5 March 2009


I've stopped calling foods healthy or unhealthy, good or bad. We don't have 'treats'. It's all just food - fuel for our bodies. I don't tell Sunnyboy when to eat or how much. We nearly always serve sweet and savoury foods at the same time. Sunnyboy has permanent access to a 'snack table' with fruit, sweets, snack bars etc. He has ice-cream available in the freezer (which he can open) and yogurts, carrot sticks, cheese and other snacks available on the bottom shelf of the fridge (which he still needs help to open). This week I've watched Sunnyboy put aside a donut and a bakewell tart (we'd been to the bakers) so he could eat broccoli first and also put aside chocolate so he could eat spinach first, and another time this week I heard him rushing to tell Nozy excitedly "Mama's cooking peas!". When Nozy cooked a christmas dinner for us the first thing Sunnyboy ate was the brussel sprouts. I'm so happy that food is such a non-issue for us, well for Sunnyboy anyway, I still have a few entrenched theories about food that I need to let go of but it's been an interesting journey.

A recent New York Times article about 'bad' foods:
What’s Eating Our Kids? Fears About ‘Bad’ Foods


  1. I've done the same thing with my 3yo daughter, with the same effect. Like you, I've seen her turn away "desserts" for vegetables - several times.

  2. We've done the same in our household and it's had lovely results. My 5 yo daughter got out ice cream for breakfast this morning but her 2 yo sister turned it down because she wanted pickles, peanut butter and rice. Now the 5 yo is eating ravioli. We talk to them about what is in the food, but unless they probe, we don't go much further than that. We have really tried to lay off the labeling.

    My mother was abusive when it came to food, starving us for several days and then making us eat moldy food the next week, so all of the kids in my family have food issues we've had to overcome. I'm glad I stumbled into this way of relating to my children when I did. It's really helped me get past some of my food hangups.

  3. I think you're on the right track too. Rather than tell my little one he can't ever have something because it's too sweet or too gummy or whatever, we work toward moderation. And it is neat when they turn down the candy cane and go for the apple instead. :)

  4. I've found that Sunnyboy may not eat something in moderation one day but it all balances out over several days or weeks, and also the amounts he eats can vary over those periods. Maybe one day he needs more carbohydrates or something else and another not. When he had RSV at 16 months he lived off breast milk and clementines for over a week. I've always believed he was able to self-regulate his eating from when he was exclusively breast-fed on demand, to when we introduced solids using baby-led weaning. So yes we work towards moderation too and I try to be aware that over the long-term Sunnyboy is able to moderate his diet himself. I just try to avoid preventing him from doing that!