how can i get my son to eat food and not candy...

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Tiffany - posted on 08/14/2009

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Don't LET him eat it, Don't buy candy. It's up to you. That's all there is to it. He'll get used to it real fast. I got a fruit dehydrator and we make a fun time out of it. Even our 13 year old gets into it. At their mothers house they eat whatever they want. At my and their dads house, WE make the rules. They get candy when WE choose.
Children are NOT the boss!

Amanda - posted on 08/17/2009

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I do not agree with just don't give....it's what you give and how often. Try removing cellophane wrapped snacks. Artificial juice, sugar cereals, and anything caffeinated.



I use the reward system...when my girls are good we make homemade fruit leather, or granola bars, and even fresh juice (which if you find the right recipe you can hide some veggies in). This sounds expensive, but with the fruit leather and juice I find that the discount produce is suffice. Especially if you freeze the juice into popcicles.



I definiately agree with the presentation technique. Sneak in "mommy's magic ingredient", it's magic because it is full of mommy's luv...(I use this term with anything I think my girls may not be willing to eat and it works.) I replace cocoa with carob powder, and chocolate chips can be replaced w carob chips.



Absolutely do not forget to some how praise your kid for trying.



I say again I do not agree with just not giving. Reason being is to us it is just candy (unhealthy, not necessary, etc.), but to a child it is like winning the lottery. If we expect anything out of another person there is a process of "give a little, get a little". If people always stick to there guns they just go around in a vicious circle. Kids have this right (to a degree as well.) , but "mommy proof" what they are bargaining for as a treat.

Carina - posted on 08/15/2009

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CREATE KID FRIENDLY MEALS LIKE CHEESE PIZZA AND CHICKEN FINGERS TRICK HIM WITH HEALTHY FOOD THAT LOOKS GOOD TO KIDS LIKE ANTS ON A LOG (CELERY WITH PEANUT BUTTER AND RAISINS) PLUS STOP GIVING HIM CANDY HE WILL BE UPSET BUT REMEMBER YOU ARE THE PARENT

Mandi - posted on 08/15/2009

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Pick one night a week when he can have a dessert, but ONLY after he has finished his dinner. This works well with my kids. They often remind each other that it's not a "dessert night" and when they get done eating their dinner they go about their business. It has taken a lot of fight out of dinner.

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My boys have to buy their own candy from their allowance, no money no candy. Because they started to turn into candy monsters ;-) He will eat if his stomach growls and stick to your guns. When he has to buy his own candy, he may not like it anymore.....

Sarah - posted on 09/10/2009

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Don't take this the wrong way. The answer is simple don't offer him candy but on those special occasions. Remember you are the parent and he is the child, children don't get choices it is your job to lead them. You feed him what he needs to have and likes and he will learn to respect that. Be strong.

Shona - posted on 09/10/2009

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I am not sure how old your son is, but with my 6 year old, I re-defined what treats are. I actually say in a really excited voice at the end of the meal: "Guess what we are having for dessert?" and then I tell them they even get to choose which yogurt. Yup, they think yogurt is the best dessert ever. Again, my son was younger when I started this and because of that, my daughter now follows along with this, it would probably be more challenging if my son were older when I started this. Good luck!

[deleted account]

i give my daughter the "gummy vitamins" as a dessert after dinner time..she gets two if she eats everything...

Michelle - posted on 09/08/2009

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Gotta agree, make your home candy free. Try substituting with naturally sweet treats like fruit or home made juice and pureed fruit icey poles, yoghurt, pop corn with a sprinkle of icing sugar is also a healthier treat alternative.

Faith - posted on 09/08/2009

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Keep introducing him to new foods. Did you know that it takes up to 20 times for a child eat something before they can really determine if they like it or not? For family-friendly meal ideas, sign up for the weekly newsletter at www.faithfuldinners.com. While you are there, check out the back-to-school dinners on the Sample Menu.

Teresa - posted on 09/08/2009

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I agree with Candice. You are the boss and you are the one providing what he eats. Take away the candy.

