Thursday, September 08, 2011

Ways in which I'm a strict mother - food

I loved the comments from all of you where you said you're stricter than I am.


So I thought we should discuss them in a little more detail so I can catch some tips :)

Let's talk food.

We are still using The Notebook and, quite honestly, I think we're going to use it til my kids go to school :)

I started The Notebook because once Kendra came home, all ___ broke loose and my memory was shot from sleep deprivation and the craziness of newborn, prem twins.

I needed to regain a little bit of control and at least if anyone asked me anything I could refer to the book and answer with relative confidence. Instead of saying, "I have no idea what time her last bottle was or how much she had" (yes, it was that bad).

We love having the notebook for notes between V and us, and I can see when things change in their learning.

We adapted the categories over the two years and now keep track of times they eat and drink, and what that is, sleep times during the day and activities.

This is where D and I often have a chuckle in the evening when we see V writing "learning the alphabet" and "sang songs", etc. Too cute. It helps us feel a little more involved in their days.

We also seem like rock star parents when the kids go see the doctor or paed. When I took Connor the other week, I could tell her exactly when he started feeling out of sorts because V had a note that said, "Connor cried a lot today" LOL

Anyway, so we have some set things we feed the kids for each meal:

breakfast - weetbix, pronutro, oats (in winter)/ muesli (they had their first muesli on Spring Day - I thought they deserved something fun to celebrate the warm weather)/ maltabella (also in winter), toast with jam (C)/ cottage cheese (K), fruit and/ or yoghurt

lunch - bread/ toast with something protein (peanut butter/ cheese/ cottage cheese/ egg), and tomato/ cucumber/ etc. My children don't like their veggie part on the sandwich - they want it separate. In winter they also have soup most days. If they didn't want yoghurt after breakfast, they have it now.

snack - about a week ago, we had to move supper an hour later because they started waking at 4:30 am demanding milk (C) so we give them a fruit around 3:30.

supper - whatever we had the previous night, except curries - chicken a la King, spaghetti bolognaise, chicken and broccoli, kidney bean and tomato sauce on rice/ pasta/ baked potatoes, etc. Today they're having penne with a bolognaise sauce :)

My kids LOVE veggies. It's very weird but we're not complaining. We have to say, "eat your chicken and rice, and then you can get veggies". No jokes. And we hide the peas away til they've finished their food. No food, no veggies.

Also, have you ever heard a cute little boy say, "please Mummy have veggies" - it is TOO adorable. I must see if I can get it on video.


  1. I don't allow snacks in between meals. I like them nice and hungry so they eat well. This tactic seems to have worked because I have very good eaters. Matter of fact, I'm still waiting for my toddlers to eat like toddlers so I can save some money :) When I went to ToddlerSense last year, the woman said toddlers typically eat two bites of a sandwich, a grape, one bite of a banana and that's it. Um, not mine. But I'm not complaining because when they display less than stellar eating habits (when sick) it is not fun and I stress that they're not getting enough food. But I never show them my fear :)
  2. These are the options - my food or bread with peanut butter. Most times they eat my food but sometimes they opt for the bread.
  3. I try to remember to write in The Notebook what they need to have the next day but if I forget, V knows and will feed them appropriately. I also have a special section in the freezer for the babies' extra meals (for when we have curries) so V knows to take their meals from there.
  4. They have plain yoghurt 85% of the time because on Sundays I send those 100 ml tubs of yoghurt in their church lunch bag with a muffin each.
  5. We only let them eat in the highchairs - I don't allow running through the house with food because I don't want clean-up to be any more difficult than it has to be. That said, they don't eat as well when we go out... but I'm prepared for the fussiness 5% of the time.
  6. We also have a rule which they both know - "no bib, no food" - so if they take off their bibs, I say, "oh, have you finished eating?" and either it's yes, or they put those bibs back on.
  7. If lunch is light (we've run out of fruit), then I'll allow a muffin each. I always have muffins in the freezer. I bake the ones for the kids with almost no sugar and at least half a cup of veg (pumpkin/ butternut). They love it and now that they've "twigged", they "steal" from the freezer.
Me Kendra, what are you eating?


Where did you get it, Baby?

Freezer (with absolutely no hint that she's doing something wrong)

They do get about 50 - 75 ml of juice a day, diluted 1:3/ 1:4, depending on the juice. Orange is not as sweet as tropical fruit.

