Found dd hiding/stashing food in her room
madhairday · 08/05/2012 16:49
DD is 11. Today I went into her room and she quickly put her hands behind her back and closed her curtain. I asked what she was doing. 'Nothing'. I asked again, and she stroppily showed me a crisp packet. Now when they get in from school they have a snack - biscuit, fruit, toast - something reasonably filling usually, so I was a little surprised. I then saw she was hiding other things, and asked her to show me, which she did, with maximum tutting and 'everyone does it' and 'I'm just hungry when I get in.' There was basically the remains of a load of junk - crisps, sweets, chocolate bars etc etc. All taken and eaten in her room without us knowing.
I don't have a problem with the occasional crisp/chocolate snack (in fact it's about all we've been having snce Easter ) but it's the underhand and sneakiness in it which upset me, plus the whole worry about hidden food and it developing into something else - I want her to have a healthy and happy relationship with food. She knows she can help herself to fruit whenever she is hungry, but in this house the dc ask if they want something like crisps/sweets - they know they don't just help themselves.
I sat her down calmly and told her that if she is hungry that is fine, she should tell us, and she can have a good filling snack. She's starting to develop and is on a growth spurt so will naturally be hungry. There has never been any problems with weight - she's always been very slim. I have no worries about this, more about the nature of the 'stealing'/lying.
She actually burst into tears and said she was glad we found out as she was feeling guilty
Anyone had similar happen, and how did you/would you deal with it? Shall I do anything more? We have told her that as a consequence she won't have crisps in her lunchbox for a while as she has eaten the ones we brought for this purpose. Is that far enough? Or am I making a fuss about nothing?
Apologies for the length of this, it's all new territory for me.
Finallygotaroundtoit · 08/05/2012 16:59
Fruit won't help that ravenous teenage hunger though. I think the problem is having to ask for food.
Your worries about food have turned into some sort of conflict/control issues.
Hope someone comes along with more helpful advice.All I can suggest is letting her help herself to something more filling.
OracleInaCoracle · 08/05/2012 17:05
what is her behaviour like normally? how is her eating? does she talk about her appearance/size/weight?
ItWasThePenguins · 08/05/2012 17:06
I used to do this, we had same rules on treats as op.
It's almost certainly a passing phase. I would have liked my parents to be more allowing of treats, but i doubt i would have stopped hiding food.
Ps Im, and always have been size 12or lower.
madhairday · 08/05/2012 17:13
I don't really have food worries - dc have always seemed perfectly happy with the way we do things. Am willing to try a different way though. I had not thought of it as any kind of problem until now.
Her eating is good - she's always had a good appetite and has always been adventurous and will try anything - she loves her food and so is easy to cook for - she stops when she is full.
Her behaviour is fairly up and down at the moment, which I put down to her age - she can be delightful and is a very caring person but can go into huge rages too. She does worry about her appearance but more in terms of her chronic psoriasis which is proving difficult to keep on top of and is affecting her face as well as her body at the moment. Regarding weight she has been making comments about other girls in the class needing bras and her wanting one - I bought her some crop vests, she has nothing to put in bras yet. She says she is happy she is slim and loves being active. She is in general a happy and energetic little girl.
MrsHoarder · 08/05/2012 17:32
Could you encourage her to have toast or cereal instead of crisps? I know she has some when she gets in from school already, but if she's going through a growth spurt it obviously isn't enough.
Make it clear that there are several "quick" food options she can grab and that some of them are protein/carb heavy, but that sweets and crisps are out of bounds. Then just make sure there's plenty of bread/ham/nuts for her to grab and let her get on with it. She's hitting the age where "asking permission" for snacks is going to be more problematic, so let her know what she can eat without permission or guilt.
Of course this may require new groundrules too, like not less than an hour before dinner, but you can work these out between you, and can always rediscuss if weight really does become a problem.
MaureenMLove · 08/05/2012 17:33
Personally, I'd relax the rule on junk food.
If she eats as well as you say she does, then I don't honestly think her eating anymore junk food will cause an issue. I do think it will cause an issue, if you start making too many rules about it. She'll start spending her pocket money on chocolate or crisps at every opportunity and then you may have a problem.
DD could eat the contents of every cupboard between 3.30 and dinner time and still eat a plateful of goodness! I gave up telling her what she should or shouldn't eat, when she started secondary school. She's intelligent enough to know what is good for her and what isn't. In fact, if she's been away for the weekend with Guides or similar, she often says she's had enough rubbish food and really wants a salad or a plate of veg!
NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown · 08/05/2012 17:36
I know you said she's on a growth spurt but could it be emotional eating do you think? I've often stuffed myself with junkfood to stuff down feelings.. Maybe it's worth taking her out on her own somewhere away from the house and asking her if something is troubling her?
UniS · 08/05/2012 17:37
If they were the lunch box crisps, then no, no crisps in lunchbox tomorrow, but an extra sandwich instead.
Maybe a chat about what food IS allowed as help yourself snacks and what is "budgeted" for meals/ lunchboxes.
lidlvoice · 08/05/2012 17:41
I think I would suggest that she can't just help herself to junk food as it's bad for her on a regular basis, but maybe you could make other foods available as "help yourself". Maybe cheese and crackers or flapjacks? Something more filling than fruit but more nutritious than crisps?
HateBeingCantDoUpMyJeans · 08/05/2012 17:41
Are you certain she is eating at lunchtime? As a young girl I did a similar thing but was basically not eating at lunchtime due to peer pressure.
BehindLockNumberNine · 08/05/2012 17:42
Could you compromise?
I have a nearly 13 year old ds who has hollow legs atm and is ravenously hungry when he gets in from school. He gets home from school roughly half an hour before I get home from work.
Given half a chance he would gorge on crisps and chocolate bars after school. So instead I have been baking wholemeal muffins with either banana, raspberries or apple and raisins in them. I batch freeze these in individual baggies and pull some out of the freezer in the morning.
Or he can have peanutbutter on wholemeal toast.
Or a cinnamon and raisin bagel with some butter.
I also keep a tin of unsalted nuts and dried fruit in the cupboard. He can have a handful of this when he gets the 'munchies'.
He loves all of the above, it is filling, tasty and to my mind not as bad as crisps and chocolate bars.
GwendolineMaryLacey · 08/05/2012 17:43
Sorry to say I used to do this and I'm currently and always have been overweight. I still do it now to a certain degree. My mother made me feel totally ashamed when she first found my stash of wrappers at about 15. I've never been able to eat snacks normally since. Not that I'm blaming her for my piggery but it certainly didn't help.
BehindLockNumberNine · 08/05/2012 17:44
Meant to add - my ds can help himself to the above before I get in from work. He can also help himself to yoghurt and fruit.
He knows crisps and chocolate biscuits are treats and he has to ask. Does not stop him from sneaking the odd one but on the whole he seems to like the foods that are free to take without asking
HateBeingCantDoUpMyJeans · 08/05/2012 17:54
Ditto GwendolineMaryLacey it defo influenced my attitude to food
madhairday · 08/05/2012 17:55
Thankyou so much for all your suggestions. I will be thinking carefully about how we do things. I do not want this to become an issue or her to feel ashamed, which was why it was handled in a low key way with no 'telling off' involved. I think the idea of making other snacks more freely available - crackers, cereal etc is a good one - like you say, at some point this needs to happen - she can't be asking for food at 18!!
Hopefully, we've caught this early enough to do something positive which will set better patterns.
CeliaFate · 09/05/2012 16:56
Trouble is, some dc don't have the signal from their brain that says "stop eating, you're full."
Dd would eat and eat and eat. She constantly asks for food, eats adult sized portions and then 20 minutes later will ask for a snack, we're always saying no to her.
suzikettles · 09/05/2012 17:11
I used to do this with crisps and chocolate biscuits because I liked the taste tbh. Nothing more sinister.
But it was taking without asking (and I knew my mum would have said no because there wasn't a lot of money to go round, so it was stealing really) and my mum used to get really cross.
The main consequence of not being able to eat whatever I liked at home was that when I moved away to university I'd sometimes buy something like a pack of cherry bakewells and scoff the lot (and then feel sick ). And then I got that out of my system - and realised that food does actually cost money - so stopped.
I was just being a greedy so-and-so. No weight issues here.
madhairday · 10/05/2012 12:38
suzi I think that may well be it with dd - she just loves the taste, and knows we would say no - money is fairly tight so we don't have endless supplies.
We have had a chat with her and let her know certain things are freely available - toast, crackers, cereal bars, fruit etc - and that when she is hungry she can have them. However she doesn't always have the 'off' button so we have to keep an eye on her. She is so active she burns it all off (athletics/cross country) so I don't think we need to worry there, but there are general self control issues we need to watch (she is dyspraxic)
Things seem better....we will see how it goes. thanks again.
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