Preteens eating my diet food

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  • AnotherXFitGuy
    AnotherXFitGuy Posts: 58 Member
    gothchiq wrote: »
    Who told you you were supposed to put yourself last? Nonsense. Tell the kids that if they eat your designated foods, there will be consequences, then follow through. They eat all your raspberries? Take away privileges. They'll get the message.

    This X 100!!!
  • malavika413
    malavika413 Posts: 474 Member
    zarckon wrote: »
    MFP, I need advice! I was going to call this thread "Food and parenting" but I see that topic is already taken *grin*

    So, I am the mom in a family of 4. My children are preteens, and I am the only one with a weight problem. Kids and husband are normal weight (but aware of what they eat/how much they exercise), and I still have 40-50 lbs to go after 30 lbs lost in 6 months.

    We all eat fresh, healthy food - very little that's processed or from a package. I cook every day, and shop every week. Our pantry and fridge are stocked with a wide variety of foods for meals and snacks: cereal, veggies, meat, cheese, eggs, soup, bread, crackers, fresh & dried fruit, etc etc etc. I stock the fruit bowl to overflowing twice a week. My kids have fairly sophisticated palates for their ages and generally prefer fresh food to junk. They can both cook and they make their own lunches.

    I spend about $300/week on groceries because we eat really well. Money's not a problem, but I like to shop smart.

    I buy stuff for the family that I don't eat myself. I don't drink soymilk, but one child prefers it, so I buy it for him even though it's expensive. One child likes chips in his lunch, so I buy them even though I'd rather not have them in the house (remember, judgmental folks from the "Parenting and Food" thread: no weight problem). I buy each child their preferred cereal, and let them add to the grocery week through the week (within reason!). My husband prefers organic eggs ($6/carton as opposed to $3 for the regular ones), so I buy them for the household, even though it's expensive.

    The problem is that I also buy "diet" foods for myself that look delicious to everyone else, and that are expensive enough that I wouldn't buy them otherwise. They're not the bulk of my diet, but they are something to really look forward to, and they keep me "on the wagon". For example, one of my favorite nighttime snacks is a dab of greek yogurt with a few fresh raspberries or strawberries. It's about 35 calories and I'd rather have that than candy. Or I'll buy salad shrimp and have them for lunch over a few days (150 cals for an amazing salad that I look forward to all day).

    But with preteens in the house, my delicious-but-low-cal-foods disappear instantly. For example, I bought a pint of out-of-season raspberries for $6 (ouch) and hid them in the veggie drawer. That's a week's worth for me. The kids found them and ate them all at once. Or I'll buy fresh strawberries in December ($8/qt), and then find that my husband (generally VERY supportive, but he loves strawberries too) put them ALL in a smoothie, even though we have tons of frozen fruit that's just as good if all you're doing it is throwing it in a blender. To me that's incredibly wasteful, but more importantly, it means I can't have my strawberries and yogurt.

    This week I bought salad shrimp and labelled them "Mom's stuff, don't touch". My kids have been hounding me about the darned things for 3 days, but at least they haven't eaten them. But now I feel guilty. Maybe I shouldn't buy stuff at all if it's not "for everyone". Unless it's for one of them, but not for me.

    The mom is always supposed to put herself last. And usually I do. You could say that's one reason I'm still fat with "baby weight" 10 years later ... because taking care of my kids, going to work, volunteering at school, helping with homework, cooking for the family - everything took priority over exercise. I'm trying to change that, because sometimes you have to put yourself first, right?

    So my question is: Am I being totally unreasonable and selfish to think I can have a few little luxuries in very small quantities that are too expensive for my teens to gobble down? Or are they being selfish by eating "reserved" food, like if I drank up my son's soymilk when I could just as easily drink cow's milk, but he can't? Or is there another option I'm not thinking of?

    MFP hivemind: discuss.

    You remind me of my mom. She works 12 hours a day, travels all over the world at least twice a month, cooks all our food, cleans the house, attends school conferences, but feels guilty if she's too busy to do any of those on a given day. She has no time for herself as a result, and can't exercise because she's too exhausted at the end of the day. As a mom you don't have to put yourself last, and we try to tell our mom this but she says she's happy this way.
  • angdpowers
    angdpowers Posts: 311 Member
    Idk, you are thoughtful and respectful to get each of them special things THEY like ... why can you not do the same for yourself??