I don't allow sweets at all but now and again, I'll give them a wine gum each. I'll allow chocolate sooner than sweets after discussions with my work friend who has an ADHD boy and keeps very careful track of the E numbers and whatnot.

Now and again they'll get a cupcake (without icing).

I know I'm very strict on the food - I would rate myself a 9 here :)

How do you fare?

Also, what kinds of food do your kids eat?

PS if this is not your thing, here's a gorgeous blog I found today.


  1. Anonymous2:13 pm

    WOW! My poor kids would battle in your house.

    I am so not strict on food at all :-/

    I try make our meals as healthy as possible with veggies in etc and they get sarmies for lunch at school and then eat at aftercare.

    I have always allowed them to snack - Kiara is/was a bad eater so I would make sure there was stuff she ate available. Honestly for me I would rather they snack than get to dinner and down everything in site and over eat. (I say this cos it has happened before).

    I dont buy them sweets but they get pocket money so will often buy themselves a chocolate or something.

    Food is one of the fights I have chosen to not really fight

  2. Argh that was me who commented - not anonymous - dont know why it did that!!!

  3. 1. I do allow snacks inbetween meals. I want them to follow my meal plan I do. 3 meals, 2 snacks. Snacks are the healthy ones I myself eat such as fruit, Provitas with peanut butter, Plain yogurt, 30g of cheese, etc.
    2. Here I am more strict than you. I don't allow anything else to be eaten except my food. They eat if whether they want it or not. No other choices. You eat what I serve. (Get this from my mother.)
    3. n/a to me as you can see in number 2 :)
    4. Bravo on the Plain yogurt.
    5. We also eat at the table. Do not want anyone sitting everywhere, I don't want to clean up after them.
    6. I like this bib thing of yours.
    7. I love how you bake your own muffins with almost no sugar. Bravo to you. Wish more parents is like you because the muffins in shops are so high in sugar.
    I like how me and you are so much alike :)

  4. Ooh, I like that you're going to break out a few key areas for us to consider our strict scale. (Are you going to do schedules next? I'm a 10 there!) :)

    I think I'm very similar to you in the food arena, and I'd give myself a 9, as well.

    At home, we only eat in high chairs, including all snacks and drinks. (When we eat in a restaurant once or twice a week, the girls can sit in regular chairs...they KNOW they can't run around there!). We have the same bib rule, which also applies to keeping the girls' hair pulled back. If they pull their hair down, the meal must be over.

    I also have a "if you play, it means you're all done" rule. If someone starts squishing beans between their fingers, it's playing. I'll give one warning, and then take their plate away. I'll let them have it back after a couple of minutes, but only once...if they play again, mealtime is over.

    Our girls eat a very healthy diet, and I don't offer any alternatives...what I serve is what we have. I had to work up the nerve to do that, though (for my peace of mind!). I finally started thinking about it as a mathematical principle (completely made up by me!).

    For lunch, for example, I usually serve 2 veggies and a fruit = 3 separate things. I figure that each one of those items = 40%, if you ate everything on your plate, you'd be 120% full. That way, if someone doesn't like a new veggie, or isn't in the mood for broccoli that day, they can still get 80% full by eating the other things on their plate.

    If I'm serving something new that I don't know if the girls will like, I might increase the amount of the other two dishes a little bit so they will still have enough to eat. It's very rare that they don't like something, though. The girls eat what we eat 95% of the time (including really spicy stuff!). It's such an awesome feeling to sit down to a family meal!

    Our girls only drink milk and water - no juice. I do allow sweets from time to time, though. We will usually have a mid-afternoon snack out and about a couple of times a week, and I'm fine with them having some frozen vanilla yogurt, or sharing a cookie with me. I don't position it as a "treat" per se...just something different we're having that day. And if I make dessert at home - like a cobbler or pie - I'll usually let them have a bit the first day we have it. (After that, Hubby finishes the dessert after they're in bed!)

    Great question, Marcia! It will surely be interesting to see how other mamas handle mealtime...which can surely be a big source of stress at times! :)

  5. Ok, so i don't keep a food diary but because i'm at home it's not really necessary. I'm strict with eating too, but my kids do get sweets/chocs (we're all chocoholics in this house so not really fair if i don't allow them).

