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Toddler with very sweet tooth!(23 Posts)
I know most kids have a sweet tooth but I feel like my DS is getting a bit out of control and I would value some tips on how to get his eating back on track.
For the first year of his life he didn't have any sweets or treats. From about a year he would have the occasional bit of cake at a party, biscuit, or square of chocolate as a treat etc. Both DH and I want to have a relaxed but healthy attitude to food in the house - everything in moderation - so I wasn't too worried about the odd treat.
Obviously DS enjoyed these treats and has remembered about them because he now (aged nearly 2) whines and cries every day, multiple times per day for chocolate or cake. He'll try his damnedest to break into cupboards, climb up onto the worktop, break into the fridge etc to get at stuff. We have started to lock everything away but he is rather determined!
I wouldn't mind so much if he had a varied diet but he's going through the usual toddler fussing about vegetables, fruit, anything that's not beige basically. We're working through that but I'm worried that his diet is really poor as he rejects ANYTHING that isn't sweet. For example, he'll eat toast as long as it has jam on it but not with cheese spread on it.
Any tips? I feel like I've created a sugar monster and I feel terrible about it.
Honestly? You shop, you provide the food, end of. You are giving your child WAY too much power.
If he is 'determined ' it is because you end up giving in, so he has learned to persist until you break
Come on OP, take a deep breath and 'woman up'
Ps. He WILL eat toast without jam if he is hungry, trust me
Stop having sweet things in the house for a while so you both learn to manage without them.
I don't give in to his demands and he does go without if he doesn't accept the offered alternative. He can get by on an inordinately small amount of food when he wants to!
I suppose its just the constant asking/whining for it and trying to break in to get it. I don't really know what to do about that. I try offering him something else, ignoring him, distracting him but he comes back to the same theme over and over.
Just stop having sweets in your house altogether. He will eventually adujust-you will just have to put up with a lot of whining in the meantime.
Was going to say a similar thing. Just stop buying the sweet stuff and don’t give in if he refuses a meal. He will get the message after a few days 🙂
I agree with the others, don’t have it in the house. With regards to the whining, would it work if you firmly told him “enough! Mummy hears you, but no means no, and that’s the end of it”? Not meaning to sound patronising just thinking really x
It's all DH's junk food so I'll ask him to move it somewhere completely hidden so as far as DS knows it isn't in the house. We don't eat any junk food when he's awake so we should manage it where he doesn't even see any packets in the fridge or anything. Hopefully that breaks the habit.
I could try being firmer with him about the whining. I'm pregnant at the moment and feel like I'm constantly irritable and snarking at him about one thing or another so was trying to keep zen about food but it's obviously not really working!
Thanks for all the replies.
Hide it and show him it’s ‘gone’. Then be firm.
Mine only have sweet treats as puddings, and if they can't self regulate, they're rationed.
My dc2 does the whining, cute face and yum yum, climbing etc we do have to remind her there is nothing else after dinner, hide the raisins sometimes and give tangerines and tomatoes as desert.
As others have said you need to go cold turkey - no sweet stuff in house - even jam (kids that young shouldn’t be having jam!).
Then just offer offer offer healthy food. Yogurts and fruit for treats and puddings only.
No squash or juice - just water and milk.
His palate will soon adjust back.
Ps if you don’t sort this now when you are pregnant it’ll be even worse when the baby is here and you need him to behave and are more tired
I think life would become easier if you stopped thinking of his whining as something that needed to stop now, this minute. Try to see it as background noise instead and you will find it far easier to ignore. Tell yourself that many toddlers are whiny between the ages of 2 and 3, and that if this is a stage he is going through resolving the sweet question wouldn't necessarily stop it. But obviously giving in to him will prolong it indefinitely.
You say it’s your DH’s junk food. Does he eat it in front of your son? Whilst treats are fine in moderation it’s harder for kids to self regulate and they copy our behaviour. Just a thought.
If you're worried about him being hungry we've tried bringing DS's rejected savory meal or a plate of savory snacks with us when we get down from the table. I put it on the coffee table in the living room or wherever he's playing. Every time he asks for something sweet I say, "sorry baby, we don't have any, have your potato instead".
Yes sometimes there are tears, mostly he just says no, but more and more I'll catch him absent-mindedly picking at the plate come evening time, and usually by the end of the day he's eaten a good chunk of it!
Op I feel your pain. My ds is the same age and I'm also pregnant and going through this. He was poorly for a while and we went through a phase of thinking "eating anything is better than nothing". We would offer him healthy dinner and then yoghurt and fruit and if he didn't eat much we'd give him a biscuit or one of those little kinder chocolate bars or a few buttons. Just so we knew he had had some calories.
He was always such a good healthy eater before we thought it'd be fine. Well he's better but we have a nightmare eater. He will regularly ask for chocolate as we're cooking dinner and we obviously say no. So when it gets around to putting dinner in front of him he has a massive meltdown and throws it. He then gets down from the table and doesn't eat. We offer him toast later on but he'd rather go hungry! We are just going to keep going. He doesn't know where the treats are so he can't find them, it does wear us down through! Only 2 months ago he thought a snack was avocado and cucumber pieces, if I put that in front of him now you'd think I'd just thrown his favourite toy in the fire the way he looks at me...
My Ds has a very sweet tooth although it's actually that he likes very strong flavours. He loves spicy food, olives, really strong cheese etc. 'Sweet' is actually a very strong flavour. Have you tried offering him really strong flavoured foods? My Ds wouldn't eat cheese spread, it's too bland, but he would eat marmite or bovril for example, or cheese on crackers.
We've had to really cut down on the sweet foods he eats, because he will be very demanding for things and spoils his appetite. He's only allowed savoury snacks during the day now, so will have cheese, chorizo, olives, breadsticks and dips etc, and at least then he only eats them if he's actually hungry and they have nutritional value too.
Thanks for the further replies. Today was savoury day no 1 and it went ok I think. Good point about strong flavours - he likes extra mature cheese so I'll try a few other tasty savoury things.
DH doesn't eat the junk in front of him and over the last month or so has been careful about locking it away after he's had some, so he'll keep going with that.
Agree with thinking of the whining as something in the background. I always told my DC that I couldn’t actually hear whiny voices and they needed to use normal voices, manners and use sentences. Funnily enough they have excellent communication skills 🙂
Do you think he's eating enough and at the right intervals during the day? If he's hungry or has low blood-sugar he might get sugar cravings.
Also make sure he drinks enough water - thirst can also trigger a craving for sweets.
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