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MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,145)
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9/14/13 5:04 P

Congrats Ready!

READYSOREADY SparkPoints: (233)
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9/14/13 4:27 P

Thank you to everyone who has commented on this topic. I appreciate all advice. As I read through all of the posts, I think it's safe to say that having the junk out of the house is unanimous. In the long run it will only hurt the kids if their mom or dad passes away at an early age. And it would only hurt them having those foods available at all times. I would be setting them up for an unhealthy/unhappy future. In my current footsteps is not a path I want them to wander down. A comment was made by someone that I really agree with. I don't want food to be a reward or a celebration. In my family everything social revolves around food. I would love for food to be out of the equation when it comes to rewards. I know it can be done to go to a social function and not eat (simply eat healthy before going). It's at times difficult because we do have someone around that we feel almost tries to "sabotage" our efforts. When we've done really well eating healthy/exercising regularly in past, this person would continuously ask us to go out to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Or ask us if we want some of this or that (cake, dessert, anything fattening) and after the first "no thanks" will continue to ask a few more times. We just want to scream. This person is a family member and is also overweight. She does not have any desire to change her life. We feel at times that she wants us to stay right there with her. It's so aggravating. It's so sad. We've invited her to join us on our journey but she declines. Right now, we have to focus on us and getting better.

2WENDYDENE Posts: 715
9/14/13 3:29 P

When so many of our health issues can be treated with what we eat, it seems like an easy choice to eat right. Children will eat what their Parents eat. Thankfully, we did not live close to fast food temptations. It was not convenient,cheap nor an option. Today's parents have a difficult time of it. Because processed food aka poison, is handy, ready, cheap and on and on. Forget the guilt, there are other ways to show your babies that you love them, that they are being rewarded etc. Good Luck

SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
9/14/13 3:11 P

If it's no good for you, why would you give it to your children. They do not have different nutritional needs that require tons of sugar, fat and salt. Nutrition isn't just about weight. It's also about health and keeping your body running optimally.

I also disagree with this comment:
"Instead of looking at it as punishment, you can turn it into a reward. For example, if they do all their chores on Saturday, you'll take them OUT to the ice cream shop."

Food should be neither reward or punishment. It should be an emotion-free zone. I think many of us have seen the pattern of thinking of poor food choices as a reward can easily lead. It took me years to unlearn that behavioral pattern ingrained in childhood.

Have a great day at work? You deserve a Snickers bar. The system may work with a child because you control the means and frequency to get the treat, but an adult who has learned this has access to money and stores. A reward should always be a healthy choice -- like a trip to a favorite park.

VARELSE Posts: 69
9/14/13 1:39 P

Have the kids help you pick out healthy treats like fresh or frozen fruit, yogurt pops, nuts, air-popped corn, etc, that you can all enjoy.

Some of my friends kids love edamame and dried seaweed. I used to be addicted to fresh grapes as a kid. Snacks and treats don't have to be full of processed fats, flours and sugar to be yummy and kid friendly.

LADYCROFT7 Posts: 92
9/14/13 12:16 P

I grew up in a no salt, low salt household because of health issues my mother has. Since we ate as a family that was the norm for me and now as an adult, I still buy my food that way. As far as straight up "junk food" goes, I think it's different for everyone. Even growing up with limited access to it, I did go through a period where I would binge on it. Nowadays I tend to eat healthier things but I have found healthier options of things like chips and will occasionally have some of those. The big thing is portion control, that's the key to the kingdom.

What jumped out to me though was your concern that you would be punishing your children by taking an action that helps you care for yourself. Don't ever feel that you have to apologize or feel guilty for taking care of yourself. Your children may not be old enough to appreciate this idea yet but in the long run they want you around for as long as possible and if you need to have junk food out of the house in order to eat healthy than that's what you need to do. You are in no way being a bad mom by putting yourself first here (besides the fact like has been consistently stated, the stuff ain't that great for them anyways). Especially when the children are young what's good for mom is in the long run good for them. They may say something about not having some of these foods but it's oppertunity for you to teach them not only about eating healthfully but by example you'll be teaching them that it's important to take care of themselves and by doing so they are showing love for the people they care about even if it doesn't feel that way at the time.

