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How do you handle sweets in your house?post #1 of 5012/21/11 at 3:53pmThread StarterDo you restrict sweets? Is it a free-for-all? Do you keep lots of sweets in the house to begin with, or avoid having them in your home completely? Are your kids allowed to have sweets any time of the day, or only certain times? How well do they self-regulate? Do they beg for sweets if they're restricted?post #2 of 5012/21/11 at 5:58pm
I don't have sweets in the house often, and when I do, it is usually something like coconut milk ice cream, or a small batch of something I've made. DD (almost 7) has never self-regulated well at all and will make herself horribly ill if given free access, so I'm the one that serves for now. DS (almost 17 months) self-regulates great, but he doesn't have much of a sweet tooth anyways. He'll pick steamed broccoli over a cookie any day. However, he's never had sweets available until the last few months, whereas DD had people sneaking her stuff from the time she started solids. I don't have a certain time for sweets. It's usually a spontaneous just because thing, though I do usually keep it to earlier in the day to give DD time to come down before bed. Neither beg for sweets, or even ask really, if you don't count fruit. DD is thrilled when we have a special treat, but she understands that it is a special thing, not an everyday thing.post #3 of 5012/21/11 at 11:25pm
dd couldnt self regulate till she was 5.
even today i dont keep any sweets in the house. meaning candy. specifically gummy bears (actually had some at home and guess who ate them for breakfast ).
but before that if we were out i would never keep candy from her. i'd mostly get her some. and we'd both share a bag of skittles.
she used to beg when she couldnt self regulate. if she begged i'd ask her had she eaten well enough to be able to eat some junk. and she'd actually think and mostly say no and be ok that means no more candy.
by 7 i removed all bars. candy was no longer my responsibility. BUT dont come to me if you have a tummy ache.
we still sometimes have sugar first thing in the morning. but that's because i know in half hour she'd eat her regular bfast.
by about 8 dd was good. i mean when you see a spread of many desserts at a party and your child chooses to munch on freshly picked super sweet cherry tomatoes, you know its time to let go of controlling her food.
but seriously i had to evaluate my own sugar philosophy when dd was 3. she agreed that i could restrict her sugar intake since she could not regulate, and i agreed that she could have more if she really, really wanted more sugar. 'mom there are days when just one popsicle is not enough. you just got to have another." absolutely!!! you go girl. i can so understand that and relate to it. yup. that stopped her lying.post #4 of 5012/22/11 at 5:17am
I don't have sweets in the house except at special occasions, like Halloween, Easter, and Christmas. That's probably it - my daughter calls those "candy holidays". If I have sweets in the house otherwise, nothing else exists as far as the kids are concerned. Oh, wait, the older one likes to cook but if we cook we try to make it at least not terribly junky. If it's in the house, I try not to be restrictive though. But there is no candy, for instance, in the morning before school and that kind of thing.post #5 of 5012/22/11 at 7:00am
We don't keep a lot in the house, but lately DS has decided that a cookie after EVERY meal is just fine. He doesn't ask for it at any other time, but even 3 cookies a day is too much for me. Now and then we go on a bender (like birthday parties) and then I say no junk food at all for a few days. IDK if it's working yet, but I'm hoping he's learning how to moderate -- it's okay to have Halloween or a crazy day at school when they are making gingerbread houses and more ends up in his stomach than on the house, but then he has to lay low for awhile and eat healthy foods to help his body stay strong.post #6 of 5012/22/11 at 7:46am
I buy a lot of Chocolate, I don't eat it but the whole family does. A decent sized bag of chocolate will last maybe a month in the house. Not too bad. I will make cookies sometimes but those don't last long which means they're eaten by the littles. DD1 is not good at regulating her sugar intake and she really reacts badly to too much. DD2 doesn't have a problem with regulating herself. So I don't usually have to worry about her.post #7 of 5012/22/11 at 8:14am
We don't keep ready sweets in the house at all.
I grumble about sweets acquired outside of the home (candy holidays, lollipop-giving bank tellers, gummi-bear-buying park wardens, etc.) but don't restrict them.
I do, um, bake. I try to bake only occasionally but sometimes I find an interesting new recipe or something and the baking gets out of control. My baking is all from scratch, and I do feel that what I make constitutes as "food" as opposed to a "chemical product" (like gummi bears, which I do not consider food). I use 1/2 or even only 1/3 the sugar called for in a recipe, on average, and my family agrees with me that it's sweet enough. I also use whole wheat flour (sometimes alone, sometimes with some white flour to fluff it up).
Unfortunately, I react to wheat, so it's a problem. I've found a few homemade sweets that don't involve wheat. But even those get me addicted to sugar when I eat them more than once in a row.
I do have a few concoctions that involve neither wheat nor added sweetenings. One is to freeze berries or peach slices. I put them in the Vitamix with some whole milk and vanilla. Mmmm! Very sweet, no added sweetening needed. My family is a big fan of this ice cream.
Another is baked apples. I just add cinnamon and butter only - dee-lish! It really needs a high-quality apple to work really well though.
