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Are we creating a food issue?

(20 Posts)
Fckthis Sat 13-Dec-14 15:22:02

DH had a very strict childhood food wise, his dad is obsessive about balanced meals, he even weighted the veg so every person would get the right amount. He now still weighs parsley before sprinkling it so everyone gets the same.
DH isn't quite so extreme but he isn't too far behind, specially when it comes to poor DS. Some of it I think is great, like DS at 3.5 has never had processed baby food.
BUT I think we are going too far, today DS had 2 Jaffa cakes with a glass of milk mid morning. Then at 2ish after doing some cycling in the park he wanted another biscuit, I didn't see anything wrong with having one, but DH thought that was
ridiculous. DS then proceeds to have a meltdown, throw some raisins at DH and tell him he doesn't like him...hmm
Am I overreacting? I think we are creating a food issue when there is none, or maybe Im wrong, I've no idea.

LineRunner Sat 13-Dec-14 15:24:04

Did you have the argument about the biscuit in front of your DS?

Floggingmolly Sat 13-Dec-14 15:24:20

Not giving your child unlimited jaffa cakes is a far cry from weighing parsley...
Is the biscuit incident the most extreme example?

itiswhatitiswhatitis Sat 13-Dec-14 15:26:54

Based on this one incident I wouldn't say it would cause food issues. Your ds had already had biscuits so your DH didn't think he should have another. Fairly standard toddler reaction to being told no to something he wants.

Is there other stuff he does?

Your dh's dad sounds truely messed up though!

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sat 13-Dec-14 15:29:47

Your child was told no to a request for a biscuit and his reaction was to have a tabtrum, throw raisins and say he didnt like his daddy.

Sounds like your son coould do with hearing the word No a bit more often.

Fckthis Sat 13-Dec-14 16:03:49

Well today I've posted in 2 forums different things and to both the answers have been far from what I thought they would be. Perhaps I am the messed up one.

Obviously this incident isn't isolated, DS constantly requests sweet things, of which he gets none, only in the past few months has he been allowed Jaffa cakes and biscuits of that sort.
I just see friend's kids that happily tuck in at snack times to fruit and savoury things whilst DS is always always asking for sweet things.
He can't even have 'bear' dried fruit rolls, as 'they have as much sugar as fruit pastilles', and tried a lollipop for the first time this summer, as well as ice cream.
For Halloween he was allowed one sweet that evening, plus one the next two days.
So it isn't as if he needs to hear the word 'no' more often, but yes we did get arguing in front of him, although the argument wasn't me saying he should have one, it was DH accusing me of having given DS lots of biscuits this past week (DH was away for most of it) and me saying that that wasn't the case...
Well, good to know I am just loony myself and not married to one.

LineRunner Sat 13-Dec-14 16:20:13

I think your DH does sound pretty extreme.

But if you disagree about food in front of DS, that's not going to help at all.

Mintyy Sat 13-Dec-14 16:21:57

I think 3 jaffa cakes in one day for a three year old is too many.

FATEdestiny Sat 13-Dec-14 16:29:42

Moderation is the key.

Assuming his normal snacks are healthy, then the odd snack of biscuits is fine. Just not every morning and afternoon snack.

I just see friend's kids that happily tuck in at snack times to fruit and savoury things whilst DS is always always asking for sweet things.

Does your son not snack on fruit and savoury things? Asking for sweet things is one thing, he shouldn't be getting them too often though. This is most likely to lead to food issues

itiswhatitiswhatitis Sat 13-Dec-14 16:40:35

Ok based on your second post your DH does need to unclench a little. Sounds like there is an issue here and you and DH have very different feelings about sweets and treats.

Fckthis Sat 13-Dec-14 18:14:24

Ok but what exactly is moderation. And no he does not eat lots of fruit snacks. He eats his veg no problem with meals.

I just wonder because I was brought up quite the opposite way, I don't remember ever being told I couldn't eat something simply because it was sweet, and I am far from obese or concerned about food in an unhealthy way.

Is it completely personal? Some if you say 3 biscuits in one day are too much, but would you give your children Ella's kitchens satches? Or bear dried fruits? Also, does it not matter that it isn't every day? But once a week? I just think DS is slightly obsessed about sweet things, or is it every child and I just not around them all the time???

odyssey2001 Sat 13-Dec-14 18:35:09

Most food "experts", including our health visitor, says that it is not what happens in one day but over the course of a week. 5 a day can be 35 in a week, of which at least 21 portions should be veg.

I think saying yes to sweet snacks twice a day is too many. Once a day is probably best, unless it is a special occasion or if you are splitting a larger portion (such as a large biscuit) over two sittings because it is "finishing off". However, withholding sweet treats just makes them want it more. We work on the theory of being infrequent and irregular so there are no expectations.

Just my opinion though.

Fckthis Sat 13-Dec-14 19:31:21

So how do you do 'infrequent and irregular' which sounds reasonable, without withholding so they don't want it more?

Mehitabel6 Sat 13-Dec-14 19:34:30

Between you food is becoming a huge issue- a huge mistake.

FATEdestiny Sat 13-Dec-14 19:44:01

So how do you do 'infrequent and irregular'

I can answer that because me and DH do things differently in this aspect.

DH will bribe the children into good behaviour when supermarket shopping that if they behave then they can have 50p to spend on sweets at checkout.

At least that's how it's started. Nowadays they just expect sweets when they go shopping with him - so they therefore all want to go with him rather than stay home with me. So it has become a case of 'I'll bring you some sweets home, you stay here with Mum'.

