I have 4 siblings and it's interesting to observe how my mom's attitude towards sweets affected us. With me and my brother (eldest 2), she was incredibly strict. I only had sweets once a year during Chinese New Year. I would gorge on it. This carried in to my late teens. In my teen years, my mother gave up restricting, and I would eat sweets to my heart's content. I used to eat cakes for breakfast. I struggled with eating disorders in my 20s. But I was always on the thin side. My brother never cared much for sweets. He loves all the SAD carbs though. He's average size, starting to gain weight now in his late 20s. Both of us aren't big on sweets though. I avoid them completely because I know I overeat when I start. My brother just stops after he has enough.
With my youngest 3 sisters, my mother started to indulge in sweets and stopped caring much about restricting sweets. Her philosophy was that fruits and sweets were the same, so she preferred treats over fruit. She baked treats all the time. My sisters have a sweet tooth now. Love sweets. Dislike 'healthy' foods. Literally, they don't eat vegetables unless it's not recognizable. My sisters were all chubby kids (unlike bro and me), but leaned out as they grew older. One is very fixated on body, and eat very little (mostly junk) to maintain weight. She's constantly seeing doctors for digestion problems. One sister is very peculiar about food. Likes instant noodles, burgers, fried foods, no vegetables or fish. Last sister is on the heavier side, adopts a carefree attitude towards food. Eats whatever she likes, loves dessert. She's studying nutrition now, and is confused because what we talk about is different than she learns in school, lol. All of them are in their early to mid 20s though, so still able to stay relatively healthy.
I think it's the attitude towards food and body image that was affected the most...
I think the problem there was the unfulfilling 'normal' food, not the treats. Your description made me think of the section in 'FatHead' where he describes the body looking for what it wants, and not stopping until it gets it. If we nourish our bodies with the correct nutrition-vitamins, minerals, fats, protein, good carbs, it is probably much easier to stop at ONE treat. But how many of us were raised that way?
In the end, it depends on the individual child/adult. I was a fat kid who became a fat adult. I learned at an early age to prepare all the prepackaged foods (my mom didn't cook), so I ate a lot of mac n cheese (kraft), Rice a Roni, Hamburger Helper, tortillas with plenty of margarine, and I ate a lot of cookies, ice cream and candy. No big mystery as to why I was fat.
It wasn't until I educated myself about food and nutrition, and learned to cook with weird stuff (I didn't know that a leek was just a giant green onion!).
With my kids, I do let them have treats (Paleo-ized), every now and then. My middle son will say no to a cookie and opt for a piece of fruit, or just not have, whereas my youngest son is a sugar junkie and will chase me around for candy. It's my youngest I watch the most, because he has the same eating habits I did.
How they will be as adults? Whose to say. I teach them to cook, to shop, and intoduce them to new foods often. Only time will tell.
I never had that much candy or treats as a kid, but my brother did. I'm a bit overweight right now, and he's thin as a rail. It might also have to do with metabolism or just calorie restriction in general. Also, he's more socially adaptable than I am, meaning I care less about what people around me think, so that might have something to do with it. Finally, my brother got braces because he had crappy teeth. He got fillings when he was 7 or 8, I believe.
As the constant, my mother breastfed both of us (although I got quite a bit more of soymilk from China than my brother!) and has always kept our household pretty healthy in terms of real food when it came to meals. Even when I was a teen, she would slap away my delicious Korean or Japanese ramen if I ate it more than once a week.
Originally Posted by Kata
Originally Posted by Sabine
I let my kiddo have a couple of treats a day, and on a special occasions, like b-day parties, I am sure she has far more. I find it more important to make healthy food appealing to her, involve her in cooking and understand the difference between hunger and craving; generally healthy and generally unhealthy options, and enjoy being active. She is 6 after all, and she can worry about the finer points when/if she actually has problems with her weight.
My mom was on me since I was twelve about not growing fat/being fat. I never did grow horribly fat, but I was overweight for a while after I had my child. I am wondering if it had been any different if the food was not snatched away from me & I was not endlessly lectured to not eat pasta, bread etc in conjunction with being lectured on how clumsy and hopelessly nonathletic I am.
Last edited by Leida; 12-17-2012 at 08:41 AM.
