Nutrition - How Strict Are You?

Updated on July 21, 2012
T.M. asks from Tampa, FL
18 answers

Here is my disclaimer first - I DO carry 30-35 extra pounds that I should lose....

I recently became part of the PTA board at my son's school. There was a meeting the other night and they had a salesperson come to give us his pitch. He brought chocolate bars and handed them out to everyone. Not one person actually consumed the candy during the meeting. After he left, there was just outrage about the thought of kids selling candy in school as a fundraiser. I was a little baffled as that was the absolute norm when I was in school...I was always selling some type of candy. There was a discussion about selling cookie dough...and there were questions about trans fat. At any rate, I was so surprised about how focused all these women were about nutrition.

I am more of an "everything in moderation" type of Mom. I don't absolutely forbid many foods in my house. For example, yes you can have a you cannot eat five. I do buy whole wheat breads and serve vegtables for dinner. Admittedly, I do struggle with portion control and moderation myself. I am working on that. But, I really don't obsess about every mouthful of food that my kids eat. My kids are healthy and not overweight at all.

These ladies seemed so focused on nutrition that it makes me wonder if I am too laid back on this one....How do you Moms deal with nutrition in your house?

ETA: That is what is strange about it. The Spring fundraiser IS cookie dough...somehow that is SO much better because there is no trans fat! I don't understand why cookie dough is OK, but chocolate bars are evil :)

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answers from Oklahoma City on

No you're not. There are many many moms that seem to be so focused on this right now. I feel bad for their kids most of the time. Don't they know that when those kids grow up they will live on candy and junk food just to make up for the stuff they were denied as a child?

I see it all the time. One of my friends never tasted chocolate until she was an adult. She eats it every day now.

Kids who are restricted as children will grow up to go crazy nuts when they can make their own choices to have all the things they were denied as kids.

Let kids eat a more healthy way but still be normal kids. Keeping them from doing stuff other kids are getting to do is just setting them up.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I don't have a problem with the selling of candy or cookie dough specifically -- I hardly think it matters -- do they think the kids are going to be successful selling carrots? I just have a problem with kids selling things in the first place. I hated fund raisers when I was a kid, and I hate them now. We have no family in the area, my children are very shy and hate going door to door (as do I and I'm fine with not doing it, since I don't want them talking to strangers anyway), and my husband can't take them to work, and I stay home with the kids. We have NO ONE to sell things to, and I never did when I was a kid either, so I was always the unsuccessful kid, the one who couldn't win the prizes, the one who felt left out.

ETA: Last spring my daughter had to sell candy to fund a school camp trip that cost $92. I told her I wasn't planning to buy any (the candy bars cost $1 and the kids earned 50 cents each -- lesson in math -- why would I double my own cost of camp?) It ended up being $92 out of pocket for two nights of camp that, if she didn't go, she'd have to sit in a third-grade classroom for three days (she was in 4th) or have three days of unexcused absence. Hardly seemed fair, no matter how it worked out.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

I'm with you, everything in moderation.

I also agree that if you deny a child something, once they do get a hold of it, they go crazy with it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I am not strict overly strict about food, but do care about nutrition. We do eat "all things in moderation". Chocolate is good, cookies are fine, fruit and vegetables are yummy, too. I think some of the public "outrage" is for show. Parents trying to outdo each other in how "good" they are.

On the other hand, trans fat is truly evil and so are the food companies that knew it for years and kept selling it to us. There are healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, etc.) and completely unhealthy fats and trans fats are the worst for our health.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hah! They are likely worried about themselves, more then the kids. It seems like the parents always end up having to buy so much of the fundraisers!!

As for me, we currently have 95/5 ratio. 95% good stuff, 5% bad stuff. My son is only 3, so I am in complete control of his diet. We loosen up as he is getting older, attending more parties, holidays, grandparent's houses, etc. I don't want these things to be a forbidden fruit. No sense in setting him up to go crazy on junk, soon as he gets the chance. Ya know? If we want junk, we do eat junk. We don't obsess. Junk is more of a treat in out house, rather then the norm. We don't keep junk in the house ever, but if we want it, we go out. My son asked for cake the other day, so we went to a bakery and bought a piece. We went out for ice cream last night. He'll have some candy at my parent's house tomorrow. We don't say "no" often, because it's moderation. When something is practiced in moderation, there is no reason to say no.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Yes we had some moms like this in my Girl Scout troop. They refused to participate in cookie sales because, gasp, Girl Scout cookies are so unhealthy!
Really? It's once a year, the boxes of cookies are pretty small and it all goes to a great cause.
Honestly these are usually the most controlling type A personalities that act like this, not to mention they are generally uptight and always complaining about something. The joke between my husband and I is that these are the kind of women that REALLY need to get laid, lol!!!
Any-hoo, I'm with you, my family eats healthy most of the time so cookies and candy for charity don't bother me in the least, and it's not likely they're going to raise any money selling rice cakes and kale, right?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I strongly object to kids selling things AND to them selling crappy junk food. We eat healthy food in our home. We do not buy junk. We do occasionally go out for ice cream - but no - I believe (and the research supports) that our life long eating habits are formed when we are children. I do NOT want my son to have a lifelong battle with food because I was lazy when he was little. I just love the 'everything in moderation' argument. How many moms on this site plan to apply this to smoking, drugs and sex? Why not?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