    And Polly too is a veggiholic which is great - she is just like your twins. My oldest one - not so much. Meals are never really an issue here - they both eat what we eat and most main meals (lunch) contain veg, protein and starch. Breakfasts vary from oats with honey, weetbix, milo cereal to toast with peanut butter (a firm favourite in our home). Our dinners are often much the same, or egg based, as we have our main meal for lunch. Snacks include fruit, fruit rolls, cheddars, yoghurts, nuts or low gi quiches that i keep in the freezer.

    And water is the drink of choice here - gallons of it. I don't blame them tho as it is fresh from our mountain spring!

  6. My kids eat what we cook, and eat at the table most of the time. We've ditched the high chairs so sometimes they'll take off with something in their hand...

    They haven't worn bibs since forever.

  7. I love this whole idea of us breaking things down...

    Let's see, I would put myself at a 7 on the food scale of strictness.

    I keep a notebook too but it is more for bowel movements, medication (if given) and overall wellness...I also feel like a star when I go to the doctors. LOL! I use the healthpod system...can I get a "keener" call please?!?! :)

    My kids also love fruits and veggies and I MUST give them their protein and carbs first or they would be strict vegafrutarians.

    Eating occurs in highchairs only, with bibs and no eating in between the feeding need really because I feed them small meals 5 times a day.

    7am- breakfast (cereal, toast, granola bar, etc. & milk)
    9:30am- fruit snack and milk
    12-1pm- lunch (protein, carb and veggies & MILK)
    3:30pm- TREAT snack (baby cheesies, crackers and cheese, baby cookie,"fishes", etc.)
    6:30pm- supper (protein, carb, veggies and fruit & MILK)

    They are allowed to have their sippy, no spill juice cups throughout the house...which is 1/4 juice and 3/4 water.

    I need to confess- I have been known to give them an Oreo, some pringles or something "unhealthy" during their treat times. As well, when we dine out they usually get chicken fingers (not nuggets) and fries.(that's not often though) ;)

    I have struggled with weight my entire life and I am really trying hard to "model" healthy eating while not "denying" I was.

    Maybe I am more of an 8 now that I think of it because I do not like to be off the eating schedule OR any part of my schedule...after all, we have lived and died by that for almost 2 years now. LOL!

    Looking forward to the next discussion on parenting strictness! GREAT TOPIC!

  8. Oh and I forgot....they eat what they are given or they wait until the next meal. I am not a restaurant...LOL!

    (Ok, maybe I am a "9" too! LOL!)

  9. Am not too strict with food. Only things that I really don't allow are things with excessive amounts of sugar and food colouring.
    My tween has always been a fussy eater. All our meals have a protein, a carb and veg though I mostly have to "hide" the veg. He is only discovering new tastes now because I am insisting that he try something at least 4 times before completely writing it off. Joel eats everything and is quite a greedy guts!
    I do allow snacking (I am a snacker myself) but it would normally be fruit or raisins or yoghurt.
    No sweets or luxuries for the whole week but I am more relaxed on the weekends. There is no juice in my house either. I've noticed that if there is juice then they don't drink water and I also prefer them to eat actual fruit instead of having juice.
    Breakfast is normally toast with peanut butter or some cheese and a cup of rooibos tea. On weekends (when I have the time) I make oats or eggs. Lunch is usually a sandwich and fruit.
    Must try your muffins. Am always on the lookout for healthy snacks that don't break the bank.

  10. I was the child every parent dreads growing up. I didn't have an appetite till I was 29 years old so you can imagine the agony my parents had getting me to eat. So far though, God has blessed me with babies who eat what they're served; which is good because I think I'll rank quite high on the strictness scale myself. Not because I want to, but because american food is so alien to me that the available choices in my home are limited to familiar nigerian diet staples readily available here

  11. katherine8:42 am

    I am not that strict about food. My parents weren't but we always ate together at the table - breakfast,lunch (after school)and supper and mostly healthy snacks although my mom was/is a big baker so there were always homemade biscuits. No one in my family has any weight issues and we're all very active so that's kind of what I've done. We all eat together (kids eat exactly what we eat, no alternatives offered)but I'm also a baker so they do get biscuits (few times a week) and ice cream once a week (or more if they sleep over at my folks). They both LOVE fruit and eat their veg just fine and aren't fussy eaters at all. We are very active though - every day we go for a walk and the girls ride their bikes, they play outside on the jungle gym in the garden or we go to the park down the road, they have swimming twice a week and now a pool at home as well as the beach down the road which they love. My cousins were never allowed any sweets or treats and guess what - major weight problems as they just went overboard as soon as they were allowed to make choices for themselves as well as the fact that they're not active.

