So, this morning I have been branded World’s worst Mummy because I don’t deem brownies and ice cream to be a proper breakfast. Apparantly saying no to this request warrants much foot stamping, crocodile tears and screams of “I hate you!”.
Despite the absolute ridiculous reaction, I did for one very short second, find myself thinking “Shall I just let them have it?” Of course it was closely followed by “Are you crazy? Not only is it not a suitable breakfast, if you give in once you’ll get the same performance every morning!”
So, I now have two minnies who happily settled for cereal and banana with a compromise of brownies and ice cream for dessert after dinner tonight and one rather stubborn DinoBoy, in his room, refusing to eat anything at all. He’s not going to starve, sooner or later he’ll come out telling me he’s hungry and I’ll give him a proper breakfast. But for now, I’ll leave him to stew and let him think he’s winning. Mind games with a 6 year old, what fun!
This has got me thinking though, where do we draw the line?
During my career as a nanny I worked for several families, each had very different views on snacks and treats. Most were pretty middle of the road but two had very different views.
One mother was adamant her children get no sweets, biscuits, snacks of any kind. Even a yoghurt was an no no in her house. All meals cooked from scratch with organic ingredients. Very occasionally she would allow me to bake with them and they could try what they made, but never were they allowed more than one helping. Although I do partly agree with some of her views, I found most to be quite extreme.
Another family pretty much lived on convinience food. Mum and Dad had takeaway most nights and the children ate mostly “kid” food- smilie faces, fish fingers, chicken nuggets, beans, spaghetti hoops etc. There were the odd occasions that a meal was cooked from scratch, but, both parent’s had busy schedules and this was rare. Again, in my opinion, not ideal.
In my home I like to think there is a happy medium. I do like to cook mainly from scratch and use good ingredients, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with fish fingers and beans every now and then. My children are offered a variety of fruit and veg and Miss Tinks and Zoom both eat whatever they are given. DinoBoy on the other hand has quite extreme food phobias and has a very limited diet. I try to keep his meals healthy and disguise the fruit and veg in any way possible just to get it into him, but sometimes it just has to be sausage and chips!
I usually insist on mostly fruit or veg based snacks but they do have sweet treats in moderation, I prefer to make most of them myself- muffins, flajacks, cookies etc so that I know what goes in them. I tend to give these as a dessert alongside a piece of fruit after dinner. They do have a Friday treat, a packet of sweets or a bar of chocolate of their choosing and more often than not that is the only confectionary they have during the week and we see this as more than enough.
I know some of my Mummy friends find my food rules quite strict and give many more sweet treats than I do. The way I see it, I owe it to my children to teach them good rules about food. The market is filled with convinience food, fast food restaurants and the like and although we may use these things on occasion, I feel it is important that the minnies learn about moderation and healthy eating. Obesity is on the rise and as someone with a weight problem myself, I know how important it is that the minnies understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy.
When it boils down to it, we all have to do our best for our children with what we have and that is all I can aspire to do. So, brownies and ice cream will never be an acceptable breakfast in this house…at least not infront of the children anyway!;)