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Do you give 'treats' (of the not-so-healthy variety) to your toddlers? How often? What are they?

(39 Posts)
pipkin35 Fri 08-Jul-11 09:33:51

Wanting to know how often and what you give your toddlers (under 5's) - food based treats?

Do they have sweets/chocolate? What are your views on this kind of food?

Do you think those (expensive) Goodies/Organix things (crisps, biscuits etc...) are better/worse/OK to give daily?

stressheaderic Fri 08-Jul-11 09:39:01

My 17mo DD gets the odd bag of Milky Stars or ice-pop here and there, plus birthday cake at parties. She also loves chip shop chips, as a rare treat! She prob has one or two biscuits everyday too, usually plain but jammy dodger or jaffa cake as a treat.

She is underweight though and the health visitor told me it wouldn't do her any harm. We do brush her teeth daily!

Piccadilly Fri 08-Jul-11 11:09:49

When we have an ice cream, my two year old also eats some (maybe once a fortnight at present). In the winter, it's cocoa. He also gets a biscuit or two perhaps once a week. Every now and then he gets a few salt sticks (I buy a bag once in about three months and then they get eaten gradually between him and his 5 year old sister, then we have none for a while).
We never get round to puddings - but we always have fruit and maybe rice cakes as a snack mid-afternoon.
I get the impression my kids enjoy nice fruit at least as much as unhealthy snacks. I am pretty confident both kids would choose a strawberry in season over a sweet. It seems to be my adult conditioning that sweets or chocolate are somehow more of a treat - "forbidden fruits" or something!
If dd gets given a bag of jelly babies somewhere (usually take-home bag from a party), ds is perfectly happy with a handful of raisins as an equivalent. Dried apple "chips" are also a big favourite in our house (I also have to hold myself back)!
I think the organic jelly babies we see a lot in the shops are a complete joke - as if being organic would make them better for the kids' teeth! I would just look at the sugar content and think about the additional nutritional value tbh. I think with raisins they are high in sugar but also contain iron and fibre so are better than eg. a jelly sweet, imo. Plus out of my big raisin jar we avoid all of the marketing hype designed to manipulate kids...

Piccadilly Fri 08-Jul-11 11:12:31

I think I lied! I think we eat ice cream more often than once a fortnight grin

porpoisefull Fri 08-Jul-11 11:16:37

salt sticks?
breadsticks, no?

porpoisefull Fri 08-Jul-11 11:27:18

I don't give sweets or chocolate to DS (22 months) but his grandma does when he sees her (which is only every month or two as they don't live nearby). If I'm eating a chocolate brownie or ice cream and he wants a bit he can have a little bit, but most of the time he isn't that bothered. Snacks are mainly rice cakes which he loves to stuff his face with (I buy adult unsalted ones and break them up into pieces) not very nutritious, but handy if he's hungry or grumpy and I haven't anything else to hand. Raisins are excellent for cheering him up if he is miserable.

Sariska Fri 08-Jul-11 14:08:41

I do. It's on the basis that food - all types - is something to be enjoyed and that, IMO, prohibiting whole swathes of foodstuffs just makes them more desirable. However, twice-daily teeth brushing is non-negotiable. Day-to-day treats in our house are raisins (my 3yo and 1 yo both love them), those Organix animal biscuits and the occasional jaffa cake, digestive biscuit or plain hob nob. Sometimes I bake cakes or biscuits, and the biscuits are popular with both of them but the cakes not so much.

3 yo DS probably gets ice cream for pudding once a week (have not yet offered it to my 1 yo) and we used chocolate buttons as rewards during potty training. For a time, I was a bit fearful that he'd always request one after using the potty/loo successfully but he no longer does and a half full bag is currently languishing in the fridge (for me to dip into).

They never have sweets or crisps, although I guess that'll change once they start going to parties and DD, in particular, loves fruit. Still working on DS for whom anything other than pineapple is a bit of a struggle.

BeeMyBaby Fri 08-Jul-11 14:43:51

We normally give DD (17 months) the goodies no sugar biscuits etc, but if we are having something like chocolate raisins, she will get one, or a few licks of our icecreams or a nibble of a piece of a birthday cake.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Fri 08-Jul-11 14:47:07

Ds is 17m, like sariska i don't want to create the idea that certain foods are "forbidden" though we rarely have sweets crisps etc in the house.

