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DS2 is 3 and has just helped himself to some cooking chocolate

(89 Posts)
ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Wed 27-Aug-08 16:14:36

The stair gate went back up a few days ago to stop him coming down early in the momrning and helping himself to food. It was pointless as he can open it.

This afternoon we did some baking together and later I saw he had a dirty face. He kept saying he didn't want to tell me (that started yesterday, he has done something to his finger and own't tell me how or what he has hurt it) but I got it out of him that he had had chocolate. I looked and he had picked the bar up and taken big bites out of it.

I am not thinking for a minute he has Prada-Willi syndrome but why has he started doing this? None of my other children ever helped themselves to food and he is well fed.

The other day he tipped out the clothes from the laundry basket in the lounge, carried it into the kitchen and turned it upside down to use as a step. He helped himself to a small chocolate bar, 5 or six mini flakes and some rhubardb coated chocolate sweets.

It sounds funny written down but I am worried he will eat something he really shouldn't soon.

WilfSell Wed 27-Aug-08 16:18:11

Call the FBI.

pigleto Wed 27-Aug-08 16:18:24

I don't think he is hungry, he is only stealing sweets. I would stop keeping sweets in the house for a couple of months. And give him a time out.

WilfSell Wed 27-Aug-08 16:19:29

Sorry. Realise you're actually worried.

Dunno. Is he having a growth spurt and is just both hungry and using his newfound initiative and independence?

doesn't sound so unusual for an enterprising 3 year old to me...

Weegle Wed 27-Aug-08 16:20:19

Why's he doing it?

Because it's chocolate and it's yummy?!

I would just hide your chocolate better if you don't want him having it.

And maybe give him a snack box with daily snacks in that he can help himself to when he wants...

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Wed 27-Aug-08 16:40:49

So far he has had

chocolate biscuits
chocolate cake
birthday cake
cooking chocolate chips

All things he happens to be able to get too.

Fair enough when I left things out but some of these thigs were high up on a shelf. Didn't even know he could reach and I feel sick at the thought he must have climbed up on the counter.

I know he is only 3 but he knows he isn't allowed to do it, he missed out on an ice cream once, but he has done it since.

Pretty much the first thing he says in the morning to me is "I went downstairs mummy but I didn't eat anything." Even if he did.

Weegle Wed 27-Aug-08 17:09:47

So he kind of thinks food is not freely his? Not a criticism, just trying to work it out...

I really think a snack box for him would be a good idea. Let him have some control and choice over what he eats and when. So in it you could put: some dried fruit, cereal, low sugar biscuits, cereal bar etc - whatever you feel happy that he can have. But he knows where it lives and he is allowed free access to that. But on the understanding that it goes if he helps himself to other food in the kitchen. Worth a go?

madrose Wed 27-Aug-08 17:17:33

My dd (3.6) can sniff chocs out from the most hidden places, she'll then take it somewhere, ie behind a door, shut th door in the lounge and stuff her little face. Mind you this has become less so over the last couple of months, she will now ask, I think it's just a phase.

She has a snack drawer, and can help herself to that (mostly dried fruit, rasins etc) she now knows that she can eat fruit whenever etc.

It'll work itself out.

WilfSell Wed 27-Aug-08 17:19:58

Snack box good idea. And let him have some chocolate, biscuits etc in it and involve him in the choice at the shops. But be clear that you've bought the weekly ration and teach him to try and moderate his intake? If he eats them all on the Saturday, so be it...

Pheebe Wed 27-Aug-08 17:37:52

Maybe put fruit and fruit-based (healthy) snacks) out somewhere so they're freely available to all?

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Wed 27-Aug-08 17:45:18

He clearly thinks the food is freely his. He just takes it. Most of this happens at 6 o'clock before we are up.

My children are allowed food pretty much whenever they ask for it. I know what it is not to be fed. but a 3 year old coming down and just taking food when everyone else is asleep is not acceptable to me.

I really don't think you are getting what I am saying. He is taking food when we are asleep, though today I was just out of the room, and I don't want him feeding himself without my knowledge. He is 3.

Pheebe Wed 27-Aug-08 17:53:04

I do see what you're saying. But maybe try and look at it a different way - he's 3 not 3 months. Perhaps by giving him some responsibility and taking the 'parental control' out of the food supply you might find he's less driven to take things you don't want him to have.

Why is it not acceptable to you for him to help himself to food? not saying it is appropriate but perhaps you need to think about why you don't find it acceptable. In your last post you hint at some issue you have had in your past about access to food. Are they contributing?

Perhaps you could also look at the issue of him coming downstairs when you're asleep. Maybe look at incentivsing him to stay and play in his room. Make sure he's got books/toys to occupy him and perhaps leave him a drink and a couple of biscuits for if he gets up early. he might well simply be hungry when he first wakes up - aren't we all sometimes?

