Do your kids eat otherwise-compliant sweet treats?


JWhole30

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My kids and I have eaten a gluten/corn/soy/dairy/refined sugar-free diet for years, but this month I've switched me over to W30.  My  kids are eating the same food I am, with the exception of some occasional brown rice on their plates with their meals.  

Because they've eaten like this for most or all of their lives, they're used to eating snacks sweetened only with naturally - occurring sweeteners; the cookie recipe I used today was completely W30 compliant, except for the fact that it was a recipe for cookies.

So my question is this: if one of the points of W30 is to take away the power that sweets and treats have over us, does it defeat the purpose if I continue to include cookies in their diet (I'm not eating them)?  Today's cookies are a combination of dates, nuts, eggs, and coconut oil.  But in the end, they're cookies.

Thoughts?

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Cookies would not be a problem if they were eaten rarely. Like a few cookies per year. They were invented as treats. Something special for rare occasions like a holiday or a birthday or a visit to grandmother's house. If you serve cookies to your kids three or four times per year, that would be fine.

 

The problem is that most people now consider cookies a basic food group. An entire aisle of the grocery store is devoted to crappy cookies that our great great grandmothers would have been embarrassed to serve. People buy and eat more cookies than fish or beef. And craziest of all, doctors warn us against eating red meat, but don't object to children and adults eating crappy cookies every day.

 

Our culture has gone slap crazy buying into the marketing department LIE that you deserve a treat today, that you and your kids are special and that being so special should be "rewarded" with a cookie every day. You and your kids are special and what you deserve is a palm-size portion of protein and a plate full of seasonal veggies three times per day!

 

I don't care what you use to make cookies. What matters is that your kids not eat cookies every day, every week, or even every month. Find some other way to tell your child that she or he is special. Saying it with cookies is ultimately murderous.  

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Well, i'm going to ignore your inflammatory tone, Tom, because I'm attempting an actual productive conversation.  My DD gets lunch at school (brought from home of course - veg and protein) at 11:30 AM, and when she gets home, I have a snack for her.  She has fruit as her morning snack (in school), and something I've made at 3PM to get her bridged from lunch at 11:30 to supper around 6PM (when my dh gets home so we can eat as a family).  I normally have two homemade cookies (no sweetener,  or sometimes dates or honey), or something similar.

It's not a reward for breathing.  It's something to stabilize her blood sugar. 

Did you seriously just call me murderous for making my kids cookies?  How is this different than an adult grabbing a larabar when a full meal isn't available?

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My kid gets snacks too, one between lunch and dinner and then another after her bath. She gets them because she is a growing toddler and is hungry. Her meals are what we eat, so I don't stress over her snacks. Now, she will ask for fruit, nuts, or celery with nut butter before anything else, but my diet is not perfect so I don't expect hers will be. She has a bowl of popcorn right now and I seriously don't care that her grandparents give her cookies or take her for fast food. We do the best we can.

I see letting kids have snacks as part of "riding your own bike". I see it as making the best decisions I can, but if I stress over every little "off plan" thing my daughter, my husband, or myself eats then I'm letting food control me in what I consider an unhealthy manner. More important to me was changing my relationship with food and agonizing over whether my four year old eats a cookie triggers for me the same mindset that years of anorexia and bulimia had. I never want her to see that part of me. YMMV.

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I'm sorry you did not read Tom's tone as intended, however, I agree with him on one point: daily cookies are not a good choice for anyone including children. Giving children cookies will not stabilize their blood sugar, in fact the opposite. If you have access to no other foods than a date/honey/etc. cookie, then by all means give it to your children, but this is not the situation you describe. How about some raw vegetables and guacamole or paleo mayo with a few cubes of roasted chicken or turkey?

 

In the end, it is your choice where to draw the line with kids. Is it murderous to give them an occasional paleo cookie? not at all. just be honest with yourself about what you are doing. If it is something you would limit for yourself (as you mention above) consider that similar limits are probably in order for your kids.*

 

*within reason, of course: depending on your health and activity status, and that of your children, there may be some differences, for example, very active kids might need more carbs or be able to tolerate more fruit than an adult who is sedentary or has insulin resistance.

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I think the term 'murderous' is quite harsh, especially in this context...I think the general dietary habits you are instilling in your kids is FANTASTIC. I do not have kids, but I remember how I ate as a kid. Knowing what I know now, I sincerely wish my parents had been healthier and a lot less indulgent with me. I totally agree with MissMary. Give your kids a real substantial snack when they want/need one, just like the guidelines here for adults. Save the cookies and other treats...whether they are "healthy" or not...for truly special occasions. Make them mean something. Get your kids away from the mindset that dessert is a normal part of their day/week now, and it could help them be healthier adults. That's just my opinion...and how I wish I had grown up. That being said...even with the cookies you describe, they are still so much better off than many kids out there!

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Did you seriously just call me murderous for making my kids cookies?  How is this different than an adult grabbing a larabar when a full meal isn't available?