MARYBETH4884 SparkPoints: (142,121)
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9/14/13 10:02 A

They may never develop a taste for the junk! If you provide plenty of naturally sweet and healthy treats they won't realize that they are missing out. This needs to be a life style change
and there is nothing wrong with starting your kids off young. Make homemade treats occasionally and make it a special time. I think we are all so accustom to daily desserts and treats they are no longer special or memorable. Freeze any leftovers so you don't over indulge. Good luck on your journey!

GOALWTIN7 SparkPoints: (2,121)
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9/14/13 7:44 A

Start baking together healthier cookies but limit the amount they have. You see treats as a form of love and withholding would be punishing them in your eyes. Change the thinking to feeding them healthy foods and making them strong in body and mind is the love and letting them eat a lot of junk is harming them, not loving them.

I saw a great healthy cookie demo on YouTube I will be trying. One cup dry oatmeal mixed with one banana and half small box of raisins. You form them like cookies and bake. How healthy is that. The comments were they the cookies were delicious.

BLINGQUEEN:O) Posts: 249
9/14/13 12:08 A

I have tried both with 5 kids. My older 3 who lived around limited "treats" and a more controlled environment, ended up getting junk at school and friends houses and 2 have weight problems as young adults. My 2 younger ones, (11 years later) have had ample treat availability. I teach them moderation and portion control. They also have seen the consequence of Mommy over "treating" herself and then healthy eating. They actually encourage me to stay healthy now. Neither, thus far, have a weight problem and actually stop eating treats because it is not such a big deal.

JCAROLL SparkPoints: (74)
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9/13/13 11:04 P

As much as it was grounded in me "Waste not, Want not", I would say...Throw it Out! As long as it's there, you have the "excuse" of "I'll start tomorrow". If your like me, tomorrow never comes unless you make it today...
Good Luck!

VKKESU Posts: 1,010
9/13/13 9:42 P

Not much more to say .......... but do be prepared for the occasional comment. My parents have the ultimate "sugar retreat". My son went to grandma's house once and told her he was so relieved that she had "real" food. LOL

I also had to put a stop to them sending "treats" home "just for the kids" . That was an ongoing battle that eventually I won.

LYNNIEV Posts: 394
9/13/13 3:51 P

@FLOYDIE40, you said -

"I'm just wondering if the 'everything in moderation' people feel the same way about eggplant, spinach and goat brains. Do you go out of your way to eat sardines a couple times a year because they are fabulously good for you?

We all have foods we choose to never eat, so why hang on to these so called treats as if they were something you cannot live without???"

Because we like them. I have foods I choose to never eat, we all do. And the foods I like that I probably shouldn't be eating, it's not like I COULDN'T live without them. I simply choose not to.

BITSNPIECES38 Posts: 981
9/13/13 3:32 P

Oh, and I forgot to mention - this is a lifestyle change. Do you really think you'll never be anywhere in your life again without being around junk food? Part of this process is learning how to manage the change in your lifestyle, and that includes stumbling sometimes, but it also includes the pride of knowing you passed over the donuts at the company meeting or the wings on superbowl sunday, etc. Living in a bubble doesn't give you the chance to flex your will-power muscles. (Being in a bubble when you are first starting out, that could be what you need. But a few months down the road, it should be a lot easier.)

LSANGANGE SparkPoints: (10,484)
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9/13/13 3:24 P

You are not depriving your children if you do not have cookies and ice cream for them everyday. AND....they may thank you for it when they get older.

When I was growing up, my mother was a Hippie and I was not allowed sodas, candy, ice cream McDonalds growing up...all we ate was healthy, non processed foods.

Now that I am an adult, I do not have a problem with cutting out fast food and sugars at all.

You will not be harming you children in anyway by not keeping these kinds of foods in the house

BITSNPIECES38 Posts: 981
9/13/13 3:17 P

I think you make a good point about people getting out of hand when they have something they feel deprived of (think of some of the kids from strict families in your freshman year in college, remember any of them going overboard on things they weren't allowed to do at home? Be it the parties, or music really loud, or clothing really over the top.)

What I might do if I were you - buy the snacks in the 100 calorie portions. And I would have the kids clear out an area in the bottom cabinets or the pantry that they don't mind getting to, but you don't really like it because you have to bend down, or get on your knees, etc.

