My mother-in-law smuggles junk food into our house.
Growing up she was taught to never come empty handed when visiting someone’s house, which poses a problem for me since she visits often. And she has a chocolate addiction. This is a problem for three reasons:
1. I am at risk for devouring all of it by myself;
2. My son is at risk for devouring all of it by himself if I haven’t gotten to it first;
3. My husband will devour whatever my son and I haven’t gotten ahold of.
I’m glad I don’t have to fight over the junk food with my daughter yet. But once she gets off the formula, I think we’re going to have issues! My 4-year-old son asks me for ice cream every morning and every morning he gets the same answer.
Since I’ve been a SAHM, I have tried to encourage healthy eating for my son…part of my strategy is to bad-mouth junk food. Yes, I point out junk food’s every flaw and have been known to make up rumors about junk food (pop tarts make your muscles shrink is my personal favorite).
I know, that’s not really a mature way to win my son over, but it’s effective at the moment, and I don’t think that junk food will get its feelings hurt.
- But another (more appropriate) way that I try to encourage healthy eating is by having my son prepare fruit cups for himself. He has his own shelf in the fridge where his drinks, snacks and leftovers live. He loves helping in the kitchen and this is one way to help him be independent….he doesn’t have to depend on me to make him a snack…he can just choose something from his shelf in the “fritter frator” as he calls it.
When we go to the grocery store, we talk about junk food and healthy food. We talk a lot about muscles in the grocery store also because he is motivated to eat things based on how “many muscles” it will produce.
He gets to pick a “treat” for being good in the grocery store. This treat thing really helps him to be on his best behavior in the store because I use it as a negotiating tool when he’s starting to whine or doesn’t want to mind. It’s also a way for him to appreciate junk food when he does get it because it really is a treat if we don’t have a wide variety of junk food in our house.
He usually chooses pop tarts, sugary cereal, or marshmallows as his treat. The best part about him getting a treat for good behavior in the grocery store is that we can pass by 10 million cookies and he doesn’t dare ask for any of them unless he is willing to trade his treat in. I buy the smallest package possible but the treat still usually gets enjoyed over a period of time.
One day, he wasn’t much fond of the tomato soup lunch I prepared for him, so I gave him the “Deceptively Delicious” cookbook and let him choose which food he wanted me to prepare…based on the pictures. We went to the store and got the ingredients, so now I’m armed and dangerous. Since he can’t read, I definitely had an unfair advantage!
When I prepared my first recipe, he helped me add the carrots and didn’t even realize anything out-of-place with putting carrots into a mexican dish. Junk food was here first, before my son was…so I don’t think we’re going to rid our house of it anytime soon!