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My DD snuck candy and then got sick-how to handle tonight?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
My 8 year old has a history of sneaking desserts. Last night she was at a friends house for a slumber party and halloween party, and snuck a lot of candy-so much so in fact that she got sick in the middle of the night and puked a whole bunch.


So tonight is trick or treating...how should we handle it? Obviously what I want to do is say she gets no candy at all. But I wonder if that is a bit excessive?

Also-the larger issue here is that she is in habit of sneaking desserts and candy and then lying about it and/or getting sick from it. How do I help her stop this behaviour? I am worried that it's already too late and this is the kind of thing that leads to eating/addiction disorders.


help! what would you do?
post #2 of 44
My first thought is why is she sneaking these things? Do you heavily limit them? Why is it considered "sneaking" to begin with? does she not have access to the food in the house without rules?
post #3 of 44
I'd be afraid that not letting her have candy tonight would just increase her inclination to eat as many sweets as possible when they are available for fear that someone will come along and remove the opportunity. Knowing these things are always available makes it easier to not obsess over them. But I know it's more complicated than that...
post #4 of 44
Thread Starter 
Here are a few examples:

1. I made a special 'pudding' dessert for our family plus a close family friend-our friend had to postpone her visit by a day, so I set our friends dessert aside in the fridge.(they were all individual in these little glasses we have) everyone in my family got one of their own, including my daughter. Later that evening I found our friend's dessert had been eaten into-and it was apparent that she had tried to sneak the bites 'evenly' so maybe no one would notice-but of course I did notice. First she lied about it, then she finally admitted it. She had no reason for doing it, except that she couldn't help herself.

2. Made a tiramisu for dessert the following evening (requires being made the day before) She asked for some, and I explained that it had to be in the fridge overnight for it to be done (I make this dish 'often' so she knows I always make it the night before) but she could have a different dessert and could have some tiramisu the following day. The next day I found a section eaten of the tiramisu. Again, tried to lie about it, but admitted eating it-again, she said she could not help herself.

3. Her birthday-she requested an ice cream cake-I made it and one smaller cake for celebration with additional family a day later-She got to eat her ice cream cake and told me she wanted the other cake-I told her we had to wait, plus she already got to have plenty of ice cream cake (And candy that my sister brought for her) Yet again, found section taken out of cake-same old story.
post #5 of 44
Thread Starter 
At the party last night, there were cupcakes for all the kids-everyone was allowed one, and then they gave out little bags of candy (a moderate amount) for each kid.

she kept trying to sneak additional cupcake, but couldn't due to adults catching her.

then she snuck a bunch of additional candy-so much in fact that she woke up in the middle of the night and got very sick and lots of throwing up involved.
post #6 of 44
it sounds like the issues is only happening when the sweets are off-limits. if that's the case I would tell her that she can eat as much of the candy as she wants, but if she gets sick from eating too much it will go away (and if she does get sick I would throw away any uneaten candy). and then, since this already sounds like it has become a severe issue, I might seek professional help with it, because it is already an impulse control issue or eating disorder (or a little bit of both)
post #7 of 44
I don't know, I guess my solution would be allow her more opportunities to have small amounts of these desserts... When you make pudding, you could put a little extra aside in a small bowl for her, or let her lick the beaters... Give her small tastes of things so she's not going crazy with the anticipation??? I am a lot like your daughter. I made DH a birthday cake a few weeks ago & it took ALL MY WILLPOWER not to sneak a slice since I made it the day before. And I'm an adult, so it's easier for me to control myself. I was always the kid at bday parties that wanted a second piece of cake. I actually eat incredibly healthy & am not overweight (a bit underweight actually), but I have a big sweet tooth & need small amounts of 'treats' or else I go nuts eating everything else. I should add a disclaimer that I did have an eating disorder years ago so I don't know if this is residual eating disordered behaviour or if it's just how some people normally are, but I guess I'm just trying to give some perspective from the other side of this.

Anyway, we don't do trick-or-treating & we don't eat candy in our house (though certainly lots of homemade sweets!) but if the custom in your home is to allow her to enjoy some Halloween candy, I think it would be really harsh to just take that away from her & likely only lead to more sneaking ultimately... I would ask her how she thinks you guys could handle this. Tell her you are concerned that she will overindulge & get sick again, and see if she has some ideas to prevent that from happening...
post #8 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
I don't know, I guess my solution would be allow her more opportunities to have small amounts of these desserts... When you make pudding, you could put a little extra aside in a small bowl for her, or let her lick the beaters... Give her small tastes of things so she's not going crazy with the anticipation???
well in all these instances she WAS given her individual portion, the same amount everyone else got-the 'extra' was there for people that were going to come over the next day, or were not able to make it in that day.

