The melon was sitting next to his uneaten Easter egg, but he ignored that.
I ate the piece of buche de noel.
December 29th, 2009
Today Zibby woke up around 9ish and handed me the remote and asked me to turn on a show for her (we were all still in bed) which I did, and Henry and I kept sleeping for a while more. Eventually Henry wanted out of bed, so I got up with him and we went in the other room and played puzzles and watched wow wow wubbzy and hung out.
I debated making a green smoothie for myself but ended up snacking on triple chocolate cookies I made the other night and are super delicious. Zibby doesnt usually want to eat right when she wakes up. Around twelvish I was hungry so I started making myself a ham sandwich. I asked zibby if she wanted a turkey sandwich. She came over to the fridge and got out last nights noodles and soup. She asked for a turkey sandwich, noodles, and also a piece of buche noel. I bought a gorgeous buche noel cake at Whole Foods on super sale. She wanted a piece with lots of decor. I put everything on separate plates (her request). After all the cake talk I suspected that she might eat that first and be full, but she sat and had three bowls of noodles, then ate half her sandwich, and left the cake on the table, untouched. well, she touched the decor actually and played with some of the frosting leaves. But she didn't eat it.
She also took about a dozen of the cookies into her bedroom and played kitchen with them, but didnt eat more than one or two.
My point is, Zibby is give access to all of the food in our house, and I prepare and offer her a variety of things, and she eats a wide variety of them, when she is hungry and when she is hungry for them. I didnt make any kind of deal or comment on her requests for her meal (now, eat all your sandwich before you touch that cake!)
Later in the afternoon she ate freeze dried strawberries, fresh strawberries, that I know of, which she got on her own, and for dinner she had three small flour tortillas rolled up with taco meat (no cheese or other toppings) she drank water all day.
Henry had several bites of several cookies (ha!) a couple handful of pretzels when we sat down for lunch, a bite of strawberry, a bite of toast, and nursed whenever he wanted all day long.
The reason I thought I'd write this down is lots of people around me are fretting about what their kids eat and when and how and withholding "desserts" or treats and I have found that letting go of all that has really allowed my daughter to follow her own body's cues. She eats fruits, veggies, chocolate, meat, grains—without me doing anything besides making it available and attractive.
I'm watching an advance cd of interviews of the unschooling documentary Lee Stranahan is making,
and watching Sandra talk about food made me think about today and I wanted to share. Up till now a lot of my parenting ideas have been theoretical and or I've read about other people's results and experiences. I believed what unschooling was doing for their lives, and now I am seeing what it's doing in ours. It's cool.
originally on the blog A Happy Childhood Lasts Forever.
I just read through some of the stories on the tales of kids turning down sugar and shortly after we had this realization about sugar, I was filling an easter basket for my son. I really flew in the opposite direction and loaded the basket with chocolate and candy, and afterward I looked at it and thought maybe I should take some of it out because it was such a huge switch from sugary things being a rare treat to a whole basket at his disposal (not that he'd never had it before at halloween or other things, but it had been months since he'd had that much candy in front of him at once).
He ate candy and chocolate for breakfast that day, but then halfway through his chocolate bunny he handed it to me and told me he wanted to save it. I wrapped it up and put it in the freezer for him, and later my husband and I marveled over it because neither one of us would ever put down a half-eaten chocolate bunny.
Not only did that make me realize that I could trust him to make that choice, but also that this was really a case of taking our own problems (if there is chocolate in front of us, we'll eat it even if we recognize that we aren't hungry at all, and stopping halfway through is just out of the question) and projecting them onto our child.Annie Kessler
When I grew up I had very limited access to candy. My brother was quite ill and his special diet (which included daily cod liver oil) was given to me as well. The only time I had access to sweets was when I performed, or went to concerts and there was a reception. I was also the only kid there who had their plate overflowing with everything and anything I could put on it. Often at my house I would find empty candy wrappers and ice cream containers which I was told (by my mother) were from long ago—she "didn't know how they got there." Years later I found that she too had had a constricted diet and hid the food she ate from us.