  12. Great information...especially for parents who say "my kids would never eat like that." It's not about what the kids would's what the parents are willing to do. If a kid gets hungry enough, he/she will eat anything.

    1. Hot breakfast every day (lucky b/c I'm at home...this may change when I got back to work).
    2. Morning and afternoon snack (fruit snacks or Booty with fruit).
    3. They only drink water or juice.
    4. There is always a fresh veg or fruit given with meals.
    5. I do special treats if they eat well.
    6. We always eat at the table...high chairs were done away with fairly early and they used they're just in regular dining chairs (this has made life much easier when we go out to eat).
    7. They just started drinking out of regular cups at dinner and they love it (but they pee their brains out at night...bad for nighttime potty training which I'm not ready to attempt).
    8. Most of our food is unprocessed, natural, organic, whatever you call it...we eat good food.

  13. My children had "sweetie day" once a week...they had to eat what was put before them...and I must admit to often disguising the veggies in the food;-)

  14. Wow, I have to say I'm totally impressed!! Yes, you are strict BUT your kids know you're not messing around when it comes to food and boundaries with sitting at their highchairs and no snacking between meals.

    I started out strict but then got more lenient as time went on. Well, lazy is more accurate. Now, I'm paying the kids would rather snack than eat a meal, they run around with food which results in a huge mess all over the house and they refuse to sit at the table longer than 2 minutes.

    So...I wish I could've stayed strict...I wish I would've been more consistent with my rules and boundaries.

    The one thing I absolutely insist on though is that they eat what I cook or nothing! I can't be a short order cook, making 6 different meals.

  15. I admire your notebook and the bibs!

    In the first school where I had Nicola they kept the notebooks and I was very impressed with that, this school doesn't though but they are much more impressive in other areas so I can forgive them that. Nicola's poor teacher knows though that every day when I pick her up she gets quizzed on what Nicola ate and when, and if she enjoyed it.

    As far as the bibs go, my daughter has always been violently opposed to them even from the start. She would not stop screaming if I even brough one near her, so I gave up on them and bought a big bottle of vanish instead. I'm all in favour of peaceful mealtimes. ;-)

  16. I started out with something of a notebook with Kendra ... after Vannan arrived and my mom left ... I got almost no sleep for months. And all order fell to the wayside ... I'm not sure I ever recovered.

    Joel is 6 and LaRue is pert near 2. (14th)

    Our schedule is totally off and haywire - I'll almost get it all worked out and then some sick bug will slowly work it's way through the house or something.

    So our eating schedule has fallen into this rhythm.

    Vannan gets herself up around 6am and fixes her own breakfast. Kendra gets up around 7, I'm usually up around 8 and Kendra fixes breakfast for both of us and Joel - he's usually up by 8:30. Breakfast will be some kind of cereal or eggs or a kefir shake/smoothie. I can't function on cereal, so we try to make sure I have eggs or a steak (a few oz). LaRue wakes around 11am. Tim is on his own (waking and eating - but he prefers cereal).

    Vannan fixes lunches around Noon - sandwiches, left overs, salads, fruit ... LaRue is not always hungry.

    Snacks around 3:30 - fruit or snack crackers for J and L. Sometimes yogurt or applesauce.

    Supper is 6pm ish. Kendra cooks most suppers.

    If you finish supper, they get "desert" which might be a spoonful of yogurt of a kefir shake or kefir pudding - usually something healthy ... but I have been known to give them a jellybean or skittle or MnM (2 or 3 of them).

    I use to be super strict - and I hope to get back to it.

    However, since LaRue still nurses - if she doesn't eat/want something - sooner or later she fills up on milk - so I try to eat really healthy myself. This is also true if she's not feeling well or thirsty.

    Joel is a bottomless pit - he's always hungry.

    When Tim brings home juice - we let the kids have some. But as juice is mostly sugars (frutcose) - we really try to limit it. They drink herbal teas - blueberry and apple are two favorites. And we drink a ton of water.


Thank you so much for leaving a comment and filling my love tank. I appreciate it!

I'd love to answer your email so please make sure your email address is enabled. In Blogger, go to Edit Profile, and under Privacy, tick the 3rd block and then Save Profile :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails