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Do you still have any control over the amount of sweets / crap your preteens eat?

8 replies

monstera · 06/05/2013 21:30

Just that really. I'm not a total food fascist. DD has always been allowed sweets / crisps / fizzy drinks in moderation. She chooses to spend her pocket money on sweets at the weekend and that's fine. We eat healthily at home and I don't buy any chocolate / crisps / biscuits to have in at home because I've got no will power

Since Feb half term she has been walking herself to school three days a week (Y6) in preparation for secondary. I've been finding sweet wrappers in her pocket and school bag almost daily and I've no idea where the money for them has come from or what she's eating. She's so secretive about it. She has a large box of sweets at home anyway that she bought on a school trip so she's eating sweets all evening too, so it's not like she's deprived!

Is this a normal reaction to getting a bit of freedom for the first time? Is there any point being stricter about it? I am trying to gradually give her more freedom and responsibility and she's risen to it fantastically well in every other way, but I don't want this to settle in as a habit over the next few years as she's growing.

OP posts:
Sparklymommy · 07/05/2013 10:54

My 10 yo dd has always been allowed pretty much what she wanted as she dances a lot and I always kind of thought she needed the sugar boost! That said I have recently put a stop to it as I have noticed that she was starting to look a little podgy and she was being fussy at mealtimes. Now we have cut right back and she only has sweets on a Saturday. It was hard for the first week but since then she has stopped asking and I have even heard her refuse sweets on the grouss of it not being Saturday!

survivingthechildren · 07/05/2013 10:59

I have a similar approach to you, although my teens/preteens are all boys, and my DD is only primary aged. It's not forbidden fruit, and never has been, we simply don't keep a lot of crap in the house.

My sons did have a period of junk food binging, especially as it was the social thing to do as they all came home from school with their mates. My oldest DS is now quite a healthy eater, he only occasionally buys food outside of the house probably because he's skint from losing his pocket money for cheeking me

I think as long a healthy eating is modelled for them, and as long as you don't make it into a taboo thing, your DD will be fine. Just make sure it's her own money she's spending!

Notmyidea · 08/05/2013 20:37

I have a lot less control than I'd like, especially with the less healthy choices in the secondary school canteen. In the long run, though they have to make healthy choices when we're not there to nag. I make an effort to keep family meals healthy and insist they do some sports, but I don't feel able to do much else.

Dancergirl · 08/05/2013 21:29

Yes, my oldest is 12 and I still have a lot of control over what she eats. She generally asks before taking snacks at home. Her school sell cookies at breaktime which we give her money for and the occasional fizzy drink. Her diet is generally quite good.

OP, it's worrying that you don't know where she gets the money from, what does she say when you ask her?

Personally I wouldn't give her free reign to eat sweets every day. Our dds have sweets once a week plus if it friends birthdays etc. I don't mind a bit of chocolate/cake/biscuits more often but sweets are just sugar and bad for teeth so I limit those. I'd rather be a mean mum and limit sweets than them have bad teeth later on!

The fact she's being secretive about it is more worrying than what she's eating tbh.

monstera · 08/05/2013 22:12

Thanks all. Dancer - I did ask her the other day and she just said it was her money, and was really evasive which was what worried me more than anything to be honest. Anyway I asked her again at the weekend in a calmer moment and she said it was the money my mum had given her for Easter, which was £10. I'd forgotten she had it. Over the weekend she wanted to download a few songs so she went to her school bag and got all her change out and it was about £2.80 so she's spent over £7 on sweets but the money's all gone now.

I'm not happy that she's bought sweets every day like that, but as you say it's more worrying that she's being secretive about it. Also it's not like she'll never have money again, so I'm just hoping this is a short term rebellion after having a first sniff of freedom, rather than a sign of what's to come next year.

OP posts:
Dancergirl · 08/05/2013 22:57

Why is she taking large quantities of money to school? If my dds get birthday money or whatever, they don't take it to school, they keep it safely at home and we discuss what they're going to buy.

Sorry OP, but I think you're giving her a bit too much freedom. I presume she either has a packed lunch for school or a school dinner paid for in advance? So she doesn't actually 'need' any money for school?

Do you give her pocket money? In any case taking large sums of money to school might mean it getting lost. Set a rule that she leaves her money at home.

bubby64 · 13/05/2013 14:39

Both my 12yr olds had been doing this on their way to school, they now catch the bus from outside the village shop, and nearly all the kids go in there before they get on or after they get off the busSad
They were using the money given for school dinners. I put a stop to it by giving them packed lunches most days. It was a mixture of freedom to buy what they wanted and peer pressure.
I have now suggested to the High School that they have a cashless card system to try and dtop this.

AdoraBell · 30/05/2013 18:27

One of mine, 11yr olds, is eating far too much junk, to the extent that recently she's not hungry when dinner is ready because she's sneaked stuff upstairs to much on. I know she's feeling a little insecure because we are talking about moving back to the UK. They've grown up here though so for them it's not moving back, it's leaving.

I have to be careful not to excuse too much as insecurity and over look greed. I'm now allowing them credit in terms of pocket money. That's not as mad as it sounds. They recently bought themselves turtles and all the associated kit. Now they have to pay me back and so only have 2 quid a week pocket money.

She does a lot less damage to her health with 2 quid than with 5. We have to drive to school and they have packed lunches, but she loves to go to the corner shop near school at pick up. I try to encourage her magazine habit to reduce her ready cash too.

I'm working on reducing the amount of sugary stuff in the house. Not easy for me as I'm also stressed and also an emotional eater, so I buy it without realising. This week I bought two packs of chocolate biscuit type things which I don't remember buying, but they are here, I paid for them, so I must have picked them up. DDs didn't sneak them in, they had their own choice of chocolate bar.

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