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To not allow 'seconds'...

(243 Posts)
Whatsername7 Wed 13-Nov-19 17:34:38

...I mean on a daily basis, not a second helping of a special meal or treat which I would allow.

Dd1 is 8, she is a little over average height, slim, medium framed. She absolutely loves food. Like most kids, she loves sweets, chocolate, cakes etc. She would eat them most days, given the choice. She likes healthy food too. We take an 'everything in moderation' approach to food, however, dd1 regularly ends up asking for more once she has eaten her portion. Tonight, I made an admittedly crap tea of sausage, potato smiles and salad. (Dd2 is poorly - I made something I hoped would entice her to eat - didn't work.) Dd1 had 5 potato smiles, two sausages, tomato, cucumber, peppers and a bread roll. Dd2 didn't eat hers and so dd1 asked if she could finish it (after finishing her own). I said 'no, its not healthy to eat a double portion' and took it away. She has since had some yoghurt. DH thinks im unreasonable and will give her a complex. I think im trying to teach her portion control. However, Im a recovered bulimic - my issues with food, and desperation to shield my girls from ever having those issues, cloud my judgement. So AIBU to say no? Is my approach to teaching dd1 healthy portions just going to set her on a path of restricting? DH is no help - he eats a lot of crap, is happily a couple of stone over weight and is totally relaxed about everything. Thanks.

PurpleDaisies Wed 13-Nov-19 17:37:15

If she’s a normal weight, eating (mostly) healthy food then I don’t think your strict portion monitoring is helpful or necessary.

I wonder if it might be worth talking to someone about this in relation to your own eating disorder. flowers

Winterdaysarehere Wed 13-Nov-19 17:39:51

Your panic about not giving them issues will have the opposite effect imo.
My 5 year old would eat more than you offered an 8yo.
Try letting dh sort their meals for a while. Before your anxiety brushes off.
It takes overeating of crap to make an obese dc-not salad and a bread roll or 2..

Poppyfr33 Wed 13-Nov-19 17:40:15

All children are different, I was skinny and always hungry as a child despite having good portioned meals. If not overweight and active perhaps just give a little.

LolaSmiles Wed 13-Nov-19 17:42:14

If she's hungry, healthy and eats a balanced diet then I don't see why you'd stop her having seconds.

One of my parents had funny ideas about food and portion sizes and it could have given me a complex had I not been a stubborn child. Even now I have seconds when I want and leave 25% of my plate when I want. That's portion control, not having someone tell me when I'm hungry/not.

namechangetheworld Wed 13-Nov-19 17:42:41

I would have allowed the second portion if she was still hungry. It sounds like you might be letting your past issues cloud your judgement (understandably).

Skinny-as-a-rake DD4 will happily eat three sausages, four Smileys and a helping of peas. Not that sausages and chips is a regular occurrence in our house definitely not

royalton Wed 13-Nov-19 17:42:49

I don't think that's enough food for her age.

MereDintofPandiculation Wed 13-Nov-19 17:42:59

A healthy portion is one that satisfies her hunger. If she is asking for more food every day, it sounds as if your portions aren't satisfying her. I would let her have seconds of the healthy parts of the meal, but any sugary or crap part of the meal make sure there's only enough for one small portion each.

She's 8, you can't be watching her every minute of the day. If she's hungry she'll be begging biscuits off friends or spending her pocket money on chocolate bars - anything that'll assuage her hunger. quickly.

PixieDustt Wed 13-Nov-19 17:43:35

I would have given her the second portion.
I don't think your comment is right in this situation with an 8 year old.
My DN would ask for a cake and his mum always said 'no you will get fat' this was SIL. He constantly now thinks he's fat. He has issues with food now and is underweight. Please don't say comments to your children. It effects them more than you know.

HopingForSomeLuck Wed 13-Nov-19 17:43:49

Well she sounds a healthy weight so if she's hungry and the food was there, I'd have let her have it (although in our house if one is ill, then I'd avoid the other eating their leftovers as It inevitably means both will become poorly!! But that's a different issue)

Maybe she's having a growth spurt?

I was bulimic for over 10 years in teens and twenties, so I understand your desire to shield your girls from this, but perhaps being a little to strict on seconds is causing more of a problem than solving it.

I'd say seconds is fine if it's a healthy(ish) meal - better than cake and sweets as a pudding. In our house we rarely do seconds (though it's almost always offered!!) But the DC love some cereal or porridge after dinner if they r still full, could you try that?

Unlimited fruit and veg is also always available .. my moto is 'if you really are 'starving' an apple should satisfy that!' And if you are still hungry after the apple/banana/orange, then there's always porridge (my 2 love porridge)

PotteringAlong Wed 13-Nov-19 17:44:11

But you’re not teaching her portion control. You’re telling her that eating when you’re hungry isn’t healthy. And that’s really not healthy...

Justmuddlingalong Wed 13-Nov-19 17:44:16

I would step away from mealtime and leave it to your DH to deal with. You're anxiety about food is clouding your judgement and could be detrimental in the long term. She's quite possibly having a growth spurt.

BackOnceAgainWithABurnerEmail Wed 13-Nov-19 17:46:50

I think you were a bit U. Seconds of dinner - fine. Extra snacks or seconds of sugary things - no. Tbh I think extra dinner would be healthier than yogurt.

Purpleartichoke Wed 13-Nov-19 17:48:40

You are absolutely in the wrong. As long as she is asking for more of dinner and not just extra sweets, she should be allowed as much food as she wants. Children going through growth spurts can consume a huge number of calories without gaining a bit. They need fuel to grow.