Jump forward to this last Halloween and the party my children attended the day before (all of us attended). When we walked through the door the first thing I noticed was the cake, pizza, and chocolate everywhere. So apparently did many of the other kids who came through the door (we belong to one group which is unschooled/homeschooled—difference mainly being restrictions on bedtimes, food, TV. etc.) My kids (who have had free access to food since they were born), said "no mom we don't want that, we want to play," despite the fact they had just been complaining about hunger 30 seconds earlier in the car. I sat and watched while other kids were made to eat a certain number of pieces of pizza, or vegetables before they could have the cake, or chocolate. (as if pizza is any better really!). Finally about two hours into the party, my eldest ( 5 1/2 ) ran over and asked for food. What he chose to eat was a large plate of tomatoes and snap peas. Parents asked me how I got him to do this— (I am thinking maybe they didn't notice that my youngest (4) had already eaten a few chocolate ghouls without me getting upset...)
My point is, my children have had a lot of exposure to many foods. They have foods they like, and those they do not like. I have never forced them into trying a food they were not interested in trying. I would not want someone forcing me to try something I thought looked disgusting. Even though we now have a large shopping bag full of candy from trick or treating they are not diving into it (like I would have) as if it is the best thing in the world. It is just another part of food. Not more important. I think allowing them to make their own food choices has been the best thing I could have done for them because they will not have the baggage that I did (and my mom) attached to it.
Oh—after the piñ ata broke the kids helped gather the candy but refused to take any home because they said they didn't need any. (Their words, not mine).
Rachael, Shaun, Kean (5½ ) and Kai (4).
(November 2010, on the Always Learning list)
I had a real ah-ha moment yesterday in the food arena, when he asked for his (r)ice cream (he'll run to the fridge and point to the freezer to tell me). I got him a dish of it, and was also cooking broccoli at the time. He took a few bites of the ice cream, but when he saw the broccoli, he ran to the stove and wanted it. He ate the entire crown with some salt and pepper, and left the rest of the ice cream to melt on the table. Something I might not have believed could happen before learning about the joys of *trusting* our children to make their own food choices...
I stopped off at a Persian deli after an appointment today, and bought
a box of pastries (little honey and rosewater soaked balls, pistachio
nougat, and zoolbia), a can of dolmas, and a jar of some spectacular
pickled garlic that I'd bought a jar of a few weeks ago, and the
family demolished (it's super yummy).
My three year old just asked for one of the balls, took a bite, and
then spotted the garlic. He handed me back the rest of the ball, and
asked me to give him a dish of the garlic.
My six year old finished the rest of the ball, and then shared a few
pieces of the garlic.
Zero control. Zero manipulation. Kids do like sweets, that's for sure.
But they also like other stuff. Don't limit them, or assume they're
response from Pam Sorooshian:
My husband is Persian. Persian sweets tend to be very very sweet, but
they don't eat a lot of them, just a bit with a cup of tea, usually.
All the many Persian families I know have lots of sweets sitting out
all the time—all available. But the kids, who could have the
pastries and candies if they wanted them, very often choose pickles or
fruits and vegetables over the sweets. My kids are like that - they
will turn down ice cream in favor of a cucumber with some salt and
lemon juice on it.
(in discussing children eating part of candy and leaving the rest)
Yeah, it kind of makes my brain twirl when DS (7) eats half a double
chocolate donut then leaves the other half sitting so he can have a
grilled cheese sandwich (or whatever else he decides he wants at the
time that isn't a chocolate donut) - sometimes he comes back and
finishes it, sometimes the half donut sits a day or two until it's
obvious he doesn't want it any longer then out it goes. The hardest
thing was not going ahead and eating it myself (or DH eating
it) "because it's there". We're eating better (more consciously) by
learning from DS to listen to our insides as to what we want when and
when we're done.
My daughter was eating her dinner in front of the TV in the basement when she flew up the stairs to ask what was for dessert.
"Peach cobbler with ice cream. Do you want some?" I replied.
"After I finish my broccoli," she answered and she flew back down the stairs.
My husband and I just looked at each other in amazement. This is a kid whose diet has consisted mainly of corn dogs and doughnuts (glazed, chocolate, or with sprinkles!) for the past two weeks.
same child, another year:
We had the opportunity to out to eat twice this past Sunday. At our
dinner meal we discussed getting the big, gooey, chocolate cake with
the giant dip of ice cream and the hot oozing chocolate sauce (I'm
making myself hungry!) for dessert. My older DD (7) who loves sweets
said at the end of the meal, "I'm full, let's not have the cake." And
we all agreed and there was no cake.