I, on the other hand, don't do the sweets thing. The children grumble about it but I don't care. Very occasionally I'll buy a treat for the kids when I'm shopping, but it's a rarity. So they don't expect it from me.

I disagree but don't begrudge my DHs way, we just are different on this aspect and the children understand that.

FATEdestiny Sat 13-Dec-14 20:03:52

withholding so they don't want it more

I was bought up with this attitude. As a child my brothers and I had:

- A sweetie tin (pick and mix in an old quality street tub) in the lounge always topped up and accessible at all times, without permission needed.

- A selection of home baked cakes or biscuits on a cake stand in the kitchen always topped up and freely available.

- Biscuits in the cupboard as help yourself

- Fizzy drinks in cupboard as help yourself

- Fruit bowl always full.

I should also point out that in addition to the above we had a super healthy diet. Mum home cooked from scratch three meals a day (not just the main meal). We ate very healthy meals with a wide range of ingredients and tastes. We were having 7-a-day before that was even a "thing".

So the "trendy" attitude I assume you believe is that this kind of attitude develops healthy food attitudes that means sweet things do not hold the desire.

I am now 38. I am (very) obese. I have an expectation that goodies will always be there and cannot understand the sorts of (healthy) people that don't snack on biscuits or eat chocolate in the evenings.

I have no restraint when it comes to food. No will power to think "No, I shouldn't have that". I want it, so I have it and eat it. All of it.

I have goodies in the house as a matter of course, almost necessity. To me they are essentials like milk and bread. Until I had children myself I thought this normal since it was a normal part of my upbringing.

Now I have to consider the health of my children and realise how not normal my attitude to goodies is. It is not normal to consider treat food - high sugar and high fat - as normal food. It is not normal to have free access to this and to eat it whenever you like.

Fckthis Sun 14-Dec-14 08:02:52

FATEdestiny did my DH send you? wink thank you for sharing your very personal experience, really. The thing is so much is down to generics, you might have found yourself in the same situation even with the opposite upbringing, and I know part of my lack of issues with food is because I have a very austere personality and am the least addictive person in the world, whilst DH and his sister both have very addictive personalities and his sister is obese despite their very strict and controlled food-upbringing.

Yesterday wasn't a good day for me, and I probably overreacted to something that wasn't that major, BUT I do (we do) want to do the right thing, if there is such a thing.

Thegandernotthegoose Sun 14-Dec-14 10:58:08

My upbringing was probably similar to fatedestiny's. We always had a biscuit tin we could help ourselves to. I had crisps and chocolate biscuit every morning at school break. Fatty pudding at school lunch. Biscuits for pudding in the evening. Weelkends, cream cake mid morning, sponge pud at lunch, cake for tea and bag of sweets with mum watching tele in the evening.
I did have food issues to overcome in adulthood but I did overcome them. I was never overweight and I have a healthy easy attitude to food now. Nothing is forbidden and I eat when I am hungry and stop when satiated. My brother never had any issues with food.
I think your dh is over the top. I think developing an attitude of respect and enjoy to food is the best. I don't think obsessive control and counting of treats is good. Here is the best food advice, 'eat food, not too much, mostly plants'.

Annarose2014 Sun 14-Dec-14 11:46:22

I seem to have had an experience growing up in the "medium" range. Lots of home cooked meals (though a bit starchy - twas the '80's) but my parents were older parents so just didn't buy fizzy drinks or crisps. So there was none in the house. The only thing to drink in the house was milk.

They approved of "pudding" - they had no particular hang ups with sugary things - but again being older it was either rice or custard.

Going to school my Dad decided that we needed something chocolatey for lunch break, so started leaving a fun-size Twix or Mars out for us every day. So we had chocolate every day but it was tiny. That satisfied us quite a lot actually as we were only small.

When I went into secondary school he upgraded it to a full size - the decandence!

So whilst I got chocolate every day, it was very much a "routine" thing. I don't remember getting much else aside from Easter Eggs and birthdays (where they went mad with the chocolate, bless them)

Looking back that was real moderation. I got chocolate every school day, yet it wasn't freely available, so I never asked for it at other times. Now I rarely eat it. Couldn't be bothered. Literally boring to me.

Yet funnily enough, cheese which my family never ate & I never tasted before adolescence, is now a really big deal to me. I feel panicky if there's none in the house! I have to use a lot of self-control there.

ExtraVolume Sun 14-Dec-14 12:34:17

I'm in Scotland and we have Childsmile dental appointments every 6 months from 6 months old. They talk to parents and dc about how sugar works on your teeth. They have graphs for kids that show that its not just the amount of sugar you eat but the frequency.

The best is to limit sugar to mealtimes so your teeth can recover inbetween, hence cheese, crackers etc as snacks.

Ds is 4 and has accepted this rule for quite a while. We might have a biscuit/cake snack every so often, eg at someone's house if that is what they are having but he knows this is an exception.

So that deals with the whining. Maybe you can get a dentist to have a similar chat to him and then remind him what the dentist said when he asks.

As ds has eaten a meal before he gets the sugary thing I'm sure less is eaten as he is not hungry hungry. Its also easier to 'forget' to hand it over as its not everyday and I won't fetch it until I've finished eating and maybe then its time for bath, pjs and brush teeth by the time he remembers he was going to have something after dinner. Oh well too late, we'll have it tomorrow.

Everyone is different but human beings have evolved to like sugar and salt. In our hunter gatherer days it was important to eat berries for vitamins but as they were hard to collect, a liking for sugar gave us desire to get them. Ditto salt and catching animals (meat is probably the most salty naturally occuring food). And in the modern world obviously we have gone bonkers for crisps and chocolate as a result.

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