Candy and sweets at meal times

[deleted account] ( 34 moms have responded )

What do you think about letting your child(ren) eat candy or sweets with dinner?

Sometimes my son wants a piece of candy around dinner time. My husband will say no because it will ruin his appetite but I will let him eat it with his dinner. My husband doesn't really like that either saying candy or a sweets should be reserved for dessert. I have never had a problem with our son not finishing his meal when he is allowed to have candy. He eats it like the other stuff on his plate, taking a few bites from each thing until its gone or he is full.

My son's dentist was the one who recommended eating candy and sweets at meal time to help prevent cavities. So I use that as method of thinking instead of my husbands.

Keep in mind that when I say candy or sweets it is usually a mini bag of M&M's, bite size candy bars, a small cookie or bite sized brownie etc etc.

Please be respectful to those of us who allow our children to have candy. I understand and fully respect the opinions of those who don't because they believe it is unhealthy. I believe everything in moderation!! Thanks :)

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[deleted account]

I doubt a teeny bit of sugar before bed will mess with blood sugar levels.
A ton of sugar, additives and colours before bed I think would be highly detrimental to a good nights sleep.

JuLeah - posted on 10/02/2011

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If your are going to eat candy, right before bed is a bad time.

Blood sugar levels drop throughout the night making the whole 'getting up for school' thing hard and the kid cranky until they have eaten something healthy

Brittany - posted on 10/01/2011

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Sugar and Carbs are on the top of the food pyramid and should be eaten in moderation.

A bite size candy bar is not really going to cause a cavity unless he is eating them everyday and never brushes his teeth. Which I am 100% sure this is NOT the case.

I think, perhaps, what the dentist was getting at was the child is not eating the candy alone so, he takes a bite of his chocolate, puts it down, take a bite of green beans, takes a sip of milk, eats a bite of meat, maybe some potatoes, ect ect. So the chocolate is not just sitting on his teeth it is being followed by other food.

Rosie - posted on 10/01/2011

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i don't see a problem with your situation especially if he eats all of his dinner. HOWEVER...if you are doing it everyday,i don't feel that is "in moderation". maybe once a week or something would be better IMO.

[deleted account]

I think it was the eating sweets WITH dinner... as opposed to just some random time during the day that helps w/ cavities... NOT the actual eating of sweets that helps. ;)

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Sherri - posted on 10/03/2011

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Well in our Elementary schools they have gym once a week, they have a 1/2hr morning recess and another 1/2hr recess after lunch.

The middle school no recesses they only have gym, same in high school.

Deana - posted on 10/03/2011

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Good point Sherry. I am just miffed over being told what I can feed my child. When I was in grammer school we never had sodas, chips and candy. Dont know when things changed but I am glad that they are turning back to thier roots. Now, would you happen to know what the focus is in the schools pertaining to kids getting more exercise. You can't just go half way on this. Kids need both and they are not getting it.

Sherri - posted on 10/03/2011

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Our school hot lunch program is the same zero junk is allowed. However, most private schools are no different just to let you know. I have plenty of friends that send their kids to private school and they also have a no junk policy.

I honestly have no problem with it. It is so easy to send healthy snacks vs. junk and my kids never ask because they know it isn't allowed anyways.

Deana - posted on 10/03/2011

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Sherry, are you kidding me. Is it not the parents responsibility to put whatever they want in thier kids school lunch? Was not aware of that since my child is not in school yet. Just gave me something else to be upset about ha!. More reason to save up and send my kid to private school. However, I think that the school watching our for the kids health is good. Some kids dont get a healthy meal at home all the time. Because I know that some parents dont even get a good meal either. I dont really care to be told what to send in my kids lunch though. Just more control by the government.

Sherri - posted on 10/03/2011

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Deana you will be happy to know a lot of schools are 100% junk free now. Our schools do not allow junk in any capacity if the children are caught with it, it is confiscated. Candy, cakes, chips etc.

Every year we get an approved snack list for school. Pretty much anything not on the approved list is not allowed.

Deana - posted on 10/03/2011

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I believe the only harm that would be done here is that as your son gets older and if he ever has a weight problem it will be a hard habit to break. I personally believe in " what they dont know wont hurt them". I dont give my son candy and he does not miss what he doesnt know. I realize as he gets older I will have no control what he is given when I am not around. I will allow him to have processed sugars only on special occasions or if he is good will give it as a treat in his school lunch. I give him natural sugars during his meals. He loves fruit and it is healthy. You did not mention how old your son is? Or why you started giving him candy with his dinner. I have never known anyone to do that. But, I am not around when all of my friends or relatives kids eat.

[deleted account]

No, of course not. My comment was more as a response to JuLeah's statement instead of your's. ;)

[deleted account]

My ex's brother and sister-in-law used to give their kids bowls of sweets before bedtime. I was considered stuck up for politely declining them for my son!

Minnie - posted on 10/02/2011

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We really can't handle sugar here. So we don't have sweets frequently. Some dark chocolate once in a great while.



Regardless of how small you *think* those mini bags of m & ms are I know what they're doing to the insulin response (coupled with the artificial dyes that we react to) and no, that wouldn't happen in our house.

Sarah - posted on 10/02/2011

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I wouldn't give them treats with their lunch/dinner.........but they have dessert afterwards.

Jenn - posted on 10/02/2011

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I have on occasion given my kids a cookie WITH their lunch. I've heard (and it makes sense) that it's actually better to do it this way with kids. A) for the teeth issue (that way you're not snacking on sticky sweets without brushing) B) the child decides what and how much to eat C) it avoids overeating your meal to be "rewarded" with a dessert.