If you break and have to have a snack, you'll have to do extra work to get to them. And you will have an undeniable measurement of your consumption by how many bags you take. It's not the same as eating a few more chips out of a big bulk bag that you log but might guess on the low side - every bag you eat is 100 calories.

MARATHONME2978 SparkPoints: (684)
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9/13/13 3:11 P

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet so forgive me for not reading all the answers BUT For me I find if I keep the junk that I don't like for them then they don't feel any change..For example I HATE Gummie fruits! With a passion but my kids like them so I keep those... I hate Little Debbie cakes ( I didn't use to but as I eat healthier they taste worse) so these are not tempting. Are there any foods you don't like that they enjoy?

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
9/13/13 2:47 P

Don't feel guilty about keeping unhealthy food out of your home. You are caring for children's health as well as your own.

My 13 year old dd has always weighed less than average. We still limit junk food in our house because it isn't good for her that do not have to do with weight- teeth, mood, general health. It doesn't mean she never has it- just not 24 hours, 7 days a week. We have discussed nutrition and why there are some foods we only have occasionally so she knows it isn't a punishment not to have them at home. She has yet to go on some crazy binge while out and about even though she likes those foods.

You can take the kids for ice cream at a restaurant for a treat every so often or occasionally let them choose a small bag of chips or candy that can be consumed quickly.

FLOYDIE40 Posts: 34
9/13/13 2:37 P

I'm just wondering if the 'everything in moderation' people feel the same way about eggplant, spinach and goat brains. Do you go out of your way to eat sardines a couple times a year because they are fabulously good for you?

We all have foods we choose to never eat, so why hang on to these so called treats as if they were something you cannot live without???

GIPPER1961 Posts: 765
9/13/13 2:17 P

My advice is do not bring that stuff into the house under any circumstances. For an occasional treat (and I mean occasion not every day) take them somewhere for a cookie or ice cream. Make it an event. They will remember the special treat time when they are grown up. You don't have to eat it, ,have a cup of coffee or whatever you like but don't consume the treat.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,145)
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9/13/13 9:37 A

I think it is perfectly legit to not purchase processed foods. We have a flour-free and sugar-free household.

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 9/13/2013 (09:38)
LYNNIEV Posts: 394
9/13/13 8:50 A

I completely agree with Lulubelle - make your own pizzas instead of ordering out and just limit the junkier foods. Heck, I still love my potato chips on occasion. But they're a treat now rather than an everyday thing, like they used to be.

Everything in moderation. I don't deny myself the foods I love that aren't quite as healthy, I just limit them. If I didn't allow myself the occasional serving of potato chips, I'd go bananas and end up eating a whole bag.

ADZY86 Posts: 1,150
9/13/13 8:26 A

I wouldn't keep them in the house. Instead of looking at it as punishment, you can turn it into a reward. For example, if they do all their chores on Saturday, you'll take them OUT to the ice cream shop. Then you can all sit in there, they can enjoy their ONE ice cream treat, and maybe you can find something for yourself that will fit into your targets for the day, or you can have that ONE treat yourself too. Then when you all get home, you know it's a healthy-food zone. Everyone wins emoticon

LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (37,106)
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9/13/13 8:17 A

I think that "treats" are only treats if you have them occasionally. When I was growing up we had poptarts in the car on long drives to the cabin, and they were a car trip treat, not something we ever had for breakfast. As someone else said, candy was a Halloween thing, and at Easter our baskets had one or two really nice pieces of candy and then some gifts--crayons, legos, etc.

We had other family food rituals that were fun, and healthier alternatives to junk food. Make your own pizza, taco night, etc., are ways to have really kid friendly foods, and to help them make smart choices about eating.

I think that you cannot forbid junky foods, because then you'll make your kids think that they are somehow value-laden, when in reality, they are just food, not "good" or "bad". Food is just food, but the majority of the time we need to make healthy food choices.

LYNNIEV Posts: 394
9/13/13 7:18 A

Growing up, our junk food was limited. Soda's were a special treat and we didn't have free reign on the pantry or the cookie jar. If we wanted something 'junky', we had to ask for it. And we didn't always get it. My sister and I would be totally ecstatic when we'd come home from school and smell mom's fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Oh! It's treat day! We get cookies!

