of candy up there was too much for my ds to resist. So I asked him what we should do and he said I should throw it all away, so I did. Wow.

Anyway, it seems to me that if a kid craves sweets and they are absolutely not permitted to have them, they will binge when they can. If allowed sweets whenever and however much the please, they will have health issues (blood sugar, obese, cavities, whatever). I would vote for all things in moderation, though I understand that explaining that to a candy-craving kid is quite a challenge. Check out some books from the library with lots of pictures of tooth decay. Yuck. Maybe that would gross him out.
post #9 of 27
I think it's probably a combination of factors.

First, your DS seeing you and your DH split over the subject. This may make him worry that if he doesn't get as much as he can while your there to say "yes," dad will come along and say "no."

Then, there maybe a bit of the forbidden fruit thing going on.

Finally, since you mention that you have a sweet tooth, it may simply be a physical trait he inherited from you. Have you ever done a glucose tolerance test?
post #10 of 27
My DS seems to have my sweet tooth, my DD does not (interestingly, DS strongly seems to take after me in overall health matters, and DD takes after DH). I think our basic tendencies (my family, I mean) are based on something physical, but my hope and my goal is to modulate the intensity with food choices available in our home.

Personally, I have fewer sugar cravings when I eat a lot of fat and protein and fewer grains, and while I think helping keep that type of stuff around for DS is helpful, I still try to have less sugar in the house than I had when I was a kid. The sweets we eat (mostly, not always, and less in the Oct-Dec timeframe) are homemade, and are less sweet overall than storebought stuff.
post #11 of 27
It's NORMAL!

I have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old who would do anything to get candy. My DF is a baker, so we usually have cookies around, and they will climb on the counters and sneak them. We move them up higher and tell the kids no and all that, but it is not the biggest deal. They are certainly not doing the amount of damage by eating some cookies that they would be by binging on processed foods! (Our cookies are all-natural).

It sounds insane to me to completely keep your kids away from any candy or chocolate. I mean, holy crap. Live a little! What kind of life would it be if you never had the experience of a melting piece of chocolate in your mouth? No, thank you!!! Life's too short to be hyper strict about the little pleasures.

Aside from that, once your kids are in school or do anything out in the real world (where there is junkfood galore), they're GOING to be exposed to it. By banning it entirely, you're totally just setting your kid up for losing control and going crazy on it. Better to teach them self-control at a young age and cultivate people with self-control than to send them out into the world with no experience with food that isn't 100% healthy for them. I'm all for eating healthy, and we eat vegetarian-fed meat, rice instead of cow milk or soy, as little corn syrup as possible, etc. But there are a lot worse evils in the kitchen than some truffles!

post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I feel so much better after reading these replies! Since I can't multi-quote, I'll just quickly say that y'all had excellent points--I think DH and my split attitudes, not to mention my own--ok, sure you can have one, ok, maybe two, hey not three!!!--are totally lending themselves to him binging when he gets a chance. And oy, Halloween. That was truly a nightmare like another poster mentioned. Next year I'm doing the same--eat up and then I'm throwing it out--b/c I CANNOT go through the daily begging/searching/talking about it. I'll be glad when this food-centered holiday season is over!
post #13 of 27
I have a 7 yr old who still has halloween candy left. He has always been like that. He forgets he has it, can eat a tiny bit and then stop. My 4 yr old on the other hand is the opposite. He knows where the candy is kept and makes sure he gets his piece of halloween candy every day after lunch until it is gone. He will beg for more and climb anything to get more. We have never said no to candy or sugar. We allow it within reason for all the reasons writteninkursive said.
post #14 of 27
Honestly, I give my kids candy in moderation. I also LOVE to buy the Yummy Earth Vitamin C lollipops from Frontier. They're so yummy, and the kids are getting a super treat. I also don't feel so bad for giving it to them. I am a FIRM believer in moderation. If you teach them to eat it in a healthful manner meaning balancing it out with the better foods I don't see a problem with it.
post #15 of 27
last halloween he ate candy until he puked. he doesn't eat that much anymore.
post #16 of 27
my parents never let us have sweets (NEVER is how I remember it) and so I feel like I was just like your ds...I would choose which friends' house to visit after school by who had the best (junkiest) snacks! Pathetic right? By highschool jellybeans and gumdrops were my favorites (pure sugar) and i'd eat a whole bag....anyway it was disgusting and I am suprised I have no lingering health problems!!!
Not sure what the answer is but i know for me it wasn't sweets as forbidden fruit
post #17 of 27
DD loves candy, she loves it. She's just like me and I'm afraid I'm not a good example. We bought two bags of assorted kit kats yesterday and one of them is almost empty
DH and I ate most of it though...

But banning, it's extreme and extremes are bad.
post #18 of 27
I think all kids are different. My oldest can hoard her candy forever without temptation, but then suddenly need a 'binge'--usually a whole bars worth. My middle really doesn't care for it, but my youngest--man oh man. If it is around. . .she will eat it. This year, I did let her go crazy on her halloween candy, no restrictions and now she does have some restraint. She will say "momma, I will just have one so I don't get a tummy ache". Mind you, she never complained of a tummy ache before, but I kept reminding her to listen to her body so she didn't get a tummy ache. Her weakness is def. chocolate. She doesn't care for cookies or cakes or other candy. Just the chocolate.

Amy
post #19 of 27
My kids are allowed one sweet every other day (to make the point that sweets are not everyday foods). This could be a cookie, brownie, slice of pie, cupcake, or piece of candy depending on what we have around. If we don't have any sweets they just don't ask for them. They never try to sneak more than they are allowed and understand that too many sweets are bad for you. My oldest is almost 7 and my youngest is just 4.
I have a sweet tooth and I limit my own sugar intake for my health. Why wouldn't I teach my kids to do the same?
post #20 of 27
I'm going to agree with the PPs who say it depends on the child.

DS could care less, he can have one chocolate and be happy but DD always wants another (like momma) until the box is gone.

I don't restrict it for my kids any more than I do for myself. I don't keep chips, chocolates, cookies, etc in the house. If it's there, I eat it, if it's not I don't. Maybe once a week, we'll get a bag of chips for movie night or a chocolate bar at the rink. They both have free reign at Nanny and Grampie’s house (like as soon as you walk in the door it's what can I feed you!) and DD goes for snacks while DS heads for the toys.

I am really hoping DD learns a healthy balance, I try to stress nutrition and moderation with a link to health rather than weight whenever it's an issue.

I really think banning it completely would backfire ... I have seen it on a couple of occasions
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