I feel like it's a lot more complicated than ate/didn't eat sugary food. HOW it was restricted, or not restricted, is important. I think my friend's eating habits had more of an impact on me.
I'm 44 and during my childhood we had cookies and candy around
I also received an allowance that I would blow at 7-11 on 4 candy bars
a day, that would be consumed on the roof of my elementary school with
my best friend.
We had soda in the house, but it was diet, and tasted nasty, so we never
drank too much of that (tab) until Diet Coke got their act together and made
When I moved out at 18 I never went gangbusters on crap, but I could have.
It was just always around as a kid, so I never saw it as a novelty.
My husband's parents were never "anti-crap" but they were not brought up on it
(farmer's children) and never had it, so my husband's parents never bought it.
My husband never went gangbusters on it when he became an adult, and even
now, when I pork down a couple candy bars, he says "I'm just not a big sweets eater".
Yeah, I know.
Now, my OWN children, 7&10, have the opportunity to eat candy and cookies if they like
at any time.
The 7yo couldn't care less, but the 10yo will starve for weeks to get his grubby little mits
That said, even when it's open season (like now, holiday time) they (he, the 10yo specifically) does
not gorge himself on any of it.
Halloween - both kids trick or treated for THREE HOURS and got ELEVEN POUNDS EACH of VERY
You know who dug mostly into it? ME.
I finally threw out the rest of it yesterday in the garbage can. About 16lbs.
My 7yo weighs 45lbs and my 10yo weighs 55lbs. Definitely not gluttons on crap by
any means, and will never be out of their freaking car seats/boosters until they're 18, I'm sure.
The husband and I were the same way.
Anyway, that said, there is a Mormon family on our court, with five children, who are my
children's friends. They do NOT get unlimited candy, cookies or crackers at their disposal.
So, when they are over here, they have a one track mind to eat as much shit as possible before
they go home.
One little girl sat in my 7yo's room just STUFFING her face with TONS of halloween candy while
my son looked on, agape.
Before anyone says anything, like how could I let them come over here and eat all this crap, their
mother and I are best friends, and she told me that she couldn't care less WHAT they eat when
they're over here. So that's why I let them.
I have no idea what they'll become when they're adults, but for now, every one of the kids are VERY
tiny and skinny. Not in a bad way, but just in a genetics way.
So who knows if they'll go balls out on crap when they move out of the house, but I do see, for them,
that when they have access to it, they strap it on like a feedbag.
Anyway, there's my story.
p.s. case in point about my own kids - I baked cookies saturday night - recipe
was for 96 cookies. Right. I made 35 BIG ones. Kids had about 5 each total,
between saturday and sunday, husband had maaaaaybe three, and you know who
ate the rest? ME?!?!?!? There are only four f*cking cookies left because I SUCK and
I have no off button.
But hey, speaks volumes of my children....... yanno, if I have to look at it in a positive
So now, here I sit, after two days of Cookie Debauchery, wheat and oat bloated. Grrr.
I think that if any adult eating habits had their root in your mother's food provisions, it would be the absence of fat calories, not junk food, that caused your sense of deprivation. A few avocados for lunch and some bacon fat probably would have fixed that chicken...ugh
Originally Posted by Ann
This is a tricky one... I do know some kids who weren't allowed to eat ANY junk who, when they grew up, went all out and ate what they liked (and drank copious amounts of alcohol etc.). I try and take a more moderate approach with the kids. I don't ban them outright from junk food, although I don't have any in the house. I do let the kids bake themselves treats occasionally, though (yup, non primal stuff with flour... BUT at least the ingredients aren't as bad as the crap you get in boxed treats, like... they know to use real butter instead of margarine or vegetable oil).
I have just seen too many instances of people who were "not allowed" to do particular things as kids going all out as adults and doing them! I prefer to educate my kids, but let them make their own decisions. Fortunately, while they still enjoy treats, they're horrified by the thought of eating margarine and other fake "food". My oldest son went away for a term and all they had to eat was margarine (well...obviously they ate other food but they had no butter lol) and when he got home he couldn't WAIT to eat real butter again! He also moaned about how many cheap starchy foods they had to eat (he shared a group house with about 5 other boys and they had to plan their own meals and budget etc. and it seemed there was a lot of bread and pasta!!).