Is It U To think children should ask for food?

(107 Posts)
DreamCloud99 Fri 10-Jun-16 19:02:34

DH and I can't agree . One of us was raised in a household where it was take as you please and one of us was raised as asking if we could have X, Y, Z . Never denied , just polite asking before taking .

We have almost 5 year old twins.

One of the twins would eat all day given the chance - out of boredom . He will not play or entertain himself and just constantly asks for food.

Fruit or veg is never denied (unless they've just eaten a piece ) . Snacks like crisps , biscuits etc are allowed in moderation .

Is it unreasonable to have them say "please can I have an apple/biscuit/etc " or should they just take as they please ?

Opinions ?

talllikejerryhall Fri 10-Jun-16 19:04:28

My boy is 11 and asks permission to eat / drink whatever - which is rarely denied unless he's just eaten. If he had free range to fridge he would stuff himself silly

Elvish Fri 10-Jun-16 19:07:07

I expect my DC to ask, because they don't have huge appetites and would snack on rubbish rather than eat a proper meal. It's my responsibility to make sure they have a balanced diet and helping themselves wouldn't do that.

ASpiderInThebath Fri 10-Jun-16 19:09:03

At that age I think they definitely should ask! Just so that you know what they're eating and know if anything needs to be replaced. Also I don't think a four year old can regulate what they eat. My 13 year old still asks out of politeness although she isn't denied as she's able to regulate sensibly now. But as 4/5, no way.

HairySubject Fri 10-Jun-16 19:09:25

Mine have to ask, fruit is never denied but they would just eat biscuits, ice-cream and crisps for fun and never eat their dinner.

babybythesea Fri 10-Jun-16 19:09:40

I grew up in a house of asking. Mostly the answer was yes. If it was no the reason was given. Too close to dinner time, you've already had crisps today etc etc. My kids now also ask. At 7 and 3 they don't know if I'm about to get dinner and I don't want them filling up on junk just before I cook only for them to refuse the meal. And I am also in charge of the shopping. If they ask, I know roughly what needs replacing. And I can dole it out during the week rather than them gorge on one thing on the first day and have none left for the rest of the week. I adopt a 'once it's gone it's gone' stance so I won't do top ups, and at least if they ask me I can explain that.
The fact that they still say things like "I promise I will still eat my dinner even if I have the biscuits first' indicates to me that they are not mature enough to make those decisions and so they need to ask so as the adult I can make a good judgement for them, with appropriate explanations.

BrandNewAndImproved Fri 10-Jun-16 19:09:44

It's whatever works for you surely?

My dc have a lunch box snack cupboard where the mini rolls, crisps and crap goes. They are allowed to have whatever they want mostly but have to ask first. They also know when it's gone it's gone but they have to ask because I need to know what's there.

Same for the fruit bowl I rarely say no but if I won't have time to go shopping and I need enough fruit for lunchboxes until Friday I need to make sure it doesn't run out.

They don't eat and eat eat, but they do go through growing stages where they're always hungry and I let them fill up on toast and fruit as long as they eat their dinner.

Kids aren't cows however and they're not allowed to graze all day.

ilovemakkapakka Fri 10-Jun-16 19:11:36

I think they should def. be asking, esp. as I would not expect small children to be able to regulate their food intake (can barely do it myself after all..)

HeffalumpHistory Fri 10-Jun-16 19:12:17

I expect them to ask but do take ds word when he says he's hungry. He's growing like a weed so I could well believe it's hard to fill him this week. It's just a courtesy/I'd never keep track of what I need to buy if they didn't

Kikibanana86 Fri 10-Jun-16 19:15:49

Mine don't ask and they don't overeat. I think saying they can't regulate at that age is silly, surely it's what you're used to?

If food is restricted from day one then they're never going to be able to self regulate, because that's what they're used to.

IHaveBrilloHair Fri 10-Jun-16 19:17:53

Ask out of politeness, and because when they are young they will possibly eat just before mealtimes.

