Snacks for Preteens

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Josie, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I have been trying for years to get difficult child 1 to eat better. She will eat only plain meats, broccoli, asparagus, cucumbers, plain rice, chicken nuggets, pb sandwiches, celery, french fries, maybe baked potatoes, plain pasta, and popcorn. Also chips and candy. She will also drink orange juice and soft drinks.

    I've limited her to one soft drink at home per week and told her she has to buy her own junk food in an effort to reduce the amount of junk she eats. Hoping that if she's hungry enough she will try to eat something healthy. She is thin so weight isn't an issue. I just feel like it is wrong to let her eat a lot of popcorn and Coke and then a tiny dinner.

    Today, we stopped on the way home so she could buy corn nuts on the condition that she would not make popcorn at home. She asked if she could make the popcorn and I agreed if she ate an apple before. She decided the apple was too big and tried negotiating for something different. Unfortunately, there's no other fruit or veggie in the house she likes. I'm not even sure what I could buy that she likes. So she is hungry and mad.

    I haven't been as firm as I would like in the past because there were so many other problems I didn't want to add to the explosions. Now, I feel like I can nudge her towards better eating habits. Is she too old now that she is 12? Am I trying to be too strict?
  2. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    We were just talking about this tonight!!! Both of my kids are terrible eaters (guess that means we are too:pouting:)....difficult child is just plain "stuck" on certain things & only those will work for her, but the girl CAN EAT!!!!! She has been on a little bit of a food strike lately because of a medication change (I think??). easy child wants to eat, eat, eat....but CONSTANTLY.....can you stop by Taco Bell, Wendy's, McD's, can we go get, eat, eat & ALL the WRONG stuff. He even txt me from the bus yesterday asking if I could bake a pizza for him! What!?!? The boy stuffs 3 pieces of bread down his throat while he's grabbing his snack. I guess it's my fault for having the snacks in the house (I babysit & snack time is precious to the little ones). I can't tell you the last time I bought soft drinks...we rarely have juice....lots of water. We do order out more than we should during sports. THAT has made easy child a maniac when he even gets a chance to order a Coke, fast food or go out to eat....he thinks it's the best thing he's ever tasted. The boy acts like he hasn't eaten in weeks....sad face & pretty please, the "why nots" come out. CRAZY. I bet when he stays at a friend's house they think there's something wrong because I KNOW he flips over soft drinks. I know I rambled on...sorry. I guess it's mainly because we JUST talked about this. I suppose I need to be more concerned with the eating issues in my home, but would have to figure out who to start with....LOL!

    ME....former need to lose quite a few pounds....binge/emotional eater.

    husband....can eat whatever the **** he wants & only takes a few days get rid of it (if ya know what I mean)

    easy child.....skinny as can be, very athletic, eats like crapola, "looks" healthy, "acts" healthy. He's 13...husband claims he ate 2-3 PB&J's every day after school(wonder where my kids get that from:tongue:)

    difficult I said...used to eat everything she could get her hands on & would sneak food (even out of the trash!YUCK!). We'll see if she goes back to that.

    So, with the book I wrote...I am so very sorry. Just got finished a bit ago with the same conversation with husband & you got me:D. The only thing I can suggest is maybe if you made the "condition" about the popcorn being that she could NOT make it, don't let her make it & the apple would have to work....if you're hungry, you'll eat it. If you feel you can nudge....go for it. Maybe you can give me some pointers for mine because obviously after my huge reply here....after I read it back...I'll realize I'll need it! LOL.
  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I saw that she likes celery and also peanut butter. Maybe you can come up with some new twists for the things she does like. Celery and peanut butter go well together. Actually, having something on the celery (pb or dip) is the only way I eat celery. Maybe keep Ranch dressing or veggie dip on hand. One of my favorite snacks is Triscuts and Ranch dressing. Sometimes presentation makes a difference in the food too. Maybe you could pick up on of those apple peeler/corer/slicer things to do the apples on.

    My son is a pretty picky eater also and it makes it hard. I still buy "junk" stuff (cookies, Little Debbie cakes, etc.) but I limit what he gets. Maybe you could try things like fruit roll ups, granola bars, fruity cereal bars...things like that. There are also popscicles that are made from fruit juice. When I buy chips, I like to get some of the healthier chips. (LOL like there IS such a thing). Sun Chips are good and I don't think they are quite as bad as regular chips.

