SP Premium

5 Foods I Never Feed My Children

By , SparkPeople Blogger
One of my biggest priorities as a mom is providing my kids with a healthy diet.  Sometimes I'm met with success (they love vegetables), but other times it's a little more difficult ("Eww!  What is this?!?"). I try to expose them to a wide variety of healthy foods, so that eating this way becomes a normal part of the rest of their lives.  My kids are 6, 4 and 1, and even though I control most of what they eat at this age, I still shake my head at some of the food that's served when I'm not around.  My kindergartner can't go to a Girl Scout meeting, sporting event or even morning snack at school without adults serving her junk food.  So when I'm given the opportunity to bring something, I see it as a chance to show kids that healthy food can taste good.
Sometimes I get flak from other parents (including my own) because I don't let my kids order whatever they want at a restaurant or limit the foods I bring into our home.  I don't think I'm denying my children the joys of childhood by not serving them many common "kid foods."  If substituting vegetables for French fries or telling them they can't have the corndog on the menu is the worst thing I do as a mom, I think I'm on the right track.   
At the same time, I realize that putting some foods off-limits often makes them the "forbidden fruit," and they can become the food my kids want most.  Just like adults, completely denying yourself the foods you enjoy makes you more likely to binge on them later.  I don't want my child to go crazy at a friend's house because their mom serves chocolate milk and I only serve plain.  My kids get treats and snacks they like, but there are certain foods they will just never get from me.  Recently, I read an article about the top foods nutrition experts won't feed their kids, which inspired me to write this blog.  Wondering what foods are on the "off limits" list for this personal trainer's kids?
5 Foods I Won't Feed My Kids
  1. Hot dogs.  I'm sure I'll get a little flak for saying this, but I have yet to find any significant nutritional value in a hot dog (or a slice of bologna for that matter).   The average hot dog has 4 grams of saturated fat and 540 milligrams of sodium.  The first two ingredients in a hot dog are mechanically separated turkey and mechanically separated chicken.  I don't know what "mechanically separated" means, but I'm pretty sure there's more processing involved than I'm comfortable serving my kids. In addition to that, processed meats, including hot dogs, contain nitrates, which have been linked to colon cancer.   
  2. Prepackaged lunches. A lot of my daughter's friends bring Lunchables to school as a "special treat".  Here's one variety:  Light Bologna with American Cracker Stackers.  Listed on the website as a "good source of protein, calcium and iron," they don't highlight the fact that one package contains 35% of the daily amount of saturated fat and 26% of the daily limit for sodium.  Without too much planning, you can come up with a much healthier lunch for your kids.  In addition, the ingredient list in a Lunchable is too long to count.  My general rule is that if a product has more than 5 ingredients, I put it back on the shelf.  This doesn't happen 100% of the time, but it's my goal as much as possible. 
  3. Soda.  Okay, I can’t exactly say “never” to this one, because my oldest two have had Sprite a few times in their lives.  But it really has been just a few times, on special occasions (like New Year’s Eve or birthdays.)  They never ask for soda because they are used to milk or water with all of their meals.  Soda is loaded with sugar, is bad for their teeth, and it has no nutritional value.  If your kids drink a lot of soda and you want to change that, don’t try and do it cold turkey.  Slowly start replacing soda with water.  If they don’t like the taste of plain water, try flavoring it with fruit.  My kids think it’s fun to squeeze an orange slice into their water. 
  4. Fast food.  The closest my kids have come to eating fast food is going to Panera on occasion.  I'd almost always rather make my kids a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner versus a McDonald's hamburger (which they have never had).  It's cheaper to cook at home and I know exactly what's going into the food being served.  And while PB&J might not be the perfect meal, it's still a pretty balanced meal that I can throw together in mere minutes—and my kids love it.
  5. Sugary cereals.  Growing up, the only cereals we were allowed to have were Cheerios and Rice Krispies.  While my friends dined on Cookie Crunch and fruity puffs with marshmallows, we were stuck with the plain stuff.  Now I'm glad my parents made this choice and I do the same.  Kids are much better off without a sugar-filled start to their day. Instead, our quick breakfasts of choice are peanut butter on toast, Greek yogurt with fruit or Cheerios.