I told my husband later that the reason DD felt free to turn down the
cake was because she always has all of the sweets she wants whenever
she wants. If a child were constantly denied sweets she would have
felt compelled to order the cake and eat it even if she were full
because she might not get another chance for sweets.
In fact, at Sunday brunch earlier that day this same DD, Sarah, had no
less than 6 desserts. She methodically brought them from the buffet
and arranged them around herself and ate as much or as little as she
wanted from all of them. And so, at dinner, satisfied and full, she
felt free to turn down a fabulous dessert!
He wasn't in the mood to eat, had just seen someone on TV eating ice cream. We always have ice cream in the freezerī¿½he rarely eats it, but an apple or watermelon will be gone in no time.
Lanora, 13, was talking about eating some cantaloupe. I told her that it was really good with ice cream, she looked at me like I had suggested pouring sand over it. She likes her melon neat, thank you.
Kris, January 2005
Gabriella has been making thoughtful choices about what she eats for a number of years now. Halloween is a favorite holiday and this year she had a plan to hit the maximum number of houses. When she returned she dumped all the candy out, sorted it, counted it, ate some, traded some with her brother, shared some with Jim and me and then put it all back in the pumpkin and then put it in the pantry. This is what is left of her Halloween candy. Today is February 5th.Sylvia Woodman, February 2014
(see other Halloween candy stories, linked at the bottom)
[On UnschoolingBasics, Ren had written: "can't tell you how many times my kids have thrown candy away "]
This is true at our home also. Logan did go trick or treating this year and
most of it is still in a box in his room. Brenna occasionally asks him for a
piece and he tells her go ahead (she didn't go trick or treating). Candy is
always around and chips and ice cream. If the neighbor kids don't come by
often to eat the ice cream we have been known to throw it out when it gets a
Logan often has tuna on crackers for breakfast while Brenna will eat carrot
cake. There is just no emotion to a certain type of food except we like most
of it. When I ask if they want anything at the store it might be artichokes or
sour cream dip but very rarely is it anything sweet.
This summer when my stepdaughter was with us, she ate so many M&M's cookies
that she got sick and threw up. Not just once but on two different occasions.
When I talked with her about it, she said she was afraid the other kids were
going to eat them all. I told her we'd just buy more. By the time she went
home, I think she was starting to get the idea that all kinds of food would be
available to her while she was at our house. No need to binge or hoard.
Since food is not an issue in our family it seems we make healthy choices most
of the time.
Not only are our food choices healthier but since I have stopped controlling
sleep and chores and T.V. watching and video games our family is healthier and
happier . It didn't happen overnight but it's been like this long enough
that I can't imagine our lives any other way.
(very content with our unschooling life)
The other night we went through Mc Donald's Drive thru my oldest ordered a water with his meal. He knows he can have a pop whenever he wants but that night water was what he wanted.
It is so cool when you let go.
At home, Jalen asked for water because he didn't want his soda that came with the Happy Meal. (More myths about 3 y.o.'s being disproven by my free wild child.)
Marty (15) had been running around outside in the sun for a few hours, and I offered to take him to Ben & Jerry's. He said he wanted to go home and have real food, not ice cream, but thanks.Sandra Dodd
Around 10 a.m., Andy (3.75 years) and I were up on the computer playing games, and I said, "Hey! Let's go downstairs and eat some ice cream!"
He wrinkled his nose and said, "Nah, I'm not in the mood for ice cream today."
His overall intake of healthy stuff is really good. If he asks for cookies or cake or ice cream anytime, and we have it in the house, he can eat it. He can eat as much as he wants. We don't always have it in the house, and then he chooses other things.
By Paula L (Paulapalooza)
Children that truly have choices, won't feel the need to always choose the most sugary choice, or the choice that gets them away from home the fastest...
They have access to it all, so they can make choices based on what they really want or need, not what is most limited in their lives.
Jalen just turned 3 in February. He chooses water to drink more often than any other liquid. He had cream soda, soymilk (both vanilla and strawberry/banana) to choose from last night. He only wanted water. If I regulated what he drank, he would have a harder time listening to his true needs, and go for the limited items.
