Children's Diet

[name]Hi[/name] Berries.

I was just wondering how best to introduce the more unhealthier foods into my eldest DD’s diet. She is almost 5 years old, and she has only been allowed candy and chocolate etc in moderation, usually only every few months or so.

Our family follows (generally) a healthy diet. She gets her five-a-day every day, and I use the food pyramid as a guide when planning meals. Diet is an extremely important issue in our family, I was raised on junk and I wanted it to be different for my own kids.

I have always been able to control what she eats, but its getting harder since she started going to birthday parties and such. [name]Don[/name]'t get me wrong, I don’t want to deprive her! I just want her to be able to have the occasional piece of candy without feeling the need to eat the WHOLE bag of candy, if you know what I mean. I don’t want her to develop a sweet tooth.

Also, she has never tasted soda. I’m concerned about its effect on teeth, and in particular, how it causes tooth decay. But I feel so sorry for her when people offer it to her and she says “No thank you, my mommy doesn’t allow me drink it”. Should I introduce this to her diet too? Obviously it wouldn’t be on a regular basis, but for special occasions and such?

So, my question is, how can I introduce these foods so that she understands they’ll be a treat, but without the problem of her gorging on them when I’m not around? Sorry if what I’m asking is a little unclear. I’m finding it difficult to word!

Thanks in advance for any replies :slight_smile:

Providing a balanced healthy diet is a fantastic legacy. Good job!
I think allow her to experiment with all foods- in moderation.
Fizzy drink is just not great- in general. Perhaps mixed with a fruit juice so it more like a punch? Mind you, I was never one to give much juice either. I would highlight the need to brush her teeth after she gets home.
Parties come and go, if she does over do it a little I think that is OK as she by and large has a great diet. She will soon learn that over indulging makes her feel yuck.
If she is starting to be invited to more parties you could bring a plate of healthier snacks- eg pinwheel sandwiches, mini muffins with fruit in them or even a flavoured milk. Most families would not be offended, more likely grateful.
As a teacher, I know children often initally eat the sweets at a party but once they have a few they start reaching for the fruit platter, cheese, veggie sticks and dips.
So I guess my overall suggestion is let her experiment when attending parties but provide some familiar choices too.
In your home, keep to your healthy diet. In the long run children learn from parents as role models not from one off parties.


I keep the things I want to limit out of my house (like soda - we just don’t keep it around) but I don’t plan to limit it if it’s offered at a friend’s house when they are older or if they’d like to try it when we are out at a restaurant.

Soda hasn’t really been an issue since most people who host birthday parties here don’t offer it to younger kids. I do limit juice at home, but I’m fine with letting my girls drink as much as they’d like when they are at a friend’s house or restaurant. I don’t want it to be part of their regular diet, but I don’t want it to be something that’s forbidden either.

[name]Don[/name]'t underestimate the influence your diet at home will have on her future eating habits. My parents limited soda in a similar way, and, as an adult, I don’t really have a taste for it.

I am a mom to 4 girls, my eldest being only 3. I try to keep them on healthy diets, and my eldest’s favorite meal is salad :slight_smile: She doesn’t like any sauce, like me she likes lemon juice, lettuce, tomato, carrott, brocolli, and some kind of meat. They don’t drink pop, mainly because they are all under 5, and I don’t think kids should be allowed to drink pop like some parents allow it. My girls barely even drink juice, and when they do I try to get them to drink grapefruit juice, cranberry juice or orange juice. Chips are not a big thing, my girls rather chocolate chip oatmeal muffins, chocolate chip bear paws, goldfish crackers, fruit & veggies. They love to eat bacon for breakfast, they turn after both their dad & i for that, but when we do cook bacon I limit each girl to 3 pieces, and they also eat boiled eggs, and Eggos. They don’t like milk that much, but they do like to drink their water! I have a bit of a sweet tooth, but I try not to eat too much chocolate & candy, my girls get a kitkat bar once a month, and we bring a bag of candy into our house every two months for them. They are only young and need teeth!

I think that letting her have it when it’s offered is fine. Then day to day at home no juice or soda. As adults when we go out we eat and drink things we may not have regularly at home. Thats why dining out is a treat. This way she’ll learn that junk is occasional and the healthy balanced food she has at home is the noraml regular diet.

I think you should let her have it when at a party or restaurant… if you restrict everything from her, she will over eat/drink all the bad thiings when she’s old enough to make her own decision.

I agree with most of these comments- let these treats be for outside the home…restaurant meals, parties, holidays, ect. My daughter is a baby so I haven’t had to deal with this as a parent yet, but I know that growing up we rarely had these things unless we were going to have company over. In a way it’s bad because I was a bit deprived…I am told I would scale the kitchen cabinets to get to candy when we did have it! But it’s also a good thing cause to this day all I drink (besides coffee and wine) is water…juice and soda doesn’t really quench thirst and I just never liked it cause I didn’t grow up with it.

My one suggestion is to never introduce candy / sweets / junk when wheeling and dealing with a child. I wouldn’t want to have to dole out candy any time I had something I needed my daughter to do. I have seen friends do this with older children and it’s not good at all for their figures and it teaches them to be manipulative too!

I would definitely limit the sweets/junk to special occasions or what have you.
I wasn’t raised on junk food (we always ate pretty healthy), but I definitely drank one too many sodas in my younger days and it basically ruined my teeth due to the fact that I was doing that on top of not going to the dentist regularly (I didn’t have health insurance so I couldn’t afford to). I don’t have kids yet, but when I do, I want to better by them than my parents did for me, and that includes making sure their diet is as healthy as possible.