Weegle Wed 27-Aug-08 18:00:39

I do see what you're saying, please don't get angry. I understand he is 3. My DS is 2.3 but I would be happy with the snack box idea for him - best of both worlds - you control the contents, he controls his choices from it and when he eats it. And I do feel if he's eating at 6am then he must be hungry - can you leave him some dried cereal in a pot in his room (you put it there when he goes to bed so he doesn't snaffle it before sleep) which he can help himself to when he wakes up?

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Wed 27-Aug-08 18:00:45

Okay, even though he is three I will let him help himself to food at any time of any sort. Is that what you are really saying I should do? I am sure you don't mean that, and I am not being flippant, but what do you mean me to do?

I feel my children 3 good meals a day and they ask in between if they want anything else.

He knows he shouldn't do it. I merely wanted to know if it was a sign of any problem.

His room is full of books and toys. I am not starting off the habit of putting food in his room. He does it because he has discovered he can and it is now a habit.

I will be putting elastic bands on the cupboard handles as I am seriously worried he will eat something that will make him ill.

The chocolate he took today was in the afternoon, he took it because it was there. He wasn't hungry.

Weegle Wed 27-Aug-08 18:01:51

Why don't you want him eating something (you have sanctioned) without your knowledge?

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Wed 27-Aug-08 18:03:26

Weegle, he really isn't that hungry at 6am. Some days this holiday they havent' had breakfast until gone 8.

I don't allow food in their rooms and won't start now.

I am clearly on my own but I don't think a 3 year old should be allowed to eat what and when they want. He is climbing up on the kitchen counter to eat chocolate, cake, etc. He gets those things as I bake a lot so it isn't like it is forbidden fruit. I am sure he would eat crisps too if he could open the packet!

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Wed 27-Aug-08 18:03:53

Because he is 3!!

Weegle Wed 27-Aug-08 18:04:38

No one has said he should be able to help himself to any food of any sort. I'm not sure why you are getting angry?

YOU choose the snacks but you leave them freely available for him to help himself to when he wants to. Leave the pot of cereal on the side in the kitchen if you don't want to put it in his bedroom. At 6am if he's woken he's probably hungry. Many people need to eat fairly soon after waking.

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Wed 27-Aug-08 18:06:10

I am not angry. I am frustrated as I obviously can't make my point. I honestly don't think he is that hungry at 6am. If he was, he could get some cheese or milk from the fridge much easier.

Weegle Wed 27-Aug-08 18:06:54

x-posts there but most still relevant.

Just because one day he's made it two hours before eating breakfast doesn't mean another day he's not hungry - don't you sometimes need breakfast sooner some days than others?

Maybe his appetite etc is just not like your other children's.

FrannyandZooey Wed 27-Aug-08 18:07:19

There should not be things within reach that could make him sick if he eats them. You need to lock away things like bleach, medicines etc if you are worried he could get to them.

The snack box suggestion is the answer IMO - I don't think you're listening to Weegle and others. They are saying that you choose what is in it and he chooses when he eats it. This is a good way of letting children regulate their own appetites and learn about control and satiety around food. It's a very healthy and positive thing for a young child to have some control over their intake.

Weegle Wed 27-Aug-08 18:08:54

But in his mind if everything is "forbidden" at 6am and he knows there's chocolate, and it's wrong in his mind whether it's chocolate or cheese, then being 3 he's going to choose the chocolate! Does he KNOW he can help himself to cheese and milk from the fridge if he wakes hungry?

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Wed 27-Aug-08 18:12:24

F&Z obviously anything like bleach is locked away. I actually was concerned that him eating cooking chocolate could have made him ill.

I am listening to everyone, I honestly don't think anyone is taking my point.

Who lets their 3 year old eat when they want without them knowing about it?

I am talking about him taking food when I am in bed or out of the room. He knows it is wrong as we have told him not to come downstairs and eat food when mummy is still in her room.

I hear what you are saying about the snack box but tbh it wouldn't do for us. Most things in this house are healthy and it is all good quality food. I am not after controlling my children's food intake in a bad way but I don't think a 3 year old should just take food. We have proper meal times in this house and if he wants anything in between (not usually) he asks.

I am not going to get anywhere here I can see.

I only wanted to know if there was a medical problem as this is a new thing he has started doing.

Weegle Wed 27-Aug-08 18:15:24

Ok we're at loggerheads and clearly disagree, so I'll bow out - it's your family and obviously you know best smile

But cooking chocolate won't make them ill - not particularly nice quality for eating, but won't make them ill. Think our parent's may have made that one a myth for us!

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Wed 27-Aug-08 18:15:28

He used to appear at our bedside with a cup and the milk. No problem. He stopped doing that and started this when birthday cake was in the box on the side.

I know he is going to chose chocolate, who wouldn't?

I don't want him climbing up on the counter and eating. DS1 went to hospital with a suspected fractured skull after falling off the counter aged 4 when I was stood right there.

I haven't forbidden chocolate. I have told him not to come down and eat anything without Mummy. Not unreasonable to me.

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