Eating habits in your children/you as children

Discussion in 'General Weight Loss Discussion' started by chocolate_bananas, 10 April 2010 Social URL.

  1. chocolate_bananas

    chocolate_bananas Silver Member

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    Hi there, i have a 3 month old daughter and another who is 4 next month. My oldest is a fantastic eater (the other doesn't 'eat' yet :p), she has regular meals, with lots of fruit and veg which she happily munches. For snacks she has sticks of cheese, yoghurts, dried fruit, cereal bars etc. She rarely has sugary foods, she maybe has them 2 or 3 times a week at most as a treat. Anyway, after reading another thread this has got me a little worried.

    Some people have said that giving chocolate and such as treats has messed up their relationship with food a little, i hope i'm not treading on anyones toes here but i'd just like to know how. I thought i was doing the right thing not giving my daughter sweets and chocolate everyday, but i want her to have a good relationship with food too.

    I can sort of see it in a little way because she asks her nana for things, and says i won't tell mummy :cry: All this has really got me thinking. I don't do it to stop her geting overweight, i just worry about her teeth to be honest!

    Sorry if this sounds muddled, i hope someone knows what i'm getting at!
     
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  3. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    I don't know what thread you are referring to, but I can see know reason why children can't have chocolate every now and again (I'd knock the cereal bars on the head though ;))

    Having said that, I wouldn't give the chocolate as treats. That builds up an expectation that food makes a reward. Food is food. Fun, enjoyable etc, but not something earned for doing something good, if you know what I mean. Nor something deserved for having other foods throughout the week.

    Aww. That must be upsetting for you. Strange what goes through their heads.

    It's such a difficult job isn't it. Getting it right and all that. And we don't get it right. We learn as we go, and we make decisions based on what we believe to be right. It's good to question though and not just assume we are doing the right thing.

    Personally, it was very important to me not to make a big deal of the whole food thing with my children. I have 2 boys...now aged 22 and 18. Both of whom have a brilliant relationship with food. Could be luck mind you, but I like to think that I played some part.

    I think some of the things I did might seem a little 'different', but I based it on my history, and what I wanted to work.

    I never talked about good and bad foods. As they got older I would talk about what foods do for them. Yum...this will make you poo well :D Yum, this is good for building your bones. Yum, this does sweet fanny adams for your body, but tastes nice :D

    I didn't deprive them of sweets, but nor did I keep them in the house (well....not in a place they would find them :D). I never made a routine of them either. Never chocolate on Sundays. Or chocolate if you are good...or after a hard day at school.

    But chocolate happened at times. Sometimes people bought it for them. Sometimes we would pass a shop and I would randomly buy some for no other reason that just....I did. ;)

    It was more important for me to build up a good relationship with healthy foods, rather than a relationship with 'unhealthy' foods. So rather than demonizing the unhealthy foods, I tried to do exactly the opposite of what we do with those foods...by transferring it to the healthy foods (well...except as treats..as I'm not sure I like the idea of any foods being a reward).

    So, for instance. My youngest son and I used to make fruit salad in the evenings. It was a special together time, and fun. We tried all sorts of different fruits and sat down together to enjoy them.

    I wanted to build a picture with him. An emotion. A memory of fruit belonging to a time when he was relaxed, happy, etc.

    When you think about it, all 'good' times, Christmas, birthday, family outings, special occasions etc have unhealthy foods. Later on we have these foods and the reward system in our brains remember how it felt when we had them before. It was fun...it was a good time and so on. It's not just about the actual food, but the memory imprint in our brains that connect the food with a previous occasion...be it good or bad.

    I wanted the boys to connect good food to a good occasion.

    Now they've grown, I don't have much influence, and I can see ways that I could have improved this theory, but a bit late now.

    If I had it all over again, I'd do the same, but I'd include healthy eating parties, outings etc. Maybe Veg Night with a DVD, or Fruit Picnic at the beach...and so on :)

    Just some ideas. Not saying you are doing anything wrong, but maybe just some suggestions :)
     
  4. judith55

    judith55 Silver Member

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    I worried about all this stuff as well and now my son is 17 I've had mixed results. But overall he has a very laid back approach to food apart from sometimes being too lazy to make food if I'm not around and so resorting to Supernoodles. I did have some rules:
    1. I home-cooked everything even babyfood. I know this sounds earth mother-ish but I couldn't bear the thought of all those additives and flavour-enhancers. I wanted him to learn to enjoy the full taste of food. Hand-held blender, bulk-cooking and freezing in ice-cube trays was how I coped as I worked fulltime. Puddings were fruit or yoghurt.
    2. Eat it or leave it. After 5 mins it goes in the dog. I refused to be held hostage by my son messing about at meal times. If he didn't eat it he couldn't ask for something later and must wait until next meal time. If he did claim starvation (say as a delaying tactic at bedtime) he got a slice of plain bread to fill his tum. I never wanted him to learn to eat everything on his plate if he wasn't hungry but I wanted him to understand he couldn't waste food and then pick later. If he did finish all his food and said he was still hungry, he got more food. I trusted him to listen to his own body clock.
    3. Explain the whys and wherefores (like KD says) - they really can understand lots. Because of my son's health he had to go on a strict diet at 4 and he was so good about it. He took a packed meal to birthday parties and even turned down attempts by other's to sabotage his diet by explaining that it would make him ill.
    4. Nothing banned. He could have anything in moderation (apart from when he was on the diet) including chips, coke, choccy and sweets.
    5. When my son later got into fitness training he already understood a lot about food and used this to ensure he ate the right foods.