We sometimes bake which is much better than buying imo as it's not full of crap and generally the salt and sugar is much lower (perhaps the exception to this is if you're using a nigella recipie! Joke). Also then we can pimp things like putting peanut butter and rejected half bananas in flapjack. Baking does mean that we might have cake three days in a row till it's gone but then none for a while. Ds doesn't seem to mind.

Ds loves fruit and dried fruit. We have tons of soft fruit at the moment so are making it in to lollies. He sometimes has honey or home made jam. Dh once gave him treacle on his porridge!

At other peoples he has the odd biscuit and has had crisps once or twice when they were around (we licked the salt off...nice)

We're enjoying ice cream in the heat...i'm a label reader and only buy ones made of simple stuff.

We some times eat out and obviously it's harder to know what's in things then but hey ho.

So nowt's off limits really but we try and have home made or better quality "treats" which taste better and have some redeeming qualities.

He's never had a sweetie. We don't buy them but won't mind him having them once he can brush his teeth properly.

TabithaTwitchet Fri 08-Jul-11 14:54:46

If we are having something nice, then 3 year old DD will have some too - eg an occasional ice cream out, maybe biscuits or cake if we have visitors (and sometimes when we don't). Sometimes we have croissants or pastries for breakfast at the weekend, and she usually chooses a pain au chocolat.
I don't buy snacks or treats aimed at toddlers, I'd far rather give her a bit of what I'm having. We don't tend to have snacks between meals as a matter of course, so these treats tend to be part of an occasion ie going out for an ice cream, having pudding in a restaurant.
I don't ever buy sweets for DD, but other people sometimes give them to her and that's fine.

Pootles2010 Fri 08-Jul-11 14:59:21

My ds is only 11 months, so not quite toddler yet! Atm I try not to give anything with sugar in, purely because his grandma (who lives pretty close, probably see couple times a week) loves to give him chocolate buttons (just one or two!), and this way she can.

Figure it's Grandma's job to spoil him! Am sure will all change once he learns to demand things... grin

MetalSian Fri 08-Jul-11 15:15:16

My DS 23 months used to have Organix crisps, but now he has a pack of quavers with his lunch.
This may sound bad but I don't think it is.
He has raisins, fruit puree pouches and yogurts everyday too.

He has chocolate as a treat. His Nan however brings him round a bag of magic stars and one or two tubes of smarties which she thinks is fine to give to him all at once hmm.
I do try to hide them and save them so he gets a few bits spread over the week rather than all in one go.
She has been giving him way too much chocolate from a young age but she only seems once every two weeks'ish'.

DS is 28 months, and gets a mixture of treats. DH and I tend to not eat anything ourselves that we wouldn't with him (exception being drinks - fizzy drinks, caffeine and alcohol of course!). Which makes us eat more healthily - we don't buy junk on the whole, but living overseas don't have access to the Organix healthy-snacks-for-kids ranges so have to be a bit more creative.

So, DS gets.... diluted apple juice about 3 times a day while it's so hot (demanding it over water right now); mini smarties in a little box for long car journeys (those over 2 hours, which we do a couple of times a month), and when we potty trained he had a smartie for wees and poos for the first few days - we phased this out to just verbal praise without any problems.

He has ice-cream or an ice lolly (either bought while we're out, or in a bowl at home) about 3 times a week. We don't buy biscuits, so just breadsticks, crackerbread or rice cakes. But if he saw them at someone else's house I'd have no problem with him eating them. Every other Sunday we'll buy pain au chocolate or croissant and he'll have one to himself. He has a fruit-flavoured Petite Filou every other day. We have chips, either home-made wedges or frozen oven chips, once a week - usually on Friday night with pizza.

When we fly (about every 2-3 months) we load up on pombear crisps (or Organix if we can get hold of them), chocolate raisins and chocolate milk and other baddies proportionately to the length of the flight. (i.e. a 1 hour flight we'd just give him milk in a little carton - 8 hours would be quite a bit of chocolate and crisps).

He eats about 3 pieces of fruit and day and tons of veg (we grow some, including cherry tomatoes in pots, and he grazes on them whenever in the garden). He won't eat much meat or fish, unless it's breaded, in nugget form and dipped in ketchup, but is great on vegetables and loves broccoli, spinach and the rest. So you win some, you lose some!

DitaVonCheese Sun 10-Jul-11 22:50:01

Yes, probably too much blush

DD is nearly 3. Never has sweets (I confiscate them for her own good wink), chocolates very rarely, crisps likewise - probably a couple once a month or less when DH or I have some, though I have bought those Organix ones recently (less salt so better I think, though not really of any nutritional value).

