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Eating "rules"

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 
What are the food rules in your house? I'd rather not start a huge debate and I know this issues becomes hot fast. I just was looking for an idea of how other families work in relation to food, if it's working for you and why you have it that way.

We seem to be having food issues at our house starting up again and am trying to figure out how to balance it.

Specifics as to dessert or sugar limitation would be helpful, too. I was raised where a meal was often a Snickers and a coke and was terribly unhealthy and wished we had "real" meals. I still like sugar but really fight with this even as an adult. Now my two youngest kids eat too much sugar to where that's almost all they will eat. Literally. And both are dreadfully and dangerously (one of them) underweight for what we can't figure out whether is a sugar addiction or allergies.
post #2 of 77
Three meals and two snacks every day. As close to the same time every day as possible.

Fruit and crackers available anytime.
post #3 of 77
No complaining.

You have to try everything; you don't have to finish it.

If you don't like what's on the table, you can have an apple.
post #4 of 77
I prepare foods when the kids say they're hungry and they usually get to choose what they want to eat. Sometimes I just prepare something and we all eat it. A lot of times I make separate meals. Some of us have food allergies and not everybody is restricted to no dairy/eggs so that is taken into account as well. There are limitless snacks here. We often get treat-type foods as well. I will usually make sure someone has eaten a meal before they get the treat-type stuff (rice ice cream, chips, cookies).

This works really well for our family. We have a five year old, a three year old, and a two month old.
post #5 of 77
3 meals a day with limitless healthy snacks. Sugary snacks only After a meal. If you don't like it, too bad, unless I know it's something that is truelly not liked. But none of the "it doesn't look good" stuff here.

Maybe an idea for weaning your kids off the sugar and back to the healthy foods are to go slow and sub in organic sweets (organic m&ms, fruit snacks, etc) then sub in things like raisins, fruit with cool whip on top, until you're to a place where it's just fruit. We do a lot of dips. So, all fresh vegies get ranch dip. If they ask for ketchup, they get it, limited and we buy the kind without corn syrup, etc. They seem to enjoy dipping. And, I don't care if they dip broccoli in mustard (dd2 did) or whatever as long as it's healthy and getting them to eat the vegies & fruit! Another idea is smoothies and cutting fresh stuff into fun shapes. I have one of those cutters that makes the ridged edges on food. They like that here.
post #6 of 77
We do three meals a day plus snacks as needed. DD is allowed smaller portions [obviously] but we try to have her eat a lot of fruits, whole foods etc. She's also allowed sweets and treats in moderation! We make a lot of our own treats [muffins, cupcakes] and so I know what's going in them..but I also don't say no if she wants a Kit Kat or something. She just can't have 10
post #7 of 77
We don't have any real rules around food other than "it is the parents job to provide healthy meals and snacks and its the child job to eat or not as they see fit".

My own personal rule is not to bring into the house that I wouldn't "allow" my child to eat. Doing so means he can eat whatever he wants in the house. There are no off limit foods.

Another personal rule is not to sweat the small stuff when we are out and about. If he eats junk at a friends, buys a snowball (ugh!) with his own money or a relative takes him to McD's after the movie I don't freak out.

Food is so not worth the power struggle to me.

edited to add that I agree with pathiu-no complaining! If you don't like something just say " no thank, I don't care for that" no gagging noises or rude comments. (even thought it was really hard for me when he chose to buy a halloween snoball the other day!)
post #8 of 77
I make the meals and other than that dd is welcome to eat as much raw fruits and vegetables as she wants. We barely eat any processed foods, and that includes candy, so it's not much in the house. When it is in the house, one treat a day is the "rule". Usually, I have "healthy fruit bars" (frozen pureed fruit, sometimes with cream or yogurt in them, usually not) on-hand and dd will have one of those every day for a "treat". We don't eat dessert, so that's not really an issue. If I have baked something (about once a month), it's not all usually eaten and ends up getting stale (and given the the neighbor dog). Dd just usually forgets that they're there and doesn't eat them after the first couple of days.

We raised dd here in the US and abroad and she has a wide range of tastes and is not picky at all. I don't have any problems with her eating too much sweets and not enough healthy, home-cooked food. We've had a few discussions about fueling our bodies. She's 8.
post #9 of 77
http://www.ellynsatter.com/

We do 3 meals, 2 snacks, "healthy" dessert (fruit, homemade low sugar ice cream, dates, yogurt, ect). What is served is what there is to eat. I don't cater, but I consider everyone's tastes and try to have something that I know dd will eat. Dd can eat as much or as little as she wants as long as everyone else has what they want. We don't have things that aren't food in our home and that includes sugar, soda or junk food, we do have "treats" like fresh seasonal fruit, dates, nuts, rice pudding, fruit crisps, homemade ice cream and baked goods made with honey, stevia, or maple syrup, usually about 1/2 the amount that the recipe calls for. My dd is gluten, dairy, egg, and soy intolerant and she does very poorly if she eats things that aren't food with artificial colors or flavorings, MSG, preservatives, etc. I do not want to fight over them so we don't have them in the house.
post #10 of 77
We don't have any rules, we are just happy if they eat. Well, DD2 is really funny about food and has IBS etc and having had very strict parents who were horrible when it came to food, I developed food issues and don't want to do the same to the kids so I just make the whole thing as relaxed as possible, everyone gets input generally about what we have to eat, I vary the meals depending on who likes what and who doesn't. I think the only thing we do have rules about is sweets and thats it and its simply 'you can have 2 or 3 but thats it'.
post #11 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post
We don't have any real rules around food other than "it is the parents job to provide healthy meals and snacks and its the child job to eat or not as they see fit".

