or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › Sugar self-regulation UPDATED first post with results
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sugar self-regulation UPDATED first post with results - Page 2

Poll Results: Self-regulation and treats

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 12% (51)
    Sugary treats were freely available when I was a child
  • 27% (108)
    Sugary treats were partially-regulated as child: only after I ate my meal, etc
  • 8% (32)
    Sugary treats were not allowed hardly at all (once a month or less)
  • 16% (65)
    As an adult, I have no problem eating healthy and easily choose healthy foods over unhealthy ones
  • 20% (81)
    I have to set limits for myself on treats or I'll eat too many of them
  • 13% (55)
    I can't regulate my treat consumption and it causes me health problems or distress
  • 0% (3)
395 Total Votes  
post #21 of 74
Originally Posted by Hannahsmummy View Post
... I have major trouble self regulating because it's always (irrationally) in my mind that I may never get a chance to have have that chocolate, ice cream, fries, chips, whatever again...

I am doing the opposite for my daughter... She eats very healthy meals and snacks but has access to treats if she wants them...
She is completely self regulating, will refuse dessert if full and will stop eating a treat if she's had enough. She will also happily choose something more healthy if she's not feeling like a treat.
This is my story exactly.

When I was around 8 a doctor told my mom I could no longer have sugar because I had "low blood sugar". My mom refused to allow me any sweets at all, even though other family members could. Please keep in mind this was many years before Splenda and all the other sugar alternatives. My friends would make fun of me severely because my birthday cakes would look so pretty but taste like crap. I remember going to town with a neighbor man around age 10 and he took my sis and I through the drive thru at Dairy Queen. He told us we could get whatever we wanted. My sis and I both got icecream (the guy didn't know I wasn't allowed sugar and I wasn't telling). When my mom found out the next day, I got a whooping (that's country for a beating that lasts much longer than a spanking).

As an adult, I can not have sweets in the house. I'm fine if they aren't here but they will be gone the next day if in the house (this includes entire boxes of Oreo's, entire cakes, boxes of candy, etc). Even though I know nothing will "happen" over night to make the food disappear, I still have the mentality that I better eat it all while I still can. I have tried explaining this to family, stating sugar is an addiction to me and please don't bring it over. They still will bring numerous sweets to my home each visit and just tell me not to eat it if I don't want to. They just don't understand and I can't stop myself. I'll find myself awake at 3 am and eating those cookies and that pound cake while everyone else is asleep. I just can't control it.

I allow my kids to have whatever food they want, whenever. They can have their dessert before dinner if they want (at a restaurant because I don't keep it at my house). They are able to self-regulate and still will eat healthy, balanced diets. My daughter is a bit better about it than my son but I'd never restrict sugar because I know what it can do. My daughter is the type who can get a whole bucket of Halloween candy, keep it in her room, and still have candy left over by Christmas. She can take two bites of cake and then move on to her carrots or whatever.
We have a neighbor girl who isn't allowed any sugar. She goes NUTS whenever she can get her hands on sugar, eats nothing but the sugary food and then begs for more sugar, even eating other peoples sugary crumbs off the floor (seriously).

People should not restrict food, even sweet stuff for their kids imo. I know what that does. If you make something taboo that is exactly what the kid craves. If my kids never wanted to eat anything but sugar, I'd have to work out a system of dessert only after healthier foods were eaten. But I'd never restrict it or limit it to only special occasions. I think it usually back fires in the long run.
post #22 of 74
I chose four, because life is complicated

Sugary treats were partially-regulated as child: only after I ate my meal, etc
Sugary treats were not allowed hardly at all (once a month or less)
As an adult, I have no problem eating healthy and easily choose healthy foods over unhealthy ones
I can't regulate my treat consumption and it causes me health problems or distress

