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What "junk food" does your toddler eat? - Page 2

post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledzepplon View Post
We do our best to eat healthfully most of the time so that I don't have to sweat the occasional "treat." I think it's potentially more damaging to be overly controlling about food than it is to have a cookie or and ice cream cone here and there.

I do applaud all the parents here who go out of their way to provide nutritious meals and snacks for their children, despite the pressure to do otherwise.

Re: the bold, absolutely!
post #22 of 62
I was very strict until DD turned one. I got a lot of grief about it from various people, but I didn't want to introduce it so early. Plus I wanted her own first birthday cake to be her first experience with sugar.

Since then it has become very apparent that she has her daddy's sweet tooth. She doesn't get sweets very often, and never in large quantities. But she will get the occasional cookie, or a timbit (donut hole) when we go through the drive-through, or a few spoonfuls of ice cream. Her favourite food in the whole world is marshmallows. She will also have a few chips or pretzels from time to time, but she can take or leave those and much prefers the sweet.

Personally, I would much rather her have a cookie a couple of times a week rather than cup after cup of juice all day long.

I do restrict food dyes after a hyperactive incident following a piece of Spiderman birthday cake with bright red icing. But other than that I try to be relaxed about the whole thing.
post #23 of 62
My daughter is 2 now, and we didn't start letting up on the "junk food" rule until she was 1.

She can have a little sweet snack every now and again . . . Cookies, cake, ice cream and all that are saved for special occasions usually, with the exception of a bite when Mommy or (not so much) Daddy is eating something. We don't try to alienate her by eating things in front of her and then telling her she can't have any. We try to keep her away from sugary cereals and things like that because she is already such a picky eater.

She LOVES apples, so we give those to her for little desserts. I think the worst thing she eats daily is juice (fruit) snacks. She loves them and they do have SOME juice in them, so I try not to freak out about them. We also occasionally eat chicken tenders baked in the oven or pizza, but only when we have had a trying day and cooking just isn't an option. lol

Do consider though, she is two, so trying days come in waves!
post #24 of 62
My daughter's only real junk food would be the free kid cookies at the bakery department. Sometimes I let her make refrigerated biscuits with marshmallows and chocolate. That doesn't count as junk food because she bakes them herself and I find them completely repulsive. Right?
post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by just_lily View Post
Personally, I would much rather her have a cookie a couple of times a week rather than cup after cup of juice all day long.
Yes, I completely agree with this!

And what others said about things in moderation.

I grew up in a very mainstream household and ate processed junk foods regularly, which I realize now was terrible. But my SIL is such a health freak
that she had my young nephew convinced everything had chemicals in it and that he would get all kinds of diseases if he ate anything but organic, whole grain, natural things. Not that I completely disagree with her but I think that it is a form of child abuse to put those extreme notions in your child's head. As a 5yo before he would pick anything up at a family gathering he would ask if it had chemicals in it. What a way for a child to ask for something?!
post #26 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledzepplon View Post
I think it's potentially more damaging to be overly controlling about food than it is to have a cookie or and ice cream cone here and there.


We eat a lot of fresh, non-processed food. But yes, we also eat junk food. I don't think a piece of (chocolate, mmmmm) cake on someone's birthday, or icecream on a hot summer day, or even the dreaded McDonald's for a treat is abusive, or likely to set my kids up for a lifetime of obesity and addiction. I'd much rather encourage a healthy attitude to food and the ability to eat in moderation than a black and white attitude. Life is for living, and if we're eating healthy 90% of the time I'm not going to stress about the other 10%.
post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledzepplon View Post
We do our best to eat healthfully most of the time so that I don't have to sweat the occasional "treat." I think it's potentially more damaging to be overly controlling about food than it is to have a cookie or and ice cream cone here and there.

I do applaud all the parents here who go out of their way to provide nutritious meals and snacks for their children, despite the pressure to do otherwise.
Yes, yes, yes. I completely agree. We are an "Everything in Moderation" household. My kids eat things that a lot of people here would consider junk food, but when you compare it to the real junk that they could be eating it isn't as bad. If I'm going to buy them a treat I make sure it is a healthier version, so no HFCS and all that jazz. I love to bake so we always have things like cookies, breads or muffins around. We talk about the difference between food you eat all the time and food that is a special treat. I think educating your kids and showing examples of moderation and making smart choices is more effective than forbidding things. But to each their own.
post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Face View Post

>snip<

NOT allowing your child to have these things CAN be detrimental if you want them to live in the real world. They are surrounded by children who eat these things and can't learn to enjoy them in moderation if they are forbidden. Talk about setting them up for food struggles.

>snip<
I've seen this argument a lot and I don't buy it. Wouldn't it follow then that children of vegetarians would have an unhealthy infatuation with meat?