However she does have 2-3 ice lollies a day at weekends and a couple during the week as well blush Try to make our own but it's been shop-bought ones for the past couple of weeks. She has biscuits a few times a week (two afternoons with my mum and big tea with my granny every week), plus my other granny usually gives her a biscuit or two one day. I generally keep a box of Organix animal biscuits in my bag for emergency snacking as well. She generally has diluted fruit juice with meals but the occasional weak squash as well eg at granny's. We have chips and meatballs and jam at Ikea about every 4-6 weeks and I've occasionally caught her having McD chips at my mum's too.

Then it depends what you mean by not so healthy ... She usually has a pot/tube of yogurt a day, which I think are quite high in sugar, and often something like a Mini Babybel as well (high salt?). She has honey or syrup in porridge though that isn't often at the moment. "Healthy" but still full of sugar cereal for breakfast (eg generic version of Cheerios at the moment); also quite often has honey on bread for breakfast (with peanut butter and marmite confused). She also loves dried fruit, which is good-ish but sugary. She does eat a lot of fruit (sugar again!) and a decent if not particularly varied amount of veg though.

It's a bloody minefield!

PartialToACupOfMilo Sun 10-Jul-11 22:54:41

My dd is 19 months old. My sister has a sweet shop so if we pop in to see her on the weekend, dd gets some marshmallows (sometimes chocolate covered one) or maybe white chocolate buttons. This happens maybe once a fortnight or so. At Easter she had chocolate eggs, mostly white although she much preferred dh's dark chocolate one (yuck).

On a more day to day level, we bake every Sunday so we usually have a cake, cupcakes or biscuits on the go and she'll one each day that I'm with her. In the afternoon she has a snack, sometimes toast with homemade jam or hummus and crackers or cucumber sticks or something.

We do sometimes buy those organix snacks, but dd tends to not like them. We've also bought the fruit puree pouches in the past but she hates them - in fact I used the last of them in some apple cakes today which went down much more successfully.

At the moment she's pretty obsessed with the peas and blueberries growing in the garden and she's having a (very small) ice cream cone after dinner about twice a week which she loves. About once a month she and dh go out for luch to wagamama and she has a children's portion of chicken katsu curry (!)

I dietician would probably say that she has too much sugar and refined food but her teeth are brushed twice a day and she eats her meals well. I'm happy with what she eats.

Doitnicelyplease Mon 11-Jul-11 00:08:25

My DD is 2.10 yrs and snacks on the following 'treats':

Small box of raisins per day (sometimes 2)
Odd digestive biscuit
Every other day a cereal bar (after running around)
Every other week we have homemade treats such as cookies, brownies or banana muffins, which she helps me to make - she might get half a one each day.
Ice cream - small portion about every two weeks
Chocolate pudding pot (as a change from yogurt) - about once a week or every two weeks
Nutella on toast once a week (sunday morning treat)
Smarties are her reward for potty training - 2 for wee, 4 for poo - hope to phase this out v soon
Once or twice a week she might get a couple of crisps to munch on (not her own bag) - but that is a more recent development.
Lollipop - maybe once a month if that

My daughter LOVES snacks (or anything with chocolate) and would snack all day if I let her. However, she is really good about eating all her meals and I would stop the snacking if she didn't. I do limit the snacks to certain times such as after running around in the park or for treats after meals.

She is very active and hungry and I find it hard coming up with healthy snacks all the time!

She can be a bit fussy about some foods but loves all fruit and veg and will usually have at least 6 portions a day. She also has plenty of protein and carbs to fill her up.

I try not to make anything 'forbidden' as I know it would make her want it more/go mad for it when she has it.

mrsmusic Mon 11-Jul-11 23:09:33

Hmmm, reading this I'm thinking now our dd's diet's not as good for her as I thought! (She's 23 months). Anyone fancy sharing a typical day's food that their toddler has?

For our dd, it might be:
weetabix with fruit for breakfast
mid-morning snack of banana/ slice of toast/ raisins/ cheese and crackers/ breadsticks/ other fruit
lunch - jacket potato with tuna, tomatoes, fruit offered, fromage frais (I thought good?!),
Afternoon snack (often a banana if not had one in the morning/ digestive biscuit with philly/ other fruit)
Tea - whatever we're having (e.g. chilli & rice/ meat&veg); fruit; sometimes a fromage frais/ rice pudding
Milk before bed.

mrsmusic Mon 11-Jul-11 23:16:47

She does have treats such as an ice-cream if we're out on a sunny day; sometimes we have sausages for tea and she'll have one; sometimes dp gives her a sausage roll when he's looking after her... She usually has a treat like a piece of cake or something once a week (although I'm sure her Nana feeds her crap when she looks after her once a week for us (hmm) ).

jadziadax Tue 12-Jul-11 09:36:31

DD is 2yrs and eats too much chocolate cos i'm forever baking as i love it and love giving homemade things to friends. But she'll also turn down anything shop bought in favour of what i've cooked and her favourite snack is a bowl of frozen peas with natural yoghurt.