Please stop limiting your dd’s access to food. Certainly keep the sweets in moderation, but otherwise let her eat. If you can’t do that for whatever you reason, you need to seek therapy.

TheSubtleArt Wed 13-Nov-19 17:50:26

When my 8 year old comes home from school, they have a snack such as 3xcheese and crackers, glass of milk and some grapes.

Then an hour or so later, a decent portion of something such as tonight which is chopped carrot, sugar snap peas, chicken pie & mash, followed by a mini twister ice cream.

Before bed, in about 2 hours, they will have a supper of 2 weetabix and half a chopped banana and a small cup of hot chocolate.

School is tiring, running around at lunch is exerting and afternoon school activities are knackering too. Then homework. They are growing and developing all the time and need fuel to do so. If weight becomes an issue, evaluate.

Whatsername7 Wed 13-Nov-19 17:51:40

Im not overly anxious and certainly not around them. But I do really want to teach them healthy habits so that they don't end up like me. Dd1 is not particularly active. Her ideal is to slob in her pjs infront of the TV so we encourage exercise but she is a little resistant. We kind of sneak it in by doing fun things that are also active. The thing is, she isn't a skinny child. Shes slim and healthy, but she is taller and more medium sized (in terms of her frame) than some of her peers. She is perfect and healthy - I suppose I just want her to maintain that and im trying to teach those healthy habits. Im surprised that people are saying her dinner was small - its the recommended portion on the packet. I take on board people's comments though.

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 13-Nov-19 17:52:41

I found my dd started to eat a lot more between 7 and 8. Children don’t seem to need a little more each day, it seems to step up suddenly. Your dd is telling you she needs more. She is listening to her body. Let her.

negomi90 Wed 13-Nov-19 17:52:44

Portion control is eat healthy food when you are hungry and stop when you're full.
She knows how she feels and what she needs better than you.
Unlimited veggies, restrict junk and ensure she's fill after a meal. Otherwise she's getting to the age where she can access junk (pocket money/school) and she'll binge on that to fill herself up.

Molly2010 Wed 13-Nov-19 17:53:14

I voted YANBU in your approach to be cautious about what she eats and making sure she has a balanced diet, but I agree with the posters saying that doesn’t sound like a very big dinner.
My DD4 just ate a plate of chorizo and chicken rice with green beans and peas. It was a decent size bowl and she ate it all. She’s now having pudding. If she’s then still hungry it’s fruit.
She has a hot meal at school every day too, but she’s a normal size and burning a lot of calories.

GlamGiraffe Wed 13-Nov-19 17:55:03

Children can get really hungry, at some stages and in some children much more than others. I have to say I've come across very few children that wouldn't pile into the sweets and biscuits either given an opportunity or chance.
It's also not unusual for children of that age to have a little bit of chub- I do not mean to be fat but to not he very slim unless they are super sporty or genetically that way built or dont eat. That's also normal. They stretch in a few years and it disappears. Your Dd might actually he hungry. If shes asking for healthy seconds and not just junk and is as happy with an apple as a twix, that might be it.
Do your girls have snacks? Fruit or crackers for example after school? I've never met a kid yet who isnt starving by that time.
I have seen the children who do have restricted diets at home are the ones who ho crazy as soon as they get the opportunity to obtain food on their own in several cases, the same as the ones who are allowed no sugar at all at home, they go crazy as they get a whiff in a different environment.
I would say let your daughter have something extra. Give her an interim snack.
Clearly dont give her man size meals but she will most likely have a stop mechanism for eating. See when she hits it. She might eat as much as she can for a few weeks to see what it feels like now.
Is it possible that perhaps you arent entirely familiar with quantities and timing of meals for your children due to your eating disorder? You may he over restricting too because of this. It might help to talk to someone about this as they might be able to guide you
Good luck.

PurpleDaisies Wed 13-Nov-19 17:56:05

She is perfect and healthy - I suppose I just want her to maintain that and im trying to teach those healthy habits.

I don’t agree that no seconds is a healthy habit. Eating when you’re not hungry, or when you’re bored is bad. If you’re still genuinely hungry, eating is fine. Especially when you’re a normal weight.

marshmallowss Wed 13-Nov-19 17:56:06

My 6 year old DD would eat that and ask for me. As her weight isn't an issue and she is extremely active then I would let her. Double portions of chocolate and it would be a no.

ShinyGiratina Wed 13-Nov-19 17:57:24

The question in our house is "is your tummy happy?" Not stuffed full. Not going hungry. Sometimes that does take seconds to fill them up comfortably. Appetites aren't always consistent especially if children are growing or their activity levels differ day to day.

Arbitarily restricting food without a sensible reason (e.g. wait until dinner) is not a healthy attitude.

Autumnfresh Wed 13-Nov-19 17:57:41

I think seconds of dinner is fine but I would have given 3 sausages and a massive helping of veg.

Teaching her that 1 biscuit is enough or 1 piece of cake is the way to go. If she’s still hungry then let her help herself to breadsticks and fruit.

It’s difficult with children because from what I see children of the same age often eat very different amounts.

Heyduggeefordays Wed 13-Nov-19 17:58:14

I think your are being unreasonable OP. I also think the meal portion sounds on the small side and agree with PP’s that as long is she isn’t asking for cake, sweets etc. I would have given her the second portion.

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