Sweets Stance - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-20-2004, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
granolagirl97's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Bradenton, FL, USA
Posts: 102
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think I have endured this battle since the moment my first child exited my womb and my MIL offered her a sucker. Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, but you get the point. My girls are 7 and 4 now and it is harder than ever to keep junk out of my house even though I rarely bring it in myself. I say that I think it is harder because when they were tiny, people were at least somewhat more understanding when I didn't want to feed them crap. But that seems to be THE choice token of affection toward children among... well almost everyone! It used to be that Halloween thru Valentines Day was the big period of time that junk found its way in, but it's just ALL the time now.

We are vegetarians and eat what I consider to be a very healthy diet and our lack of visits to the doctor are the proof in the pudding for me. BUT, my children, while they do love their healthy food(relish visits to the farmers market, grabbing a raw ear of corn to eat on the way home, snack on frozen peas, etc. etc.) they also love their treats thanks to Grandmas, Sunday school teachers, and on and on.

When things get really frustrating to me - like the Super Size (and we're talking 2 1/2 feet long!) Pixie sticks they were awarded with at Sunday school, I just have to say something and so I do. Folks are usually understanding. I don't tell them what to do, I just gently ask for things to at least be not PURE SUGAR with a bunch of food dyes!

But I also don't want to be a crumudgeon. We are new to our home, we homeschool and make different food choices from most of the folks around here. My older daughter came to me a couple of weeks ago saying she was feeling "different" from kids around here. Now the source of her feelings was well known to me and there is more to it than just our diets. But that does play a part and I also don't want to add fuel to that fire that is threatening to burn.

For my part I will make treats at home - cookies, the occasional cupcakes, etc. But I use much better ingredients than anything pre-made in the stores, obviously.

So here's my latest gripe. After every meal, lately, it seems, my children ask for "a treat." "Did I eat enough to get a treat?" "How much more do I have to eat to get a treat?"

Of course, sometimes we just say no. But that is more likely because they've had something already in the day. So, for older children (beyond the toddler years I mean) in particular, do your children have some sort of sweet thing every day? Even like one cookie? I ask this because after Halloween my husband and I will say something to them like, "Three pieces of candy out of your bucket a day, and that's it." I really don't know how to judge. Someone said to me when I said that, "THREE pieces?! A day?"

For the record, we don't drink soda, there is one glass of juice in the morning and then water the rest of the day, no one has needed to visit a doctor for a year and a half, and so far there are no cavities. I make some treats and if I buy any they are usually organic/healthy in nature like Newman's Own or the like. The crap comes from friends and others who mean well. How do you all deal with this?
granolagirl97 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-20-2004, 04:18 PM
 
Persephone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't have kids, but let me tell you, my mom has the biggest sweet tooth ever! I didn't have any sugar til I was two, and that was cause someone gave some to me without my mom's knowledge. (I think she's still upset about it. ) But it really doesn't matter, as lately, there's been chocolates, and baked goodies and ice cream in the freezer all the time. Not to mention that we always eat some sort of boxed meal. After I started learning what healthy food was, it became an endless source of frustration for me. Now I'm living with my husband, and I'm doing all the cooking. We have very little candy and even less junky snacks in the house. For a while, I felt like I needed something sweet to end the meal, because I was so used to it at home. I wish my mom had kept the sweets out of our house. Maybe I wouldn't be addicted to sugar and borderline diabetic now. It's an uphill struggle for me to lose weight and keep off the sugar.
Persephone is offline  
Old 06-20-2004, 05:35 PM
 
captain optimism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Good Ship Lollipop
Posts: 6,855
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
What I have seen: people who eat as close to zero refined sugar, and people who allow their children to eat whatever they want, can find themselves raising children with unexpected attitudes to sweets. My dear friend's step daughter was allowed any sweets she liked, and never developed a sweet tooth, but my upstairs neighbors' children were on the same rule, and eat nothing but junk. One little toddler who was denied sweets until he was three became a sweets fiend, and another, only really interested in the vegetables and fruits his parents eat.

I think it's a tough question. But I would object to GIANT pixie stix as a reward at church. How about a sweet that has some kind of educational content? You know, like a traditional, um, cookie or something? (Okay there's my Jewish cultural perspective shining through again...