In my family, we don't eat refined sugar or junk food, just like in a vegetarian household, they don't eat animals. We have just a strong belief system as a vegetarian family, and I don't think that the mamas here would dare tell a vegetarian family that they should give their kiddo meat, kwim?
post #29 of 62
about once every few weeks, McDonalds French fries. My kids LOVE those things (must get it from their mama) so I let them slpurge a little every once in a while.

My older one loves chocolate (Another mommy trait) but the little guy can only have certain chocolate cookies cuz of heis dairy allergy, so I keep a box of oreos around for just such an occassion. Otherwise, thats it.
post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreThanApplesauce View Post
I've seen this argument a lot and I don't buy it. Wouldn't it follow then that children of vegetarians would have an unhealthy infatuation with meat?
Actually, yes, I have seen this. Also, there are all sorts of different types of vegetarians, which produces quite a bit of different levels of exposure. I know of a few where one household member is veg, but the other is not. The kids are still exposed to meat through the non veg spouse.
post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreThanApplesauce View Post
i'm sure i am in the minority but my child has never had anything remotely junk food related. I have made her some organic whole wheat, maple syrup sweetened pumpkin cookies, but they were actually healthy enough to technically be a side dish for a meal, so I don't really count them.

Sounds delicious!
post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodymama View Post
But my SIL is such a health freak
that she had my young nephew convinced everything had chemicals in it and that he would get all kinds of diseases if he ate anything but organic, whole grain, natural things. Not that I completely disagree with her but I think that it is a form of child abuse to put those extreme notions in your child's head. As a 5yo before he would pick anything up at a family gathering he would ask if it had chemicals in it. What a way for a child to ask for something?!
That's awful. We eat well as a rule but I don't freak my kid out about food. He can't have HFCS or artificial colors/flavors because I believe them to be genuinely toxic (especially HFCS, which has been shown to contain mercury), but it's my job to worry about that stuff for him, not his to ask. Poor kid.
post #33 of 62
We were pretty strict with our girls until they were about 2. Even now any junky treats they get are far and few between. We eat healthy on a regular basis, so I feel that their bodies can handle it now if they do get the occasional chocolate. Plus, I feel that by making an issue out of food, it will turn into an obsession with them. I feel proud whenever they pass up an offered candy for a piece of fruit or something else just as healthy (as my 4 year old did last week ). Since, we are not so strict on it when out, I feel like they are learning to make healthy choices on their own when we are not there (ie: at friend's house, grandma's, etc..). Moderation really is the key in our household with things like this...and after already raising one child and seeing it work, we are sticking with that plan for our girls.

ETA: We do draw the line some things...Artificial brright red anything is a huge trigger for the girls and they know it...
post #34 of 62
I was very careful with what DD1 ate until closer to age 2. Now she's nearly 4 and we eat a variety of foods.

The most important thing to me is to teach her what is real food and what isn't. She understands some things are not healthy and we talk about it a lot. She knows biscuits don't come from a refrigerated can, cheerios don't grow on trees, eggs come out of our chickens butts, and fruit snacks are not actually fruit. As she gets older she'll be able to live in the real world, and when faced with lots of overwhelming food choices she'll have the ability to discern what's real food and what is artificial and over processed.

I'm not too worried if she has kool-aid when we're playing with our more mainstream neighbors because at home she drinks mainly water. She's happy to eat broccoli instead of fries at a restaurant and would actually rather. We will order a dessert to share. It's not a big deal. We're alive and it's ok to enjoy living.

We're all healthy weights, we rarely get sick, and we enjoy a balanced diet of a wide range of (mostly whole) foods.

Ideally I'd like to eat a mostly organic diet with no artificial ingredients or genetically modified foods, but I'm not willing to give up our entire paycheck, or dinner at friends' houses, or the look of joy on DD's face when she's making smores over a campfire, or any number of other similar situations...
post #35 of 62
I don't consider an occassional cookie (especially one made with healthy ingredients) junk food. To me, junk food is McDonald's and Doritos neither of which DD eats. She's only two though and does not have a concept of what McDonald's is. She's still a fairly picky eater so if she's offered a spoon of ice ream she turns it down. I do believe in healthy moderation though. I won't be offering trips to McDonald's but if she asks for it or it's at a party where that's what's being served then I'm fine with it. Once in a while won't hurt.
post #36 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreThanApplesauce View Post
I've seen this argument a lot and I don't buy it. Wouldn't it follow then that children of vegetarians would have an unhealthy infatuation with meat?

In my family, we don't eat refined sugar or junk food, just like in a vegetarian household, they don't eat animals. We have just a strong belief system as a vegetarian family, and I don't think that the mamas here would dare tell a vegetarian family that they should give their kiddo meat, kwim?
I do see your point. There are vegetarians in our household. It's just different to me to explain to a child the ethical or personal reasons for being a vegetarian and why you choose it for them/yourself than to teach them that anything with other than health food is poison,yk?