explaination, I only really got sugary treats from my papa, but I did get sugary treats from him often, but only after breakfast and lunch, but it was ok if before supper.
I LOVE healthy food now, especially salad, yams, potatoes, carrots, broccolli, etc... which I was restricted as a child (my mother firmly believe that hamburger helper did, in fact, make a great meal. Sans any sides like veggies/bread/fruit/ etc. She didn't buy fresh at all and she didn't cook them on her own... she did have frozen stuff occasionally, but she would only cook it when making (cheap, cooked in oil) steak for not-so-DSF and family: usually once a week or less) I also got salad/veggies/etc freely at papa's & nana's house.
I cannot regulate my junk food. I am good at combining it with healthy food, but I cannot regulate it. I can regulate soda (which is amazing because there are days when all I can drink is fizzy stuff, and I can't always do the fizzy water) which was the beverage at our house - PEPSI every meal, every snack, every day. No juice, water, milk, etc.
As a result I am severely obese, however, note that I have hypothyroid and a possible dx of aspergers, which can result in weight gain and regulation issues. Also, mother had food issues and put it in my head that I should not need to eat more than every 5-12 hours (she only ate once a day and acted like I was overeating if I wanted food -well, ever...) I learned to not eat until food was offered and then to fit every last bit of food in my body that I could. I can't tell when I need to eat 50-75% of the time and often rely on my partner to tell me that I am "glassy" or "pale" or "shaking" and asking when the last time I ate was.

Sorry for the novel.
post #23 of 74
Hi, I'm new to MDC.
I find this topic extremely interesting as I had never even heard of the concept of self-regulating sugar. I personally have many sugar-related health concerns and therefore had decided to have my son be sugar-free. As he got older (now 20 months) it became harder for me to justify eating sugary treats and saying he couldn't. So if I'm eating something sugary, and he wants some, I give him a small amount. I explain that it's a treat and that sugar isn't good for our bodies. He gets plenty of natural, unrefined sugars with fruit in his diet. I've found his behaviour interesting wrt sugar consumption. He's rarely interested, and if he is, he's happy with a very small amount. I'm not sure what I will do when he is older. I am pretty sure I have a candida problem. I was also on antbiotics a lot as a child. I'm concerned about my son and sugar. Hmmm, will look forward to reading more in your thread. Oh, additionally, we are vegan and I also have no problem eating healthful foods. The majority of what we eat is healthy, varied, and whole foods based. But if there are sugary treats in the house I'm all over them.

I voted:
Sugary treats were freely available when I was a child
I have to set limits for myself on treats or I'll eat too many of them
I can't regulate my treat consumption and it causes me health problems or distress
post #24 of 74
We almost never had junk in the house, but mom baked from scratch lots. We often had cookies in lunches, fruit pie or crisps on the weekend. I have a sweet tooth, but I don't overdo it. Now my dd, on the other hand, won't even eat the organic juice popsicles I made for her. She really doesn't have the taste for sweet stuff!
post #25 of 74
As a kid our treats were limited and it took me a long time to get to a point where I was able to pass them up as an adult. I still eat treats more often than I should but I also combine them with a healthy diet and that is what I teach my dd to do as well.
post #26 of 74

Check out the Obesity Begins at home clip (2nd one). It talks about the way controlling food affects kids.
post #27 of 74
My Mom would buy treats when she shopped, but when they were gone, they were gone. So, a box of twinkies would last a few days, and after that, we had PB&J or Cereal.

We were never told "no" really, but there just wasn't a lot in the house to worry about.

I don't think most people can self regulate. That's why we have such an obese country. It's not human nature to self regulate our food. The only way to do it, is not to have it in the house. If there is a box of Ice cream in the house on Saturday, but it's gone by Tuesday, just don't go out and buy more until the next week.

Kids deserve treats. Heck, we all deserve treats.
post #28 of 74
Originally Posted by kacymoose View Post

Check out the Obesity Begins at home clip (2nd one). It talks about the way controlling food affects kids.
That was interesting! I might make some changes here. I do a lot of "Well did you eat your other stuff?"
post #29 of 74
Originally Posted by straighthaircurly View Post
It is easy to make the LaraBars yourself in a food processor. There is a recipe in one of the MDC forums that had a simple recipe for them
If anyone knows where this recipe is, I'd love to get it.
post #30 of 74
Sugary treats were freely available to me growing up, as well as all the healthy food I wanted, and now I have trouble regulating sugar as an adult. I basically can't have it in the house.

I don't think most people can regulate sugar, either. It's an addictive substance. That affects different people differently, and some people will do just fine, but they're the minority, especially given the make up of the average diet in the US. I just don't have it in the house for the kids. They've done studies, and the only thing a baby will overeat is refined sugar.
post #31 of 74
Our parents encouraged us to eat healthy; we had to eat whole-wheat-seeds-on-the-crust bread, etc. No soda (although one year we each got a box of pepsi wrapped up for Christmas, haha), no ding dongs/twinkies, etc. We did have ice cream in the house and my parents' secret stash of Pepperidge Farm cookies. Treats weren't regulated if they were in the house.

