Tuesday, June 22, 2010

To treat or not to treat?

Let me say first off that this post is not meant to offend! I respect that other people make different choices when it comes to what they feed their kids. This is just my take on things ;)

We choose to feed our kids a fairly healthy diet and we model this by eating healthily ourselves. We make sure the kids are eating at least 5 serves of vegies and 2 serves of fruit each day. They do occasionally have biscuits or cake but these are all homemade. We never give them processed or packaged food. Actually, I refuse to buy cakes and biscuits from the shop at all because I think I can make it cheaper myself at home (but that's another story altogether ;)) They think a cruskit or some dried fruit (or even a container of oat bran!) is a treat. Who am I to break this illusion?

These days they get a few more 'treats' than they used to. It was easy when Jacob was little because he didn't know that he was missing out on something. But now it's harder. He's seen other kids go straight for the sugary stuff at parties and other places and he has learnt to want these things. And of course Esme sees him eating this stuff so it's not really fair for her not to have some too. I wish we could have kept her away from that sort of stuff longer, but that's the way things go with number 2 :( That sounds like I'm letting them eat whatever they like at parties but it's not the case! I will either direct them to healthier options at a party or limit their intake of sugary stuff. Both the kids have never had juice (apart from the occasional mouthful) and soft drink not at all (and won't for as long I can manage it!!) But they understand when things are a 'treat' and they know they do not get them all the time.

The problem occurs when I go out with friends' and their children for coffee. I have a friend who orders her children milkshakes or babycinos. The kids ask for it as soon as we get in the cafe. Call me stingy, but I have never ordered my children a drink at a cafe. I refuse to pay money for some milk froth and don't like the thought of them drinking sugary milk. Also, I think it sets a precedent. Do it once and your children will forever be asking for it. A bit like buying your child a lolly from the supermarket for them being good. I don't want my children to expect to get something from being good. I don't want them to expect some sort of sugary treat when we go to a cafe. Although I do admit to letting them have a cake today so maybe I am a bit of a hypocrite? (In my defense, it's my birthday tomorrow so we all had something special lol)


Melissa said...

I'm going to do exactly what my mum did. Especially on the lollies and treats at the supermarket.

"You don't get if you ask for it"

We would hint and say how great things look, however we would only get it if mum offered it as a treat.

And on the cafe and sugary milk, i'm with you. just a note. babychino's are generally free with any other hot drink. (at the places i go anyway) That said, the milk they use, is a type of skim milk because it froths better. So only very very rarely with Fin get one.

Narelle said...

The cafes I've been to have always charged for the babycinos! I think some places just try to make money where they shouldn't unfortunately.

So agree with you on the treat thing though. I think it is fine to treat occasionally but not everytime you go out and not so the kids get to expect it!

Sparkling Adventures said...

I don't even buy coffees or drinks for myself, much less the children!

Yes, I resist the treats. I don't buy the kids stuff when we go out. In the supermarket, if they're starving-hungry, they can eat slices from the brown bread that I buy. That's all. And afterwards they may have a banana.

But I'm still in my own mentality where food is a treat, and I would like to get away from that with my children, so they don't see it as a reward.

Aargh -- the pitfalls of motherhood!

Sue said...

Well I used to be like you, and then it got harder and harder,with older kids and we liked to have a treat so I would try and pick the healthy option date scone or something then at one stage they wanted a treat and their own drink while we had a cuppa too and lo and behold the bill was averaging $20!!! So I wish I could be like that again, I do limit and they share a drink now as I used to carry their water it was easier but I don't now and I get that they are thirsy too. My favorite moments though are the free ones! Trips to the park with homemade stuff and brought along drinks, Narelle keep it all up as long as you can you are giving them a great start to life, well done.

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