I admit that I've ended up being the gatekeeper for sugar, though. Unless DD gets sweets outside of the house, it's up to mama whether she wants to make something. However, it seems to work. Occasionally, DD will ask me to make something, and I usually comply if she's eaten a good amount of protein that day. Also, she counts baked apples and fruit "ice cream" as treats - not to mention cornbread (from scratch, the old fashioned way, no wheat flour at all, no sweetenings in the bread itself) with all-fruit jam on top.post #8 of 5012/22/11 at 9:07am
I try not to keep a lot of real sweets in the house, because my kids are just 5 and 3, and I really don't expect them to be able to make the decision that that chocolate cake that mommy left out on the counter just isn't a good choice for breakfast. I feel like I've done my best to lay a good foundation, I keep their diet well-balanced, and they both eat and enjoy a huge variety of healthy foods. I've also never totally deprived them of sweets; we keep fruit gummis and the like on hand for occasional treats, and during the rare times that we have junkier stuff in the house, I don't feel like I'm a horrible mom if I give them a small portion after they've eaten a good supper. They wouldn't pass up ice cream in favor of cherry tomatoes if both were offered, but I am 100% sure that they would still happily eat their weight in the tomatoes after they had finished their ice cream. My goal is moderation, my goal is to teach them how to find a balance between healthy food and junk food, now, while they are young and impressionable, so that it's not such a struggle for them when they are grown and I'm not around around anymore to make their choices for them.post #9 of 5012/22/11 at 9:35am
We don't really keep sweets in the house. Candy is something that my kids get on special holidays (Halloween, Easter) and they occasionally get candy at school or something like that. We have cake on birthdays, and DH will bake cookies or brownies maybe once a month. I don't buy cereal or muffins or poptarts or anything like that, but they do sometimes make themselves cinnamon sugar toast for breakfast. I do buy juice sometimes, and I do consider that a sweet. And I do allow my kids to drink soda or other sweetened drinks if we go out to eat.
To me, this seems like a moderate approach. My kids do ask for sweets sometimes and when they were smaller they would sneak sweets, which is why we generally don't have them in the house these days. As for self-regulation, it's something that my kids have gotten better at as they've gotten older (my kids are 8-12 now), although personality plays a role. After Halloween, I let my kids self-regulate their candy consumption. Two of my kids had finished all of their candy within a week or two. The other two children saved their candy and it lasted for 2 months.post #10 of 5012/22/11 at 12:46pm
I make cookies/treats usually once a week. If DS asks nicely without whining we give him some. I try not to use it as a reward for good behavior, but if he is polite and sweet when asking for some, we try to do it. If he whines/tantrums for more, I tell him he shouldn't do that, that he should be grateful for the treat, say thank you to whomever it is from, etc. We also don't do treats after dinner- our dinner are so late that if we did, he would be eating a cookie and then trying to go to bed. Usually treats are after lunch or with the mid-afternoon snack. I make our treats at home though- we don't buy store cookies: the ingredients list being so long scares me!post #11 of 5012/22/11 at 2:51pmI dont keep many sweets, but when they arrive (via grandma, or because of a bad desicion on my part) I let her go all out. When I bake something, I give her the bowl and spatula to lick. She spends about 3 minutes on it, gets bored, and then when the brownies are done she wont eat one. Its worked so far, but she's little.post #12 of 5012/23/11 at 7:27am
We do keep sweets in the house--plain chocolate, maybe some Dum Dums lollipops, and cookies (dd has lots of allergies, so it's generally stuff like Annie's gluten-free bunny cookies). Dd is allowed one "treat" a day--and she can pick what and when. In the summer, she usually likes to get a popsicle from the ice cream truck when we're out at the park. Otherwise, it might be a few Hershey's kisses, a serving of cookies, or a pouch of Annie's organic fruit snacks. We make special treats, like brownies or cupcakes, when she has a birthday party to go to (because of the allergies, she can never eat the treats that are served to the other kids.)
Like her parents, dd has a real sweet tooth, but because she has some control over what she gets, we don't get a lot of whining for extras.post #13 of 5012/23/11 at 8:41pmI keep treats around and don't limit access unless it is close to dinner time. We mostly have them on movie nights once a week but DD is free to have them at other times also. My DD is good at regulating her own intake for the most part and always has been. She did go through a stage where she gorged a few times and got sick but she moved past that without me having to put limits in place.post #14 of 5012/23/11 at 9:45pm
We rarely have any sweets in our house. I think it's mainly because I have no sweet tooth. Once in a while we have ice cream or fruit pops but besides that nothing. No candy, cookies or deserts. We steer towards chips and crackers instead. My son is highly affected by sugar so I minimize sweets as much as I can.post #15 of 5012/27/11 at 8:06am
We almost always have some treats in the house. We keep them in a special snack drawer in the kitchen. We keep fruit roll ups, nuts, dried fruit, lollipops, gum, chips (sometimes), maybe some cookies and usually some type of candy in there. Leftover halloween, holiday and present candy also go in there. It is one of the few cabinets and drawers that remained child safety locked...
