Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The FIRST lucky winner and some food for thought

Thanks so much to all of you who submitted recipes! Not only are they healthy, but we have an awesome variety to choose from...dinner, breakfast, treats, appetizers, etc. We received nearly 40 recipes!!! Can't wait to try 'em out! Our families thank you in advance (as long as we don't screw 'em up)! Once we've tried them out, we'll announce the winners of the $20 Visa Giftcard and the Custom Vinyl Lettering. Don't cross your fingers yet...this could take a while!

But for now, the random number generator has spoken. ALYSON (the beautiful cake maker) is the FIRST WINNER!!!!!! Woo hoo!

And the prize is...still a surprise! I've had my eyes on The Something Store for a while. Interesting pay $10 and await your random gift. So Aly, check your something is on it's way! And please let us know what it is...I'm dying to know if it's worth the $10!

Now for more on FOOD! I was checking this blog on Monday, where Miz Fit talked about a diet that was all the rage years ago. The abundance diet. Have any of you heard of this? I guess the idea is that you stock your cupboards chock full of all the stuff you *can't* have. If oreo's are your weakness, you fill your cupboards with them. Slowly, your brain will begin to process the fact that you don't need to eat *all* of them right now (probably after eating *all* of them the first few times you stock your pantry.) They aren't a scarcity, so you eat less...there'll be more tomorrow. I kind of get this, but I'm not sure it would work for me. But maybe it would. Any thoughts?

The REAL reason I'm questioning this, is because I've never been quite sure how to handle sweets in my house. Honestly, we rarely have "treats" in our house. We have a definite abundance of snacks, just not sweets. Whenever we do have treats, however, my toddler is ALL OVER THEM! Which I'm sort of OK with, since it's not all the time. But the abundance idea made me think that maybe it IS OK to have them available all the time, so that they're not such a novelty.

We try not to use food as a reward. We don't say, "If you do such and such, you'll get a treat." We use toys, stickers, stories, playdates, etc. as rewards. But occasionally we don't allow the "dessert" unless dinner is eaten first. So then food is a reward. I sort of feel like it's a good thing to teach my kids that treats are something we eat on special occasions. But now I'm wondering whether it's better for them to view them as everyday specialties.

Are you confused yet?

So here's my question to you, my more-experienced-fitalicious-family. How have you handled treats with your kids? Are they rewards? Are they readily available in your house in full abundance? Or are treats only for special occasions?

Please discuss.


Michael said...

I think the "abundance diet" was created by Oreo. They had a surplus and needed to do something about it. So they decided to market a diet and convince Susie Homemaker to buy tons of Oreos to get over her Oreo addiction. James' family always had a lot of sweets growing up, and he always ate a ton of them. We didn't have a lot of sweets, and probably ate a little less than he did. I don't know... Maybe you should just eliminate them completely, and then reward your children with oats or something.

Also, one thing I learned on my mission is that kids will eat what everyone else eats ONLY when there aren't any other options. There wasn't a single picky eater down there. When they know there's something else, of course they're going to want it.

Maybe we should hide our pantries.

Melissa said...

I could use some hints on this too. We have some kind of junk everyday around here. Usually it is just a popsicle. I've used it as a reward before. I guess it is ok as long as you don't do it all the time. I do make sure the kids eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Maybe just eat as many Oreos as you want and see how you feel after. I've done this before where I gorge myself and feel sick and horrible for a day. It makes you not want to eat like that ever again. It's probably different for everyone. I don't like to have a lot of treats around because then I eat them and the kids see me and want to eat them too.

arynandrachelle said...

I must admit that I am junk food junkie time 7!! I have been better since having kids because the idea of childhood obesity and the consequences of that freak me out. That being said...right now in my pantry I have nerd ropes, hot tamales, starbursts, gummy bears, fruit snacks, chips and I could go on. Most of these have been given to us and I have not purchased them, but still they are there. My 3 year old knows that they are there and that I do buy treats, but she also knows that they are not to pig out on whenever she wants. I also don't want her to have an unhealthy relationship with treats and sweets because she will probably grow up and pig out as soon as I let her, so...I guess we (us lucky parents) need to find a balance. So, what I try to do is make out "gifted treats" last a long time. My 3 year old can pick one treat a day, this includes those sugary fruit snacks, but they generally are not rewards, they are just because. Also, most the time I can get her to pick some grapes or strawberries or even yogurt as her treat. I think that kids are born knowing what candy is, it is a 6th 1 year old already tries to get the candy at those dang check out stands at the grocery store! I really do try to let my kids make a choice. Most of the time my 3 year old will pick the strawberries or a home made smoothie over candy because my husband and I make it a treat. Although, I must admit that when we do our grocery shopping I do stop for the free cookie at the bakery to keep the kids occupied and me sane, but they know that is the treat for the day.

PS - I put in a recipe and sent it from my email that has my maiden name, so I am the one that sent the Chicken Fajita Salad...I totally forgot to write any kind of note with it!

PPS - This blog has really helped to keep me motivated since I have been really working on being healthier and losing weight after moving (since I ganing more weight than I would like to admit!!)

Kimberly said...

As you know, Devon has the sweetest tooth of anyone I know! Since having sweets in the house is a must (from his side of course), I just try to balance what the kids eat. I they want a snack, and they pick something that is "junk," I ask them if they think they should eat that (especially if they've already eaten something junkie) or if they should make another choice. I try not to make food an issue. We have an open cupboard policy, but I want the kids to feel like they are the ones making the healthy choices and that their mom isn't forcing them to eat that way. I think it works and it's a nice balance.