I hope this list doesn't make me seem like a food snob, or imply that I'm better than any other mother who serves these foods to their children.  I strongly believe that every parent should do what they feel is best for their kids and within their abilities, finances and priorities. Serving my children a healthy diet full of wholesome food is important to me, so I put a lot of effort into the meals I serve.  Sometimes I get strange looks from friends and family when they see what I feed (or won't feed) my kids.  I've accepted that I'm different than most moms, and I hope that the older my kids get, the more they will appreciate it too.
But it's not about perfection. My kids do get treats.  They love pizza, whether we make it at home or go out to eat.  We enjoy going to the local ice cream stand in the summer, and sometimes we make cookies together at home just for fun.  They eat cake at birthday parties, and enjoy these "fun" foods just as much as any other child.  But in my family, treats are seen as special—not an everyday occurrence.  
If you're interested in changing the diet of your family, A Parent's Guide to Nutrition for Kids or SparkPeople’s Healthy Family Makeover Challenge is a good place to start.  Kids can be stubborn, so don't expect all changes to be well-received in the beginning.  But if you stay consistent, changing a few small things at a time so you don't overwhelm them all at once, eventually they will come around and your family will be much healthier because of it.
Are there any foods you won't (or didn't) serve to your kids?  Do you think my list of off-limits foods is reasonable or unreasonable?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


ERIN_POSCH 8/24/2020
thanks for sharing Report
MUSICNUT 7/16/2020
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
My kid is grown, but it's good info. Report
NANCYPAT1 7/4/2020
Thanks Report
ATHENA2010 6/12/2020
Great article..and good for you in working at feeding your kids healthy things. I notice a lot of flack from some people but you are doing a great thing in cutting out unhealthy foods. Plus, how many people never have certain foods for other reasons (such as certain vegetables or fruits because they don't like them, or religious and cultural reasons). As long as your children know why they aren't getting the foods, and you know they will make their own choices as adults, you are giving them the best gift a mother can give to her children - guarding their health, taking care of them the best that you can, and helping them to grow into healthy adults.

I also totally agree with your choices. There is nothing healthy in soda - I personally consider it liquid poison which is making a few men wealthy. As far as hot dogs: there have been studies that have identified processed meat (bologna and hot dogs included) as causing cancer (2015 - the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and it is more than just the nitrates (and those that say they are "nitrate free" contain celery juice or powder which contains nitrates. Good for everyone to stay away from them, although hard because they are so cheap and convenient. Those are the two curses of our fast-paced lives!

On top of it all is the SUGAR that is being added into everything! If you research any of the background of sugar and how "fat" was made out to be the bad ingredient in the 70's instead of sugar, then the correlation of increased obesity around the world as processed foods (with sugar added) have become available globally, fast food has permeated our society and is everywhere, advertising pushed food and drinks at us from every level - it is really eye-opening, and it is what turned me to eating whole, REAL food, and real weight loss and health!

So, good job - good article - hang in there and don't worry about being a food "snob" when you are making choices of what food your children eat - that is what you are supposed to be doing no matter who says what about it! Report
KHALIA2 1/1/2020
Great Advice! Thanks for sharing this one! Report
RHA1960 12/13/2019
When I was growing up we never ate out, everything was home cooked. My husband never ate vegetables growing up, not sure why. But he now says he has "lived this long without eating a vegetable, why start now". My kids grew up eating healthy food but I did not restrict too much. Now my grandchildren are also healthy eaters, they eat all sorts of fruits and veggies. Report
You are a very wise woman! Report
You are a very wise parent. Report
Well done! I wish I could go back in time and do the same! Report
I can tell how you love your kids. I can see the love! Report
I read every single comment and have come to this conclusion: Our children are going to grow up and make their own decisions.
*Some who grew up eating healthy thank their parents for that. Others blame parents because .... whatever.
*Some grew up eating junk food, and as adults make better and more informed decisions. Others blame parents for continued poor eating choices.
The vast majority of parents are doing the best they know how and the best they can afford. Shaming the author for your perceived "parent shaming" is ridiculous and hypocritical.

I am grateful to have better information and more disposable income than my mom had. With these things I have tried to make better choices for my children when they are small, and teach them my "whys" as they get older. Hopefully they will also learn that taking self responsibility is a good thing.

To the author: Good article! I don't think it was parent shaming in the least. I would hate for you to feel that you can't post an article here because of that feedback. Your approach seems very reasonable.