 

If it were up to me, larabars would be banned during the Whole30. Despite our saying repeatedly that they are only okay as "emergency" food when stuck in a long meeting or in traffic, people keep eating them as a matter of convenience and preference as the paleo candy bars that they are. So you will never see me signing off on larabars. I think if you need emergency food in your purse or car, you should carry a ziploc bag of nuts.

 

I said murderous for shock value. I am sure you love your children and actively work to make their lives as good as you can. However, I think our whole culture walks around with corrupt ideas of what is appropriate for children (and adults) to be eating. And I don't apologize for saying that feeding children cookies frequently is murderous. The problem is not an occasional cookie. Children can eat dirt or a bug every once in a while and be fine. The issue is what children eat day after day. Children need protein, healthy fats, veggies, and fruit presented as real food on a plate.

 

Food related television commercials in America are sophisticated brain washing messages designed to make crap food products seem like healthy choices or at least acceptable and socially appropriate choices. We all grew up immersed in these messages and now progressive moms like you accepts eating "healthy" cookies on a regular basis as appropriate, normal, and maybe even essential. I have become a crazy man carrying a sign warning that snacks are dangerous and feeding your children cookies is homicidal. Yikes! But I maintain the warning. Our culture has gone crazy with snacks and it is harming the health of everyone who partakes. It is time to learn to eat more like our great great grand parents. 

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I think it sounds like there's also people here with different ides of what "snack" mean. I think some are taking it as a treat or dessert and some are saying it how I mean - which is food that my kid eats when it's not mealtime. Snack =\= dessert in my house. A snack is what she gets between meals when she comes to me and says she's hungry again, and since I have a toddler that means almost every single day. Treats or desserts, like ice cream or cookies, are saved for special occasions, though I do watch that aspect also because of my own personal history.

When I was younger I was denied "treats" for no other reason than they were only for special occasions and the minute I could afford my own food, I would buy a bag of cookies and proceed to binge eat the whole thing! Then I would promptly feel guilty, because I'd just eaten food meant for "special occasions" and go throw up. I don't even want to know the damage I did to my body during those five years of that cycle.

I focus on teaching Chloe to make good choices, explaining to her that certain foods will make her healthy and strong, but not outright forbidding her that cookie if she asks for it - which is not all that often anyway. It's a fine line to walk sometimes.

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My kids and I have eaten a gluten/corn/soy/dairy/refined sugar-free diet for years, but this month I've switched me over to W30.  My  kids are eating the same food I am, with the exception of some occasional brown rice on their plates with their meals.  

Because they've eaten like this for most or all of their lives, they're used to eating snacks sweetened only with naturally - occurring sweeteners; the cookie recipe I used today was completely W30 compliant, except for the fact that it was a recipe for cookies.

So my question is this: if one of the points of W30 is to take away the power that sweets and treats have over us, does it defeat the purpose if I continue to include cookies in their diet (I'm not eating them)?  Today's cookies are a combination of dates, nuts, eggs, and coconut oil.  But in the end, they're cookies.

Thoughts?

Notetojenn I think you answered your own question. Although the cookies you are making are compliant they are still cookies so you probably should avoid them. It seems you feel conflicted about serving these compliant cookies to your kids. Maybe the question you should ask is why do you feel this way? Since your kids aren't doing a whole30 I wouldn't worry about it. Good luck!

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I'm in the camp that considers it vitally important to make snacks =/= cookies. My kids are 5 and 6, and snack often. For awhile, we got into a rut where I bought them Larabars for their afterschool snack because it was easy. But then they began demanding Larabars and refusing to eat healthier snacks when I provided them. In my house, that is not an option. So, we backed off the Larabars and I brought other options.  I don't feel like restricting junk snacks will lead them to bingeing behaviors as adults, because my reasoning is always clear: We are not going to eat cookies today because we are making better choices for our bodies. We can have cookies sometimes, but they don't make us stronger or healthier, so we won't have them every time we want them.

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Oh, I SO agree on that cookies are NOT snacks! I live in Sweden and here a cookie is a dessert or a treat, but not a snack. I think it is not just you, it is probably a cultural difference/American thing. I hear my friends in the US calling candy a snack and serving it daily to their kids. I think the word "snack" has a different meaning in your culture than in mine.

 

An apple and dab of almond butter could be a snack, or nuts and berries, or an egg and mashed avocado. Those are the snacks you'd want to feed your kids to stabilize their blood sugar and tide them over to the next meal. Cookies are treats, even if made with healthy ingredients.

 

Personally I think it is fine to enjoy a treat every once in a while, but let's not pretend it is real food. ;)

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I agree with Tom.  We have gone snack crazy. It's part of our sugar addiction. What I notice is that kids don't eat their meals (or very little of it) and then complain they are hungry an hour later and want a snack.  Kids are being inadvertently trained to hold out for snacks cuz they taste better.

 

If I feed my daughter a compliant meal, not only does she stop eating after a reasonable amount of food, she doesn't need a snack an hour later.  If she eats crap food, she can't stop eating it and then wants more and more.