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
captain optimism is offline  
Old 06-20-2004, 07:37 PM
 
Persephone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That's an interesting way of looking at it. I think that there should be a balance, though. Having sweets occasionally, and healthy sweets at that (Well, as healthy as a sweet can be), is ok to me. But having that stuff in the house all the time? No way.
Persephone is offline  
Old 06-20-2004, 10:49 PM
 
EFmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,802
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
All things in moderation. We usually do have some kind of sweets in the house. My kids usually have a modest serving of goodies a few times a week. They eat pretty well, and don't drink soda or even juice on a regular basis. I agree with captain optimism in that I've known some people who were forbidden sweets as kids who later turned out to binge on the stuff.

Plus, I really don't see that having the occasional treat is harmful.
EFmom is offline  
Old 06-21-2004, 12:21 AM
 
gardenmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: blooming where I'm planted
Posts: 4,213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a love/hate relationship with sweets: I really love eating them, but I really hate having them in the house all the time, and I really hate my children eating them all the time.

Having said that, we try to have a balance. Most of the time, our sweets consist of muffins, banana bread, fruit, or some other "healthy" sweet. However, we do also enjoy cake, cookies (I make a mean chocolate chip cookie!), and ice cream. We just don't do it every day. Usually, we connect it to something like a birthday, Father's Day, a holiday, etc., to emphasize the specialness of the event; sometimes we have a treat just because.

I tell my children (and the gdparents, and whoever else wants to load my children up on sweets) a couple of things: 1) a treat isn't a treat if you're having it every day. A treat is an occasional thing. 2) don't feed my children all that junk unless you want to be responsible for their behavior and their health. 3) my children are content with a small portion of something sweet, because their bodies haven't been "trained" to crave a supersized one. Let's keep it that way, and spare them the necessity of retraining their bodies when they are overweight and struggling with diabetes.

Finally, our motto is "all things in MODERATION".

Good luck, this is a real toughie!
gardenmommy is offline  
Old 06-21-2004, 10:54 PM
 
Beansmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,027
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My dd is only 4.5 months but I am already dreading when she eats solid food. I am a vegetarian, dh is not, and the rest of my family thinks I'm nuts. They are already talking about taking her to McDonalds and getting her ice cream, etc. They feel sorry for her because she will have to eat the "weird" food I eat. I also don't want to deny her sweets and make her want them even more. I don't keep sweets in the house because it is too much temptation for me as I am trying to lose these last pg lbs. Obesity also runs on all sides of our family and I don't want her to struggle like I have had to. I just wish people would not offer her sweets and she won't think anything is weird about the way we eat. I want her to know treats are for special occasions only. I am scared of giving her food issues though no matter what I do. Hopefully my example will be good enough to get mostly healthy things into her.
Beansmom is offline  
Old 06-22-2004, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
granolagirl97's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Bradenton, FL, USA
Posts: 102
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Beansmom,

I kept my first child away from just about everything until I think it must have been her 2nd Christmas. I had already battled, battled, battled over the no-sugar issue w/ my MIL already. It was getting that I was dreading going to her house. I truly could not understand why she was not thrilled that I was treating her grandbaby so well. DD loved (still does) fruit of all kinds and never even wanted anything other than what I was already giving her anyway. I knew the sugar would be inevitable at some point in her life - I figured, why rush it?

In fact, she didn't even LIKE the ice cream they so longed to give her, nor the gross store-bought birthday cake everyone wanted her to tear into (mostly for photo-ops I'm sure). I made her an applesauce cake without frosting and served lightly, honey sweetened homemade vanilla whipped cream on the side. And THAT's the cake she ate - without the whipped cream! :-)

But the second X-mas just broke me. Despite the large bowl of fruit salad on the counter, my MIL and SIL gave DD a chocolate/caramel brownie and had her come over to me with it in her hands to ask me if she could eat it!!! I knew she didn't even know what it was, but I looked up and they're both standing there smiling at me!

I took the brownie away from her - which she didn't even care about anyway - and got her a nice big plate of fruit. Right after that her cousin went to the big candy drawer and got out a sucker. She asks if DD can have one too. Of course I say no, but I just felt so run over at that point. Why wouldn't they let up and why did they even need to make it an issue??? Then my MIL comes over and begs on DD's behalf. I still said no. Then she says, "Well can I share it with her, let her have a taste?" And I said, "Fine." So Grandma takes one lick and then gives the thing to her. It was Christmas, for crying out loud!! I really didn't want to make a scene... I don't think they knew that or used that against me. I really just think they really, really didn't understand how much it meant to me. I mean, I could have yelled or cried or pouted or left, but I didn't . So that was the beginning of the end for me. I really don't know where my husband was at the time, because he was usually very supportive with me. I guess I just decided that at Grandma's house it just wasn't worth it and thank goodness we were not there every day.

