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  • FIRST POST
    • fabforty
    • By fabforty 11th Jun 17, 6:32 PM
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    fabforty
    Do you expect your kids to ask for food....
    • #1
    • 11th Jun 17, 6:32 PM
    Do you expect your kids to ask for food.... 11th Jun 17 at 6:32 PM
    I had an interesting conversation with a couple of other mums on a play date last week, so I really just wanted to gauge opinions.
    DS is 6, and normal height and weight for his age. At his age, I expect him to ask first if he wants something to eat, even healthy foods such as fruit or raisins. The answer is usually 'yes' (although by no means always) but I don't want him to just graze and snack whenever the mood takes him. I also want to know what he has eaten. Last week during a play date, he asked if he could have an apple - his friends' mum was really taken aback by the idea that a child has to ask for food in his own home! As long as it isn't sweets or chocolate then her son (who is also an average height and weight) is free to help himself to things like cereal, bread and fruit. It left me feeling pretty draconian I just wondered what other parents do?
    Last edited by fabforty; 11-06-2017 at 6:50 PM.
Page 2
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 12th Jun 17, 1:03 PM
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    TBagpuss
    I don't have kids, but growing up, it varied by age. When very young we would ask. Then gradually became more independent. I think at 6 it would have been fine to take an apple or other fruit from the fruit bowl, but would have had to ask for anything other than that.
    As we got older then it would be fine to make a sandwich or bowl of cereal or similar things, but we had to check first before using things such as meat where they were likely to be part of a meal plan, and to let whoever was cooking know if you were not planning to eat with the rest of the family so they don't cook too much.
    We would also be expected to ask before helping ourselves to treats such as cakes or chocolate (mostly, I suspect, because when we were small those things were in limited supply and my parents wanted to ensure that thy were being air to all of us!)

    I seem to recall when visiting friends who have young children it's normal for them to ask first
    • clairec79
    • By clairec79 12th Jun 17, 1:05 PM
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    clairec79
    The 6 year old asks (and sometimes he will decline what I'm willing to let him have 'no I don't want fruit I want a biscuit' - then you aren't actually hungry are you?)
    • fabforty
    • By fabforty 12th Jun 17, 1:16 PM
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    fabforty
    Thanks for the replies, it's interesting to hear other views. It's not something that I would expect him to do when he's older, just for the time being. It works for us for now, but I realise it's not for everyone.
    • Skintmama
    • By Skintmama 12th Jun 17, 1:38 PM
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    Skintmama
    Ultimately I think it is whatever works for you and your family. I didn't have any rules about asking but in practice my children did choose to check with me that they could have something to eat. They also respected what I had to say in response.

    There were some instances of things being harvested from the garden without permission but this tended to be their friends, who were unused to things like strawberries, carrots, apples and peas being ripe for picking. This didn't annoy me and I didn't think they were rude. I wouldn't have liked them to feel guilty about it either.

    Food is something that I don't like to make a big thing about. I believe that understanding your appetite, regulating your own intake and making healthy choices are important elements of having a good relationship with food.

    That said, active teenagers, and boys in particular, are something else! I had to make sure that there was plenty of decent food for the preparation of ad hoc "snacks" to keep them going between meals and asked them to check that something wasn't required for a meal (half a roast chicken, for instance!). I remember my own mother putting a lock on the freezer to protect the burgers and sausages within from my brothers. She also padlocked the pantry, which contained the fridge. I think I got off lightly in comparison!
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    • borkid
    • By borkid 12th Jun 17, 2:01 PM
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    borkid
    I have to say, I wouldn't have left them out if they weren't to be eaten!
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    This chap also helped himself beer out of the fridge!

    If I am given a box of chocs I don't see why I should have to hide them away. Most times I have chocs by the sofa to eat when I feel like it, I can just eat one and leave the rest as well. The coversation in the family goes " were you keeping them for something" " no just help yourself ".
    • borkid
    • By borkid 12th Jun 17, 2:07 PM
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    borkid
    I can't remember. But their height and lack of ability to make things (like a sandwich) would have restricted what they could reach/have. That can be a downside if you always expect them to ask you, they can get to an age where they are more than capable of getting something themselves, but continue to ask you to do it for them.
    Originally posted by Spendless

    Not really you tell them to do it themselves but only use x,y,z

    My brother was a pain and no consideration he'd drink all the milk if let anywhere near it and my mum had to hide it, it couldn't be left in the fridge safely. Money was very short so someone taking anything like that impacted on the rest of us.
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 12th Jun 17, 2:11 PM
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    jackieblack
    We had a snack box/drawer that anyone could help themselves to if they were hungry without needing to ask, but if they ate everything in the first few days it stayed empty until the next shop.
    If they wanted anything else they had to ask/check in case it was earmarked for a particular meal/day/recipe.
    Also, we were on a pretty tight budget so just helping themselves to anything they fancied might have meant empty cupboards by the end of the week!
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    • pogofish
    • By pogofish 12th Jun 17, 2:41 PM
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    pogofish
    Nope - they should beg obsequiously!
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 12th Jun 17, 2:44 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    This chap also helped himself beer out of the fridge!

    If I am given a box of chocs I don't see why I should have to hide them away. Most times I have chocs by the sofa to eat when I feel like it, I can just eat one and leave the rest as well. The coversation in the family goes " were you keeping them for something" " no just help yourself ".
    Originally posted by borkid
    I don't think you have to hide them, just put them away if you have guests or people in the house who you don't want to eat them.

    I think, generally, food that is left out is generally considered to be offered to eat. I often have a bowl of grapes out, I wouldn't complain if someone had one! A friend of mine always has a bowl of dried fruit and nuts out for guests to nibble.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 12th Jun 17, 4:13 PM
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    FBaby
    I think mine asked until they were about 8, that is until I start to say to them to help themselves and they didn't need to ask me.

