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Debate on insisting child eat "real" food prior to filling up on chocolate/candy



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 9th 05, 07:18 PM
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Default Debate on insisting child eat "real" food prior to filling up on chocolate/candy

OK.. I'm excited to see your responses. I only have 2 kids and the
oldest, almost 3 now, has started this thing of eating nothing but
chocolate/candy if she has her way. We went through this about a year
ago and DH insisted we let her have her fill on the candy so as not to
make it a "treat". Well at the time it seemed to work and within a
couple of days she went back to eating real food and didn't seem to
care too much about the sweets. Now.. here we go again. Now this may
only be happening because there's chocolate in the house from the
holidays and when it's all gone the argument may be moot but here's the
question. I think the child should be encouraged to eat real food (ie a
bowl of cottage cheese or some meat) PRIOR to her having the box of
chocolate put in front of her. Daddy thinks she should not be coerced
into eating anything prior to filling up on candy and believes that in
doing so I will cause irreversible food association(guilt, pleasure,
rewards, etc) that he believes should in no way be associated with food
and may lead to weight control issues in the futere. In your experience
which method seemed to work better?

  #2  
Old January 9th 05, 07:34 PM
Banty
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In article . com,
says...

OK.. I'm excited to see your responses. I only have 2 kids and the
oldest, almost 3 now, has started this thing of eating nothing but
chocolate/candy if she has her way. We went through this about a year
ago and DH insisted we let her have her fill on the candy so as not to
make it a "treat". Well at the time it seemed to work and within a
couple of days she went back to eating real food and didn't seem to
care too much about the sweets. Now.. here we go again. Now this may
only be happening because there's chocolate in the house from the
holidays and when it's all gone the argument may be moot but here's the
question. I think the child should be encouraged to eat real food (ie a
bowl of cottage cheese or some meat) PRIOR to her having the box of
chocolate put in front of her. Daddy thinks she should not be coerced
into eating anything prior to filling up on candy and believes that in
doing so I will cause irreversible food association(guilt, pleasure,
rewards, etc) that he believes should in no way be associated with food
and may lead to weight control issues in the futere. In your experience
which method seemed to work better?


Well, it looks like the
reverse-psychology-less-let-the-forbitten-fruit-thing-wear-off-possibly-even-aversion-therapy
approach isn't working.

(You mean your DH is actually putting the box of candy in front of her??)

The no-candy-in-the-house-out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing works better, as you've
already observed.

Better for the adults in the house, too, for that matter.

And cheaper to boot.

Cheers,
Banty

  #3  
Old January 9th 05, 08:23 PM
Beth Kevles
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Hi -

I think it's a silly argument. Throw the chocolate into the garbage
(while your child is asleep or out of the house) and have done. It's
not good for anyone and is clearly causing your child to ignore her own
body signals (or else the excess sugar is corrupting her body signals).

My two cents,
--Beth Kevles

http://web.mit.edu/kevles/www/nomilk.html -- a page for the milk-allergic
Disclaimer: Nothing in this message should be construed as medical
advice. Please consult with your own medical practicioner.

NOTE: No email is read at my MIT address. Use the AOL one if you would
like me to reply.
  #4  
Old January 9th 05, 08:39 PM
[email protected]
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I think most almost-3's are smarter than you are giving them credit
for. If she knows she can eat nothing but candy, of course she will
eat nothing but candy. If she knows that candy is a 'treat' and only
to be eaten as a supplement to other, healthier foods, she is capable
of understanding that. (And then choosing to either eat nothing, or eat
healthy foods followed by a small portion of candy.)

We have many kids at the preschool where I work who are about this age.
They usually have desserts packed in their lunches, and they know that
they can't eat the candy/cookie/whatever until they've eaten a
reasonable amount of their lunch.