Stifler's - posted on 10/01/2011

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For my kid, hell no. He'd eat the sweets and none of his other food. I have a hard enough time getting him to eat food as it is.

Bridgette - posted on 10/01/2011

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I am not really a big fan of dessert being something you eat towards anyway, I think that can lead to obesity since the kid will eat more so they can eat more after dinner (the words are confusing but I think I got the point across).

I think the way you are doing it is good, as long as it is not always allowed and you keep the amount down like you are doing). As long as he doesnt see it as being something held back from him he wont crave it as much so that also goes for your technique. The one other item I agree with is the dentist thing, keeping all the eating at one time is better unless you can at a minimum rinse out the kids mouth after they eat the candy.

I say keep on with what you are doing, unless your child is eating too much candy and gaining a lot of weight from it then you are doing right for him.

[deleted account]

Oh hell no! With dinner?! Nope! Sweets are a dessert, and you simply don't get dessert until your dinner is finished. Dessert is usually a good 30 minutes after dinner as well, and it's not always candy or cookies. Sometimes it's fruit. But definately not with dinner- not in my home.

Erin - posted on 09/30/2011

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I may be clueless, but how in the world does eating sweets help prevent cavities?

Anyway, no I would not give a treat like that before or during dinner time. After dinner, fine.

Kate CP - posted on 09/30/2011

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I'll let my kid have it for desert AFTER dinner but not before or during.

Brittany - posted on 09/30/2011

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I suppose, as long as it is not an EVERY night thing, that it is fine. Seems like you have no issues with him eating or having bad teeth. So what the hay right?

Personally, for my children, no I would not allow them to do this. Simply because, Caoleb has ADHD and I would NEVER be able to get him to bed.

I am not a stick in the mud, and yes from time to time my children have candy but, it is very rare. I can not allow my two other children, who do not have hyperactivity, eat candy and not Caoleb.

I think we are some place around once a month on having candy.

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2011

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Nope, I don't agree with it. I reserve it for AFTER dinner. It isn't because it ruins their appetite, but it also doubles as a reward for eating their vegetables. Not that they really need it - they are pretty good eaters regardless. But I think the nutrition in their meal is far more important for them, and sweets or candy does not contribute to this. If they are full, it is a food they don't need. I don't make my kids FINISH a meal before they get a treat (and please note, it is an occasional treat), but they need to have a good go at it.



My children clean their teeth to help prevent cavities, that seems to be a fairly successful method too.

[deleted account]

Well... it was a double chocolate macadamia nut cookie. ;)

Sweets were a rare treat in my home growing up and it's pretty much ALL my brother and I wanted. I do put a limit on sweets, but it's definitely not a strict one. My kids are the ones that can snack all afternoon (some healthy, some not quite), eat a plate full of healthy dinner, eat a SMALL bowl of ice cream, and then eat a small plate of lasagne..... The girls pretty much haven't stopped eating for a year and half. ;)

Sherri - posted on 09/30/2011

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Personally never sweets are specifically for after meals and only as a very rare treat.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/30/2011

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Teresa, sometimes I give the Kashi cookies for breakfast. They are really healthy, and yummy!

[deleted account]

If your kid is eating the candy and ignoring the other food... not a good idea. If your kid is eating the candy AND all the other food too... I have absolutely no issue w/ it.

Of course, I AM the mom who gave her son a cookie before 9am yesterday..... ;)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/30/2011

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Hmmm...never really thought about it before. I usually would save something like that until after supper. As long as he is not filling up on the junk, and not eating a full meal, I don't see it as a problem. I definitely would not give things like candy, cake, cookies BEFORE dinner, but during...sure what the hell. Maybe not EVERY day though.

Jaime - posted on 09/30/2011

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I do think that if parents establish healthy eating habits and convey that to their children, it will become commonplace so that the inclusion of the occasional treat won't replace what has been taught as necessary and appropriate nutrition. If a child is used to getting treats daily, and a few times each day, then they might struggle with knowing the difference between what is and is not appropriate for a balanced meal.

Becky - posted on 09/30/2011

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I don't have a problem with them having a treat at mealtime, but it's generally after they've finished their meal. The reasons for that are 1: We want them to learn that healthy foods take priority over sweets and junk. They need to eat the healthy food before they get the sweet. And along with that, if you don't eat your meal, you don't get the treat, because you can't replace healthy food with sugary stuff, as much as my 2 and 3 year old would like to!
Once in a while, if they're hungry and asking for something and the meal isn't ready yet, I'll let them have a small sweet - 1 oreo or a mini chocolate bar, something like that. I encourage them to have something else, like a cheese string or some crackers, but sometimes they're pretty insistent! So once in a great while I'll give in, but the expectation is that they still eat their dinner. If they don't, then the answer is no the next time they ask for something before dinner.

Jaime - posted on 09/30/2011

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I'm not opposed to giving a child treats, but it depends on the child and what is moderate for them. I agree that things in moderation are good and not generally unhealthy, but if you have an already-picky, fussy eater that fills up on sugary foods and discards the nutrients, you're likely going to run into huge nutritional problems in the future. Also, kids that experience continuous hyper activity where refined sugars inhibit their ability to be in control, is where I might say to really scale back on treats and monitor the time of day they are given. Generally speaking though, if we're talking a well-balanced meal and some m&m's on the side then it's not a huge deal to me at all.

Alison - posted on 09/30/2011

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I agree that with the meal is the best time (I would tend to go after the meal rather than during). You'll eat less and your body will not be shocked with a sugar overload.

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