So yeah. We weren't allowed to eat cookies and candies anytime we wanted them. Candy was a Halloween and Easter thing. Cookies were a "when mom decides to bake them" thing and once they were gone, we had to wait until she'd decide to make another batch, which may not have been for another month. Soda? Never in our fridge. We got soda whenever we went out to eat, which wasn't a lot because my mom was a heck of a cook and we ate homemade meals 90% of the time. Soda was a "dinner night out" thing only. Chips? Yeah, we were allowed chips, but that too was once in a while. When we'd come home hungry from school and wanted a snack to hold us over until dinner, we got glasses of milk, peanut butter sandwiches and cheese and crackers. Also things like apples, bananas, any kind of fruit.

And you know what? We were okay with that. However, we were never allowed to get used to junk food in the first place. So you can't miss what you never had, in this case free reign on the snack cupboard. If your kid are used to grabbing what they want at any time they want it, I would make gradual changes. It's not necessary to get rid of it all at once. Just say hey, once these chips are gone and once the package of cookies is gone, we're going to try and substitute it with healthier foods.

And to those of you saying that if we were taught as kids to eat healthy that we may not be struggling today, well... that could possibly be true for some people. But, as you can see, I was raised on good, wholesome foods and both my sister and I have struggled with eating disorders all of our lives. My sister went through counseling for bulimia and me, I've been on both sides of the spectrum - I went through years of starving myself to stay skinny (I honestly believe I was borderline anorexic because I got myself to a point of being literally terrified to eat) and I've also stuffed my face so disgustingly bad that I ballooned up to 220 pounds.

I've been struggling with my weight since I can remember (I'm late 40's now) and I was raised in that good, clean, wholesome environment. So I'm not honestly sure it really matters how you raise your kids, as far as the eating habit thing goes. Heck, we lived off the land as well. My mom and dad always had a huge garden that my sister and I would get involved with and growing up at Lake Erie we ate fresh fish on a regular basis. But once I was older and more independent, I ate crap. Or I didn't eat at all.

Sorry for the long-winded post, "Ready", just spewing some top of the morning thoughts. Again, I would make gradual changes for your kids. For you, find satisfying substitutes to your favorite junk foods. Since I love to cook, I found ways to make even the most fattening meals much healthier. I even do a mock Big Mac when I'm in the mood for one, haha.

MARI-SERV SparkPoints: (0)
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9/13/13 5:36 A

One of the best things you can do for your kids is to teach them to eat healthy NOW!

Why is it that we (my self included) feel guilty if we don't feed our kids junk food?

If we were taught healthy eating as kids we would most likely not be here struggling today emoticon

Edited by: MARI-SERV at: 9/13/2013 (05:38)
SUSANK16 Posts: 2,635
9/13/13 2:28 A

Keep the junk food out of the house. The issue is not that they are overweight - the issue is teaching them from a young age to make healthy choices. As we age our metabolism slows down and we often have to deal with changes in lifestyle such as working all day rather then playing outside. I wish I had the right habits for a lifetime instead of constantly trying to relearn them. I recently moved to a home that has a lot of snack food in the house and yup went right back to the old habits. Now none of my clothing fit and just got back into counting calories and making sure I exercise. Your new good habits can only be good for your children in the long run and why oh why would you feel guilty about doing the right thing?

LGANDAB SparkPoints: (5,443)
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9/13/13 12:40 A

How many people here wish their parents had kept the treats out of the house? ME!

Phase out the junk over three or four weeks, and then limit it to a special treat when you're "out". Dessert could be at a restaurant or from an ice cream truck, but not from your own kitchen. They'll learn to deal.

SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,229
9/12/13 10:06 P

I definitely agree with those on the thread that you don't want to make these foods an everyday part of your life, but should make them a part of your life in moderation. What I don't agree with is turning them into a reward. I like the idea of having that one special time where you get out of the house and get something extra special.

BLUSHIOUS SparkPoints: (10,449)
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9/12/13 9:13 P

The foods that they like are NOT GOOD FOR THEM. They are processed crap. Please understand I'm saying this about the food and this is not a reflection on you. That stuff is no good. Why not teach them to eat healthier foods so that they live a healthy life and don't poison themselves and face the same struggles that you are facing? They are young now, but are going to be old one day. Won't eating nutritious foods for a lifetime benefit them more in the long run than consuming poison? And, just think your actions affect future generations, too. Teach them healthy habits, and they will live and teach healthy habits to their children. You will have future healthy generations in your family, and all because you took the time to address this NOW. Think of how awesome THAT will feel. IMO, by allowing them to continue down this ARE punishing them. P.S. I'm not following this thread, so anyone who wants to address me directly, please visit my page or message me.