The stress of never being allowed to have anything at a birthday party or most of the functions your friends go to (MOST people just don't serve kids healthful foods at parties and events) is something worth considering, IMO.

I think it sets them up for a struggle that isn't necessary but I guess some people would say it's absolutely necessary.
post #37 of 62
I find this issue to be very difficult for me. I have an eating disorder (compulsive over eating) which I'm currently in recovery from. Because sugar is one of my trigger foods, I don't eat it. That includes honey and maple syrup and other natural sweetners. I also don't eat white flour or fried foods, and try to avoid artificial flavors and dyes as much as possible.

For me, as far as I am able to tell, I have had a desire to eat compulsively from a very young age, and it seems to be a genetic predisposition, because there weren't any obvious environmental causes for those desires. So it's hard for me not to worry about my daughter's relationship to food. She definitely loves sugar and "treats". But I don't know if it's a normal kid's love of sweet things, or something more like what I've been battling my whole life. My husband is a normal eater, so I hope it's possible that she didn't get my genetic predisposition to having an abnormal reaction to certain foods.

So, I serve her healthy foods, mostly the same things DH and I eat, but even at home I allow her to have some of the things I don't have from time to time. White flour in a piece of matzoh, for instance, or crackers that have some whole wheat flour and some ordinary flour. I also let her have an all-natural lollipop from time to time at home, or a tiny bit of organic sugar on her oatmeal. She can have foods that are high in natural sugars but also have nutrients, like dates or a Larabar (dried fruit and nuts), but not too many in one day, mainly because then she's not as hungry for the other foods she needs.

I also let her grandparents give her treats when they see her once a week: a scone from the bakery, gelato from the gelato place down the street, restaurant french fries from the local cafe, that kind of thing. Not Doritos or McDonald's, but not exactly healthy, either. She's allowed to have a Dum-Dum lollipop at church with the other kids, and birthday cake at parties. I try not to label any foods as "bad" or "poison".

I figure, if she's a normal eater, she'll be able to learn to enjoy these things in moderation but have a primarily healthy diet at home. If she turns out to be a compulsive eater like me, then she won't have unlimited access to the foods that will send her body into a cycle of craving, and I'll have to figure out as we go how to talk about it in a way that is healthy for her. If I were an alcoholic, I'd want my kids to have the knowledge that their bodies might be especially sensitive to alcohol, and prepare them to make healthy choices. I feel the same way about food, but am still figuring out how to find the middle ground between projecting my issues onto her and facing the reality that this may be something she has to deal with, because of my genes.
post #38 of 62
There are a lot of things I don't consider "junk food" unless eaten in ridiculous amounts. Cheese pizza, while not the most healthy form of food, is made with wheat, tomatoes and cheese--all of which I consider good food (white flour in moderation is okay with me). I don't think chocolate is a junk food unless you're gorging yourself on it.

Now I do consider chips and store bought cookies and candy and soda junk food no matter how much you eat!

That said, I only give DS tiny bites of "junk" food that I'm eating because I can't eat anything without him wanting some. So he's had some italian ice, a little ice cream, little bits of tortilla chips. The only fast food restaurant we really go to is Chick fil a and I will give him bits of chicken nuggets and maybe one fry if the chicken nuggets don't hold out the whole meal. I feel a little bad about the fries.
post #39 of 62
SIGHS

I have huge guilt over my 3 year olds crappy diet. My mother introduced her to Mcdonalds, Hotdogs, fruit snacks and we just haven't been able to go back. I dont mind the occasional doughnut or french fry, but she thinks they are part of daily life now.

I am a working mom, so we do use mac and cheese, hot dogs and the like, but she also LOVES cucumbers, grape tomatoes, grapes, yogurt, green peppers, fish, chicken breast, beans, and brown rice. I do try to get something good in with every meal.

My almost one year old is on formula (she wouldnt take breastmilk from a bottle). She exclusively nursed for 6 months and when I had to go back to work would not take the bottle with mamas milk. By the time she was used to it, my supply was gone

Im hoping we can start getting rid of junk items little by little.

I will add, we do limit cows milk to 2 servings a day, NO ASPARTAME, and never soda. I just about hit my mom over Soda once. she thought it was hilarious and a great idea to give my oldest soda. I was livid. We limit 2 apple juices a day and its 50/50 with water, then she is allowed all the water she wants.
post #40 of 62
we do homemade goodies occasionally: muffins, or cookies. The one big junk food thing that ds gets are the Annie's Bunnies Organic Fruit Snacks. Sometimes we also snack on pretzels or goldfish crackers, but those are usually 'hard times in the car' sorta snacks, the kind of thing I can keep in our bag in the car and dish out easily.
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