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Tantrums about food - advice please

(9 Posts)
BonnieBess Mon 10-Nov-14 00:05:27

I have a recently turned 3 year old. He's no angel, but not badly behaved most of the time. However I am running in to difficulty in relation to treats.
He has a really sweet tooth - I don't believe this is because of any diet choices I made on his behalf - i was strict enough about treats up until he was two - as in very little at all. For the last year I haven't been quite as strict, mainly because I have 2 close in age and they can be tough going at times and I am not as strong willed about all these things as I would like to be. This has led to a bit of an mild obsession with all things sweet.
He's usually fine at home with just ourselves. Day to day I don't really give treats - I might give a toddler type biscuit or fruit bar or raisins., but that's about it and he doesn't really look for anything outside of that. He may ask about having a chocolate biscuit the odd time if he thinks of it - and isn't inclined to take no for an answer. Usually I say no (which usually results in crying etc), the odd time I may give him one - mainly because this wouldn't even happen once a week and in a way I think if I always say no that I am making a big issue over this odd treat.
The problem is more when we visit someone else or when friends visit. It has got to the stage of complete embarrassment and behavior that would very rarely appear otherwise. If there is any mention or appearance of a cup of tea, or a biscuit or tart etc, he will start plaguing me for some. If I give him some - which I usually would in fairness as others are having it - he will keep asking for more - then I say no you have had enough - which results in a complete full on tantrum, crying, screaming, out of control. This may also be because he feels that I didn't give him a big enough slice etc. Obviously I give out to him, try to talk to him, explain how this is unacceptable etc, but it doesn't matter and has no affect.
How did I get here - where I am anxious of people calling because of this. I'm not sure what I can do. I know it will probably improve as he gets older but I can't see this improving anytime soon. My heart sinks when I go to a children's party and see an easily accessible table of sweets and treats - he'll be hanging around that table all the time. He's not overweight (about normal), he eats fairly okay outside of treats and even though he has more treats than I would like him to have, the treats themselves are not the problem - more the behavior around it.
Sorry this is so long, can anyone offer any advice?

Mehitabel6 Mon 10-Nov-14 07:36:34

I think it is the inconsistency and you not really knowing where you stand.
From his point of view it is haphazard- sometimes he makes a fuss and gets one and sometimes he doesn't,so it is always worth the fuss in case it will get him one.
You don't say if you have treats yourself. Are you having the same diet?
Treats seem to be 'bad' food, rather than just food -and so highly desirable.
The only children that I know who are obsessed with party food and sweets are those who are very restricted at home so they gorge when away, generally though they make sure that mother doesn't see it.
I should check on the treats you are giving- raisins are not good for teeth, toddler biscuits , fruit bars can be worse for sugar than ordinary ones.
I would relax more about it- be consistent - don't give him one one day and not the next, you may know it is because he hasn't had one for some days- he doesn't know that is the reason.
Serve puddings, have a few sweets before bed when he is just about to clean teeth. Make sure that you are not eating the very treats that you are not letting him eat.

BonnieBess Mon 10-Nov-14 11:25:52

Thanks Mehitabel6.
I don't really think that it's haphazard - as generally I would not give him one just because he made a fuss. I mean he would ask for one and I would give it - so not necessarily after a fuss. I would be conscious of not giving in to tantrums, so wouldn't suddenly decide to give it just because he started crying - IYKWIM.
I suppose what I am trying to do (not v successfully) is not be very strict - I don't want to cause all this drama around food - so that is why I don't always say no. BUt at the same time he cant have a biscuit everytime he asks - as he would ask all the time if that's the case.
Generally no I don't eat biscuits, sweets etc. I would eat these treats in the way that I want him to - every now and then, maybe at the weekend, at a party etc. My husband would be a daily biscuit eater all right, but more when the dc have gone to bed. He recently successfully gave up the cigs so I don't want to harp on a bout it too much to him.
Treats aren't always bad food - but it is the high sugar treats that I have the issue with. I always offer fruit or yogurts (both very popular) as snacks between meals. I am aware of issues with raisins and some toddler treats - but I do look at the ingredients and I he is quite good at washing his teeth.
I don't really like the idea of giving sweets before bed time to be honest - I don't think a 2 and a 3 year old should have sweets every night before bed.
Thanks again.

BonnieBess Mon 10-Nov-14 11:28:00

By the way - what do you mean by 'puddings'? - sorry not from the UK - as in desserts after dinner?

juliascurr Mon 10-Nov-14 11:33:48

ime, the more restrictions, the more obsessed

BonnieBess Mon 10-Nov-14 11:36:34

I am tending to agree juliascurr! I have a friend who actively encourages her toddler to eat chocolate regularly and she has no interest at all!! Hard to generalise I know.

Mehitabel6 Mon 10-Nov-14 16:41:17

Puddings would be things like yoghurt, Apple crumble, just something small.
You don't have to give many sweets - a couple of smarties would do. I suggest before bed because teeth would be cleaned. It is the restriction that makes them desirable.

BonnieBess Mon 10-Nov-14 17:19:59

Thanks Mehitabel6.
Does anybody else have a child that is tantrumy around sweet food? How do your toddlers act in party situations - do they wait until they are offered something and do they take no for an answer? Am I the only one dealing with this!
I feel I am doing something wrong, I just can't quite put my finger on it. A visitor over halloween presented ds with a bag of sweets one evening. I was so stressed just look at the bag of sweets. There was a bag of crisps, lollipop and 2 or 3 small bags of buttons/jellies. The situation was a bit awkward as I didn't want to embarrass the gentleman in question by wrestling the bag off ds. There was an elderly couple there too and I really did not want this big tantrum scene- so I let him at it - I managed to take one of the bags of sweets off him after a while, which he didn't react to. But I was in dismay watching him munch through the rest of it in 10/15 minutes. He's just 3 - this is too much crap to be eating, halloween or no halloween. What would you have done folks?
any other thoughts or observations welcome.

Mehitabel6 Mon 10-Nov-14 17:49:13

All you needed to do was take him by surprise, take the bag, say brightly, 'how kind- which would you like now DS?' give him the one chosen and hide the rest. If he wants more just say, in a surprised tone, wasn't that kind of X, you can have more another day'. Dole them out over the next few weeks in small quantities.

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