PotOfYoghurt Fri 10-Jun-16 19:21:43

There's a fruit bowl on the bench which they can help themselves to if hungry, for anything else they must ask.

IHaveBrilloHair Fri 10-Jun-16 19:23:44

Even 5 minutes before dinner PotOfYoghurt ?

originalmavis Fri 10-Jun-16 19:25:21

Fruit bowl and veggie rack is a free for all (I have a carrot muncher) but anything else is usually asked for (as in 'muuuuuum can you bring me a biscuit please?'). Mainly to stop scoffing before a meal.

Crispbutty Fri 10-Jun-16 19:25:48

it was always ask in my house, never help yourself.. we werent very cash rich and the food in the house was usually all accounted for for meals.. we never had snacks really

pearlylum Fri 10-Jun-16 19:28:39

I think whatever works. My kids were never big snackers, so often wouldn't think to eat between meals, unless I offered, so they were pretty much allowed to eat whatever they wanted without asking.
I have a less healthy basket in the kitchen where chocolate, sweets, biscuits etc- my kids have always had full access to this cupboard too.

Lurkedforever1 Fri 10-Jun-16 19:34:18

Dd's just always helped herself, from being a toddler. But tbh she's never been interested in food other than for hunger, and doesn't have a sweet tooth. Only asking is when it's something like meat/ fish that might be needed for a meal.

murmuration Fri 10-Jun-16 19:35:54

I don't think's U to make them ask, but neither not.

We've got a snack cupboard that 4yo DD can go to whenever she wants, and there's always fruit on the table. She doesn't snack right before dinner because I'll be cooking and in the way, so she can't get at the stuff smile

OneArt Fri 10-Jun-16 19:36:41

There's no right answer here but my DC ask. I almost always say yes unless there's a meal due within an hour.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Fri 10-Jun-16 19:40:54

I think they should ask. At 5yrs, you should be monitoring what they eat and suggesting they have an apple instead of a biscuit.

AristotleTheGreat Fri 10-Jun-16 19:50:07

Mines had to ask at that age but then dc1 was also one of those dcs who would eat all day and it was clear he would have ended very 'big' left to his own devices.
Dc2 on the other was hardly eating anyway so you could have left the cupboard wide open, it wouldn't have made one bit of difference...

I think, in general, it's normal to ask. As they are now much older, teenagers, leaving them eat whatever they want would mean not having the stuff you need for preparing the meals because it would have used 'for snacking'.
However, some stuff is always OK. Fruits, bread, biscuits, whatever has been bought snacks.

voddiekeepsmesane Fri 10-Jun-16 19:55:39

You say 1 eats out of boredom, then definitely they need to ask before taking especially a 5yo. You are there to TEACH about food and the difference between actually being hungry or using food as a crutch. DS at 5 he was monitored and told constantly that he was to leave room for veges etc. If I found that he didn't have enough at main meal times then snacks were managed accordingly. Now at 12 has a good relationship with food and what is available to snack on while keeping in mind what and when the main meals of the day are. If I allowed him to have what he wanted when he wanted at 5, it would have been crisps and biscuits and that's all.

pearlylum Fri 10-Jun-16 19:57:16

At 5yrs, you should be monitoring what they eat and suggesting they have an apple instead of a biscuit.

Depends on the child though. Some children would choose an apple over a biscuit.
My kids are allowed to eat as much chocolate as they like.

ChippyMinton Fri 10-Jun-16 19:58:25

Mine ask, unless they are home alone (teens). It's just basic manners.

What do the free-access DC do when they are in other people's houses? Help themselves there too? Or do they know to ask?

Notso Fri 10-Jun-16 20:04:34

My younger two can have fruit or veg anytime.The older two have snack boxes as well as fruit and veg they can eat whatever they want but I only fill them once a week. All I ask from the older ones is that they tell me if the use or nearly use the last of bread/milk/crackers or whatever.

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