    I don't think you are being too strict but I do agree with 4sumrzn. If you say yes to something with the condition of no other snack, then you have to stick to it. If she argues or whines.....that was the deal. Have an apple/orange/other healthy snack or deal with it. Those are the options. My difficult child still tries stuff like that but he also knows that 9 times out of 10 I'm going to stick with my original statement. I present him with the options and he either grumps, mutters and eats one of the options or he grumps, mutters and goes without.
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    No - I definitely don't think 12 is too old, at all. I've also instituted some major changes around here since Christmas. husband is about 100 pounds overweight and poor Diva is fast on his heels. It's hard because all the boys are thin, especially Weeburt (tho' I think that's because he's on growth spurt #439 and he just cannot keep up with his height at 5'9" already). But even Weeburt is going to have to stop growing someday and at that point, he's probably going to start battling weight like his father if he keeps on with his current consumption, bottomless pit that he is.

    It's also hard because food does nothing for me. I don't particularly like it, don't crave anything, eat only to survive. husband and Diva live to eat, poor things. I can't relate.

    We've cut out all snacks, period. No soda, period (except for my hidden stash - hypocrite ;) ). No candy. No desserts. No donut runs every single weekend. No fast food except for pizza twice a month. No more sugared cereals. The kids have always drunk a lot of juice boxes (only 100% juice) but even at that - if you drink 5 or 6 a day, that's a *lot* of calories. We've switched to 2% milk and flavored water. They can have 1 juice box a day. All the fruit and veggies they want, no limits. Cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, celery, with a single *serving* of low-fat dressing. Fresh pineapple, watermelon, berries, grapes, bananas, apples, oranges, papaya, kiwi. I buy some of the more bizarre fruits (star fruit for example) - the novelty gets the kids interested in trying it. I've really emphasized serving sizes on everything else. Diva was appalled at what a real serving size of pretzels (the one "junk" food I allow) is, and no it's not a soup bowl full, LOL. I make fish now probably 4 nights a week, broiled, no butter. We have pork chops once a week, extra lean hamburger once a week, and chicken the rest.

    While I started this because I realized that Diva is probably clinically morbidly obese for a 9 y/o and we need to get a grip now, the benefits for everyone have been more awareness of fat content, serving sizes, and generally healthy eating habits (think food pyramid). I do *not* want to make Diva nuts or have her become obsessed with weight. We're emphasizing not only healthy eating but also exercise and activity.

    I think it's a good opportunity to start preparing our kids for their adult lives. My diet has always been the pits. I've always been thin but that's more due to my metabolism than it is to anything even remotely resembling healthy habits.

    It was incredibly rough the first 3 weeks or so - lots of whining. They've adjusted now, for the most part. And we do splurge every once in a while - I don't want them to feel deprived but I definitely don't want any of them to think donuts every morning is a healthy approach.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You are not being too strict. I know some day soon I'm going to have to do this with difficult child. He has gained 21 pounds in the last year and eats horribly. He has been so irate lately with little changes we have made with his food and I don't think he is stable enough to do much right now (in the past he has gotten violent over food). Wishing you best of luck-I think you are doing the right thing.
  6. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Thanks for the support.

    One of her problems is she will not eat anything mixed or with a sauce. She won't try anything new. She eats the same things over and over and then gets tired of it so instead of expanding her food options, she is decreasing them.

    I am not planning on restricting all sweets and junk food but am trying to get her to eat something healthy first.

    I am hoping she will adjust in 3 weeks or so.
  7. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    difficult child is picky, but we struggle to keep his weight up. I do not buy a lot of junk, as then that is all he will eat. Sometimes I think he lives on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He tries dinner, and if he does not eat it then he will have a pb & j later, or a gogurt or 2 or 3. He only eats vegetables when threatened that he will not get desert, if we have it. I rarely see him eat fruit. My concern with him is that he not get too thin. I wish I had that problem.
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    kt & wm have always had eating issues from the day of placement. It took us years to get them off the junk food/MacDonald's diet mentality.

    Adding in certain medications certainly didn't help the situation; nor did special education where everything was rewarded - many times with a snack or candy.

    Saying that, we've been working hard with kt (the difficult child with the budding eating disorder) on healthy choices. She helps make up the weekly menu; is loving reading of late so pages through recipe books with me looking for dinner ideas or snack ideas.

    kt isn't big on apples, however I get the non-fat fruit dip & portion out the amount on the label. She makes it work for an entire apple. Sugared cereals sometimes end up having less sugar in them after you let a difficult child get to the sugar bowl. I am not adverse to having sugared cereals that have 11 grams or less of sugar in the house (per dietician we consulted with for kt). Sometimes for a treat I'll pick up an ultra sugary cereal but will mix it with it's non sugar counterpart. Say fruit loops; I'll mix fruit 1/3 fruit loops with 2/3 cheerios & that works for kt.

    I found a website that kt & her PCA visit on a semi regular basis -

    kt has been fascinated by a great deal of this website (again with adult supervision here) but loves the healthy eating stuff.

    We've taken to making hummus

    Just a couple of thoughts for you. This is hard. Your difficult child must be involved & invested in herself. AND you have the giants hand - you bring the food in the house.