[deleted account]

I have taught my kidos that there are snacks and there are treats, snack are things we eat in between meals that are good for us, fruit, yogurt, cheese etc. and treats are for special occasions, like candy, cake, junk food. I've made sure I have a variety of fun snacks in the houses for when they feel the need to eat.
When I married my husband my step-daughter was incredibly picky, she had lived the last 3 years with a single dad who feed her whatever she wanted! So to get her to eat more healthier foods I made healthy food fun! We had Candy Carrot (sprinkled just a bit of brown sugar) after a while she ate carrots w/out the brown sugar! We also made up stories about the veggies being magical and about people who ate them. Now she eats just about anything we put in front of her!
Good luck!

AMANDA - posted on 09/06/2009

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There are so many healthy sustitutions for treats now. Like snackwells for instance. I think it is alright to give a kid candy once and awhile because I wouldn't want to deprive them. But with so many alternatives now, there is no need for it all the time.
My son is a very picky eater. He pretty much won't eat anything that he knows is good for him, or that looks good for him. I try and make things for supper like 'Chicken Wraps'. Which can be very good for him, but he doesn't know it. Cook the chicken with salad dressing (ranch, italian, etc). You can add some spinach also. :)

Pam - posted on 09/05/2009

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If you don't have it they will make healthier choices try lots of different fruits and veggies also my kids love yogurt which is a healthy alternative.

Tamara - posted on 09/04/2009

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give him a couple of healthy options at snack time instead of candy, For example you can offer him apple slices and peanut butter or a dyhdrated fruit trial mix. when he gets to make a choice between two things both of which are better for him then candy but are still sweet he wont notice the lack of candy so much,

Sammantha - posted on 09/04/2009

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PS - getting creative with your REAL food like making it into shapes such as star shapes sandwhiches and "safe" food coloring in mashed potatoes etc can make them more interested. Try going to a Halloween recipe site and finding some fun stuff to try!

Sammantha - posted on 09/04/2009

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Toilona, I'm totally knowing what you're going through..My 2 yr old almost 3 hates to eat real food and begs for candy and popsicles at dinner time and attempts to sit and pout and not eat her dinner I wage with her or "bribe" her if you will...that if she eats ALL of her dinner that I will give her a treat. Usually works. When it won't work, I just continue to offer her REAL food until she's so hungry that she actually decides Mommy isn't giving in and handing over the candy and she knows she's hungry so she eats the real food. It is a good idea to limit candy and sugary foods if your child gives you a fit over it, once they realize Mom means business , it'll become their "norm" to only have candy as a reward or special occasion. Hope this helps!

Ashley - posted on 09/03/2009

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Change the name of what you call the food

For Example:

Tomato-Ketchup Berries

Paula - posted on 09/03/2009

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I agree....dont have it i the house...........after the hollidays let him have some every now and then but not a 'snack' time ritual either... give him healthy snacks instead of candy. My son is 4 1/2 and i still dont let him have caffeignated pops. He gets rootbeer or 7 up when i do let him have it. He knows chocolate and candy is a treat that he doesnt get every day. Its an earned treat.

Kiela - posted on 09/03/2009

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trick him...buy natural stuff..theres a company called fruitabu..they make natural fruit rollups...they are good...and 1 serving of fruit....or yougart covered raisins...my kids both love them...they are kinda like candy....if he eats his meal let him pick one small treat for a snack..but he has to eat his meal before he gets his treat..?! maybe try that?

Jessica - posted on 08/31/2009

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lock it up. ( I had to do this).Only give 1 piece after everything else is eaten. Or at least a good portion. Or don't bother buying, which can be difficult, too. Anyone will eat when hungry enough in time.

Amanda - posted on 08/20/2009

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Quoting Harriet:

CREATE A REWARD SYSTEM.....AFTER EVERY MEAL EATEN HE GET A STICKER AFTER ACUMILATING A SET ABOUT OF STICKERS HE GET TO PICK A CANDY FROM A SECTION OF YOUR CHOICE. TRY SUGER FREE THEY DON'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.



I used to work at a candy store, and I thought you like to know that all sugar-free or diabete candy has Mannitol which has a side-effect of staying in the intestines for a while then causing bloating and diarrhea. along with some other sugar-liquors like Sorbitol (which can have less frequency), and can still cause same side effects

Amanda - posted on 08/20/2009

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We also had a "fast food" theme for Friday nights. This is where we has fish and chips or pizza etc (but we make it).
I have found that my son eats what he has made. Example: we make pizza. he chooses his toppings, adds them to his base - I put it in the oven to cook. He always gobbles up what he has made....