I try not to be too limiting, because I dont want to create an environment that makes her want to overindulge in order to compensate for not getting 'treats'.
post #9 of 44
i am not getting a sense of what the candy rules are in your house.

instead of telling her she cant, with the examples you gave i would say ask her to make sure everyone has their own serving. focus on how we need to keep for everyone.

however what is the rule in your house when its not events and you havent made cake.

at 8 i am a bit surprised by her reaction. does she not get candy or dessert through out the week. dd goes thru binges. she wants icecream after dinner every night for a few days and then she can go thru weeks without wanting any.

otherwise if she IS getting candy and dessert regularly two things come to mind.

1. test for diabetes (after looking for other symptoms - i recall my gma, my parents had to lock the fridge because she craved it so much).
2. up or increase your protein amount. sometimes they say a body's need for protein show up as sugar if they havent got enough protein in them.

otherwise i would give her opportunities to overindulge a few times. that's how my dd learnt to never over indulge. you could leave a huge bowl of skittles in front of her at 3 and she'd maybe eat a handful. because she'd eaten chocolate cake a little while earlier and gotten sick over it.

even today somedays she wants more dessert. and asks for it. and i give it to her. because it doesnt become an everyday habit.

we have been having a huge sweet time since the last couple fo days. no candy but dd's been eating cookies and cakes. last night after we came home she wanted icecream. i didnt say no. i said you make the decision. you have already had a lot of cookies, cake, brownies and liquid sugar (juice). if you think its a good decision for your body to add more sugar since we will have even more tomorrow then go ahead. she didnt serve herself some ice cream.
post #10 of 44
I honestly think this is a larger problem and you should not link it to Halloween. So I'd let her trick or treat and have whatever the regular amount of candy she would be allowed tonight. (As long as you're sure it wasn't a stomach bug. )

Then in a week or so I guess my approach would be to take her out on our own and have a talk with her about how concerned I am, and ask HER to brainstorm ideas for how not to sneak treats.

I will say that I went through a phase of compulsive eating both at her age and in my teens; I think a lot of it was emotional, so looking at what things she gets to do to "fill her well" so to speak might help. Maybe she needs other ways to deal with emotion.

But I ALSO think both those periods intersected with big growth periods, so I was also hard-wired at those times to obsess over food.

Some ideas for her would be:

- can you get her involved in baking healthier but still sweet things so that she gets the whole process - healthy muffins, trail mix cookies and that kind of thing

- what can she eat that is sweeter but not dessert...does your budget allow for grapes (frozen grapes are amazing); can she have smoothies with fruit and honey, frozen yoghurt pops etc.

Both these things are to deregulate some of the sweet things so she knows what to have when she's having a craving, but also to make her more responsible for coming up with them, understanding nutritional value, and so on. So it would be something to work on together.

Also

- is there a way to set up some special treats for her that she knows are coming...my son was getting obsessed with dessert and it was bothering me, about a month ago, so we instituted "Sunday sundaes" where we make our own sundaes on - yes - Sunday. Now when he's all onto wanting this or that we remind him that Sunday sundaes are coming...but he's 5 so this technique may not apply. (We do have dessert more often than once a week but it's usually fruit etc.)
- does she have some control over something like an allowance where she can buy one thing a week or whatever

It does sound though like she overeats when she does KNOW the treat is still coming the next day, so I think you really will have to ask her what is going on and how to help her.

Oh P.S. - I agree with upping the protein and whole grains to reduce carb cravings.
post #11 of 44
I think letting her go crazy then getting puking sick was a perfect opportunity for her to learn WHY sweets are good in moderate amounts, and not so good when pigged out upon.

My DD is a full on candy freak, partly because we really have to limit her consumption due to her getting spun and making it extremely difficult to deal with her. My ILs have candy everywhere, so awhile back DH and I decided we were sick.to.death. of being the candy police, so we let DD have a free-for-all and a b-day party. DD ate a bunch of candy, ice cream cake, and a cupcake....she ended up puking when we got home. We both were just like "remember Little Bear and his sweet tooth?"(great Little Bear episode where he gets sick from eating too many sweets). She finally realized the why behind our watching her with the sweets.

Many may think this was a bad way to go about it, but when you have a child who does.not.stop. like my DD you get to the point where it's like fine do what you do, if you don't want to eat grow food and eat junk well there are consequences for that. We see my ILs often and they all think I am the sugar police, but they have so much candy, cake, cookies that the kids are all crying and melting down. I get sick of it because DD goes freakin crazy, and Dh and I have to battle constantly. This time I was just tired of that because it wasn't working. Getting sick actually made her realize that it was because we were concerned about her health, not being mean.