My own personal rule is not to bring into the house that I wouldn't "allow" my child to eat. Doing so means he can eat whatever he wants in the house. There are no off limit foods.

Another personal rule is not to sweat the small stuff when we are out and about. If he eats junk at a friends, buys a snowball (ugh!) with his own money or a relative takes him to McD's after the movie I don't freak out.

Food is so not worth the power struggle to me.
This describes us, as well.
post #12 of 77
3 meals and limitless healthy snacks (carrot sticks, pickles etc). Sweets are only on special occasions. You have to try everything on your plate before getting seconds of anything, but you don't have to eat everthing on your plate, just try it. If you don't like anything, you can have pb&j. We gave up the food battle after the oldest went through his picky phase, we realized quickly it was just a phase. Our 4 yr. old is going through a "no food touching" phase and so won't eat salads, but if we seperate his tomatoes from his lettuce, from his cucumbers etc. he'll eat each individual item even though 6 months ago he'd eat a salad. He is also refusing dressing because that constitutes "touching". LOL. It's funny to see the stages they go through.
post #13 of 77
We don't have many rules other than dinner is what it is and you have to try it. No "gross, ew, yuck, I won't eat that" type comments.

Breakfast and lunch are up to them mostly. Same with snacks. We don't really limit any food other than out and out junk. Dinner I do cook but there's always something included that everyone likes.
post #14 of 77
If you feed the dog, you're done.

If you throw food you're done.

You don't have to eat a full portion of everything, but you need to try at least one bite unless I know you don't like it.

If you don't eat dinner/lunch/whatever meal, fine. But when you are hungry I'm just reheating that or you're getting some thing grab and go (like and apple or piece of bread).


You can have one serving of junk food at a time. There is no way you're going to eat 6 pieces of cake in one sitting. (Although thsi has never come up, DD will reject cake for an apple which is completely weird to me b/c I could eat a whole cake in one sitting.)
post #15 of 77
One thing we do is limit the amount of sweet stuff that we bring into the house, and usually go with the "healthier" option (organic, fruit-sweetened, homemade, etc). We never have any candy, chocolate bars, soda, etc. (besides now, because of Halloween). That really cuts down on the "sweets battle". It's easier to say yes than no, and if the "worst" sweet you have in the house is dried fruit or fruit yogourt then it's not too hard to say yes.

Besides that I also try to bring snacks out at the first hint of hunger from either of the kids. I'll make a snack tray with veggies and dip, nuts, cheese, crackers, berries, etc for them to fill up on, instead of waiting till they get ravenous which makes them a) turn into monsters, and b) crave sugar like crazy (hey, I react the same way myself!).
post #16 of 77
We don't bring sugar into the home at all. I don't eat any but will occasionally cook with natural sweeteners (agave nectar/real maple syrup/honey) but since I definitely don't have the energy to do that every day we don't have desserts everyday. We do make fruit smoothies often, though, when we want something quick and sweet.

Otherwise, we try to eat fairly healthy and DD rarely gets junk food options (ok, mac and cheese is one exception) but she seems happy with what we offer. We don't place an entire ban on junkfood away from home. We'll let her have a bite of sugar if we're out (but it would have to come from DH since I don't eat it). She's young, though, so it's still in the easy to control stage.
post #17 of 77

Our Rules

All food is consumed at the table or in the back yard. With four kids, I need food mess to be contained to one area.

You eat the food you have before you get more food.

You don't have to clean your plate, but I don't want to talk at length about what you aren't going to eat and what you don't like. No complaining.

Good food must go into your stomach first before you can have treat food.

Your body needs protein. You must have some protein ever day. Similarly, you cannot eat only carbohydrates.

I do control snacks to some extent. This is for two reasons :
1. otherwise I would do nothing all day except prepare snacks.
2. our second DD is very thin, and she will use snacks to take the edge off her hunger and never really eat.

We tend to keep junk out of the house, and not worry about the odd crap food day outside the house.
post #18 of 77
The only "rule" is that food stays in the kitchen or dining room. Water and special events like tree decorating snacks or holiday candy are exceptions.
The days tend to follow the same pattern, small self-serve snack like yogurt or cheese at 7 am with more breakfast at 9 am. Sometimes a mid morning snack but that isn't as critical now that my kids are 5 and 3. I usually offer fruit but if they ask for something else that is fine. Lunch is around noon and includes fruit and veg side dishes. Most days they eat breakfast and lunch really well. They both usually ask for a snack around 3. Most days those tend to be the packaged stuff like animal crackers, goldfish, etc. because my children are in afternoon preschool classes. While I am making dinner, I offer a "snack" to them that is usually part of dinner. Then we eat as a family around 6-6:30. I ask them to try a bite of each food, but doesn't always work for my dd. We just let it go. I do think she is more open to trying new foods at lunchtime.
post #19 of 77
There's a great blog called Family Feeding Dynamics. I tend to not discuss our household practices, as I have a history of disordered eating and can be very defensive about our specific habits.
post #20 of 77
Here the kids kind of graze through out the day and we usually have breakfast and lunch.

Dinner time you have to try one bite of what's on your plate and if you don't like it you can leave it but Mama is off duty after dinner, so if you want something else to eat it will have to be something you can get yourself.

We don't really limit sugar. I don't buy biscuits etc. We don't keep fizzy drink in the house either. Sometimes if we stop at the shop on the way home I'll get a little bag of mixed lollies for them and I do buy the odd cake or pack of biscuits or chips for a treat but they're not regularly in our house.

Sometimes we have pudding, but usually we don't.

If there are sweet things there then the kids can eat as much as they like, when they like but once they're gone, they're gone.
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