 

It's not rocket science.  We are cleaning up our eating habits but we feel kids are somehow exempt cuz they are kids?  What's up with that?

 

When my daughter complains about being hungry and wanting a snack, I offer her a mini meal.  If she's truly hungry, she eats it.  If she isn't she'll say "Well I'm not hungry for that."  Then she's not that hungry.

 

And now it's summer.  I'm having a really hard time with the generally accepted notion of 'An afternoon ice cream every day cuz it's summertime.' 

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My goodness, JWHOLE30, you ask a man a question and then you bite his head off when he gives you the answer.

 

If you want your kids Paleo, then give them Paleo snacks.  If you want to impose the "whole30" on your kids, then you are agreeing to "change their relationship with food", which means not using any form of food as a reward.

 

As for me, my kids are Paleo (only) even when I myself am on a Whole30.  I do make paleo treats for my kids, not as treats, but as a part of a complete meal because they do miss the mouth-feel of eating a muffin.  My kids are still not great at eating straight vegetables, so all of my muffin treats have a variety of chopped/grated vegetables in them.

 

But if you ask my kids what they want for DESSERT, they ask for fruit, because my kids grew up being told that fruit is the special treat.

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And speaking of snacks, it was absolute H-E-double-toothpick this whole school year, trying to keep my kids paleo.  Their school went absolutely crazy with using every excuse on the planet to offer treats to the students.  It was incredibly stressful all year, trying to keep inappropriate foods out of my kids' mouths, and to explain to my kids why the teachers felt that so-and-so event had to have food involved, and why they could not eat it.  I was sick of it and am so glad that school is over for the moment.

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I was a child in the 70s and early 80s. My mom always had after school snacks for us - celery and carrots, or apples and cheese usually. Every once in awhile she baked cookies.

 

I believe I have my mother's refusal to buy junk food, sugary cereals (and only make cookies/desserts on occasion) to thank for the fact that I have never been overweight/insulin resistant. I made my own mistakes with sugary treats on my own but I'm thankful I had good nutrition throughout my childhood.

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I won't shout you down, Tom...while you're preaching good.   Go to any grocery store.  The cookie aisle is loaded with kid friendly buggies and Moms.   We've pampered our kids into an early grave.  They suffer with more diabetes than their parents and grandparents.   I've lost 6 relatives and 1 good friend to type 2 diabetes...1 in their 30's and 2 in their 40's.   

 

Please, keep preaching, Tom.

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Tell them that after we've stuffed our kids with cookies and soda pop...they're bullied at school and some want a gastric bypass.  I have 3 relatives who've had the surgery.   One died from the complications of surgery, and not right away.   Tell them about the 10 year mark for those who've had it about 10 years ago, that they start suffering with all kinds of vital deficiencies in the body.

 

Yes, gastric bypass may get rid of sugar diabetes.  But the cure just might take your life.

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"If it were up to me, larabars would be banned during the Whole30..."    I agree, Tom.

 

I'm not the Popo.  5-1-5-0, somebody call the po-po

Think I’m losin’ my mind, girl
5-1-5-0, just this side of loco
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah  

 

I do read food logs where the Larabars are frequently part of the plan.    I didn't eat one because I think they're a protein/candy bar substitute.   The other protein bars are loaded with sugar (power bars, luna bars and all the others).  

 

A red flag for me is when I see anyone fixated on a certain food, even if it's copasinki.  Can I just say, if I start using anything like I'm nursing a bottle, it's going to become a problem.  I won't name them because some are using certain foods like baby bottles.

 

When you can't live without the baby bottle, it's easy to revert backwards.

 

Mature coping skills.  I think desires and cravings are the exact same thing.

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I went to the supermarket on wednesday and ventured down the cookie aisle to to take a peek at what was going on.

 

TOM WAS WRONG!

 

It's not an entire aisle as he claims!!  It's actually 80% of an aisle and the other 20% is stocked with....

 

School supplies.

 

Our kids are doomed!

 

:)

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I think it sounds like you are doing an amazing job with your kids and creating a healthy relationship with food.  If the worst thing they eat all day is a cookie that isn't really a cookie, your kids are probably healthier than 99% of kids in America.  If you are concerned that they are getting too relient on the cookies then make it a Friday afternoon snack instead of an every day snack or whatever, but your are making home made natural cookie, not giving them a plate of chips ahoy.  Where I live, it's not unusual at all to see people put soda in their baby's bottle (what chance do those kids have?) and eat all sorts of junk and most of the kids are fat around here.  It sounds like your kids eat better than even most paleo kids, so personally I wouldn't stres at all if they eat a date & coconut cookie, but like I said, if you're concerned swap it out some.  I also think it's really important to create a healthy relationship with food for your kids and some people here seem to be treating it like a dogmatic religion and I think that often backfires.  I say keep up the good work. There is nothing wrong with your kids enjoying the occassional cookie, especialy the occassional health-food cookie, as long as the basis of their diet is healthy (which is sounds like it most definately is!)  

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