    I think moms are THE WORST for having "mama guilt" - I know I'm bad about that too but trying SO VERY HARD to stop that!

    We do A LOT for our families and it is NOT a bad thing to want "special treats." If your kids, or hubby, can't be respectful of that ... that you are doing a mere little thing for YOURSELF ... then its time for a family meeting. Perhaps they don't realize what they are doing and you are just saying something in passing (ie "you ate all the raspberries?") or even worse, not saying anything at all ... or the fact that they don't realize that really, this is disrespectful and unloving towards YOU!

    Kids don't get to rule the roost. Or at least that was not how we were raised. We actually had to ask if we could have certain foods. I didn't turn out bad for it but my parents had boundaries. Why? Because we were the kids!

    I think you should be less hard on yourself, have your treats and expect the family to understand. Perhaps they don't realize that you buy them special cereals, snacks, almond milk etc simply for the fact that THEY desire it?!? Time to help them understand because you deserve things for yourself and these examples? They really are minute.
  • amberj32
    amberj32 Posts: 666 Member
    You are the best mom ever!!! You could buy extras for them but keep your portions separate and do NOT let anyone get into them. You are not being unreasonable at all. You do so much for your family you need to have something for yourself. :)
  • amberj32
    amberj32 Posts: 666 Member
    zarckon wrote: »
    I should have mentioned - I do have a shelf of "Mom's stuff". They don't go after that at all, even though the good dark chocolate is there. And I've asked them not to eat the raspberries, but they still do, because it's kind of mixed in with everything else in the fridge. They would definitely respect a label. Just trying to decide if it's too mean.


    No it's not too mean!!! You are doing great!
  • ew_david
    ew_david Posts: 3,474 Member
    With all the special things you buy for each of them, they are used to getting what they want. Not saying that's a bad thing that you do that for them, it's just what they're used to.
  • VeryKatie
    VeryKatie Posts: 5,867 Member
    edited January 2015
    I feel like your family would understand if you just talked to them about it over dinner. Just tell them how much you look forward to it and mention that you'd be happy to buy them stuff if they ask for it (so if you bought one for you, buy another for them - you can even ask how much they want - this might even make them learn how to be aware of their food which is a good thing to know whether you have a weight problem or not as it could help later in life). Then just say you'll write your name on things you're really hoping to eat yourself and ask them kindly to leave it for you.

    Your family actually sounds really nice! I bet it's just a matter of them not know just how much you look forward to having those foods and how disappointed you feel when you miss out. Sharing is good. It's not the worst problem you could have. Perhaps you could also consider buying a mini fridge for your items. You might be able to find a cheap second hand one.
  • JaneECS
    JaneECS Posts: 71 Member
    I have two "boys" of 19 and 20, both have Aspergers and we are trying to teach them to be independent, both have weight issues - one keeping it off, the other keeping it on. They live in a semi-independent apartment down the side of our house. We would love to say that it is all sharesies and happy, but as one needs to keep the weight on and the other has self control issues, we HAVE to say to the one with self control issues, you can have, for example, one chocolate biscuit, one packet of crisps a day, and its not just with the naughty stuff, its with healthy stuff too - I once saw him drink 2 litres of OJ and eat a half kilo of grapes in a morning. So yes, I do feel mean, but the skinny one has his own shelf in the fridge and drawer/cupboard in the kitchen area - if the other goes into it, he has to pay it back out of his allowance or it is padlocked and the skinny one keeps the key. On the other hand, if the skinny one eats his treats up in the big one's face, going "nom, nom, nom, mine, all mine", there are consequences too. Normally explaining cause and effect is enough to keep them on track.
    And no, as a mother you do not put yourself last, if you are not putting yourself first in getting and staying fit and healthy, how are you to look after them?
  • EddieHaskell97
    EddieHaskell97 Posts: 2,227 Member
    Take pictures where you're ripping a monster fart on the produce, sneezing on the salad shrimp, and using the yogurt like it's deodorant. Attach the pictures to your goodies.

    Better yet, let them know that they're preteens and therefore property. Property gets to eat what you say it does. You aren't in a democracy, you rule the roost. Be the alpha!

