Strategies for resisting comfort foods when you have to have them in your house?

I have eliminated most of my "comfort" foods from the house. However, because my 4 year old is one of the pickiest of eaters, I have to have mac and cheese in the house. When I make it for her, I end up eating and eating it. I am so disappointed in myself. What strategies have you found to work for you when you cannot help being in this situation and you find yourself continually failing to hold strong?

Replies

  • Fflpnari
    Fflpnari Posts: 973 Member
    Im an all or nothing personality. I can have things around but as soon as I take a bite all heeellllll breaks loose. So its easier for me to resist that first bite.
  • wi1234567890
    wi1234567890 Posts: 57 Member
    The only thing that helps me is to honestly and accurately log all the foods I eat. Being able to see what I ate, why I ate it and how I felt afterwards helps me to make better choices for my next meal. I haven’t eliminated any foods from my diet but I am learning to be creative and find ways to fit all my favorite foods into my meals.
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,125 Member
    I have a list of "almost never foods." I would put Kraft mac and cheese on that list. I haven't had it for years, although I have had some home-made mac and cheese on occasion.

    I was a chunker when the kids were little, so I feel your pain!
  • penguinmama87
    penguinmama87 Posts: 945 Member
    I have eliminated most of my "comfort" foods from the house. However, because my 4 year old is one of the pickiest of eaters, I have to have mac and cheese in the house. When I make it for her, I end up eating and eating it. I am so disappointed in myself. What strategies have you found to work for you when you cannot help being in this situation and you find yourself continually failing to hold strong?

    I would gently challenge you on this a bit, as a mom of five including one on the autism spectrum. If your daughter has specific diagnosed sensory issues that's one thing, but if not....I would not let her rule what foods you keep in the house. She will not die without her favorite mac and cheese, and neither will you. She's only four, and you're the mom, and you're in charge, and she isn't. I think we should be sensitive to kids' more delicate palates and not just feed them "rabbit food" at every meal, but you are allowed to have her try things and not give in to pickiness. This might sound like criticism but honestly it is intended as encouragement. Four year olds can definitely be stubborn! But IMO a lot of parenting toddlers and preschoolers is being willing to be more stubborn than your kids.

    That said, with other family members at home there are things I keep here but personally don't eat. My strategy is to keep anything tempting in high cupboards out of easy reach and my line of sight, and to pack away leftovers as soon as whatever is being eaten immediately is served.

    Do you meal plan? That can help with impulsive eating and could even be beneficial to your daughter. If she currently eats mac and cheese every day for lunch, you could change it to every other day and let her see (with words and/or pictures depending) on a chart or calendar the next time she will get to have it. Getting excited about new foods and letting her help you prepare it is also a great strategy for more reluctant eaters to try new things.
  • LenGray
    LenGray Posts: 705 Member
    I try not to resist comfort foods, honestly. I'll either find an alternate version of my comfort food or I'll add stuff to it so that it's both nutritious and comforting.

    So, if I'm eating mac n' cheese, this might mean that I add shredded carrot, grilled mushrooms, roasted brussel sprouts, broccoli, or greens like kale or spinach. Sometimes I might even add tomato, squash, or roasted peppers. This is a more sustainable way for me to eat than resisting what I want because I can still enjoy my comforting food (mac n' cheese), get a lot more fiber and nutrition (veggies), and focus on the positives of adding flavors/volume rather than denying myself a food that I enjoy. I hope that helps!
  • MaltedTea
    MaltedTea Posts: 6,287 Member
    Kids generally eat what their parents and caregivers provide. Schools (in Canada at least) don't even allow kids to share what's in their lunchboxes anymore for fear of allergies.

    If "macaroni and cheese" (which does happens to be my teen son's staple so I'm not judging) is your kid's thing AND you want to continue tolerating it as a food choice despite your desire to eat it, then why not experiment in a way that allows your child to lead which is good for her and likely less calorie dense for you both?

    For example, go the @Jthanmyfitnesspal with homemade: you buy macaroni and then cheese - or cheeses - separately. If they think the dish only works with "cheese powder" there is still room to experiment as Kraft is not the only maker of the stuff.

    I suggest this approach because it encourages younger kids to becoming empowered in a healthy way both mentally and physically. It allows allows you to log the recipe in MFP and compare it nutritionally to the "blue box stuff."

    Your child will learn about food, acquire a wider sense of control and different type of self-efficacy (especially if you allow them to help you cook the stuff). Bonus: if you're up to it, they also learn math since you're dealing with recipes.

    Oh yeah and likely less calories and guilt for you.

    Or...you can just make room for it in your day 🤷🏾‍♀️

  • ClearNotCloudyMind
    ClearNotCloudyMind Posts: 219 Member
    Jedi mind trick... “these are not the foods you are looking for”!

    Seriously though, I don’t want to impose my own food limitations on my very healthy and active family. So... there is food in the house that I simply don’t eat. It’s not for me. It’s been seven months now and I genuinely don’t even really notice the biscuit tin has stuff in it. It started with one day where I didn’t eat biscuits, around Halloween. I felt better, so I did a second day. And a third.

    Worked for me.

  • deputy_randolph
    deputy_randolph Posts: 941 Member
    If possible, I personally would try to ween my child off of a food that was a trigger for my binge eating. I would look for a replacement that was much less appealing to me. I saw the suggestion of buying the ingredients separately and making smaller portions. Is there a form of pasta you dislike or can resist? A different type of cheese that is less appealing to you?

    The other option would be maybe freezing these foods in kid sized portions. I would definitely be less likely to defrost something just for the sake of eating it.
  • lmf1012
    lmf1012 Posts: 402 Member
    That’s a tough one for sure, my 11 yo loves the mac n cheese too and I would normally eat it too.

    I would start by pre-logging it in your diary how much you have room for in your calorie budget and then weigh it out and decide if it is worth it.

    Another option is to immediately put the remaining amount in the fridge for your daughter for leftovers or throw it away.
  • TheWaistBasket
    TheWaistBasket Posts: 56 Member
    Why can't you have it? My dietician, who I met for the first time last week made it clear to me that there is no bad food, just bad ways of cooking and eating.
    I had lasagne for dinner tonight. Cheese 700 calories and I almost licked the plate. I had cereals for breakfast and a subway salad for lunch. I stayed under my calories with lasagne.

    I am a rookie, a newbie who has so much to learn. I think my way of judging food and myself have to change.