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How do you handle sweets in your house? - Page 3

post #41 of 50



I just witnessed this first hand the other day!  We always have sweets in the pantry (cookies usually, sometimes chocolate) and my kids will ask, "Mom, can I have a cookie?" and unless it's close to mealtime, I say sure.  They take one, and go on their merry way.  Anyway, DS's friend, and his two siblings came over the other day.  They come from a VERY strict household with tons of food rules, no snacking, all meals are formal sit-down occasions, etc. DS asked if he could have a cookie and one for his friends too, so I said sure.  Half an hour later, I went into the pantry and the brand new box of cookies was EMPTY!  I asked DS where they were and he said his friend and his friend's sister ate them all.  He said they were literally filling their pockets with cookies because they never got them at home.   I'd rather allow a cookie or two regularly than have my kids binge on them when the opportunity arises because they fear they'll never get them again.



sad but it's true - it certainly does happen- I ran a GS troop for years and saw this ALL the time---food hoarders 20 years before the TV shows





Alfie Kohn says that children learn to make decisions by making decisions, not by following directions.




this also goes for how some parents approach alcohol use (that's also a sugar that most people don't get why some abuse it)

post #42 of 50

I'm not sure what you are saying? 

Originally Posted by serenbat View Post



this also goes for how some parents approach alcohol use (that's also a sugar that most people don't get why some abuse it)


post #43 of 50

I think that what people have seen is that either extreme - completely restricting/controlling sugar or allowing free access to all types of sweets/treats/junk without any type of parental input - is what doesn't work. This is what I am seeing from this thread. 


I think some children (due to genetics or their personallity) need parents who fall more towards the restrictive side of the spectrum in order to learn healthy habits while others (who don't have a sweet tooth or who are more naturally self-regulating) will benefit from having more control themselves.


This is very simplistic and I'm sure lots of other considerations play into this too (how parents model healthy eating habits or do not, what the school environment is like, what friends have in their lunches, what culture dictates in terms of portion size and food choices, and likely many other things as well).


We all want what is best for our children, and what is best for one child or family is not always best for another whether this has to do with discipline, diet, education, sleep, etc.

post #44 of 50



I'm not sure what you are saying? 



two parts - in the US their are some parents that take the same view for drinking and their stance for allowing it in younger adults (teens) -not want to derail the thread here but the  (children learn to make decisions by making decisions, not by following directions)-forbidden fruit type of analogy 


the are part is how many with alcohol addiction often turn to sugar and suffer from sugar addiction as well- many that do meetings follow them with caffeine and sugar highs-effecting the brain in a similar way



Edited by serenbat - 1/11/12 at 4:25pm
post #45 of 50

This has been a great thread for me! Our DS is almost 16 months and has never had any sweets (no graham crackers, no jam, nothing with extra sugar). We wanted to wait as long as we could so he doesn't develop the idea that food should taste sweet. Also, he's in the 1st percentile and doesn't eat much, so everything we give him needs to be nutrient-dense.


Ya'll have given me some great things to think about for when we actually do introduce sweets. Thanks so much for all of your replies!

post #46 of 50

My kids are each different about self-regulating.  I think we are pretty relaxed despite the fact that I dislike and avoid sugar--in fact I eat few grains or even fruits since I seem to thrive on low carbs. 


My kids are older--now 9-17 years and I am pretty done with controlling their food choices beyond what I will buy and ration for fairness' sake.  I always keep token sweets around and we have a daily tea time in late afternoon.  Often with tea, but mainly it is the designated treat time.  I have mixed feelings about the tea time since they ALWAYS expect it but it keeps things quiet the rest of the day.  They like it a lot, too.  So it works.  FWIW it's very very cheap treats too.  Like generic pop tarts and the like.  I figure it's just fluff and no point in paying fancy prices--I save my money for the nicest eggs and meats and veggies.  My teen actually imitates my food choices now so that's a pretty good compliment.  She has no food-related issues (other than leaving her messes in the kichen LOL) so I think that is pretty good.  I wish the others behaved nicely about sugar but really they are a little beggish about it. :( But not too bad.  I have one who likes to hoard but I just ignore it.  She still nibbles tiny meals, dislikes most meats and proteins, and she zooms for the dessert table at potlucks and even hides candy...  I just don't make a big deal about it.  She was the most obsessive nursing toddler and preschooler I had as well.  I suspect nothing I do would make a big shift in her special food affections so I am nice about it and I figure she'll turn out fine.  None of my kids is the slightest bit overweight so that is fortunately not a factor making it more worrisome. 