Good luck! emoticon

9/12/13 3:39 P

I absolutely agree with the suggestion that YOU INVOLVE THE CHILDREN IN DISCUSSION. Keep it positive, and give sound/age relevant reasons why it is important that the entire family plan healthy foods and snacks.

There a great resources here at SP for healthy school lunches you can have the kids help select and prepare at home, as well as healthy after school snacks.

Sit down together and make a "group list" and take them shopping to buy the healthy stuff; accept their input about what they LIKE that is healthy.

With positive discussions, and meal planning/ shopping as a family activity, they will feel in control and involved.

Also a great suggestion: have the whole family bike or walk for a family outing to get ice cream, etc. OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.

I don't have children, but I know not to have unhealthy "treats" in the house. I would not be able to resist, and would gnosh the entire box/bag/container in one sitting!

Children would also enjoy participating in cooking healthy meals, especially if they participated in the planning.

You are a GOOD parent NOT to keep "garbage" food in the house!

RNORMAN75 Posts: 283
9/12/13 3:18 P

I'm right there with you, I have three teenage boys so you can imagine the food I have to keep around! I don't buy as many things like Little Debbie's as I used to but I do keep "junk" food around for them. They are very well rounded eaters, they get plenty of fruits and veggies too. Typically I'll make a homemade treat such as a cake, cookies, banana pudding on Sunday and they eat it until it's gone and then they have to wait until the following Sunday to get something else like that. I try to make something I won't have a huge problem staying away from. There are always crackers, chips, fruits and yogurt for them to choose from and as often as not I'll see them pick a yogurt over a pack of crackers. It all comes down to will power no matter what is in the house. I'll binge on anything I can find so keeping sweets out of the house in itself doesn't keep me from binging.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,249
9/12/13 3:04 P

don't feel bad for limiting your children's access to nutritionally deficient foods. it's not punishment to not have that stuff around. heaven forbid you stock your pantry with healthy foods that will help teach your children what a balanced diet looks like. and while it's possible to include the things that you're wanting to keep out in a healthy diet, they certainly aren't necessary in any way.
do you think making your kids brush their teeth is a punishment? or making them clean their rooms? or making them do chores? odds are your children aren't too fond of any of those things, but you're teaching them how to take care of everything around them and those are valuable life skills. even though they don't like doing them, most people will need to know how to at one point or another. and that's not a punishment howevermuch they try to guilt you for it now.

9/12/13 2:28 P

I think the suggestion was already made, but I really like the idea of going out for a treat rather than keeping sweets in the house - if you can walk or bike to the ice cream store, it can be a family activity that focuses on the together time rather than on the treat.

FLOYDIE40 Posts: 34
9/12/13 2:18 P

My grandkids and I decided to make cookies for the neighbor across the street who helped fix my grandson's bike. My grandson said, "do we have to give him all of them?"

We said not all, but baking for gifts is a great way to include a few treats without overdoing it. While we all need to be healthy, I'd hate to live in a world where neighbors didn't bake a thank you now and again.

FLOYDIE40 Posts: 34
9/12/13 2:17 P

My grandkids and I decided to make cookies for the neighbor across the street who helped fix my grandson's bike. My grandson said, "do we have to give him all of them?"

We said not all, but baking for gifts is a great way to include a few treats without overdoing it. While we all need to be healthy, I'd hate to live in a world where neighbors didn't bake a thank you now and again.

9/12/13 1:33 P

My daughter takes her daughter to Whole Foods on Saturday and lets her choose one cookie. It's kind of a ritual they have, Ruby looks forward to it and there is no junk in the house. I was there last weekend and Ruby looked forward to getting her cookie, she picked the one she wanted, they brought it home and she had it for dessert--but only ate half! Kids are not as much into the junk as we think, a lot of it is projection. If your kids get really nuts about some particular thing they want, you can decide if they can have it, and if yes, then take them out and buy them a small bag, or a single serving each. It's not an all-or-nothing thing. They'll see you taking care of yourself, and that's what you want to model, not the any-snack-you-want-at-your-fingertips lifestyle. Good Luck!