Sirzy Tue 12-Jul-11 10:41:00

Its all about balance, DS is 19 months and eats fruit and veg until its coming out of his ears and loves it. He also loves baking with me and eating the end product.

No foods are off bounds though, I just offer the healthier ones more often but still with the odd 'baddy' in there.

BoysRusxxx Tue 12-Jul-11 12:19:07

I was giving my toddlers a treat every day, nothing mush just a biscuit after dinner then my mam was calling in every evening to say good night to them armed with treats. they would be so high on sugar they would be going to bed at 7pm but not falling asleep until 9pm!! theyd be wired to the moon up in the cots so i asked my mam, if she wants to buy them treats would she mind buying a punnet of strawberries/blueberries instead as im pretty sure the boys think they are of the sweet family.

Its unreal the difference it has made. they are much more well behaved when they havent had any sweets smile

Nagini Tue 12-Jul-11 12:36:32

My DS is four. He gets a treat at 11am and again at 3pm. These are used as blatant bribes to be good and I don't care if people hmm at me because it works. He has a reward chart.

He has a biscuit or bit of cake if we've been baking, but usually a chocolate biscuit. In hot weather I might give him an ice lolly but usually I freeze those yoghurts in tubes. I don't buy sweets.

Fruit isn't a treat, he has some fruit with his lunch, and if he nags for more food between meals. He doesn't like raisins.

DitaVonCheese Tue 12-Jul-11 22:30:52

mrsmusic That sounds healthy to me! smile Sorry, I think it was me who mentioned that fromage frais aren't desperately healthy because they're quite high in sugar, but they also have other good stuff like calcium etc so it's just a question of finding a balance I suppose. Even bloody fruit is high in sugar!

Today DD had:

Breastmilk in bed
Breakfast - half a bowl of generic supermarket version of Cheerios (didn't finish them, unusually for her), half a pear, half a plum
Snack - banana and something else I can't remember (Weetabix?) at pre-school
Lunch - corned beef (blegh!) sandwich on brown seedy bread, tube of fromage frais, some melon which she didn't eat despite loving it yesterday hmm, a couple of Quorn slices spread with cream cheese and rolled up and some orange juice diluted with water - bit of a random meal and I usually try to stick a portion of veg in somewhere but fridge was a bit bare yesterday blush
Snack at granny's - ? probably a biscuit or ice lolly, could have been fruit though
Dinner - DH's home made veg soup with wholemeal bread and butter, handful of raspberries, some cooked apple, slice of chorizo, slice of salami

It's relatively unusual for her to have meat for two meals (DH is veggie so we don't buy a lot) and I do try to get one or two portions of veg in somewhere but there aren't many she'll eat annoyingly so we're a bit fruit-heavy.

Icoulddoitbetter Tue 12-Jul-11 22:57:57

I tend to give my DS (20m) raisins and the Goodies Oaty bars as a treat if we're out as they are pretty portable. He also has the various flavours of toddler rice cakes. He has fruit after every meal, and inbetween as a snack when he gets hungry.

He has proper puddings at nursery but not at home, and I don't give him chocolate / ice cream, though I now give him a little taste of what I have if he shows an interest.

I'm wary as I've got a super-sweet tooth and don't want him going the same way. I don't want anything to be "off limits", but until he realises how desirable refined sweet stuff is I want to steer him away from it as much as possible!

mrsmusic Wed 13-Jul-11 09:55:34

MIL took dd on a playgroup outing to a local children's farm the other day and they had to take a packed lunch. Our dd was the only one with sandwiches and they got some really funny looks about it! Please tell me sandwiches for a packed lunch aren't out of date or something, I was gobsmacked!

I get a bit stuck sometimes what to put her in her lunch when she's at her childminders. One day a week it'll be sandwiches, sometimes a jacket potato, sometimes leftovers. Loads of fruit. (Today a piece of birthday cake thrown in there too!). Digestive biscuits. Yogurts. Any ideas welcome! x

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