And to the person who said diet cola is a healthier choice. Are you freaking kidding me??? Report
This article is interesting but I also think it's 1. parent-shaming (no matter how I read it, it does come off as I-am-better-than-everyone-else 2. I feel a bit sorry for your kids because they have to be the odd kids at gatherings because their mom won't let them eat certain things. That's a lot of pressure to put on a kid socially 3. This is the direct path to an eating disorder as the children get older and you don't have that much control over what they eat. There are ways to present healthy choices to your children, but a superior attitude because they are beyond a Happy Meal isn't the way to do it. It sets them up to fail in the long run. Next thing you know, your cute 5 year old turns into a not so cute 15 year old binge eater. Report
It is my opinion that this perspective was not intended to shame anyone. It is what this person has chosen to do with her family. I think it was (good) food for thought with a rationale for the choices she has made. I appreciate all of the comments that were shared. It provides me with additional inform so that I can make even more informed decisions. Report
Great info. Report
This article sort of does come off with a holier-than-thou vibe, despite your efforts not to. Shaking your head because other parents served your kids junk food? Parent shaming at it's finest.

My son never drinks soda. We never exposed him to it until he was in grade school, then he tried it and didn't like it. But he eats hot dogs, and fast food. He also loves veggies. Allowing kids to try fast foods also gives an opportunity to teach about moderation. If you don't make it a forbidden, and use it as an opportunity to teach, then everything else falls into place. Report
Thanks for sharing article Report
Awesome article Report
My mom did this with us. There are 5 of us. No proceed foods all homemade. And in my eyes it was the worst thing ever to do. When I moved out on my own at 15 years of age I was only 130 and 5feet 7inches. With in the 1st year on my own I gained over 100 pounds. I want to try all the food I never had. If my mom would have let us try them then I believe me and my other sisters and my brother would not be heavy. I am now 30 years old and weigh 350 pounds. I have 3 kids how are healthy and are at a healthy weight. Unlike my mom I let our kids try fast food and junk food. We have tought them that it is okay to eat junk food sometimes but not all the time. They would choose fruit and veggies over fast food and junk food any day. They like the taste of healthy foods. In our grocery store they have free fruit and veggies for kids to snack on while their parents shop they also have cookies our kids go for the banana or the baby carrots and if they don't have them our kids will ask for the banana or the baby carrots they know that the cookies taste good but are they going to make me feel good no they know that they need healthy foods and we ask them if they want fast food most of the time they say no I want a salad or something like that. If you don't let you kids try something they will do anything and everything to get it . That is what I did and now I am paying for it. Just teach your kids how to eat healthy don't limit them from trying foods because they are not healthy enough for you. The creates eating disorders I know I have been down that road and I am still on that road. Report
I agree that soda pop should be consumed only on special occasions and only in sample size sips. However, hot dogs are available in lower calorie and lower fat variations, such as reduced fat beef, 98% fat free beef, fat free, low-fat, or reduced fat turkey, reduced fat chicken, and bison. Prepackaged meals, such as Lunchables and frozen TV dinners, are portion controlled, which helps keep total calorie intake under control. Fast food is not totally unhealthy if ordered in small portion sizes. Sugary cereal is actually a decent breakfast choice if only the recommended serving size is poured into a bowl and if the rest of the bowl is filled with milk and cut-up fruit; besides, sugary cereals taste way better than plain cereals. Report
Ok I need to speak up here! Growing up was mix of good & not so healthy foods. As a child I was a tooth pick, & ate healthy food w/o lots of preservatives. As I grew my diet changed in the aspect that I became a sneak eater. So my weight was all over the place but still doing good it was my round of yo-yo dieting.
Which carried over to adulthood! I've been on a diet so
many programs. Oh, yes I lost weight but when I hit a
maintaining after weight lost, I would go back to my old habits. Yep that's right here came the lbs. In my 50s I finally got the lbs off & maintained for over 5yrs.
But I fell back to those darn old habits as I'm also an
emotional eater! Now I'm my 70s I finally have learned to life for a healthier lifestyle NO more diets! I'm down lower than I been in 40yrs. Now I know I can do this! I have nothing to stop me! My praise belongs to my
L-rd fully! So my kids have had a hard time with their weight but they are always working to be healthier, that includes working out. Sneak eating & emotional eating is a hard pull to swallow but you can do it with a positive attitude. So if your a mom who wants her kids healthy & on a low budget do your best. You watch what is fed to your loved ones & remember goodies are not bad in small doses.