It's cool when they don't need to do that.
Here is my success story of the week:
My kids have now had food freedom for about a week and a half. Last night we ate dinner at the Olive Garden. They had some fruit and snacks before we left, because they don't like restaurant food, generally.
The last time we ate there, the boys just scarfed as many breadsticks as the server would bring and guzzled root beer like there was no tomorrow.
THIS time, Zach drank about half of his root beer, ate 1.5 breadsticks, and said he was full. He didn't even want to try one bite of the dessert we ordered. I have NEVER seen this kid turn down chocolate cake before. He didn't NEED to try it because he knows he can have "dessert" (whether it's cake or marshmallows or jelly beans) when he is hungry for it.
Even in such a short time I have been seeing some really positive changes, and we're all much happier and more relaxed about food. My husband even said, "I've got to admit, this is sure a lot easier!"
I bought groceries this evening, including ice cream and some deli ham. Both girls said they'd like some ice cream. They started to eat it, then Jackie asked for some ham. I put out a couple of slices. She ate it and asked for more. Lisa decided to have a piece too. Then Jackie said she would like more ham, but if she did she wouldn't be able to finish her ice cream. I said that would be OK, just to eat what she wanted. She ate about four slices of ham and a bit of ice cream, and left the rest melting in the bowl.
I was putting away the groceries while this was going on. As I put the carrots away, I thought about how tasty a carrot sounded. I could have had ice cream — in fact I love ice cream — but I had the carrot instead because it really sounded better at that moment. I know I can have ice cream AND carrots both, whenever I want.
It feels so good to eat what I want.
I heard a radio show recently, I think it was NPR's This American Life, about food. One segment of the show said that one reason French women are so thin is because they eat sweets whenever they wish and they don't feel guilty about it. That may be a poor stereotype, but I liked the sound of it. Eat what you really want and feel good about eating it.
Mary Ellen (Nellebelle)
This is one of those "it works" stories. We got back from Hometown Buffet
and a quick trip to the store. Jayn said, "Do we have any chocolate?" I
answered "yes" and since I happened to be standing near the chocolate in the
kitchen, I broke off a piece and held it out to her. "I don't want any.
Thank you." And she wandered off.
Robyn L. Coburn
Oh, I've got one too! I went with my daughter to her Girl Guides enrollment ceremony last night. There was a table full of chips, donuts, cookies, cakes during the party afterwards and she didn't want any of it. But as soon as we got home, she said she was hungry and asked for a bowl of oatmeal. LOL!
It's not that she just doesn't like donuts, cookies etc. - I took her and her younger brother out to get some donuts the other day because they asked. The great thing is that she doesn't feel the need to eat them just because they are available (that's me!).
Hee hee, I have one also, last nite we came back from
the grocery store, and a friend was at the door. As I
was putting the groceries away, including sugar wafers
that he had wanted, they got out the yogurt and the
string cheese. His friend had never had string cheese
before, she liked it a lot!
If my kids watched TV for hours each day, I might not be a good person to listen to about this, but I'll say it again: Unlimited access to TV and to food in my house has produced kids who only watch TV when they want to, and who only eat what they want to eat which is NOT a bunch of candy.
Holly asked for broccoli Tuesday. I bought some and cooked it before I knew she had gone to her friend's for an overnighter (she got the invite and left while I was shopping). So yesterday she asked about it, I reheated it and brought it to her at the TV where she was playing a game, waiting for the Simpsons to come on. She finished that bowl of broccoli, salt and butter, and asked for more with less butter.
I cooked the rest of it, and she ate most of it.
When The Simpsons ended she was done with the TV.
This isn't theoretical broccoli or TV, it was yesterday.
Thursday, August 9, 2001
(From a TV discussion, which is enshrined online here:
Susan May sent a note and a photo. There's an expanded version at the link below the photo.
"I made it for my almost 3 yo daughter and she loved it! It had carrots, grape tomatoes, ranch dressing, chocolate chips, celery, celery with peanut butter, cold cut up hot dog, and strawberries. She munched on it all afternoon. The first two things she ate were a tomato and carrot. The only things left right now are the chocolate chips and celery!"
More of Susan's day