I'm on board with you. Everything in moderation, except for I know if it's in my house I'm going to eat it. There's never been freezer burned ice cream in my house! I do try to avoid sugar with my 15 month old so he'll be fine with eating fruit and consider it a sweet...rather than ahem, ice cream :P But that said, he has been getting tastes of ice cream/sweets that we are eating. I'm not going to eat something and forbid him from having it. We only live once, I'm going to enjoy food. I try to find healthy options, but sometimes a good buttery pasta dish is awesome. I think these moms are in a category that's a little much for me. Around here the kids still sell candy bars and cookie dough. What are they supposed to sell? Potatoes??

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am pretty laid back. More like you - moderation. However, I always wonder why the chocolate and food fundraiser?! Because guess who ends up buying and eating most of it - ME -LOL.
What about candles or non-food items? My beef (pun intended!) is that it is the SAME fundraiser every year and all the kids sell it to the same neighbors:)
I'd say you are in the majority outside of the PTA.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

when it comes to food i do think that moderation is the best approach.
but i'm happy that schools are rethinking pushing crappy junk food as fundraisers. i don't think they're snooty patooties. i hope your PTA can find something else to peddle.
S. (who hates fundraisers anyway)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I buy healthy stuff.
My kids eat healthy stuff.
Everything in moderation
I don't sweat it nor am I a dictator about it.
We all eat pretty healthy.
Sure we may have goodies or treats in the house, but it is not predominant.
My kids eat treats when out or when at parties etc. Fine. They don't overindulge. They have good self-monitoring.
They know what junk food is or not.
We teach them the basics of that, and they learn it in school too, from their Teachers. At their school, they are encouraged to not bring junk.... making it a "healthy" atmosphere if snacks are brought in by kids. They even send a memo home about it, to encourage it.

I just go by moderation and am not a control freak about it.
And in the big world out there, not every food can be censored.
But sure, teach our kids about nutrition. So that, as they are in the big world out there, they too can "discern" the foods that are around.
Even if that is fundraisers.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

i'm like you! everything in moderation! 80% of the time I eat very healthy foods. 20% of the time i eat junk food and lots of sweets. i also work out most days of the week. some days though i am a complete slug. it all balances out in the end. i will disclaim that i have recently lost 32 lbs on Weight Watchers and feel fantastic. I keep on the moderation path so the weight doesn't sneak back on. And my kids are completely normal weight and eat much like i do.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

We are not particularly strict in my household, but I would also be opposed to these types of fundraisers when the time comes. I'd rather give the school $20 than have my child wander around trying to peddle crappy junk food.

That said, I love girl scout cookies. If my daughters decide to be scouts in the future, I'd be okay with selling the cookies. I don't even care about the trans fats issue. Go figure. Hypocrisy flourishes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

We don't eat fast food, often and eat mostly organic. When my son gets treats it's usally homemade. However there are times when I give my son a candybsr or a bag of chips. I don't see anything wrong with special snacks and treats as long as its moderation.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I bet you big money that half of those horrified parents got in their cars and ate that chocolate bar on the way home.

The whole appeal behind the candy/cookie dough is that it is a consumable. You don't end up with a whole bunch of items that you don't really need. The panic over any amount of junk food is a reaction to the obesity epidemic, I get it. But if you feed your kid a healthy diet and run his little butt around every day, a cookie or piece of chocolate will not instantly give him clogged arteries. Look at Europe- ever been in a grocery store there? They have chocolate aisles. AISLES. I love Europe. The lifestyle is much more active, so tasty choclate can be a part of the regular diet without everyone ending up with adult diabetes at age 12.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I'm for moderation as well. My kids Halloween candy lasts until Easter, then their Easter candy lasts until Halloween! They probably eat one piece every day, but they also eat three (mostly) healthy meals a day, they drink water and I make sure they are active. I think these are one of those things that people are worrying about because they haven't got anything more serious to worry about. I mean, yes, we (should) all care about nutrition, but we don't need to obsess over it. I can guarantee that in war torn countries and third world countries no parent would deny their child a treat becuase it's not nutritious! They have much bigger problems.



answers from Phoenix on




answers from San Francisco on

I agree with Gamma G.

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