despite this quite "I hope this list doesn't make me seem like a food snob, or imply that I'm better than any other mother who serves these foods to their children." when you title it 5 foods I wont feed my children, you are actually shaming other parents. Im not all about being coddled, but dang, just because you cant find a hot dog to fit your criteria doesn't mean they dont exist. I do a lot of things I said I would "never" do because sometimes survival is more important than fighting a kid to eat something. I try. I hope I am making a positive experience out of food and helping them to develop healthy eating habits, but when you present info like this, it isn't that helpful. Food shaming other parents isnt helpful. Report
This is a very smart Mom! Report
I also used to get the lunchables but stopped because the food just wasn't filling enough for them. Report
You're funny. The more you tell a kid they can't have something the more they want it. Like when they go to a friends or a outing with out me. Get real. Report
This was a great article and although I don't often comment, I had to weigh in on this one. I grew up with meat and potatoes and lots of it along with homemade root beer, plenty of desserts, lots of candy and fast food. I was obese by the time I was in the second grade and Mom was giving me Ayds, the caramel like diet aid one took with a glass of warm water prior to a meal. Ayds never curbed my eating; in fact I used to sneak them as I thought of them as candy. Family outings and any get together with friends always centered around food, never anything like hiking or swimming or just taking a walk. Yes, I did ride my bike and played softball as I got older, but I'm now 72 years old and still struggling with my weight which for short periods of time has been normal, but most of the time has been in the overweight to morbidly obese category. Throughout my life there has always been pressure from myself, my family and friends to "lose the weight." I'm so sick and tired of hearing the phrase "Such a pretty face if only she would lose weight." And yes, with diets starting when I was 8 years old, I am now a binge eater needing to "get while the getting is good" because tomorrow (which by the way never comes) I will start to moderate my food once again.

Well, fast forward to my step grandchildren whose mother from the time they were able to eat food on their own never offered anything with a lot of sugar, fat or processing. Snacks were always fruit, vegetables and healthy choices. My grandsons grew up with a healthy diet which they preferred when it came to making their own choices. They also learned the value and pleasure of bike riding, hiking, swimming, canoeing and organized sports. Today all three are a normal weight and have nary a thought about diets or "good" or "bad" foods.

So, even though I have never raised children of my own, I certainly see from my own experience how valuable it is for kids to think that having an apple after school for a snack is just exactly what they wanted.

Jen, your kids are still young, don't give up and I know you won't in giving them healthy foods. I believe as they get older and can make their own choices that likely they will be like my grandsons and choose what tastes good...that apple rather than fries and a coke from McDonalds!
I don't have children, but I sure wish my parents would've instilled better eating habits into me and my older brother. I'm sure if they had've, we wouldn't have formed such terrible eating habits and struggled with our weight as adults.

When we were kids, my mom bought all the Frosted Flakes, Apple Jacks, Cookie Crisp and Cap'n Crunch we wanted while I remember friends of mine whose parents only allowed them to eat healthier stuff like oatmeal, plain corn flakes, or Rice Krispies.

I used to think, "poor suckers!" ...But now as an adult, I realize that I was the "poor sucker" with parents who simply weren't educated about nutrition.

If I'm ever blessed with a child, I'll certainly know better. Report
My mom was like yours. We ate what the adults ate. My parents did buy cookies for me and my sisters. But when the package was done, so were we til my mom and dad's next weekly shopping trip. And the whole family ate franks and beans on occasion. But my mom never served dessert, so we never got to expect it. And we drank milk til we were in HS. Report
Great article! I don't think you're a food snob because if I had to do it all over again with my nine year old, I'd do it the same. In the last year, we have started letting her have 1 can of soda throughout the weekend (she usually does half a can on sat and the rest on sun). This is my way of letting her have some without it being all she drinks and also getting rid of the forbidden fruit deal. Throughout the week her drink is usually water. Report
While I think it's great that you're raising your kids to be healthy, please be *very* careful. I know a LOT of people who were completely deprived of junks/sweets/soda in their childhoods, and they've spent their adulthoods being obese and addicted to junk.

Complete restriction/forbidding will probably make "bad" foods more appealing to them, just like with anything that parents forbid their kids from doing. In that case, parents should never be surprised if their kids are doing stuff behind their backs. Report
This brings back memories. My children are now 35 and 38. They were allowed to choose any cereal, as long as it was a shade of white or beige and wasn't frosted with sugar :) They weren't supposed to have sweets without asking me first, and I was thrilled one day when a neighbor came by to tell me she thought it was great that when she offered my kids (then about 4 and 7) candy, they both said they'd have to ask their mom. She thought it was remarkable that they stuck to the rules even in my absence. When times were rough and we went to the food pantry, colorful cereals provided a rare treat. I don't want to demonize any food, but focus on moderation. Report
As a child of the 70's I have experience with this sort of parenting. My parents fed me health food, denied me soda, limited my television viewing. What they created was a food-obsessed television technician. My relationship with food, my impulse to categorize some foods as "good" and others as "bad," dominates my life. I am eternally struggling with the idea that if I'm not "healthy" (which really means skinny) I have failed morally.