Naomi

  #5  
Old January 9th 05, 10:42 PM
shinypenny
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wrote:
OK.. I'm excited to see your responses. I only have 2 kids and the
oldest, almost 3 now, has started this thing of eating nothing but
chocolate/candy if she has her way. We went through this about a year
ago and DH insisted we let her have her fill on the candy so as not

to
make it a "treat". Well at the time it seemed to work and within a
couple of days she went back to eating real food and didn't seem to
care too much about the sweets. Now.. here we go again. Now this may
only be happening because there's chocolate in the house from the
holidays and when it's all gone the argument may be moot but here's

the
question. I think the child should be encouraged to eat real food (ie

a
bowl of cottage cheese or some meat) PRIOR to her having the box of
chocolate put in front of her. Daddy thinks she should not be coerced
into eating anything prior to filling up on candy and believes that

in
doing so I will cause irreversible food association(guilt, pleasure,
rewards, etc) that he believes should in no way be associated with

food
and may lead to weight control issues in the futere. In your

experience
which method seemed to work better?


I agree with your husband that it's good to try and avoid bad food
associations. And when my kids were younger, I did offer them dessert
right along with every thing else, instead of withholding it as a
reward.

However, I feel it only works if you offer small quantities; at this
age, for example, one or two hershey kisses at dinner, and even then,
not every day and with every meal.

The way I look at it, refined sugar was scarce for much of human
existence. Even though we are designed to prefer sweet food, it was the
rare occasion we got any. (Remember Little House on the Praire? And how
they were so excited to get a single piece of candy in their stockings
at xmas?). Today, unfortunately, sugar is no longer ra it's in
everything and anything that's processed, and easily available in large
quantities.

The human body hasn't learned to handle such large quantities. We have
not evolved fast enough. We react with blood sugar swings, etc. I know
I personally can't handle large amounts of sugar on an empty stomach,
even if I may crave it. It will leave me feeling sick within the hour,
and oddly craving more!

In general, if you leave a kid alone, they will select the foods that
their body needs. This maxim, however, simply doesn't work with sugar
(or with salt, for that matter). It's an evolutionary thing. Salt and
sugar circumvent our body's natural signals and interfere with them
until they're misleadingly out of whack.

For all these reasons, it is best to limit candy. I recommend keeping
it out of the house (or at least somewhere the child can't find it). A
few things we do in our house include:

1) Once a week, I buy one sweet item for the whole family, usually a
quart of ice cream. When it's gone, it's gone, and I don't buy more
until the next shopping trip. Therefore, I don't limit intake on a
daily basis. If everyone wants to pig out and eat their 1/4 share of
that quart on the first day, then so be it. The kids have figured out
that they can ration it over the week to have a little each day. I
don't fret whether they eat it all on the first day, or a little all
week long, because either way, it is the same percentage of their
weekly calories.

2) For occasions such as Halloween or Easter, I let the girls go
hog-wild and eat to their heart's content. Then the next day, the candy
disappears - either I take it to work and leave it in the break room,
or I have also been known to throw it in the trash. I've been doing
this for so long, they've never complained or balked about it.

They're now at the age where they are old enough to come home from
school with candy they bought with their allowance or traded. I do urge
them to hold off eating it until after their stomach is full. Not as a
reward for eating a meal, but because the body can process sugar better
on a full stomach rather than empty. So in that way, you are just as
right as your husband, IMO.

jen

  #6  
Old January 9th 05, 11:21 PM
shinypenny
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shinypenny wrote:
1) Once a week, I buy one sweet item for the whole family, usually a
quart of ice cream. When it's gone, it's gone, and I don't buy more
until the next shopping trip. Therefore, I don't limit intake on a
daily basis. If everyone wants to pig out and eat their 1/4 share of
that quart on the first day, then so be it. The kids have figured out
that they can ration it over the week to have a little each day. I
don't fret whether they eat it all on the first day, or a little all
week long, because either way, it is the same percentage of their
weekly calories.