JMOUSE99 SparkPoints: (194,936)
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9/12/13 1:12 P

My father has a sweet tooth, and my mother always had something for dessert. I don't ever remember her serving cookies though - it was usually something fairly healthy. Also, we were only allowed candy on Saturdays (candy day!). This worked pretty well, until we were old enough to go out and buy our own!

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,244)
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9/12/13 1:01 P

As others have said already, it is far from a punishment not to have things like ice cream and cookies in the house all the time for the kids. Those should be special treats every now and then for everybody--not regular, everyday foods. My kids think fruit is a dessert (and why wouldn't they--it's sweet and delicious!) and regularly ask for things like carrots with hummus for snacks. They do get junky treats from time to time, whether that be ice cream or cookies or cupcakes or whatever, but they don't expect them every day, so they appreciate them more when they do get them.

Helping your kids make healthy food choices and learn what's best for them makes you an *awesome* mom, not a bad one!

WHEELS54 Posts: 492
9/12/13 12:37 P

You and your kids could make some healthy treats together. It would be a teaching moment. There are tons of recipes for healthy snacks and desserts and your family can enjoy making and eating them together.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,371
9/12/13 12:09 P

READYSOREADY... let kids grow up enjoying healthy treats like fruits and if they want the cookies, ice cream and such...let it be outside the house. Nothing wrong with that. I you bring it into the house...let it be a one time treat for dessert...not a staple in your pantry

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
9/12/13 11:48 A

" None of them are overweight, yet. " YET.

Most of us were skinny as kids, and started gaining as teenagers. Kids exercise a lot ( play ), and burn off the junk they eat. Since your kids are genetically the same as you and your husband, why would they turn out healthy? They will end up "both overweight and wanting to lose weight and eat healthier". The only difference is, we have more junk food available today, so they will be even more unhealthy.

This isn't punishment, but concern. If you change their diet now, in a month, their preferences will change. If anything, letting them eat food that is bad for them , is being a bad Mom, not the opposite. Most Moms though, are just trying to get through the day, they aren't purposefully giving their kids unhealthy food. This idea that these foods are rewards ( the opposite of punishment ), is the problem. Of course, having Coca-Cola have slogans like, " Open Happiness ", doesn't help. It should be " Open Cancer and Diabetes ". Pringles say " Bet you can't eat just One ". They have done things to the food, to guarantee that, They KNOW you can't eat just one, which is why moderation of these foods isn't a good idea.

Start now, and make good health a family choice. Eventually you can start exercising together, and hopefully they grow up without any of the issues you and your husband face. The idea that you think wanting them to not suffer the same issues as you would make you a bad Mom, shows us how far we have come from the days of eating wholesome, nutritious, real, healthy food.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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9/12/13 11:46 A

If it's unopened donate it to a food pantry. If its open (like a half a bag of cookies), put them on a plate and bring them to your next social event and then (here's the key) leave them there. If your next pot luck is a while off, make the package as difficult to get to as possible - like in the back of a pantry, on a high shelf, wrapped in duct tape :P The more difficult it is to access that stuff, the more likely you won't go for it when you want a snack. Out of sight, out of mind.

READYSOREADY SparkPoints: (233)
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9/12/13 11:34 A

Thank you everyone for your comments! I've always thought if I didn't have the junk in the house I was a bad mom. They shouldn't have to suffer because mom has a weakness she can't control. But in reality caring about their health makes me a good mom. Thanks JENNILACEY for the dessert website. I added it to my bookmarks and will check it often :) Now what to do with the junk that is left in the house? MUST. NOT. EAT. IT.

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
9/12/13 11:03 A

We really didn't have those things in the house when I was growing up, either. Mom would sometimes buy a box of Ding Dongs and she'd occasionally put one in my lunch pail for a treat (Dad would get one in his lunch box too). Sometimes, she'd buy a bag of chips or cookies for a special occasion or an occasional treat, but they were not usually "in stock" in the cupboard and they were not regular purchases.