That's my take on it.
post #12 of 44
Wow...I'm surprised at all the people who say to let her have whatever she wants. I think sneaking food is pretty serious. It doesn't sound like she is limited at all, it honestly sounds like the sugar has a "power" over her (almost like a drug addict). Especially since it sounds like she mostly sneak sweets once she has that "first" taste.

I think it's really sad that a little girl is so consumed with friend she's spending her energy trying to sneak cupcakes and candy at a party, instead of enjoying time with her friends.

I would take her tricking her treating, but tell her she isn't going to eat any candy. She can trade it all in, and the next day you will take her shopping for a new toys, or book or clothes (whatever she likes). (or take her shopping before hand today, and just doesn't give her the new toy until after trick or treating when she trades her candy in). That way she KNOWS she will get the toy or whatever.

Then I would seriously look into sugar addiction issues and do some major research and maybe therapy.
post #13 of 44
OP, it sounds like your DD may have a greater issue that needs to be explored with a professional. At first, I was sure your post was going to be about a child who's never given any sweets but from what you're saying she's allowed sweets and a nice amount. She was allowed pudding and not only snuck the desserts for your guests but tried to cover it. And also the sneaking the extra cupcake at the home of the hosts of the sleepover even though everyone was given a nice amount. Is she only this way with sweets or other foods as well.

I wouldn't allow her to go trick or treating or eat trick or treat candy. I'd be concerned that there's a greater issue going on and would work on exploring what that may be.
post #14 of 44
To be honest, I wouldn't keep her from having any candy at all tonight as a punishment per se- I think vomiting and the embarrassment of doing it at a sleepover are plenty awful! I would put whatever your normal limits are on Halloween candy in place. I would also start a dialog with her, asking her what she thinks-not just telling her, about health, about sharing with other people, etc (what other people have said). I would also consider what emotional/stressful issues she may be facing. I was always sneaking food and desserts as a kid, looking back I don't think it had anything with hunger/or the sugar itself. I enjoyed healthy food, but I would not resist desserts/tasty left overs. It was stress, pure and simple, my family/school relationships were strained and eating momentarily solved it. These days I am consciously aware of the relationship between stress/eating, but I still struggle not to eat all the ice cream in less that 24 hours. That may not be the case with her at all, but its worth considering. I would also really try to get her to realize the relationship between what she puts in her body and how she feels later. I really like all the suggestions about asking her to come up with solutions. Good luck!
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnEarth View Post
To be honest, I wouldn't keep her from having any candy at all tonight as a punishment per se- I think vomiting and the embarrassment of doing it at a sleepover are plenty awful! I would put whatever your normal limits are on Halloween candy in place. I would also start a dialog with her, asking her what she thinks-not just telling her, about health, about sharing with other people, etc (what other people have said). I would also consider what emotional/stressful issues she may be facing. I was always sneaking food and desserts as a kid, looking back I don't think it had anything with hunger/or the sugar itself. I enjoyed healthy food, but I would not resist desserts/tasty left overs. It was stress, pure and simple, my family/school relationships were strained and eating momentarily solved it. These days I am consciously aware of the relationship between stress/eating, but I still struggle not to eat all the ice cream in less that 24 hours. That may not be the case with her at all, but its worth considering. I would also really try to get her to realize the relationship between what she puts in her body and how she feels later. I really like all the suggestions about asking her to come up with solutions. Good luck!
post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marissamom View Post
it sounds like the issues is only happening when the sweets are off-limits. if that's the case I would tell her that she can eat as much of the candy as she wants, but if she gets sick from eating too much it will go away (and if she does get sick I would throw away any uneaten candy). and then, since this already sounds like it has become a severe issue, I might seek professional help with it, because it is already an impulse control issue or eating disorder (or a little bit of both)
A good thought, but in this situation, I would be careful with this - you wouldn't want her to begin feeling like she needs to hide the fact that she gets sick - I think that's what would happen - she would not only hide the eating, but also hide when she gets sick (or even worse, figure out that she might be able to make herself vomit or something so she never feels the sick part and doesn't have to have things taken away - probably a scenario that is very unlikely...)

Tonight we're going to try the whole 'Halloween Fairy" thing though - I'll let the kids choose a few pieces of candy and then give them the option to leave the rest out for the halloween fairy, who will exchange it for an awesome toy they've been wanting Along with some special snacks that are a little more acceptable.