    The problem came when they started secondary school and were alone at home after school and they took the 'not asking' to be open-ended. Thankfully the novelty wore off and after putting on some weight, they both had lost it all again when they were 14.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 12th Jun 17, 4:16 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I have to say, I wouldn't have left them out if they weren't to be eaten!
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    You're the sort of person ex-lax was made for .... you'd get a special invite back to mine ... and I'd make sure there were plenty for you to "steal".... and plenty of opportunity for you to do so...

    If it's not yours, you shouldn't ever take something!
    • Kayalana99
    • By Kayalana99 12th Jun 17, 4:53 PM
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    Kayalana99
    I think it should vary on age, but I left my 3 year old to eat whatever fruit he liked he'd sit and eat the whole bowl.....
    People don't know what they want until you show them.
    • sarahsays
    • By sarahsays 12th Jun 17, 7:04 PM
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    sarahsays
    We've never restricted the food our children could take and they are both normal heights and weights. When they put on a little weight pre-teens, I just took them swimming more to burn it off. I think if something is restricted, the child just wants it more, although obviously you try to make sure the food in the cupboard is healthy. Also, I would be afraid that height would be restricted inadvertently if diet was restricted - even if this was for the right reasons.

    As the children got older, more chocolate and crisps crept into the house, usually for lunches, but there were many instances where lunch food had to be replaced as it had been eaten in advance. Also, when they were older, food earmarked for dinners was used by them but we just took something else out of the freezer, we also made sure to have plenty of fruit in the house. We have a very relaxed attitude to food usage in the home, although this does mean that our food budget is fairly high.
    My husband and I eat when we want to - we'd be very annoyed if someone told us what and when to eat, and, though I would advise my children on healthy options, I let them make their own choices. Again, I often made different meals for different people and, especially when studying, they would have put in requests for chocolate.
    The only time my children would have actually asked me for food was when they wanted me to go and make it or fetch it!
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 12th Jun 17, 7:28 PM
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    MERFE
    I think it should vary on age, but I left my 3 year old to eat whatever fruit he liked he'd sit and eat the whole bowl.....
    Originally posted by Kayalana99
    All 3 of mine would do this and they would do it quickly before anyone else ate it. My youngest 6 will ask 'what can I have to eat' Half way through eating a sandwich. He'll be given options for when he has finished or told to finish and see if he is still hungry. My kids are not starving by any means but I do need to make sure there is enough to last packed lunches throughout the week so no free for all here.
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    • EconomicsGirl
    • By EconomicsGirl 12th Jun 17, 7:54 PM
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    EconomicsGirl
    Neither of mine have to ask for food and the upside of that is they can make sandwiches etc by themselves. Both normal height and weight.

    I think in your house you can have what rules you like.
    • sulkisu
    • By sulkisu 12th Jun 17, 8:07 PM
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    sulkisu
    :

    As the children got older, more chocolate and crisps crept into the house, usually for lunches, but there were many instances where lunch food had to be replaced as it had been eaten in advance. Also, when they were older, food earmarked for dinners was used by them but we just took something else out of the freezer, we also made sure to have plenty of fruit in the house. We have a very relaxed attitude to food usage in the home, although this does mean that our food budget is fairly high.
    My husband and I eat when we want to - we'd be very annoyed if someone told us what and when to eat, and, though I would advise my children on healthy options, I let them make their own choices. Again, I often made different meals for different people and, especially when studying, they would have put in requests for chocolate.
    Originally posted by sarahsays
    I try to be relaxed about food as well, but not to this extent - sorry. Obviously it works for you and that's fine , and my kids are much younger than yours; however even when they are older, there is absolutely no way would I be okay with an 'eat whatever you can find in the house, even if it's earmarked for dinner or lunch boxes and we'll just buy more' or making several different meals for the family, not unless they had special dietary needs. That would drive me nuts.
    Last edited by sulkisu; 12-06-2017 at 8:09 PM.
    • onlyroz
    • By onlyroz 12th Jun 17, 11:35 PM
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    onlyroz
    For a six year old, yes.

    Mine are allowed to get their own breakfast, and my son can get an after school snack if he wants, but on the whole I don't want them raiding the cupboards without asking - and certainly not for junk food.
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 12th Jun 17, 11:43 PM
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    Spendless
    This chap also helped himself beer out of the fridge!

    If I am given a box of chocs I don't see why I should have to hide them away. Most times I have chocs by the sofa to eat when I feel like it, I can just eat one and leave the rest as well. The coversation in the family goes " were you keeping them for something" " no just help yourself ".
    Originally posted by borkid
    Is he from a different country/culture or brought up by someone who is?

    We have relatives in Canada, though they were born and lived in England until their late teens/early 20s. Once when we were visiting they told us that in Canada that it would be considered bad manners to expect the host to wait on the guests and get them things to eat/drink. The host should be able to take it easy and the guests help themselves.
    • xXMessedUpXx
    • By xXMessedUpXx 12th Jun 17, 11:52 PM
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    xXMessedUpXx
    I always asked for food, healthy snacks like fruit was help yourself but if i wanted crisps or anything that was a "treat" i had to ask for it. Never did me any harm.
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    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 13th Jun 17, 2:15 PM
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    ska lover
    This question brings anxieties for me as I remember this like yesterday in my own childhood. Food and even drink was used as control in our house and it gave life time issues to me and my siblings


    My own little ones had a far more relaxed allowance, snacks, yogurt, bread, sandwiches, cereal, fruit, all up for the taking. The only time I may have had something to say was if they had taken the evening meal, but kids don't do that do they, they want a quick fix
    Blah blah blah.
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