How do you regulate "treats"?

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

How do you regulate "treats"?

Postby Violet_Cue » 05 Mar 2013, 02:00

J has started looking for and asking for things I consider to be treat foods on a regular basis. One of his cm's is constantly apologising for giving him junk (cookies, cupcakes, etc. She doesn't even count the crappy breakfast cereal. But there have been a bunch of birthdays there, it was the same thing last year.) I just don't know what is "extreme."

Some examples - cookies - I give him 1 on most days he is with me all day. This could be a baby arrowroot, or 3-4 mini choc chip (snack bag shared amongst him, DH, and myself.) - I won't let him have before nap most days. I try to stress that they are for only sometimes. Today he was happily redirected to red peppers, so I think wanted something sweet.

Fruit snacks - he got a taste of gum drops at a Christmas party and has been in love since. I don't think of these as bad for me, but they can't actually be all that good for a toddler? These are the "real fruit gummy types." One packet max... and I try to avoid more than 2 in a week.

Chips - nacho type - we have been having guacamole lately to add a veggie to and otherwise veg light meal. But he is likely to eat 2 chips for everyone he dips. I think he likes the salt... but my BLW history makes me cringe at the sodium. Haven't seen any light in salt (should by pitas or something but am selfishly thinking of me and DH) so short of licking them... (again, maybe once a week, more likely once every 2 weeks.)

And - junky foods - nuggets and sweet potato fries - so easy, I know he'll eat supper, and if we haven't had them in a while he starts pulling all the dips out in order to convey they should be in rotation again. Do I need to start making home made nuggets? (Is it easy?) Or am I okay with them being every two weeks?

Thanks (backs away before disclosing how he reacts to take-out pizza boxes...)
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Re: How do you regulate "treats"?

Postby BigFlower » 11 Mar 2013, 13:46

We try not to have too much "treat" food in the house so we can say truthfully that we haven't got any X but we do have Y or Z so which would she prefer. If we have it in the house I usually give some to her if asked, I don't want to get into "good" and "bad" too much, or setting things up as forbidden and therefore more attractive or going towards food as reward etc. So personally I think keeping the stuff out of the house is the easiest way to get there. DD is old enough now that we can talk things through with her a bit more, e.g. she can't have biscuits now as it will nearly be dinner time and they will fill her up too much so she won't have room for dinner, however she could have a bit of cucumber or apple to tide her over as that won't fill her up so much. Also she knows that foods do things for our bodies (vague idea only but she kinda gets it!) so we sometimes say that we won't have too much of X because although it's very tasty it hasn't got very many vitamins in so we need to make sure we eat lots of different foods for all the things our bodies need.

Personally I wouldn't be too bothered by nachos once a fortnight, as long as most of the rest of what he eats is low/no salt.

No idea re making nuggets as very useless in the kitchen!!

FWIW we have a dinner of oven chips, baked beans, veggie burger/sausage about once a week, it is easy and quick towards the end of the week when energy reserves are running low.

Not sure that helps at all?!?
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Re: How do you regulate "treats"?

Postby FestiveTidings » 11 Mar 2013, 20:41

Your J sounds a lot like my Roo. Loves the sugar, salt (and the pizza man!).

However, when I am concerned about his diet I change a few things. I stopped buying the store bought cookies/biscuits/cakes and made them myself, without as much sugar or bought more fruit instead. As BF said, if he asks for it but we don't have any then he gets something else instead.

Nachos I adore too. Can you try frying tortillas to make your own? Either that or I would buy the lowest sodium brand you can find.

The fact you are worrying probaby means you have nothing to worry about!
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Re: How do you regulate "treats"?

Postby 3KiwiChicks » 11 Mar 2013, 20:58

Do you have enough time to do some baking with him? He is at a great age for enjoying stirring and pouring and then you can bake some healthier options and still have 'treats' in the house.

We have some home baking in the house and a 'take out' night on Fri. The kids have a lunch box made up for them every day that they can help themselves to. I put one sweet thing in most days, once its eaten its gone. Mind you my two are a bit older, at two they were getting sweet things more infrequently.

I think that if you get into a routine with food it makes it much easier to police what they are eating... its also easier on the child as they know what to expect. Then its not so much that you are saying NO to takeout or sweet things, its just not the right time/day. So maybe afternoon tea can be something small and sweet, which means an apple for morning tea. Or Sat take out day. Sun baking day...

GL! Its so hard when other people are feeding them sweet things. I try really hard not to use the word 'treat' as I dont want the kids to think its special... its just a 'once and awhile food'. Talk about what healthy foods are and how some foods arent so good for you.

Does he like cars? At that age I had some great success with Alex talking about how his body is like a car and needs certain fuel to make it run well, other fuel is not so good and makes his engine run funny.

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Re: How do you regulate "treats"?

Postby Violet_Cue » 11 Mar 2013, 23:03

Thanks! All good ideas!

When he doesn't see them for a while they are very out of mind, which is good. A lot of things seem a bit easier with him at second cm these last few weeks. He is asking for less tv and isn't as bothered by the "treat" things around. I will only entertain a treat or cookie in the afternoon post nap, so it makes it easier to say that it isn't the time of day for something.

I do have to do more baking with him. He is enjoying helping cook too, so I should be starting to do more.

He is car (well more truck!) mad so I'll try that next time as well!
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Re: How do you regulate "treats"?

Postby catkin » 11 Mar 2013, 23:39

When we get a bit too unhealthy, I try to make more effort to do "special snacks" - we do a selection plate of little bits of fruit, nuts, seeds, chopped veg, cheese, olives, whatever we have around really. Probably mouse's favourite thing. It's me setting a bad example with biscuits and cake :(
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