T.C. asks from Aubrey, TX on May 14, 2010
Am I Being Too Strict?
The food items I offer my daughter are pretty limited partially because she's really picky and partially because some things I don't let her have. Breakfast is a meal I really struggle with. There aren't much breakfast foods she'll eat. So anyways I was peeking into some of the cubbies at her school and have been watching what others are packing there kids and it seems like they have a lot more selections. They have fruit loops, oreos, sugar wafers, apple jacks, donuts, etc. I don't keep my daughter from "junk foods" completely but she doesn't get this stuff. She will have chicken nuggets or french fries occasionally but stuff with lots of sugar I've stayed away from thinking they were inappropriate for her age. But they daycare will serve cookies and wafers every blue moon for snacks and they say she really likes them. They also say she eye balls some of the other kids foods like their fruit loops. So am I thinking to hard about this? Are these items okay to eat at this age? The other kids are eating them so I assume so. If I incorperated some of these items I would have more food options for her. Opinions please :)
S.C. answers from Dallas on May 17, 2010
My 1 & 3 year old love Nutri Grain bars. They're perfect for rushed daycare days! Not 100% nutrition, but keeps them away from the pre packaged donuts.
T.M. answers from Dallas on May 16, 2010
In my personal experience, witnessing my cousin, she was forbidden to have a lot of things. when she got to Jr. high school and was able to choose for herself. she gorged herself on everything she was never able to have as a young child. It took her until mid twenties to lose the weight she put on from eating everything she was deprived of. My feeling is let them try it all. you don't have to keep house stocked with junkfood but on occasion let her try. Don't make food off limits it will only make her want them more.
B.O. answers from Spartanburg on May 15, 2010
Yes , by all means incorperate. As long as she is getting other healthy foods.ie her veggies she will be fine. As a mom we are all aware of how important breakfast is, but keep in mind this will not be her only meal for the day . You can always make up for it at lunch ,snacks and dinner
K.F. answers from Salinas on May 14, 2010
Hi- I didn't read the other posts but wanted to say you are right not to serve your daughter that junk. Honestly , when consumed everyday it is absolute poison. I too notice a lot of other kids eating junk regularly as lunch and breakfast and it's sad. There's nothing wrong with a treat, but that's what it should be not a regular daily thing. As your girl grows up there will be more and more "treats" served at school and from friends so if she's eating it at meals too it'll be way too much. Your original idea not to serve that stuff is right, just because it seems everyone else does it doesn't make it healthy. I'm certain that over the next 10 years or so America will wake up and realize what the are doing to their children and hopefully change the menu! As for what to feed her for breakfast, remember it doesn't have to be traditional breakfast food, here's some ideas:
Any type of fruit
Raisons or other dried fruit (my kids like apricots)
Natural cereal w/o tons of sugar
Homemade muffins so you control what's in them
PB & J on wheat
Whatever she likes for lunch can be served for breakfast too. Great job on parenting and being concerned about your daughter's health!
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V.W. answers from Jacksonville on May 14, 2010
If your daughter is 16 months (isn't that what you mentioned in a previous post?) then I would keep doing what you're doing. They don't need all that sugar and processed food. While it is okay every once in a while (the daycare giving her a cookie for snack time for example) you don't want it to comprise their MEALS. There is precious little nutrition in cereal, despite all the "added vitamins" they advertise on the box, and almost NO protein.
I would try to expand with things like apple slices, cheese cubes, yogurt, strawberries, etc.
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L.W. answers from Dallas on May 15, 2010
We've always encouraged a healthy way of eating for my son, too. However, he does request things he sees at school. For a fruit loop replacement you can buy the fruit loop looking Cheerios. I make my own applesauce now but I used to buy the "no sugar added" variety. For cookies I make my own but allow the occassional Oreo or "junky" food. I make a type of trail mix and throw a few chocolate chips in for fun. Not a ton but a pinch won't hurt and it's a fun surprise.
I'm not sure how old your daughter is or if you are feeding her at school but if she likes to dip you could do fruit and yogurt for breakfast. My son also really likes hardboiled eggs. If she will eat cheese then that is a great add-on. Will she drink smoothies? I make mine at home without adding sugar. My son also likes frozen waffles and homemade french toast but when he was little I would just sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon sugar on top and he would eat that rather then syrup. I would never consider giving my son a donuts, Pop Tarts, or cookies for breakfast but know many people do.