    Mini fridge?!? Are you kidding me?
    1. Completely unnecessary
    2. Waste of money to purchase and operate
    3. Won't solve the problem. (I assume they're smart enough to operate a refrigerator, mini or otherwise...)
  • geneticsteacher
    geneticsteacher Posts: 623 Member
    Have never heard of separating family members' food, but I will tell the family if there is something off limits because I am saving it for a particular recipe. They also know that they may not eat ALL of something - it is for everyone and they cannot eat more than their share. Teenage boys, in particular, sometimes need to be reminded of this rule. The oldest certainly was reminded by the screaming I did when I went to the fridge to take out the leftover pasta & shrimp, only to find that it was plain pasta. He had eaten out all of the shrimp for his midnight snack.
  • dbmata
    dbmata Posts: 12,952 Member
    "Spare the rod..."
  • HeySwoleSister
    HeySwoleSister Posts: 1,938 Member
    FFS, she's not "punishing them for eating fruit." She quite clearly said that she keeps a well-stocked fruit bowl available at all times. It's not like she's stingily counting out grains of rice to each family member! She buys food for the family and treats for each person based on their preferences. The problem is that people seem to think that HER personal treats are community property. She's not being selfish. Her kids are.
  • dbmata
    dbmata Posts: 12,952 Member
    EWJLang wrote: »
    FFS, she's not "punishing them for eating fruit." She quite clearly said that she keeps a well-stocked fruit bowl available at all times. It's not like she's stingily counting out grains of rice to each family member! She buys food for the family and treats for each person based on their preferences. The problem is that people seem to think that HER personal treats are community property. She's not being selfish. Her kids are.
    duh, spankings.
  • UnicornAmanda
    UnicornAmanda Posts: 294 Member
    edited January 2015
    Oh my god! do not feel guilty for wanting to have a few luxuries to yourself! Us moms are ALWAYS putting ourselves last for everything. When we go grocery shopping, we each pick out a snack for the week... This week I picked out chocolate pudding and these chip things. If my kids were older, I'd put a damn label on the pudding! Its a damn small container and I don't wanna feel like i have to eat the whole thing in one sitting in order to have some for myself lol. because older kids have a huge appetites. i wouldnt mind sharing a little bit, but i know how older kids are, because i used to be one lol. my aunt used to get mad at me because when i used to babysit her son at her house while she was at work. I would eat her "diet food" and i would eat a lot of it lol.
  • ew_david
    ew_david Posts: 3,474 Member
    EWJLang wrote: »
    FFS, she's not "punishing them for eating fruit." She quite clearly said that she keeps a well-stocked fruit bowl available at all times. It's not like she's stingily counting out grains of rice to each family member! She buys food for the family and treats for each person based on their preferences. The problem is that people seem to think that HER personal treats are community property. She's not being selfish. Her kids are.

    And who created that in them?
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,577 Member
    EWJLang wrote: »
    FFS, she's not "punishing them for eating fruit." She quite clearly said that she keeps a well-stocked fruit bowl available at all times. It's not like she's stingily counting out grains of rice to each family member! She buys food for the family and treats for each person based on their preferences. The problem is that people seem to think that HER personal treats are community property. She's not being selfish. Her kids are.

    Whoa! If eating all the berries is selfish for kids, why not for mom? Clearly the kids preference is also berries. If she can't afford berries for the kids and feels she needs them for her diet, then she can deal with that as she sees fit, but calling it selfish for one but not the other is wrong.
  • Flab2fitfi
    Flab2fitfi Posts: 1,349 Member
    Children can and do understand what is theirs and what is not. Due to having coeliacs and food allergies there are certain items in the house that are mine - normally quite expensive and the kids know they are mums and not to touch. We also have seperate peanut butter etc to stop cross contamination and the kids leave mine alone.

    The only one we have issue with is the four year old but she is four and does not understand - she will try and swap her stuff with mine as she is trying to share. in her case all the stuff is out of reach.
  • dbmata
    dbmata Posts: 12,952 Member
    _dracarys_ wrote: »
    EWJLang wrote: »
    FFS, she's not "punishing them for eating fruit." She quite clearly said that she keeps a well-stocked fruit bowl available at all times. It's not like she's stingily counting out grains of rice to each family member! She buys food for the family and treats for each person based on their preferences. The problem is that people seem to think that HER personal treats are community property. She's not being selfish. Her kids are.

    And who created that in them?

    Lack of discipline.