Well, guess what! How times change! #1) I am very good friends with my MIL now and she is respectful of me saying "no" which I do not always do, but because she sees that I do let both dd's have some fun (what she deems as fun), it isn't such an issue for her anymore #2)We live closer now and she actually does see them a couple of times a week, but #3)She is on a tighter budget and also is trying to eat better since she's stopped smoking and doesn't want to gain a bunch of weight AND I think she is seeing what she created, which is girls who come in and ask for a treat from Grandma right away. That's a way she chose to express her love and so that's what they're expecting now and it's not nearly as charming as I think she thought it once was.

Also I think MIL has become more educated because another of my SILs is veg. too and has a toddler who eats purely organic (which is what we strive for, but simply cannot afford all the time) most of the time and so I don't seem so weird to her anymore.

I guess I say all this to say that although your dd will likely end up getting sweets offered to her more and more as she grows, you also will have an opportunity to educate those around you. I have found that this evolves and is better accepted when a militant stance is not taken. Although I still harbor some bitter feelings about the "Christmas Showdown," I am much more grateful to have the relationship I have with my MIL now. We talk easier with one another and she can actually see the fruits of my dh's and my labor: ie few doctor visits, healthy, happy, smart girls. So in that sense it was worth the exchange.

Still, I feel like the grocery store and general public arena is a battleground for our childrens' - well, ALL of our health. I just HATE that because we cannot always afford it, we can't always have the organic food I so desire. We are on a TIGHT budget - nearly everything I make is from scratch, but I still hate that I have to make those choices: GMO or no GMO, organic or on sale? Those things alone bother me and the sweets bombardment on top of it all is just one more sore spot.
granolagirl97 is offline  
Old 06-22-2004, 10:50 PM
 
seabreeze6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sigh. It so similar to when you breastfeed your child, someone wants to give your baby something else because they feel he/she is missing out! When our first couple of children were younger we avoided sweets like the plague. The family couldn't understand what OUR problem was. Shoot, I have an incredible sweet tooth myself and no one understood that I was trying to prevent (if that is at all possible) the same for my children. But I also realized that this is a different time than then. Food does not equal love. Being denied food of any kind I don't feel is a good thing for us.

We have found that what works for us it really simple. Other than my refusal to eat most meats, nor allowing the children to eat them, all other foods are "allowed". But. We keep the fresh fruits/veggies in the house at all times, we make our own whole grain (grinding it ourselves) breads, muffins, cookies, cakes and such and I don't often buy convenience foods. By eliminating the convenience foods (cookies, cakes, etc) we are less inclined to eat them. We DO have "Dessert Night" twice a week so the children know I will be making a sweet on Sundays and Wed. This eliminates the constant asking for a treat. This alone has cut down on what felt like, at one time, junk food day every day!

Another thing we've done is add the "dessert" to the meal plate when the children are young. What this meant for us is that the dessert became just another item on their plate~very non-threatening. There was no pressure to finish one item before they could eat the dessert. Most of the time the coveted dessert was consummed after the rest of the food was.

For those times when candies and sweets are in abundance we have found what works for us is this-for instance at Halloween they are allowed to eat as much as they want during a certain time limit. They've pretty much have gotten into the habit of sorting their candy, eliminating stuff they don't like and putting it into the pile for the "needy children who don't get treats". Then, for the next week we set a time limit of 15 minutes to eat whatever and however much they want. This way it's not coating their teeth all day long and they aren't begging for more 'cause they know that the next day they get to do the same. By the end of the week, there is still candy which gets dumped into the "needy" pile without argument.

We also don't regularly drink sodas(ok, I can't live without my diet pepsi at least a few times a week, but that's another story : . But, our Friday nights are "pizza and soda" nights so they know they have a time when they get something they don't have on a daily basis.

For us the goal is to not make sweets so off limits that they leave our home and can't control themselves! We homeschool so nutrition as a whole plays a regular role in our "curriculum". We discuss the pros and cons of eating what we do and do not eat. Eating mostly vegetarian and avoiding convenience foods when we can(right now, new baby in the house so we indulge until I can get my bearings again) I feel the occasional "junk food" is not as detrimental as if our whole diet revolved around processed foods. Balance, that's our goal.

HTH!
mom to ds 12, ds 10, dd 9, ds 7, dd 5, ds 2 and 2 week old ds
seabreeze6 is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off