I was worried being too strict would cause rebellion or sneaky food behavior so we opted for an "everything in moderation" approach. If he makes healthy choices he may have a treat. When he was really little he thought 3 Skittles was the ultimate in treat. Now that he's gotten older he might choose a juice pop, soy pudding, or the occassional cookie.
Whatever you do remember to stay flexible...your ideas and her needs may change over time. Don't feel guilty for creating a healthy diet for her but equally don't feel guilty for the occassional cookie or nugget.
1 mom found this helpful
M.K. answers from Chicago on May 14, 2010
No, I don't think you are being too strict. It's your decision what to feed your child, and no one can tell you that you are wrong. In fact, I think you are doing great!
I don't allow the full-sugar cereals and have been able to find plenty of options that satisfy my kids. (Full disclosure -- when the Grandparents bring over doughnuts, of course I allow those treats! And they eat mac-and-cheese at the Grandparent's house too.) For breakfast, my kids love to eat MultiGrain Cheerios (they are slightly sweetened), Rice Krispies (although this doesn't have any fiber), Kix, or Crispix. Giving them the choice between all 4 seems to make them quite happy. Can you put a bowl of a new cereal in front of her and tell her "This is today's breakfast! Isn't it awesome!" Of course, I have it easier in that my kids are not sitting around other kids that have the sugary food.
As for the daycare center, I wonder if you and some other like-minded Moms could ask the daycare to rotate some non-sugary snacks throughout the week. There is nothing wrong with cookies and wafers every once in a while, but they can also be serving pretzels or apple slices instead.
But please don't give up...there are plenty of healthy choices out there! I'm sure tons of Moms will give you some great ideas!
1 mom found this helpful
L.K. answers from Kansas City on May 14, 2010
You are NOT being too strict and good for you! She already is getting some of the junk food, why have it available to her all the time? And fruit loops are garbage.
I'm not overly strict either but wish I had been more informed when my kids were younger. At least now as teenagers, they understand that I will only buy soda for this special occasion and when it's gone it's gone. I don't buy garbage cereals, or a bunch of cookies, crackers, cakes, do nuts etc because there are enough opportunities out there for them to get that kind of stuff. I remember my mother in law commenting one time that when all the grand kids would stay my kids were always the first to grab the crappy cereals, like she was saying "HA, they eat it" Of course they do, because they don't get it at home.
She (all of you) are probably so much healthier and will be in the long run. Don't second guess yourself. Check out what Dr. Sears has to say about that stuff at www.askdrsears.com
Good luck and in good health,
L. Krause, RN, Certified Dr. Sears L.E.A.N. Coach
1 mom found this helpful
L.C. answers from Raleigh on May 14, 2010
I am the same way when we are in the house. BUt when we are somewhere else I let kids have what their friend's have.(since it's not very often I think it's ok).
Our God son's parents were very strict with junk food at their house. We took him on vacation one time and stayed at the friend's house. He found 2 bags of candy in the cabinet,went to the bathroom and ate them both in the matter of minutes(he was 10)
YOu know there are healthy options out there that look just like "junk food"
There are organic cereals that look like fruit loops, it's sweet, but no refined sugar is used. Kashi makes great cookies that are packed with fiber and protein,yet again no refined sugar.
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J.D. answers from Philadelphia on May 14, 2010
There are some alternatives that are similiar to what the other kids are having, but healthier. I give my girls Fruit-a-bu roll ups... which look like fruit roll ups, but are made of almost entirely smushed fruit, and no sugar. They also have "fruit leather" which is the same thing as the fruit-a-bu, except smaller.
You can also buy unsweetened applesauce, or there is "Healthy harvest" applesauce sweetened only with fruit juice... no added sugar.
Cheerios has fruity cheerios, which look like fruit loops, except the first ingredient isn't sugar!!!! I don't even know why anyone would buy their kids fruit loops.
P.W. answers from Dallas on May 14, 2010
You are not too strict. Your way is healthier. Unfortunately soon she will be begging food off the other kids. Stick to it as long as she will eat what you send! If the day comes that she is throwing away what you send or it comes back home uneaten then you may want to re-consider. Keep it 90% healthy and add in something as a dessert.