Kids don't need regular cookies, ice cream, etc. any more than adults do. Instead of thinking you are depriving them of "food" by not keeping stuff like that in stock in your pantry, think of it as depriving them of a healthy diet if you feed them that stuff on a regular basis. So, I agree with what others have written--these sorts of things should be occasional treats, not dietary staples. There's no need to keep a stash of them in the pantry for the kids.


Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 9/12/2013 (11:08)
JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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Posts: 2,489
9/12/13 10:59 A

Feeding your children healthy food is not a punishment just like having them do their homework is not a punishment. Food is neither a punishment nor a reward. Although eating can be pleasurable, it's main function is to fuel our bodies and provide it with ample nutrients to help it to perform at its optimal capacity.

There are plenty of healthy "treats" you can make for them and yourself, homemade. Just make enough that everyone can have 1 serving and you won't have to worry about binging on it later. Cookies, muffins, 'healthy' brownies (there's quite a few modified to be healthy recipes), etc..

Plan a special trip once a month to go out and get ice cream as a family don't buy a full container and have it sitting around the house. Make your own fudgesicles (coconut milk and unsweetened cocoa powder) or fruit and yogurt pops.

If you want to get them a bag of chips. Buy them each an individual pack but they don't need to eat these things every day. If you don't teach them that there is a time and a place for these "treats", along with other healthy habits and having a healthy relationship with food, then it very well could become a problem later on in life even if it isn't now.

I don't have many treats in my house either. I buy Bear Paw cookies occasionally and fruit snacks for treats but I usually make our own treats. They get to have their fill of cookies, freezies, ice cream and cake when we go to our in laws every other weekend. I too enjoy the foods I don't have in my regular diet but the rest of the time... we eat healthy.

Here's my favourite healthy dessert blog. Love this lady:

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 9/12/2013 (11:05)
KELLYK1027 SparkPoints: (7,570)
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Posts: 236
9/12/13 10:42 A

I don't think it's punishment. Those snacks are "sometimes treats" and not keeping them in the house might make them feel more like treats. Personally, I don't keep unhealthy food in the house, but if I want it, I can always go to the store and get it. You can use cookies and ice cream as a treat and go out and buy it only when the kids earn a treat. Good eating habits start young.

CANDACEMM Posts: 1,218
9/12/13 10:29 A

Have you introduced your kids to healthier snacks? Maybe a snack time of some good veggies and dip, or popcorn might work.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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Posts: 2,744
9/12/13 10:24 A

Good job not keeping the junk around! Involve your kids in helping you make healthy meals and snacks that everyone will enjoy. My mom taught me fractions while also teaching me to cook and follow a recipe. I bet even your 3yo could "stir" with some help.

My parents didn't have chips in the house after I was about 5 and I soon lost the taste for anything really salty. Now's the time to help your kids gain healthy eating habits for life.

YOGAGEEK SparkPoints: (6,917)
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Posts: 130
9/12/13 10:23 A

When I was a kid we rarely had things like that in the house and, sure, sometimes we complained about it and we might have binged at friends' houses, but overall I think we had a far healthier diet than we would have done if we were eating those things regularly. And, yes, when I went to university I had never developed an ability to moderate my consumption of, say, a box of cookies, and was known to eat a twelve-pack of jaffa cakes for breakfast. However, for one thing there's no guarantee that I wouldn't have done that anyway (plenty of my friends at uni grew up in households where such things were commonplace and binged anyway), and for another having grown up in a household where emphasis was placed on healthy eating I was better able to recognise that what I was doing was unhealthy and had better tools at my disposal to address problems in my diet.

It's not punishing your children to feed them healthy food; it's setting them up for a lifetime of healthy eating. Explain to them, in age-friendly terms, why you're doing what you're doing, and find healthy snacks to have around the house.

READYSOREADY SparkPoints: (233)
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Posts: 12
9/12/13 9:51 A

My husband and I are both overweight and wanting to lose weight and eat healthier. Here's the dilemma my brain is having. We have 3 children ages 3-10. Personally I cannot have anything in the house like cookies, ice cream, etc or I tend to binge on them. So the logical thing would be to not bring them home, right? Well, I feel guilt about not having the snacks that my kids like in the house. None of them are overweight, yet. And I feel like if I deprive the kids of chips, cookies, etc, when they go somewhere that they can have them, they'll go crazy. Part of me feels like I shouldn't punish them, when I'm the one that can't control her eating. So what would you do?

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