2) For occasions such as Halloween or Easter, I let the girls go
hog-wild and eat to their heart's content. Then the next day, the

candy
disappears - either I take it to work and leave it in the break room,
or I have also been known to throw it in the trash. I've been doing
this for so long, they've never complained or balked about it.


Replying to my own post (hate it when that happens). I forgot #3...

3) The day after your bday, you can have bday cake for breakfast!! Then
we dump the rest of the cake in the trash. Don't ask me why I started
this tradition, because I don't remember. :-)

jen

  #7  
Old January 10th 05, 06:15 AM
eggs
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In article . com,
wrote:

OK.. I'm excited to see your responses. I only have 2 kids and the
oldest, almost 3 now, has started this thing of eating nothing but
chocolate/candy if she has her way. We went through this about a year
ago and DH insisted we let her have her fill on the candy so as not to
make it a "treat". Well at the time it seemed to work and within a
couple of days she went back to eating real food and didn't seem to
care too much about the sweets. Now.. here we go again. Now this may
only be happening because there's chocolate in the house from the
holidays and when it's all gone the argument may be moot but here's the
question. I think the child should be encouraged to eat real food (ie a
bowl of cottage cheese or some meat) PRIOR to her having the box of
chocolate put in front of her. Daddy thinks she should not be coerced
into eating anything prior to filling up on candy and believes that in
doing so I will cause irreversible food association(guilt, pleasure,
rewards, etc) that he believes should in no way be associated with food
and may lead to weight control issues in the futere. In your experience
which method seemed to work better?


I basically agree with your DH - don't make candy some special treat
that is very limited in nature. I think this can lead to bingeing and
other food related health issues in later life. We keep a jar of candy
on top of the fridge for the kids (DH & I don't eat it). They ask for
some ( a very small handful in a bowl) maybe once or twice a week. I
let them have it if there is more than an hour to go before a scheduled
meal. They are more likely to ask for fruit than candy, but that's
their preference, as I buy cheap generic chocolate candy but keep a lot
of very nice fruit in the house.

It does seem, however, that *you* and *DH* have a problem with having
candy in the house and it would seem to be just easier to throw it in
the trash can than to keep fighting over it. It's not like candy is a
vital food group. If the kids really want some, they'll ask for it at
the checkout or wherever and get their fix that way.

eggs.
  #8  
Old January 10th 05, 12:31 PM
[email protected]
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What I do is put no limits on when/where/how they eat any candy they've
been given, and then stand back.

People think I'm nuts, but despite mountains of candy coming in here on
Halloween, essentially its all gone within a week or two (I find most
of it isn't eat - its unrapped, a bite or two taken and then its
abandoned). I actually prefer this, since I'd rather deal with a weeks
worth of ruined appetites than have the candy being rationed and
hanging around for months and months...which is what many of my friends
face.

Same goes for Christmas. They did get some chocolates in their
stockings, and there were chocolate ornaments on the tree, but once we
said GO, they all vanished. I don't think there was any left by New
Years, unless someone has a private stash hidden away.

What I would be concerned about is having candy on hand routinely,
since certainly with my kids, they WILL eat junk 9 times out of 10
before they will eat "real" food if they have a choice (i.e. not just
candy and pastries, but chips, soda etc. etc.). For example, we have a
pantry full of food, and I can't imagine them sneaking in there to
gobble tins of tuna as opposed to the cholate chip cookies meant for
their lunch bags.

If weight and health were no issue (and they are not really something
most kids think about too much), most of us would probably have a big
hunk of cheescake or some chips and dip rather than our steamed
broccoli and skinless chicken breast. We do come biologically wired to
crave high sugar, high fat foods - and don't the manufacturers know it!
Mary G.

  #9  
Old January 10th 05, 01:25 PM
LisaBell
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I am with you. We don't keep a lot of candy around the house as a rule
(though we usually have a little chocolate) and we limit eating it to
after dinner, and then only allow a small piece (two squares, or half
of a candy bar). When they go to parties and come home with a bag of
candy they have to put it in the fridge, and may eat one piece every
evening.

