But I want another cookie…

The Holidays can wreak nutritional havoc on any child’s eating habits—and picky eaters can contribute much undue stress and conflict if we choose to let their preferences take center spotlight…Let it go.  The bottom line is—one day of bad eating will not ruin your child’s health, and most likely they will remember the party as a whole lot of fun!…Besides, if you’ve ever had too much of a good thing, then well, you know there are lessons to be learned that you’ll only discover for yourself via indulgence. — “Holiday Parties and Picky Eaters” by Vicki Hoefle

I’ve got three pick…um…kids who prefer to have complete control over what they put in their mouths. I gave up the fight a long time ago and it has done wonders for our relationships with each other and for their relationship with food.

“Follow your own path and let the people talk.” —Dante

Daughters with Pringles beaksNowhere have I had to do that more than in the area of feeding my kids. Judgements and opinions about kids and food flow freely and fiercely. Work your boundaries and shut them out. Give your relationships with your kids priority and fit your food values in around that. Figure out how to give…up…the…fight.

I’ll tell you the basics of how I did it, not so you can copy me, but to share just one story of someone following their own path:

  1. I set a few clear limits and enforce them at the grocery store to keep food debates out of the house (e.g. I’m not willing use my money to buy candy, soda or other sugary drinks, or anything with high-fructose corn syrup).
  2. At restaurants I’m willing to pay for one sugary drink, but no refills.
  3. Every day they have a choice to either have what I’m having or make their own meal. (We enjoy a lot of family time cooking side-by-side.)
  4. Parties are treated as opportunities to make their own choices and experience natural consequences.

This approach has worked well for us. A few recent quotes to give you a taste of the results:

  • “I didn’t like it. But I tried it!”
  • “Don’t worry, if I eat all of this then I won’t want it again for a long time. That’s what always happens.”
  • “I don’t want all that sugar. It puts plaque on my teeth.”
  • “Don’t ask if I want broccoli. Just put it in front of me.”
  • “I told my friends not to get me candy for my birthday.”
  • “I know from experience that if I eat chocolate all day I don’t feel good.”
  • “Mom, can we get this? It doesn’t have any high-fructose corn syrup and the ingredients list is pretty short!”

So find your own way to let it go…unless you want to spend a lot of precious time having conversations like this:

Explore posts in the same categories: Weeks following: Miscellaneous

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5 Comments on “But I want another cookie…”

  1. […] latest post was about how she lets her kids pick their own food, without nagging. As you know the other week Max had a sleepover, and because this summer we had no […]

  2. […] blog….and she gave a shout out to Flockmother’s blog-Twelve and a Half Weeks…and her latest post brought me to where my last post […]

  3. Heather Says:

    Hi there! I took my first Parenting on Track class almost 3 years ago, but I just found your blog and have stayed up late reading the whole thing for the past couple of days. Thank you so much! It’s so helpful. Reading it reassures me that the occasional “I hate you” notes and public “bad mom” moments are okay and that mucking about on an imperfect journey is okay, gives me so many specific examples of how to put PonT ideas into practice, and shows me where I’m weak. I could keep my mouth shut so much more, I could stand to practice focusing more on the positive, and I think not feeling on the same page as my partner who has different ideas about natural consequences is a big old button for me. And now I’m inspired to continue….

    • flockmother Says:

      Yes, yes keep going! You’ll be so glad you did. All of it gets easier and more second-nature as you go and see it working. Butting heads with your partner is really tough. Good news is that the kids will also notice what works and what doesn’t and will point it out for you!

  4. […] on some other Duct Tape Parents (thanks Flockmother) I came up with a few […]

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