post #47 of 50

When I really, truly think about it, the reason I will not trust my kids to self-regulate is because of my DH.  If not for him we would have less processed and sugary stuff around the house and the kids would not have been taken out so many times to eat or have been introduced to things like slurpees.  I asked everyone to help me make rules "for the family" so we could have some consistency and so it wouldn't confuse DD (DS is still a little young, hasn't had much junk) but really it was so he and I could agree on a standard of nutrition.

post #48 of 50

With ds1 (7yo), his "junk sugar limit" is 15g a day (cereal doesn't get counted, but is limited to a reasonable amount). I'm not hardcore as in counting every gram, but I have a general idea. If we stay under the limit, he often goes days without asking for sweets, and when I say "no more" he's pretty much ok with it. If I let him go much over the limit, he sometimes will get very upset when I tell him "no more." That happens for me and dp too- the more sugar we eat, the more we want.

He's one that likes having limits, though (we have very few actual rules). I'll ask him tomorrow if he thinks we should get rid of the 15g sugar limit, and I bet he'll say that we should keep it.


Ds2 (2.5yo), we just keep the candy out of sight, and give him as little as possible.

post #49 of 50

We don't buy a lot of candy or cookies, but sugar is in so many things!


For breakfast: I serve fruit or eggs first so the palate isn't adjusting from sweet. Rule of thumb for cereal is 6 grams or less per serving as kids like it for a snack, too. Plain oatmeal or pancakes get some maple syrup. (I dispense :-) 


For drinks: One glass of juice, then to water, decaf tea or milk.


For school lunches: I'll pop one treat in each bag --small wrapped chocolate, a cookie, fruit stick etc.


For snacks: First, I offer an apple or a pear; if that is rejected, the child isn't really hungry, so nothing else follows. We don't have overtly sweet stuff for snacks, but the kids know that a treat must be divided among five people and they need to pace themselves. If they know their share of a treat will be there for them when they want it, they tend to be moderate. It's hardest with my oldest who is home by himself after school each day and thinks nothing of polishing off a sleeve of graham crackers. He has braces and is too impatient to peel an apple. (My middle guy also likes empty calories, but veers toward the savory. A bag of chips is not safe around him.)


I also have a rule that snacks must be eaten in the kitchen. While this doesn't always happen it cuts waaaaay down on mindless consumption if one has to sit at the table.


While we don't snack on sweets, we do have dessert. Almost every night for those who ate a healthy dinner. Although I'm a bit on the fence here, it's our little social time before bedtime. Usually lowfat frozen yogurt, sorbet or a moderately sweet fruit dessert. Dessert doesn't always happen, though, so kids know they need to eat dinner.


Personally, I don't like sweets very much with the exception of dark chocolate, molasses cookies and sugar in my coffee. I'd rather have a very limited amount of a good quality treat than more of a lesser quality one. While sweets definitely have a place in the spectrum of what tastes good, I also want my family to enjoy them in a self-controlled way.

post #50 of 50

We don't keep sweets where the kids can reach them. Mostly, what chocolate or biscuits we have come out when we have guests, or for slightly special situations like a special meal. We have some very high up cupboards-the kids could not even reach to the top of them (I can't, without a chair).


We do, normally. restrict sweets quite ruthlessly. Sugar, normally, would only be eaten with or after a meal. This isn't actually because I'm so worried about the effects of sugar but because I am concerned about their teeth.


I think this is one of those things thats pretty easy when you have one small kid. When I had one or two little kids, I just kept them away from sugar and had alternatives for them. Even with bigger kids, Its not THAT hard though, at the end of the day I can always just say no and explain why. 

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