Talk

Advanced search

When do you think teens become responsible for their own diet choices?

(12 Posts)
VagueButlmportant Thu 28-Jul-16 18:53:51

As in, when do you stop trying to influence their food choices and accept that it's their bodies and they are making a choice to eat unhealthily?

DD has an appalling diet. It all started when she started secondary, and after years of eating healthily with occasional treats, she suddenly had the power to go to the shop on the way home from school with her pocket money. I just thought this was a fairly common phase, and she'd go through it and then start to just have sweets and snacks occasionally and save her money for other things.

She's now 14 (just finished Y9) and I am really worried about her eating. She's always been a bit of a fussy eater, but she now will hardly eat anything except sweets, crisps, sugary drinks and ice cream. If she has the money, I've known her to buy a bag of doughnuts, a tube of pringles, a large bottle of lemonade, a bag of haribo, oreos and nerds, and eat them all on one evening. This is an extreme example, probably happens once a month, but there's usually a couple of items each day. If she's short of money she'll buy Aldi cooking chocolate!

It really upsets me, but I feel at some point I have to leave her to it. I don't want to be that mum that's commenting on weight and diet to their grown up daughter. I have one of those!

For context, she's not overweight by anyone's standards. She was a very healthy weight all through childhood and shot straight up through puberty wearing a size 6. She is now around a size 10.

I'm so sick of talking to her about it, and getting nowhere. I think I set a pretty good example. I am a runner and I cook healthy, tasty meals. She knows my brother was dx with T2 diabetes in his 20's and that we have a family history of it. I've tried withholding money, and that's the only thing that stops her, but I can't do that when she's 30!

Do I have to accept that it's her life and her choice? (her suggestion as you can probably imagine!)

Or does anyone have any suggestions of how to get through to her that I haven't tried already.

jelliebelly Thu 28-Jul-16 18:59:15

Have you tried not giving her the money? Talk to her about sensible diet - it's not just about being fat what is she doing to her teeth or her arteries???

LynetteScavo Thu 28-Jul-16 19:01:25

I think she will grow out of it eventually, but I would withhold money and have no sugar in the house.

This is one reason I pay for everything for DS rather than giving him pocket money, even though it costs me a lot more over all.

You stop controlling it when they go to uni/get a job.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lljkk Thu 28-Jul-16 19:11:59

ah, it's a pain.
How does this stuff get in your house?
We do tea together every night & a regular veg-loaded meal they know they're expected to eat helps a bit, creates a habit.
We continue the discussion.
I try to buy healthier things I know teen DD likes (today it was a box of grapes). If I buy it on her request, she knows I expect her to eat it... the deal was she had first dibs for first 36 hours on the grapes (this matters when you have many siblings).
Taking DD shopping so she can negotiate the balance of healthy-notsohealthy foods makes her invested in the healthy choices, too.
Teen DS won't touch fruit, but he will have posh purple smoothies, so I buy them & point them out when he's ferreting in the fridge.

VagueButlmportant Thu 28-Jul-16 19:40:09

Thanks for the replies.

lljkk It gets into the house by her going to Aldi on the way home and buying it. We have a few sugary treats in the house, like lollies and yoghurts. I didn't buy things like that at all when she was growing up, although we'd have treats and puddings if we were out somewhere. I've started buying a few bits to try to avoid her buying such huge quantities.

Yes I do buy her healthy treats that she likes - raspberries are the current favourites. She also likes pistachio nuts, fancy olives, satsumas in winter, a few other fruits. She will eat these as often as I'm prepared to buy them.

I raised a smile at the thought of grapes lasting 36 hours. 36 minutes is good going in this house, and it's only me and DD here!

It's frustrating because after years of her loving cooking and baking, and begging me to let her make tea up until around age 12, I can now barely get her to put the kettle on. She used to make lovely bolognese sauces, curries etc. She won a bake off competition at school in Y8 so she's not short of cooking skills. She has just hit the teens and can't be bothered.

NeedA I have considered the binge eating issue. I don't feel she is. I think she's just suffering from the immortality of youth. She is "blessed" with no acne, no weight gain, and despite a ticking off from the dentist for the first time in her life, no fillings. She just doesn't see the consequences and she likes the taste of it. I will keep an eye on it though as I know it can be hard to spot these things.

I have withheld money - I have insisted she goes onto packed lunches - even though I have to make them myself every day because she wouldn't bother otherwise. I give her a small chocolate biscuit in there, to satisfy sugar cravings, but it's otherwise healthy. That means I don't have to give her cash through the week. School doesn't have parentpay.

I also pay her pocket money straight into the bank, and have arranged with my friend who she babysits for that she does the same. I hold onto her bank card, and she has managed to save up for a laptop from birthday / Christmas / babysitting / pocket money. Now she hasn't got anything to save for, it's back to square one.

My work colleagues think I should be grateful she's not smoking, drinking or taking drugs. And I am. She's a fairly good teen. I wonder if this is her act of rebellion because she knows how much I hate it!

lljkk Thu 28-Jul-16 20:03:05

yeah yeah, on the grapes, 14yo DD scoffed the whole box within 36 minutes of being home, too! Doesn't always work, but a good bet. I also buy cashew nuts for the teen DS.

How much pocket money, mine gets £14/month for fripperies. Can you nudge her towards a target to save for, better to spend her pocket money on? Mine bought blue hair dye today, that filled the afternoon, me helping her turn hair blue. Plus a rainbow shirt last week, which is for upcoming Pride parade.

VagueButlmportant Thu 28-Jul-16 21:05:11

Ha! lljkk DD's hair is currently green! I also helped her dye it, but being a pair of rebels we did it the night before her last half-day at school! I think our DDs might well get on very well. Which Pride is she going to? DD is thinking of going to Manchester this year for the first time.

She gets £5 pocket money a week, which is paid only when she can show me her bedroom floor! It used to be more but I reduced it to pay for some concert tickets that were hideously expensive but I was a soft touch and lent her the money. It will be several months before that's paid off. This goes into the bank and she mostly uses it to buy overpriced band hoodies and t-shirts. She earns quite a lot from babysitting though. She definitely needs something to save for. She's just not really that into gadgets and she doesn't really go out with friends much at the moment.

I definitely could restrict her money more - it's just that I feel I need her to start self-regulating.

VagueButlmportant Thu 28-Jul-16 21:05:14

Ha! lljkk DD's hair is currently green! I also helped her dye it, but being a pair of rebels we did it the night before her last half-day at school! I think our DDs might well get on very well. Which Pride is she going to? DD is thinking of going to Manchester this year for the first time.

She gets £5 pocket money a week, which is paid only when she can show me her bedroom floor! It used to be more but I reduced it to pay for some concert tickets that were hideously expensive but I was a soft touch and lent her the money. It will be several months before that's paid off. This goes into the bank and she mostly uses it to buy overpriced band hoodies and t-shirts. She earns quite a lot from babysitting though. She definitely needs something to save for. She's just not really that into gadgets and she doesn't really go out with friends much at the moment.

I definitely could restrict her money more - it's just that I feel I need her to start self-regulating.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lljkk Thu 28-Jul-16 22:27:02

DD has a soap box about shades of green in hair, but we won't go there.
We are near Norwich, DD has mates going to Pride this weekend, so...

On the plus side, yours is enterprising & has work (babysitting). Mine had a hissy at the idea of a paper round or trying to find some babysitting work: all my ideas how she might get some paid work are unacceptable, sigh.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now