Amanda - posted on 08/20/2009

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I found with my children I limited candy to the weekends. No candy during the week, treats are a weekend treat ;) (took them a while to get used to it, but they have adapted)My son is a very fussy eater, but I found that "naming" the food made it more interesting for him and he started eating eg: if were are using ground beef for dinner I would tell him we are having "craby patties" (from Spongebob). Also found that giving him an option helps eg: cooked carrots or raw carrots / cooked beans or raw beans. This gives him the option to say no to one but he has to try the other one - and it has worked for him - he loves the raw veggies.

Harriet - posted on 08/19/2009

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CREATE A REWARD SYSTEM.....AFTER EVERY MEAL EATEN HE GET A STICKER AFTER ACUMILATING A SET ABOUT OF STICKERS HE GET TO PICK A CANDY FROM A SECTION OF YOUR CHOICE. TRY SUGER FREE THEY DON'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.

[deleted account]

stop buying the candy and stop letting others buy candy for him...if i had a choice i would eat candy before food too...it is typical but if it is not there to eat then he can't eat it...make it a reward once he has eaten real food

Lu - posted on 08/18/2009

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I agree with the previous response. The alternative would be to give him one piece of candy after he eats (not as a reward, but as a dessert). Personally I would go cold-turkey and do away with the candy. He'll get hungry at some point and want to eat what you give him.

Beverly - posted on 08/18/2009

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I agree with the dried food option. We eat those as well. But try getting your little one used to eating meals and planned snacks in between. Maybe get him used to eating a balanced meal like meat and veggies during meal times, a good "mommy approved" snack in between like fruit, a lunchable, pbj or something like that. If he's full from the meal he may still ask for the candy just because but more than likely he won't want/eat it. My daughter wants to eat as long as she sees others eating but if she's full from her meal, she satisfied just from the taste. Hope this helps...

Sarah - posted on 08/18/2009

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As my husband and I say...We don't negotiate with terrorists! Don't buy the candy and he will eat. You are the boss no matter how much he screams or starves himself!



Do Not Negotiate with Terrorists!

Taylor - posted on 08/17/2009

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If he eats a lot of candy, it is going to be hard to wean him off the sugar. I remember how I felt when I had to wean myself off sugar and it doesn't feel good! However, it will only take about a week, and then he wont NEED it. Offer him fun fruit, like cherries, grapes, berries during that week. As much fruit as he wants. Get a can of sugar free whipped cream let him have a squirt on top. Also, I've noticed that people (kids and grownups) are more likely to eat veggies if there is dip to go with it. I do agree with everyone else that you should keep candy out of the house and to stop buying it for him except for special treats. Another thought is to get sugar free sucking candy for a treat- it lasts longer and wont mess up his blood sugar so that he needs more sugar once it wears off. I wish you luck because it will be hard, but remember: you are the mom. You are the boss. It is best for your son!

Rachel - posted on 08/17/2009

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Remember that rewards incentives are a great parenting tool - much more effective than punishment or yelling!

My suggestion: remove sweets from his menu exept as a treat after meals like lunch and dinner - use dehydrated mangos (Trader Joe's are awsome) and non-hardcandy alternatives like fruits dipped by you ahead of time in PB or melted chocolate. The worst thing to give children is sugary sweets, hard candy, soda, etc. as it rots their teeth and damages adult teeth - major bills later in life!

My 3 year old daughter loves to have a little bit of chocolate after dinner for dessert. She will ask for dessert after every meal, but I simply say "no sweety, it is only for after dinner". Eventually she gets it and learns the routine - I usually give her a little tiny cup (shot glass size) with about 15 semi-sweet chocolate chips and she feels special!

DELILAH - posted on 08/17/2009

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I would wait till he his real hungry,(in ht mean time don't let him have candy). Then when he is hungry give him something he really likes, like pizza maybe and some veggy sticks.

Erin - posted on 08/17/2009

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If his only choices in the house include healthy snacks, then when he really is hungry, that's what he'll eat. He's probably not hungry when he's eating the candy, just satisfying a sweet tooth, so don't buy it and he won't eat it.