Christie said...

Here's how I handle it:

I do buy treats. We do not eat them every day, or even every other day. But we do occasionally have a dessert after dinner. I have seen kids that are deprived of ALL treats at home make absolute pigs of themselves at church, school, scouts, etc., so I don't think total deprivation is the way to go.

That being said, I do things in moderation and try to buy the healthiest version of the treats that I can. Like I only buy baked chips. I figure if they're going to have chips, I'd rather they have a little less fat. And as for me, I buy cookies and things I don't necessarily like (Chips-a-hoy, for example). They are 140 calories for three cookies. My kids are THRILLED to get one, and I think they're disgusting, so I don't eat them.

I do have a weakness when it comes to the baking, and try to not do it very often, because that I will eat. But even when I do bake (and on birthdays, etc.) we all have a piece on the birthday, and then I throw the cake out the next day. Yes, the entire cake. I don't feel it's wasteful because we don't need to eat something just because it's there, and somehow, nobody seems to miss it.

Just my two cents (or more like 158 cents).

Kristin said...

I try to use many different reward systems--fun time with mom, playing catch with dad, $2 at the dollar store--but I must admit that I occasionally use food as a reward. However, I try to reward them with special fresh fruits that we usually don't keep on hand or I try to regulate to make it last longer--nectarines, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, etc. However, if I'm having a craving, then they can help me make a treat. They love to help make it almost more than actually eating the treat itself. This happens so rarely though that they are grateful to have just one of two and not the whole pan of goodies.

I think that sweets are not evil, however, they should be used minimally and in moderation just like anything we eat. Think of the food pyramid! Fats and oils didn't used to be on there, but now they are recommended in very small portions. I see treats the same way--not for health reasons but for balance and self-control reasons. If we don't allow our kids to ever have them, or ourselves for that matter, then we're setting them up become indulgent later on when they're older and we don't control what they eat. We have dessert probably once a week, and my kids have to eat all their dinner to get it. I don't see this as a reward. I see it more that I'm teaching them that the healthy dinner is most important and if they don't get all the nutrition from the dinner, then they can't afford the sweets. I'm not trying to advocate that sweets are great, but just that we shouldn't completely forbid them in our homes. Especially if we're making them ourselves and using healthy alternatives in our cooking.

Tinabean said...

You have a lot of fun stuff here!
Thank you for visiting my blog on my special day.

Erin said...

Interesting topic. So I grew up on Zoom, Cream of Wheat and the sweetest cold cereal we were allowed to have was Honey Nut Cheerios. And that was one time per week, on Saturday's. Any candy was put in a cupboard that we couldn't reach and evenly distributed over a period of time. So now... I LOVE sugar. I can't get enough of it. As soon as I was old enough to work and earn my own money, the first thing I bought was Fruity Pebbles and Sugar Babies. And even still...I can't let 'em go. I would be a twig if it wasn't for my darn sugar addiction.

Having said that, I ALWAYS have candy in the cupboard, on the counter, in my purse, the diaper bag and sweet cereals are stacking my shelves. Guess who eats it? Any of my three kids? NOPE! They have maybe one sweet thing a day, and then my husband and I finish off the rest. (he was raised like me)

So I can say that I am living proof that REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY works! Not for every child, but so far for my kids it is...

I agree with the earlier comment that kids who are candy deprived freak out and gorge themselves when they are around it. On Halloween, my kids dump out their huge buckets FULL of candy they eat 3 or 4 pieces and the rest sits there. Seriously I have to throw away Halloween candy after Christmas is over because they don't eat it. And I don't put it where they can't get it!!

Ok, I've taken up way too much space here, sorry. Just another thought or two... I think the moderation idea is perfect. I think helping children understand what is healthy and what will give them energy is important. But even then we have to be careful. I'm not sure how old all of your kids are, but my 9 year old BOY was crying not to long ago because he thinks he's fat. Ok people...he is NOT fat! He feels so much pressure from people telling him to eat healthy and exercise, he's sincerely worried about being fat. Kids watch us! They watch us weigh in. And when they're toddlers it's fun, but when they get older, they think they have to go on a diet too. So be careful that you say you are eating healthy to be well and strong; not to be skinny or because you're too fat. So we have to be careful what we say!! So what's my point? Moderation...but don't freak out about happy!

Phew! Sorry that was a freakin' novel!!! :)

Aly said...

Well it doesn't look like you have a lack of comments in the sugar department...So I will just move right along to the WOOOOHOOOO I WON..."something"!!! I am sooo excited! Thanks guys...maybe it will be some chocolate...or Oreos:)

Missy said...

I buy stuff my kids like all the time, but I almost never buy my weaknesses. I try to avoid my husbands weakness treats as well. That way, if I don't want a Kudos bar, but my kids do... they get their Kudo and I'm cool without one. I'm not big on granola candy bars. I really dig cookies so I almost never make them and I almost never buy them. It's worked out great for me. And my kids get a treat whenever they want, it's not a novelty or a reward for them so they don't pig out or think they've gotta have it. Sometimes I ask them if they want a treat and they actually say "no." That's something I never did as a kid. No? Really? Huh.