#946: Mother, may I?

Yummmm . . . Irresistable orange puffs of goodness that aren't so good

When you deny kids a forbidden fruit like junk food, quite often, you would expect them to gorge themselves at the very first chance they get. And it used to be this way, or at least on the first few occasions when the Girl came face-to-face with junk food.

I remember how enamored she was when she tasted her first chips, and especially her first cheezies at a friend’s house. Ah, cheezies, those puffy, orange creations that are probably only a few chemicals away from being declared a biological weapon. Those cheese puffs sat on the snack table with dozens of other delectable (and more nutritious) items, but of course, they were the only ones that our little 2-year-old girl had eyes for. Because they were a novelty. (And okay, they are oh so tasty.)

Somewhere along the way though, she changed, on her own. And when she does get junk, she doesn’t overload on it. Although we never admonished or denied her the pleasure of those heaven-sent foods when she encountered them on the rare occasion—my view on bad foods is to let kids try everything at least once in their life, so that they don’t resort to sneaking it in and bingeing on it later in life—we did make it known that these were “treats”, not to be added to our regular grocery list. So now, she never just automatically heads to the junk; she waits and gives me a pleading look, or simply asks, “May I?”.  As she did last weekend, when she was offered ginger ale at our friends’ home. Instead of eagerly accepting the pop and jumping on it without looking back, she looked at me first, and I knew that her next words would be, “Would it be okay if I have some?”

Luckily for us, the Boy seems to be following the same route. He seems to be discovering an admirable amount of self-restraint, and recognises when his body has had enough. On one particular occasion, after he had had access to some treat, he said to us simply, “I think I should stop now. I’ve had enough sugar.”

It’s nice when you don’t have to witness your kids bouncing off the walls like some cats drugged up on catnip. It’s great to have kids who know when to say when.

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