That said, we earned a weekly allowance with which we could do as we pleased. The neighborhood store was within walking distance and we'd buy so much candy it was ridiculous. The little pharmacy had the best assortment! We'd also buy bottles of soda...etc. My parents had sweet tooths, too, so treats were never really *discouraged*, ie candy monitored.

Now as an adult I eat healthily and don't have much desire for sweet foods. When I lived at college I didn't have any desire for the dessert bar whatsoever. Even kicked that soda/snapple habit seven years ago...but I still have a sweet tooth now and then, and if I want it, I have to avoid buying a lot of cookies/candy. I'll usually have ice cream or Hershey's kisses in the fridge.

BUT - all of that candy as a young person did a NUMBER on my teeth. I kick myself now for drinking soda as long as I did, for eating as much junk as I did as a teenager. The effects on my teeth are irreversible. We had regular dental care as children and I had cavities then and now have had to have numerous fillings removed due to cavities developing beneath. The dentist told me last week, as he ground out two, that I'd be lucky to avoid a root canal in the next five years. (ot, I know about the whole root canal controversy!)...

It's something that I've given a lot of thought too as I have zero issues with food and enjoy eating healthy but I don't want my daughter to have the same dental troubles my parents, DH and I have all suffered.
post #32 of 74
I have the same irrational feelings as night_nurse. My parents didn't let me have sugary treats and now, if I see them or they're in the house, I have a hard time refusing them or not eating them all at once, because it feels like it will be the last time I ever get to try that particular treat.

My parents allowed me sweets so seldom that I would gorge myself if I got the chance. Part of this was money, part of it was that THEY would eat all the sweets if they were brought into the house. So they didn't bring them into the house. They were the same way with bread--if it was there, it would be gone overnight--and now I have a lot of trouble not eating all of the bread when I buy it. My childhood friends didn't understand why I would ask their parents if I could just have a few slices of wonderbread or beg for a granola bar, which I was NEVER allowed. I also didn't get to buy from the ice cream truck until I was 12 and now can't resist it.

I allow DD to pick out a treat once or twice a week. I make sure she knows that when I say, "Maybe next time, sweetie," I mean it. I don't let her self-regulate because I would eat the treats and because we don't have the money for a bunch of sugary junk. But I've noticed that she doesn't go wild at friends' houses if she sees candy or pop, so I hope I'm doing all right.
post #33 of 74
I chose:

Sugary treats were not allowed hardly at all (once a month or less)

I can't regulate my treat consumption and it causes me health problems or distress

All forms of junk food were almost entirely forbidden in our house. I remember once being at a friends sleepover (I was around 10) and I hate 5 blueberry muffins and 3 bowls of Fruit Loops because I knew it would be forever before I got them again. It was made very clear in my house that junk food was off limits because junk food made someone fat and I did *NOT* want to be fat. (Surprise! Now I'm fat.) I went through a phase in middle school where I was terrified of being fat and ate nothing all day until dinner. I was constantly told that it was great that I was so thin and controlling myself. Not good.

I got to college and a combination of a lot of things (including major binging on my part) led me to gain a TON of weight that I have not been able to lose. I have to remind myself that if I want popcorn or chocolate that it's ok to eat a little bit because I can always get more if I want it. Now I'm borderline diabetic and it's still a struggle for me. It sucks. Please don't do that to your kids.
post #34 of 74
Treats were somewhat regulated at my house, at least up until we were teenagers. Treats generally came after meals, not just any time we felt like having them. But we could eat sugary cereals for breakfast, my mom included things like Ding-Dongs and Ho-Hos in our lunches, and my usual lunch was a fluffernutter. And once I had my own money, I had opportunities to buy my own treats if I wanted. So I may not have had the option of eating ice cream or candy for breakfast, but I had plenty of chances to eat sweet stuff.

As an adult, I've generally eaten whatever I felt like whenever I felt like it. I bake sweet stuff pretty often, buy plenty of candy bars, and I've eaten a pint of ice cream as a meal many a time. But I eat healthy stuff, too, and I don't overeat - I may eat a lot of fattening stuff at some point during the day, but if I do, I generally eat lightly the rest of the day. I've always been healthy and not overweight, so I felt fine about my eating habits until I had kids. Now I think a lot more about nutrition than I used to, and I don't really feel like I want my kids to eat quite as much sugary stuff as I've been in the habit of eating. I want them to save room for foods with more nutrients. Also, it seems like a lot of sugar sometimes has an effect on their moods and behavior. So I'm uncertain how much I ought to restrict what they eat. I don't restrict it much, but I don't buy every sweet thing they ask for at the grocery store, and I encourage eating nutritious stuff before treats.
post #35 of 74
I think you are going to find as many different responses and "correlations" as there are people.