And it's not just me. The kids in my family, who I grew up with, struggle with the same exact issues.

So, be very careful about what you teach your children. Report
My child really doesn't eat (or drink) any of these, but then again, she has always been very underweight and doesn't eat. The only one she eats are hot-dogs, but she only likes them at a particular restaurant located 450 miles away from our home. She doesn't eat fruits, meat or veggies on a regular basis. She actually also hates cake, honey and candy.

I guess this is a good list. I usually look at any childhood articles in hopes of finding something that she would eat and not necessarily what she would not eat, but this is still a good article. Report
Totally agree. My 4 kids had porridge for breakfast many times and still love it.
They ate a huge variety of REAL foods and now as young adults have good habits. Yes we all have an indulgence once in awhile but parenting by feeding healthy foods and also teaching kids to cook them are treasured life skills! Report
Jen, I totally agree with what you've written.

My children had never tasted soda until they were 4 and 6. It was a school party and each child was given a Coke as a "special treat." Soda wasn't forbidden at our house, but we didn't buy it and they hadn't had the opportunity. It was funny to see how they grasped the bottles - each took a sip, made a face, and set it aside. One of the teachers said to me "Your children look as though they've never had soda." I said "They haven't. I don't think it's good for people, children or adults." (And I don't.)

My kids are 34 and 36. Neither one drinks soda - they don't care for it. Soda - and Oreos, and potato chips, and hot dogs, and fast-food - are acquired tastes. Nobody who smokes enjoyed their first cigarette. Nobody who drinks enjoyed their first whiskey. I don't judge what someone else puts in their body, nor do I judge what they give their children.

But I am convinced there are addictive qualities to processed foods (transfats, high sodium, etc). If the taste is not acquired in childhood, it is less likely to be acquired later, especially if the habit of healthier food is well established. It is much harder to change "junk-food habits" later. I would suspect that kids who are visiting friends and scarfing up the Oreos are living in households where parents are trying to reverse bad habits. Nobody is going to choose a Twinkie over a homemade cookie or cupcake – if they've never had either one.

Once you start down that "moderation" road those addictive substances in fast-foods and processed foods are all too likely to kick in. If the junk-food isn't introduced, there's less chance the habit will develop.

How many people salt food before they even taste it? There's an acquired habit. For many people it gets to the point where unsalted food "doesn't have any flavor." Yet if you don't start out eating salted food, you won't develop a taste for salt.

We never had salt shakers on the table, and I seldom use salt in cooking. Thirty years down the road, neither of my children cares for fast-food because it's always too salty, even when they ask for no added salt. Could there be more evidence for acquired tastes?

Eating unhealthy foods is not inevitable: the parent controls what the child eats for those first few crucial years. Starting the healthy habits early gives your child the best chance at maintaining healthy habits for the rest of his / her life. IMHO. Report
I imagine every parent has foods that are excluded for all kinds of reasons. Foods you'll never find at my house: creative meat foods--like scrapple, head cheese, organ meats, processed cheeses like Velveeta and Cheez Whiz, junk yogurt, junk cereals. Non foods you'll never find at my house: coffee, alcohol, soda, energy drinks. Some are excluded for health reasons, some money and some because they creep me out (scrapple & Cheez Whiz) Report
I am trying to stay away from Soda and I do not let the littles have it either. I do have to say we eat out but slowing down tremendously and as far as hotdogs and sugary cereals they do eat them. I did too as a child. They eat veggies and fruits daily and I do cook sometimes from scratch so I believe the get a good balance. Not the best choice but sometimes it hard with little money to not get hotdogs when a pack of hotdogs can be as low as .29 cent Report
The last time I took my 4 and 6 year Olds to panera, was the last time we'll ever go. Not kid friendly at all