    We always have crisps and chocolate in the house and he eats too much sometimes but he seems to know when to ease back. He also "taught" himself to eat lettuce, onions, tuna and drink water as he genuinely believed it would be being good to himself.

    Sorry this is a bit long but because of my food hangups I wanted him to be easy around food and he really is. Apart from the typical "hollow legs" which is obviously galling when you see the amount he eats lolz. Hope this gives you some ideas.
     
  5. hchappyh

    hchappyh Silver Member

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    chocolate bananas
    Like you, I also have 2 kids, but mine are a few years older - 6 and 3. I've been very lucky so far with them as they are the two most unfussy kids I know when it comes to food. They'll eat practically anything, including fruit and veg. My 3 year in particular loves fruit. A while back I offered him a biscuit and he threw it on the floor in utter disgust and said, I want an apple! So he had an apple! My 6 yr old when at nursery, they were having an exotic fruit tasting session and they brought out some mango - she loves mango - but told them she had never had it before so she could have extra! Clever!

    Anyway, I cook all my food like judith55 does including all their weening food as babes (loads of ice-cube trays etc too). And still cook everything from scratch. My kids get a snack every day after school of a biscuit or sweet or something, but that is the only 'bad' food they get. In my daughter's packed lunch box she has a sandwich, tuna, egg, cheese, cream cheese (even smoked salmon on occasion when its on offer!) and then a stick of cheese, a yoghurt, and then 3 pieces of fruit and of course a drink (usually water)..her lunch box often comes home empty. She also has a veg snack in the morning at school. She likes to count how many pieces of fruit/veg she has a day as she heard that you are supposed to have at least 5 and she likes to beat it if possible. She also understands that yoghurts are good for you and always has at least 1 glass of milk a day (she gets that it will help keep her strong and healthy). She loves her 'naughty' food too, but knows she can't eat loads of it as it makes you ill and you won't grow up big and strong. Hopefully my son as he gets older will get the same understanding.

    Chocolate bananas I wouldn't worry too much as what you are doing sounds sensible, keep with the fruit and cheese snacks but also let them enjoy the 'naughty' food, otherwise maybe later in life they may just gorge on it....my 3 year old never liked chocolate until recently and even now he'll only eat a little...I never stopped him eating it, just gave him sweet, sticky fruit which he really enjoys.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
    xx
     
  6. chocolate_bananas

    chocolate_bananas Silver Member

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    Thankyou so so much for your replies, i was feeling very hormonal last night and got a little worked up i think :eek:

    I too make most things from scratch, and i already do the thing of talking about the foods she eats and what it does for her, such as eggs make you clever...lol.

    I have never denied her of any 'naughty' foods, just given them in moderation, i think i have just been going wrong in referring to them as treats and giving them as rewards for good behaviour. I don't want her to have this mindset as she grows up. I want her to look at it as just food, knowing that she can take it or leave it. And like a pp said, knowing it's not great for you, but it tastes good so a little every now and again is ok.

    I love the idea about veg nights etc, it really is true about acssociating food with memories, i've never thought about that before.

    I suppose the answer is down to leading by example, she wants what i eat. I eat pretty well, therefore so does she, and when i have some chocolate she'll be having a bit too...just because we want some! I think i'll just go back to the star chart we used when potty training...i really need some sort of reward system to get her to sleep in her own bed everynight and things!

    Your lovely ladies, i didn't expect such detailed replies! Thanks again for the great advice :flirt2: xxx
     
  7. hchappyh

    hchappyh Silver Member

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    chocolate bananas you are more than welcome. We are all going through the same stuff. It's good to talk and I find the advice on here is sometimes better than that of my friends and family because friends can tell you what you want to hear, whilst on here, its more often the truth as we've got nothing to loose.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    xx
     
  8. Isabel B

    Isabel B Full Member

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    HI chocolate bananas,
    Just read your post! I know how you feel i have two children, daughter 5yrs old and boy 15months. Im lucky both my kids eat healthy food i cook most things from scratch.
    They dont really eat chocolate but we do alot of baking, so i always stick alot of fruit into muffins!
    The kids grandparents did used to give the kids what they wanted so i had a quiet word and now they are alot better and try to avoid giving them too much sweet stuff.
    I think its just good to go with what you think is best. As long as you dont make food into an issue it shouldnt become one(hopefully) All we can do is give our kids the best start we can.
    Good luck x
     
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