I'd just try to make sure that you do everything you can to keep the trust up - you don't want her to feel so ashamed that she stops telling you the truth. Maybe start by sitting down and asking the reason why she sneaks food - is she actually hungry? bored? does is make her feel good when she's feeling sad or stressed? Maybe include a story about how you yourself sometime abuse food (I feel like most people do at least to some degree) and that you can understand. Once you can identify the 'why' - you can start introducing other ways to handle those things that don't involve unhealthy food.

good luck tonight
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila the Honey View Post
My first thought is why is she sneaking these things? Do you heavily limit them? Why is it considered "sneaking" to begin with? does she not have access to the food in the house without rules?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
I'd be afraid that not letting her have candy tonight would just increase her inclination to eat as many sweets as possible when they are available for fear that someone will come along and remove the opportunity. Knowing these things are always available makes it easier to not obsess over them. But I know it's more complicated than that...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marissamom View Post
it sounds like the issues is only happening when the sweets are off-limits.
During special occasions where candy is aplenty, I allow my kids to have their own candy in bags with their name on it and put it in the pantry with all the other food. I say they can eat it after they've eaten healthy food for breakfast. I then say, you can choose to eat it all if you want to, but make sure you stop if your tummy starts to hurt, or you can eat some of it after breakfast and save the rest for later. Since I put the power and control in their hands, and encourage them to make their own choices, more often than not, they make a healthy choice, and if not, I don't worry about it.
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbailey View Post
OP, it sounds like your DD may have a greater issue that needs to be explored with a professional. At first, I was sure your post was going to be about a child who's never given any sweets but from what you're saying she's allowed sweets and a nice amount. She was allowed pudding and not only snuck the desserts for your guests but tried to cover it. And also the sneaking the extra cupcake at the home of the hosts of the sleepover even though everyone was given a nice amount.
I think I agree with this. I think that at age 8 most kids are very well able to understand that we need to save the extra dessert for *friend* for tomorrow, or tiramisu needs to set overnight, and they are able to control their desire to eat some of it. I also think that usually kids are better behaved at other peoples' houses, so it says something to me that she even went sneaking (lots of!) sweets at her friend's house. Does that make sense?

We already do the "Halloween Fairy" here and it works really well for our family. The kids choose a small bit of candy to keep and the rest is taken away by the fairy with a gift left in it's stead. If you don't already do it maybe this would be a good year to start (or simply say that you'll buy her a gift in exchange for the candy). I don't think I'd take away ToTing as it's such a huge, exciting big deal for kids that age. It seems like getting sick was "punishment" enough for sneaking the candy. BUT at the same time, since she's having such a big problem with sweets in general I'd probably choose to do a candy-for-gift exchange for Halloween.
post #19 of 44
I suggest having her repay the people who had her over with her money, writing an apology note for stealing, and not allowing her to go over to friends houses until she can show she will not steal their things. Sneaking is a term that is too mild in this situation. She took what didn't belong to belong to her without permission after being told not to, and that is not acceptable guest behavior. I think canceling Halloween privileges is tough punishment, but it sounds like she has a long history of feeling like she has every right to just take without any concern for other people when it comes to sweets so I don't know that it is too much. If you feel like it is wrong though then it is probably not the right way to go for your family. I know that I have been tempted to take a holiday but haven't ever done it because it feels like too much.

It is hard to resist temptation as a child and what she did is totally age appropriate, especially for a child who really craves candy. I think you should label it as what it is though, sneaking is a silly mischievous behavior whereas stealing is not, and insist that she replaces anything she eats without permission with her own money. I can't imagine my child doing something like that on a continuous basis. How do you deal with her not listening to you in other situations? I think that you should treat this one the same way. Not limiting things may help, but even if you do limit things you should be able to trust that your child will not sneak into the food that is there for everyone no matter how much she wants it.

My mom was telling me about hearing Dr. Sear's talk on the radio about it being possible to retrain your taste buds. It sounds like she has a lot of access to treats and may benefit from the whole family doing away with them and retraining their taste buds together.
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkedmamajama View Post
help! what would you do?
What we do is limit sweets since our DD seems unable to limit them herself.

For Halloween, she can choose 3 pieces each day after a healthy meal. The candy is kept out of her reach. I would lock it up if that was needed (its not, yet).

I would not make or buy desserts that can't be monitored until she is older, and hopefully when she gets older the inability to restrain herself will have lessened. If I needed to make such a dessert, I'd ask the neighbor to keep it in their fridge or house for me until it was time to serve it.

We do have something sweet to offer each day. She is not deprived of sweets. We no longer talk a whole lot about how much is good for the body. We just make sure she can't access more than what seems reasonable, and any further discussion that she attempts is met with a simple reminder ("tomorrow") and redirection to something else ("hey want to play on the trampoline?").

If DD is going to a slumber party, I'd let the parents know that there might be some candy-sneaking issues, not tell them how to deal with it (unless they want advice), and if she eats too much and gets sick, okay. She probably won't get invited to as many sleepovers, or the ones she does, they'll have better control over the sweets.

I think as DD gets older she will probably lose some of that craving and gain some more self-control, so I do think this is temporary.
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