My own opinion with my two girls (eight years apart) is that it's important to regulate most things when they are/were young. We do this with sugar because sugar is, frankly, bad for you and my dd2 would eat it all the time if it was available in the house (which it's not). Eating sugar has very detrimental effects on her behavior, mood and sleep. We approached this issue the exact same way with dd1 (with the addition of dairy since she had a high sensitivity to it) and now, at nearly 11, she's very able to self-regulate her sugar intake. She has a fabulous diet, eats a wide variety of foods and is very tuned into how different foods make her feel. I think developing that awareness has been key.

I grew up in a family of nine kids, so we didn't have any sweets except on holidays and no desserts ever. Now, I don't eat sugar. It's bad for me. I don't like the effects. My dh, however can and does eat sugar.

I also think using treats as a reward for eating healthy things first is a set up for kids to over-eat. My own personal philosophy is that my kids can eat whatever they want, whenever they want (except 1/2 hour before dinner) of anything in the house, so they have total control and freedom.
post #36 of 74
In the context of this poll, I want to throw in my observation that while dd loves treats, she's also perfectly capable of turning them down or leaving part of something on a plate or bowl. We "partially regulate" with her--but try not to make a huge deal of it, in general.
post #37 of 74
Originally Posted by Vancouver Mommy View Post
When I was growing up treats were a once-in-a-while thing. If we had them in the house we could eat them, but most of the time there just wasn't junk food in the house. My mom didn't buy sugary cereals (except on very rare occasions), and we only had dessert when we had company. It was aways the joke in our house that if my mom was baking something I'd ask her who was coming for dinner. I never felt that I was denied treats, but I did grow up understanding that they weren't for everyday. Today I can enjoy the occasional treat without obsessing about fat and calories or consuming to the point of nausea and I hope my kids will be able to do the same. Nowadays a treat is a homemade popscicle made with plain yogurt and pureed fruit.
This was how it was for us, too. Treats were just that. Treats. To be enjoyed on special occasions and in small portions (this made for savoring the treat slowly). That habit has stuck to this day. Although, my treats are not as healthy as that homemade popsicle. Sounds yummy!
post #38 of 74
Food wasn't very regulated for me and I have a very hard time with food. I think it would have happened no matter what the specifics were about food...I eat for emotional reasons.

As far as my kids, my oldest is very moderate and self-regulates easily. My youngest doesn't. Same parents, same rules - different kids. As with everything else, start down a path that feels right and if it doesn't fit with your kiddo's temperment/personality/tendencies then shift things up. I think our lives are far too complicated to deduce things down to one factor.
post #39 of 74
I said:
"Sugary treats were freely available when I was a child"
"As an adult, I have no problem eating healthy and easily choose healthy foods over unhealthy ones"

I'm not absolutely certain that sugary treats were freely available (I have an awful memory. lol) but I know that we had pop and candy sometimes when we were very little (way under 2yo). The only thing that might have affected that was that we were poor and candy may have been limited for that reason (that would be when I was under 5yo).
My family thinks I'm mean for not *offering* candy to ds when he hadn't even asked for it. So...I'm guessing that I had my fair share of candy. I stayed with my grandma a lot as a kid.

When I was slightly older, say 8 and up, yeah, I'm almost positive that candy wasn't limited. And my mother was not one to keep only healthy things in the house. lol. But she did her best to feed us what she thought was healthy.

Hmmmm....food for thought, I guess. I don't limit ds much, except by not having it in the house much. I do stop him if it gets excessive though.
post #40 of 74
For anyone who is really interested in this issue of self-regulation, I highly recommend the book Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense.

It completely changed my view of how I feed my children (and myself!). We still struggle at times, but things are much improved. It is so important to allow children to learn to self regulate. I disagree strongly with the other posts that have said children don't know how to self-regulate. Inherently they do. It is adults that mess them up with all of our own weird food control issues.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Gentle Discipline
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › Sugar self-regulation UPDATED first post with results