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Am I bringing up my daughters to develop eating disorders and to hate fruit and vegetables?

(27 Posts)
emkana Fri 29-Apr-05 22:23:06

I started similar threads on this topic quite recently, so apologies for that, but it's still giving me lots of food for thought and I don't know what's the right thing to do. On another board I have been accused of what it says in the thread title, and I wonder what you Mumsnetters think?
So... my dd1 ( only really concerns her so far as dd2 still a bit too small, but getting there - 20 months) is a good eater, never ever says that she doesn't like something, will eat anything. I know I am very lucky there! Nevertheless she would rather eat chocolate mousse or sweets or cakes or whatever than vegetables, and will regularly announce that she is "full" and when asked if she wants a pudding she will suddenly have some room to fit that in. Which I won't allow - I will then say that she can only have the treat if she eats her vegetables etc. Which she then does without complaining further, to then happily eat her dessert.
Is that really bad? I also sometimes persuade her to eat more when I feel she hasn't eaten enough, and again she will go along with that quite happily.
So what do you wise Mumsnetters think?

Newbarnsleygirl Fri 29-Apr-05 22:24:50

Well I do exactly the same as you Emkana.

Caligula Fri 29-Apr-05 22:25:07

Well I was always told to eat my veg, we had hideous rows (mad parents who always made meals a battleground) but it hasn't put me off veg!

fuzzywuzzy Fri 29-Apr-05 22:28:22

Children will prefer sweets to proper food. You seem pretty clued in, your dd is eating normal food and enjoying her puddings dont see anything wrong in that at all.
I've tried bringing my dd up without any sweets or chocolates, but she knows immediately that chocolates are nice (have my mother to blame for that one). But I'm not going to stress over it, so long as dd eats balanced meals, an occasional treat is fine. Also think that when she's older she'll think less of being offered sweets at parties, instead of eating every available additive in sight and then bouncing off the walls later.

jamiesam Fri 29-Apr-05 22:29:05

Oh, this sounds a bit like my and my ds's. But it doesn't sound so bad?

If I ask ds1 (3 1/2) what he wants for tea, he ALWAYS says carrots and broccoli, but presented with the possiblity of biscuits, cakes or ice cream, veggies don't get a look in. Isn't that just an evolution type thing? We are programmed to eat fat/calories if that's available?

I'd agree that there is a fine line to be drawn between encouraging dd to finish his healthy dinner and 'dinner lady' style demanding she eats everything on his plate. But it sounds like so far so good. Unless we're both getting it wrong in the same way?!

NannyJo Fri 29-Apr-05 22:31:19

your methods seem perfect to me. that is how i teach my children to eat as well. You need then to learn about good foods and why they are necessary and that they are then rewarded with the treat of pudding.

handlemecarefully Fri 29-Apr-05 22:33:33

I'm with you emkana - employ exactly the same methods.

How about a link to the other board where a respondent implied this about that we can all go over and rough her up a bit?

emkana Fri 29-Apr-05 22:34:48

Would love to, hmc - if you can reply in German???

emkana Fri 29-Apr-05 22:35:23

soapbox Fri 29-Apr-05 22:38:35

Emkana - there is a school of thought that says bt making sweet things seem like a reward for eating bad things (veg) you are giving your DD a subconscious message that veg are to be avoided at all costs and sweet thing to be desired.

No idea whether it is true or not.

Nevertheless I'm of the view that turning meal times into a battle of wills is bad news in the long run, so its more about how you deliver the message than what the message is.

Provided it is done in a lighthearted manner then your approach is probably fine

handlemecarefully Fri 29-Apr-05 22:40:54

I'll have a go:

Don't be zo ridikulous fraulein. Es ist not a bad thing to give die kinde rewards for eating their vegetables. Danke for listening.

emkana Fri 29-Apr-05 22:42:26

Sehr gut hmc

jamiesam Fri 29-Apr-05 22:43:10


snafu Fri 29-Apr-05 22:43:21

pmsl hmc.

Emkana, sounds fine to me. It's what I'd do anyway, so it must be okay, right?

ionesmum Fri 29-Apr-05 23:06:50

Haven't read your other thread so can't comment. However, I did read a piece of research recently that has found that children who were made to eat a certain proportion of their food were more likely to be bulimic. However, the same piece of research also found that not allowing your child junk food also made a child more likely to be bulimic.

Am waiting to read the piece of research that says that parents who read pieces of research end up off their heads.

FWIW I never try to persuade dd1 to eat more because she never does so I'm wasting my time - it just becomes a power struggle. And dd2 hardly eats anything at all anyway. I don't withdraw pudding from dd1 but I do limit it to just fruit (rather than fruit and yoghurt) if I think she is being picky, but then she is three and is going through just this sort of phase.

I think you are doing just fine!

velcrobott Fri 29-Apr-05 23:19:40

Emkana - for what it's worth I am sure she'll be fine but I would suggest you envisage our rule.... no pudding in the week. They don't need a pudding every day.,.. they are usually not that healthy anyway!

handlemecarefully Fri 29-Apr-05 23:20:49


jamiesam Fri 29-Apr-05 23:25:04

ionesmum - don't often rofl laughing, but that was very good.

handlemecarefully Fri 29-Apr-05 23:26:14

Sorry Velcrobott - very rude of me. I retract that head banging on table noise. Apols - it's the beer talking

emkana Fri 29-Apr-05 23:26:55


the dessert for my dd's consists of one chocolate mousse, shared with their dad, so they get a few spoonfuls each. They all love it.

By allowing them to have that I can persuade them to eat all their veg.

Doesn't the good outweigh the bad there?

handlemecarefully Fri 29-Apr-05 23:28:12

Yes, I think so!

jamiesam Fri 29-Apr-05 23:29:08

oh, hmc, I read on interested to know what your thud referred to. Great signpost.

velcrobott Fri 29-Apr-05 23:32:42

Sorry it sounded like she had pudding every night.
HMB- cool

emkana Fri 29-Apr-05 23:33:50

She does have pudding every night. Just not very much - maybe three or four spoonfuls of choc mousse.

velcrobott Fri 29-Apr-05 23:37:03

To each their own... in our family it was DH's idea and I have to say it's a good one (for us)... We only have puds on Fri, Sat and Sun.
Having said that I don't have any problem with DS, DD (3 1/2) can be persuaded to finish her main course with the pudding in front of her.

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