DD and I adhere to a one treat a day rule. She absolutely accepts that rule as legitimate. We do sometimes have to negotiate over what type of treat it will be though (fruit roll-up vs. cookies).
I was raised in a house where it was feast or famine regarding treats. I really learned to gorge myself when something good came in because you never knew if when it would come again. I'm striving to teach my daughter moderation.post #16 of 5012/31/11 at 11:15pmI would prefer to control the environment but it feels completely impossible, so there are rules. The kids get one treat per day. During the week it's homemade junk food only. Weekends we allow one store bought treat.
They do ask/beg for junk but DD does so way less than when we had no rules. She is totally OK with the system.
I have a much harder time figuring out what to do about borderline junky foods like ketchup, vanilla soy milk, cereal, granola bars, or eating fuit 3x a day. It's usually my call whether the kids get that stuff and it can get annoying. I try to give my DD as much info as possible about picking a variety of foods, what foods have vitamins, what foods will keep you from being hungry again in an hour etc. I can't just get rid of all of it, DH just buys junkier versions of it and doesn't wait for sales.post #17 of 501/1/12 at 12:26ampost #18 of 501/3/12 at 7:16pm
The issue in our house isn't the kids, it is my husband. HE has poor control, and also has a hard time staying at the weight he wants, I keep sweets out of the house. I also try to buy fair trade chocolate/sugar, since they are luxuries. This means I can't afford them very often...
We tend to like savory/salty snacks more here (tortilla chips, pretzles, peanuts). Kids can pick a small bowl of pretzle sticks or tortilla chips once or twice for snacks during the day (kids are 5, 3 and 2) and fruit for other snacks.
I put together enough cookie dough to fill up an old tub with pre-formed cookie dough balls, and every few evenings we have a fresh-baked cookie after dinner. (If they are frozen, DH can't eat them in one sitting. Poor guy!) I don't tie this to any thing in particular (like finishing dinner); I don't really want the kids to associate sugar/treats as rewards, just as something fun. (though, I did use MnM's to potty train the 2 year old. The 3 year old didn't need any motivation, but I didn't have as strong a relationship with the 2 year old since he had just moved in with us. I thought I might need a little extra persuasion. He probably could have done without)
I regularly CRAVE Del Taco (I know, it is just the worst thing ever. I am a pretty big local/organic food snob besides this dirty secret of mine). Sometimes after bed, hubby runs out and gets me a burrito. Before it was Del Taco I craved 7-11 jalepeno & cheese corn dogs. Gross, I know.post #19 of 501/3/12 at 8:47pm
DH and I don't buy sweets a lot. DH has never had a sweet tooth and loves cooking good food like salads and healthy options. But we live with my parents and my dad is a diabetic. So there is always a box of nutty bars or honey buns in the drawer. DSS never bothers those. If he asks for ice cream that is usually in the freezer because of my mom, we tell him to have some applesauce or a fruit snack. He seems pretty content with that. Since he had a sore throat about three weeks ago, he has been loving some popsicles and we indulge him every other day. I'm pretty lucky that DSS is a good eater. I have issues with daycare though and what their idea of a "snack" is. A cookie is not a snack. Carrots and grapes are snacks...post #20 of 501/4/12 at 10:48am
We don't keep much in the way of sugary treats in the house...I am just not that into candy or sweets, but do love chocolate. I try to abide by the "if it goes in the shopping cart, it goes in your body" philosophy when shopping so I try not to buy junk as my self control is less than stellar. That said, my personal weakness is tortilla chips and crackers. I only occassionally buy crackers so tortilla chips/nachos are my real guilty pleasure. That doesn't sound too bad until you add in my other guilty pleasure: sour cream.
Because it generally isn't in the house (except around Christmas holidays I guess, when we are often gifted chocolate) DS doesn't get much in the way of sweets. I DO bake muffins, which he loves, but these are actually "muffins" not cupcakes that get called muffins. The 3 kinds I bake are bran muffins with molassas and some type of fruit or berry, bananna bread, and oatmeal. All of the recipes do have some sugar in them, but I usually put in less than the recipe calls for and try to use at least half whole wheat flour. The other sweet "treat" we will have is yogurt with honey, and sometimes DS gets jam on his toast and a couple of times I've made hot chocolate with milk, not water (DS loved that!). Once in a while he will get some icecream (at a hockey game for example) and if we have dessert (usually if we have a family dinner at my parents) then DS gets some too. He already seems to self-regulate reasonably well, so maybe he's inherited my lack of a sweet tooth. We'll see how this progresses as he gets older though, as he's only 17 mos old.
I don't have a problem with sugar so much as "fake food". I'm ok with DS having the occasional homemade treat (like the muffins, or my mom's blueberry pie) but I am not ok with store-bought stuff. I want him to know that it is ok to "treat" yourself, but that these types of foods are a treat, and I try to teach by example.
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