Originally Posted by maliceinwonderland
I don't think they're bad unless it's a constant (eg - my sister's son gets a bowl of ice cream and a chocolate bar for breakfast because that's what he'll eat). I imagine a lot of MDCers would cringe if they saw some of the things we eat, but I don't count every french fry as my kids being one step closer to a heart attack. I couldn't live like that and I think the negative association with food could rub off on kids causing significant problems later on in life. As long as our diet is balanced I don't worry about junk. If one of the kids started wanting only junk, it would all disappear quickly until they were eating properly again.
I agree that ice cream and chocolate daily for breakfast probably isn't the best habit to get into. I'd be concerned if that's what my kids wanted on a daily basis, and once they were old enough talk to them about what bodies need and how to make good choices. Although if the rest of the diet is OK, it doesn't really matter imo whether the ice cream is for breakfast or after dinner - in our house we eat some pretty weird stuff sometimes for breakfast. Dd went through a stage of eating a bowl of coleslaw for breakfast every day.
I have to say, though, that my kids choose to eat ice cream pretty much every day. I have it in the freezer, and they help themselves. If they want to eat more, they can. It's a non-issue. The only restraint is that dh shops once per week, so if the carton is gone on Tuesday, there won't be any more until Friday. They know this and they make things last - they will start rationing out the apples too if they see the bin is getting low. And in fact they often serve less ice cream for themselves than I would if I were serving, which shows me that they self-regulate very well.
I also let them choose what they want for most meals. Often it's mac'n'cheese (I only buy organic) or pizza. Frequently it's yoghurt and fruit, or waffles with yoghurt, or stir-fry veggies too. But if it's mac'n'cheese every day, I don't see that as a big deal any more than if it were yoghurt every day. Rather like if they want to play chess every day - which they do at the moment. It's a phase, an enthusiasm, and it will probably pass - whether it's mac'n'cheese or chess.
If it doesn't, so what? They can eat mac'n'cheese when they are adults (dh certainly does) and they can play chess too!
I try to see food as objectively as I do other choices that my children make. They live in the real world, so I can't stop them from ever tasting the crap sort of mac'n'cheese. Nor can I stop them trying gunky costco b'day cake, although two of mine hate that stuff, and the third thinks he likes it but in fact takes a couple of spoonfulls, and leaves it. I think that the more you try to control food, or see 'picky' or 'adventurous' as something that you can place value upon, the more you are setting up issues for the future.
I'd rather ignore the fact that my child is 'picky' and make it a non-issue, than worry about it. If that means cutting crusts off bread, no biggie. If it means picking chunks of tomato out of a bowl of pasta as I serve, no biggie. Just as I'd tie their shoelaces if they asked, I'd pick out the tomato out of the pasta. Because I try to see it as the same sort of task. I think that we can get hung up on food in a way that is unhealthy.
So, I have what is thought by many as 'picky' eaters in my house. And I don't honestly care.