Cathy - posted on 08/16/2009

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The thing that I have found is if you let your son help you cook the meals then he will be more likely to eat them. Works a treat with my son

Rachel - posted on 08/16/2009

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I agree. He can't eat candy if there isn't any in the house. If you are worried about other parents providing your child with candy, then tell them not to give him anything. The thing about eating really sugary things all the time is that other foods start to taste bland. I find even with myself, that if I haven't eaten anything really sweet in a long time, candy and pop are too overpowering, and I don't even enjoy having them. Also, if they don't get it often, candy is seen as a treat, not a right. They will probably enjoy the flavor of healthier foods more as well. Hope this helps.

Morissa - posted on 08/16/2009

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So many types of food we eat would send anyone craving for sweets especially a child. Candies are not good for anyone, so be care of what we put in our foods. Try substituting candies for fruits and fruit snacks. Find new alternative to candies and have your child help you make them. That can be fun.

Valerie - posted on 08/15/2009

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gerber graduates has THE BEST fruit bars ever. i love them they taste just like candy but are a healthy snack with real fruit. and they also have cinnamon cookies that are also very delicious. whole wheat and a good snack with some milk. hope it helps!

Jamie - posted on 08/15/2009

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stop buying candy. candy is fun looking and tastes yummy, as an alternative get some fruits and cut them up with sides of yogurt and cool whip . add veggies to the mix with peanut butter:P he'll love it and its so healthy. pretty soon he will forget about candy as a soul snack. remind him that he can never have too much f this yummy snack but too much candy can hurt his belly and make his teeth icky. candy is a big part of a childs life so reward him at the end of the week for being a big boy and eating his fruites and veggies and give him ONE candy treat.

Michelle - posted on 08/14/2009

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I agree with the other mom's. Your in charge, just don't give him the candy. He may act like he's going to starve, but he'll get hungry and eat when he's ready! Biggest thing is for you not to give in:0)

Katy - posted on 08/14/2009

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I'm gonna go with.... don't give it to him..... don't have any in the house unless your meaning to give it to him, and instead get some fruits for him to eat instead.

Laura - posted on 08/14/2009

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If you don't have candy or anything like that in the house, then your son won't think about it and won't worry about it. Don't let him eat in between meals until he learns to eat his dinner. breakfast, lunch, dinner will do him. if he eats his dinner, then maybe a yogut for desert. he should start eating properly, but it will take its time.

[deleted account]

Just dont feed him anything in between meals, he wont starve himself, he will be hungery enough to eat a real meal at some point, it wont take long. just make sure and stick it out, let him know junk food is no longer an option.

Sandi - posted on 08/14/2009

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Make the good foods more fun. Myself, I don't keep junk food in the house. If we want to snack it is hidden in a tall cupboard where they can't find it. Out of sight/ out of mind. But, if you are going to eat it in front of them...expect to share. Only in moderation. If you have the room in the yard...start a small garden with easy to grow veggies and let them snack that way. That is what our kids do.

Bev - posted on 08/14/2009

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Don't have any candy in your house, grandma's house, any relatives' houses. If it's not there, he can't eat it.

Amy - posted on 08/13/2009

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I just went to the "my daughter will eat nothing but mashed potatoes" thread and there are some great replies that may help you in your situation.

Amy - posted on 08/13/2009

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I've fought with this problem after Halloween. The best thing I can tell you is to have three regular meals a day that don't include any candy. Let candy be an occasional treat and then, only 1 or 2 pieces.

I have explained to my youngest what kind of foods we eat at each meal and that candy can only be for dessert after you have had enough of the other foods. The old fashioned "eat everything on your plate and then you can have your dessert" that has gone out of style really has it's merits for me. It is, however, hard to get your child to go for seconds this way.

It can be really frustrating and hard and it is so tempting to give up and just give the child candy. This will just prolong the problem. Stick to your guns and it won't last nearly as long. Do your best not to have any candy in the house. If that means throwing out all the candy, so be it. It's for your family's own good and you will all be healthier for it.

Good luck and I hope I have helped.

[deleted account]

There are lots of snacks like dehydrated fruit and rice cookies that will be good for your son that you could call "candy". Fruit snacks are sweet but not in the shape of fruit..try to fool him..Really works!

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