I too was warned that limitation might make candy into too much of an
issue, but I don't see that this is happening at all. Since we believe
all things should be eaten in moderation - also cakes, cookies, potato
chips and other snacks - we have similar limitations on all of these,
and look at it as educating them to eat sensibly. In fact last Friday
they both came home from a birthday party with plates of snacks and
candy, plonked them down on the kitchen table and *asked* for dinner!

--Lisa bell
Mom to Gabriella (6) and Michaela (almost 5)




On 9 Jan 2005 11:18:35 -0800, wrote:

OK.. I'm excited to see your responses. I only have 2 kids and the
oldest, almost 3 now, has started this thing of eating nothing but
chocolate/candy if she has her way. We went through this about a year
ago and DH insisted we let her have her fill on the candy so as not to
make it a "treat". Well at the time it seemed to work and within a
couple of days she went back to eating real food and didn't seem to
care too much about the sweets. Now.. here we go again. Now this may
only be happening because there's chocolate in the house from the
holidays and when it's all gone the argument may be moot but here's the
question. I think the child should be encouraged to eat real food (ie a
bowl of cottage cheese or some meat) PRIOR to her having the box of
chocolate put in front of her. Daddy thinks she should not be coerced
into eating anything prior to filling up on candy and believes that in
doing so I will cause irreversible food association(guilt, pleasure,
rewards, etc) that he believes should in no way be associated with food
and may lead to weight control issues in the futere. In your experience
which method seemed to work better?


  #10  
Old January 10th 05, 01:31 PM
Banty
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In article .com,
says...

What I do is put no limits on when/where/how they eat any candy they've
been given, and then stand back.

People think I'm nuts, but despite mountains of candy coming in here on
Halloween, essentially its all gone within a week or two (I find most
of it isn't eat - its unrapped, a bite or two taken and then its
abandoned). I actually prefer this, since I'd rather deal with a weeks
worth of ruined appetites than have the candy being rationed and
hanging around for months and months...which is what many of my friends
face.


Garbage can. There it is. In your kitchen. With its wide open hungry round
mouth just begging for useless leftovers, questionable refrigerator contents,
and excess unwanted candy. Feed it. Maybe throw on a recording of "Little Shop
of Horrors" while you do it. Tell your friends this fine discovery.

In our house, the Halloween candies get sorted out to favorites (which don't get
rationed unless there's a gorge-fest going on), and what goes into the garbage.
At least half goes into the garbage. Tootsie Rolls, especially, which seem to
be about 1/3 of the whole Halloween stash.


Same goes for Christmas. They did get some chocolates in their
stockings, and there were chocolate ornaments on the tree, but once we
said GO, they all vanished. I don't think there was any left by New
Years, unless someone has a private stash hidden away.


In this house, we bake one batch of about three dozen sugar cookies for the fun
of decorating them and for gifting some of them, and ration the rest (easy to
ration when no one wants to get rid of the pretty cookies too quickly!). And
there's pie with the Christmas Eve and Christmas dinners. That's it. Period.

And there are occassional pies through the year. But not candy.


What I would be concerned about is having candy on hand routinely,
since certainly with my kids, they WILL eat junk 9 times out of 10
before they will eat "real" food if they have a choice (i.e. not just
candy and pastries, but chips, soda etc. etc.). For example, we have a
pantry full of food, and I can't imagine them sneaking in there to
gobble tins of tuna as opposed to the cholate chip cookies meant for
their lunch bags.

If weight and health were no issue (and they are not really something
most kids think about too much), most of us would probably have a big
hunk of cheescake or some chips and dip rather than our steamed
broccoli and skinless chicken breast. We do come biologically wired to
crave high sugar, high fat foods - and don't the manufacturers know it!


Yep. The key, for 11/12 of the year, is just to not have the stuff around the
house.

Banty

 




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