sweet treats and not quite healthy food - how much?

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.

sweet treats and not quite healthy food - how much?

Postby Hayzlenutt » 16 Apr 2016, 04:52

I'm wondering what a reasonable amount of sweet treats and not-quite-healthy food is?

For the first 3 years my daughter probably only had sweet treats at parties and special events. We only kept enough in house for hubby and I to scoff when she was asleep. We don't do dessert.

Now she's old enough to ask for treat foods and she's asking for chocolate, ice cream and cake all the time. We don't keep these in the house so it's only really an issue if we are out and about. If it were just me I would normally treat myself to serving if I'm beating out, socialising or doing the weekly shopping. I have a really sweet tooth and a very fast metabolism which means that I never put on weight. But I am not sure if I feel comfortable feeding her sweets this frequently (maybe once a week but we are going out a lot more frequently lately). How often do other people allow sweets?

Then there is the not-quite-healthy foods like jam, juice, honey and Vegemite (we're in Australia, it's very salty). We have them in the house because I think they are okay occasionally but daughter is asking for them all the time. How frequently do people feed these and how do you handle it?

At the moment we're telling her that sweet treats are special occasion foods and only allowing it about once a week when we're out as a family.

With jam, honey etc I tell her that it's a sometime food and judge whether she can have some depending on whether I feel its an appropriate occasion. I.e. not a meal time, how much she's had already, when was the last time.

Then there is homemade sweets. How often do people make them? And what rules do you have to ensure it's not eaten all at once?
Last edited by Hayzlenutt on 17 Apr 2016, 03:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: sweet treats and not quite healthy food - how much?

Postby Lily » 16 Apr 2016, 08:55

That mostly sounds reasonable to me. I allow treat foods like ice cream, cake, juice etc if we're out, so probably two or three times a week. I don't let him have sweets or crisps except on very special occasions, as they don't have any nutritional value at all. Home made cake or biscuits are allowed at the end of meals or at morning snack time, and never at other times, so he knows it's not worth asking all day.
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Re: sweet treats and not quite healthy food - how much?

Postby yorkshirepudding » 16 Apr 2016, 18:59

We're still working through the relatively small Easter stash of chocolate here, he gets a little egg every few days, mainly when he asks but sometimes I say no if he's had a large amount of sugar already eg a cake. I make sugar free cakes and flapjacks for regular snack/ pudding times, the flapjacks have a load of dried fruit in so still a lot of sugar but I tell myself it's better than refined, processed foods! Moo doesn't ask that often when we're out, I might share a cookie or cake with him but he's used to having a small amount. I can see lots of Icecream requests coming up over summer, I will probably restrict it to 1 a week, partly from a cost point of view! We talk a lot about what food is good for your body and how too much sugar is very bad for your body and teeth, and remind him how much he has had if he asks for more on one day. He doesn't always like it but I think it helps me say no. With marmite here, he hasn't asked for a while but did love it for ages, I would just not offer it for a few days, offer hummus/ cheese instead, and explain in the same way if necessary. If she's really pestering you, could you give her 2 or 3 or whatever you decide tokens for less healthy foods/ treats for a week for her to use and then they've gone? Although might cause more problems than it solves!
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Re: sweet treats and not quite healthy food - how much?

Postby lizandimo » 16 Apr 2016, 21:31

My DD definitely has a sweet tooth, so she asks for chocolate/cake/ice cream relatively frequently. She will kick up a fuss when I tell her no but I think she knows really that these are not all the time food items and I think I end up saying no more than yes due to the frequency of the requests. If she wants cake (e.g. after my birthday she was oogling the cake in the fridge for days) she can have a little slice after dinner, but only if she's made an effort to eat her dinner. This is the general rule if I'm going to offer some dessert. Often I just do yoghurt with fruit mixed in but even that isn't every day. The day she took 2 tiny bites of bread and said 'I all done. I want cake now' I said no and a major meltdown ensued!

With homemade stuff, I have a bit of a baking habit but I tend to make most stuff after she's in bed and then stash it somewhere she can't see it. If we've baked together e.g. cookies or something, I'll let her have one and then put them away and she'll get the odd one over the next few days - my DH also has a sweet tooth though so things don't last very long!! It also seems that out of sight out of mind works pretty well with DD!

If we go for coffee or something we will often share a cookie/cake or something and occasionally if we have lunch out we will have a cookie or something afterwards. We don't do sweets/candy (e.g. skittles and the like) or lollipops at all (or at least I've managed to make it this far without her having them!). Last year we did go out for ice cream every couple weeks (sometimes more) because we have a really good/cheap ice cream shop in town. Last year I would just share mine with DD, but we went a couple weeks ago and I let her have a tiny scoop of her own but I'm not sure we'll do that every time.

I do sometimes worry that she has too much sugar (I mainly worry about her teeth), but the in-laws seem to think she doesn't get enough and always seem to be pushing cookies or more dessert! It seems to vary depending on the time of year (e.g. Christmas!), whether we're on holiday etc. What you're doing sounds totally fine to me.
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Re: sweet treats and not quite healthy food - how much?

Postby junglewonderland » 17 Apr 2016, 12:50

I think the fact that you are concerned about it probably means you are fine! It sounds like your family eats well.

I don't worry too much about salt, as the kids tend to self regulate that. They do get a Vegemite sandwich every day, but the amount in it is very small. They never ask for salty foods. But, I really restrict sugar. Koala has my super sweet tooth and an insatiable appetite for sugar. So the only time he has cakes, biscuits, juice etc is at birthday parties or at other people's houses if their kids are having some. He has a nut butter and jam sandwich once a week but apart from that no jam, honey etc. We don't really buy treat foods when out. At home the only sweet thing he has is fruit (whole, not dried).
My approach is to just not have sugary or treat foods around, or buy them, because then he would just ask all the time and I would find it hard to be consistent about when he can have them and when he can't. It does mean that he goes pretty hard at parties though! He can eat a LOT of cake! It also means that when we do have dessert or go out for ice-cream, it's a SUPER special occasion.
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Re: sweet treats and not quite healthy food - how much?

Postby LeahSmith » 28 May 2017, 03:40

My husband has a sweet tooth and he usually bring some chocolates and sweets for my son when he goes home from work. Well, I'm the one who keeps on reminding them to regulate their intake of sweets. Our son is just 4 yrs old and I refrain him from eating junkfoods. But when it comes to sweets, I regulate him so he just can have at least 3 small chocolate bars in the morning and I don't let him eat chocolates during evening.
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