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reader’s happy ending to sugary cereal quandry…

Posted by on Jan 6, 2012 in Blog Posts | 7 comments

This was sent to me by a reader who followed my sugary cereal battles last year. I am happy to report, that the issue is also resolved in our home as well. I love getting these kinds of emails from parents who are able to stick it out and not pressure with eating. It is so, so hard sometimes! Parents, will you share your stories of patience paying off to inspire others?

“A happy ending to my sugar cereal woes. . . Background: hubby eats sugar cereals for breakfast and buys them regularly for our boys, who were turning up their noses at everything else. Their favorites were Peanut Butter Crunch and Lucky Charms (the worst! They’d skip the cereal and just eat the marshmallows). Hubby was not open to the idea of not buying the crap on a regular basis. My strategy: serve boys something else tasty but healthier for breakfast before they had a chance to request sugar cereal (peanut butter and bananas on toast, oatmeal with a little brown sugar, dried cranberries and walnuts, and plenty of milk, Rice Chex with blueberries and a sprinkle of table sugar). My boys would complain that they wanted PB Crunch instead, I’d simply say “OK,” and serve that, too. No lectures about sugar crap and no comments, even to hubby. Gradually, they started eating both options instead of just the PB Crunch, and then they started eating what I served instead of asking for the sugar cereal. Now, they will ask for oatmeal or or toast or Chex or Cheerios with fruit instead of the crap. They’re eating the sugar cereals now about once or twice a week and usually only a few bites in addition to something better. I am very happy with this result- no forbidden fruit aura about the crap and boys who are full and happy until lunchtime thanks to some fiber, protein, and fat in their breakfasts! It took about a year to get to this point (probably because of my own early mistakes in preaching about how sugar cereals don’t make you full).”

Thanks so much for sharing. I think the point that is particularly important is having patience and faith that kids will mature with their eating, and you are doing an amazing job providing tasty, balanced and filling options. What a gift to your boys. Now… wonder about how your husband grew up with food :) It also brings up a great point about how you can be creative when parents differ on food choices. Keep us posted with your successes!

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7 Comments

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  1. Gems

    This is worth a try. I usually buy ‘good’ cereals for a few weeks and then treat the kids to junk for one week. This way also helps the kid make decisions for themselves…something that will help them make better choices in the future…thanks x

    • katja

      Thanks for the comment! You know, if what you are doing now is working for you, then stick with it :) We have done both approaches, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. of note, our treat cereals are frosted mini-wheats and frosted flakes. Our situation was a little different than the reader bc her husband had the cereals in the home. When we are at hotels, M gets to chose any cereal, but even I have trouble buying the pink stuff with marshmallows… If your kids seem unduly interested in the cereal, it might be worth a shot, if however, they are pretty content with your system, it probably works for you! Keep us posted with what you decide!

  2. Heather

    I wanted to share what happened this weekend. I cooked pasta with a cream sauce for my son and I. We don’t have creamy sauces often (they don’t sit well on my husband’s stomach, but he wasn’t home for dinner) so it was unfamiliar looking to my son. My son looked at it and said “I don’t like this sauce. I want to have plain noodles.” I said, “Well, this is the kind of noodles we’re having tonight. If you don’t like them, you don’t have to eat them. There are also salad and green beans and parmesan cheese on the table.” We said no more about it. He started nibbling on the green beans but soon tried the pasta and ended up eating an entire bowl.

    • katja

      I KNOW!!! It works, right? This is what I say when I talk about getting the fight out. When they don’t have to lose face, when it’s just there, or not, most times, they are going to try it and like it. Good for you! How did that feel??? Spread the word, post that on your FB page and see what comments you get :)
      So many parents are working so hard, and it’s like quick sand… Thank you for sharing!

      • Heather

        In the interest of full disclosure, I used the exact same approach last night with potato soup but it was a no go. Oh well, maybe next time, or the time after that… :)

        • katja

          yes, that is the test of will, yours :) I waited six years for her to try bacon, now loves it, 5 plus years for lettuce, now loves it…

  3. Caprice

    The reader who wrote you realized she could only change her behavior and she did. How marvelous! She provided good food and no food policing. She got the result she wanted but even if she hadn’t breakfast had less stress and that alone would have benefited everyone.