My kids aren't fat from their nuggets or burger they get seldomly. Report
I always think it is funny when moms/dads have these hard and fast rules. News flash, they live in a big world. The kids with the diet-strict parents would go to a friend's house and clean them out of oreos and chips without fail. Information and choices not abstinence leads to smart, healthy adults without food issues... I am proud to say that I have three of them :). Just like anything else: education (food, sex, rules, expectations, different religions, politics, etc.) leads to thoughtful, understanding, self-aware adults. Pass it on! Namaste' Report
Well, my kids eats pretty healthy stuff and I cook dinner from scratch (they love fresh veggies, salads, fruits, quinoa, legumes, and one likes meat). I even bake my own chicken nuggets with organic chicken and nut meal. But I work full time and sometimes do resort to Lunchables, and I'm not going to feel guilty about it. Most of the time, they get bento boxes filled with a variety of healthy options, but if I have a ridiculous day or series of days, they're getting a Lunchable. Also, I allow the VERY occasional soda and sugar cereal for special occasions, as well as fast food but ONLY when we're traveling and I can't find a better options (I always pack lunch for the first day of a multi-day car trip). They are eating very mostly healthy stuff, and that which isn't perfect is, on the balance, the 20 percent of their 80/20 diet. Report
While I applaud your efforts, the foods and drinks you listed will NOT hurt them. Stop being a snob and let them have these things once in a while. It won't kill them, nor you. Report
You're not a food snob. You are taking care of your children, and teaching them good things. Treats are treats, not daily fare. I say, good for you! Report
My two grown sons - ages 29 and 33 - don't eat much sugar and never have sweetened soda because I took this approach. The one thing I'd say is different, I let them have an occasional hot dog and a monitored fast food meal because I didn't want them to grow up with a thought of "bad" and "good" foods - and emphasized more the value of food - from "healthy" and worth the money, vs. "not healthy" and a treat to have for special occasions. They grow with taste buds wanting healthy foods. Report
I grew up allergic to food coloring.
Think of it, a childhood without jello, koolaid, most cereal, most candy, most soda, gum, etc. It was only bad when i was sick, which was often, because -- with rare exception -- medicine (liquid kind) can not be flavored without being colored. You think that cherry concoction is bad? Try is straight sometime. Ugh.
So, I learned to love apple juice and white grape juice instead of soda, my biggest decision in breakfast is cheerios vs cornflakes, and I eventually just gave up meat entirely. There are vegetarian hotdogs -- they're worth looking into. Seriously, I've never met the person that could tell the difference. (Ditto for sandwich meat.) We never had to worry about fast food because the closest one was one hour away, one way -- so it was only "a couple times a year" kinda thing. And I'm not opposed to a veggie burger on the road.
I think helping children develop good habits, rather than forcing decisions onto them, should be the priority. Report
Kudos to you!!!! I wish my way of thinking about food when my girls were growing up had been far different than it was. Report
My mother used to try to convince me something was wrong with my kids because they wouldn't drink Kool-Aid, lol. Report
I did the same thing. My children are grown up & didn't know they were deprived. It was normal to eat healthy food. They also thought fast food was salad bar @ a sit down restaurant. They are grown up, eat healthy and thank me for not having unhealthy foods in the home. Report
I don't have kids and don't want kids either, but I do agree with some of the comments in the wording of the article. Growing up, we ate fast food a few times a month and ate out on Sunday's after church. I was never told that it was forbidden to eat a hotdog or drink cokes (in the south that refers to any soda). I guess the cokes were present the most frequently, but we also had fruits available for snacks (as well as other "unhealthy foods"). When I went off to college, I lost a lot of weight because I'm somewhat picky about what I eat and if it looks or smells different than what I am used to, I wouldn't eat it. After graduating, I gained a lot of the weight back for various reasons...aging (only 34), was sedentary, and didn't eat right. Finally, I got tired of all the weight and made changes...gave up soda's although I will drink one when I go out to eat (or if I'm craving it...get one 20 ounce bottle), eat out once a month or less, keep fruits around intsead of cookies and other sugary snacks, eat oatmeal for breakfast (or honey nut cheerios or rice crispies, but don't do it often because I eat too much of it), etc. Report
When I was growing up, I remember a boy whose mother would not allow him to chew gum. He would peel the gum stuck to the bottom of the bus seats and chew it. It would make me sick when he did this. Your plan of letting your children have "treats" on special occasions seems reasonable.I agree that hot dogs and other processed meats can be very bad for you. Teaching your children at such a young age how to eat right is wise. It takes time, thought, and a little work too which some parents just don't seem to bother with.You set an example too which means that they aren't watching you eat things that you don't let them eat. Report
I am not keen on the "never" idea. The key for me is moderation. I don't think it wise to demonize or sanctify any particular food.

Actually, "never" and "always" are generally not good words to use in most situations. I strive for excellence, not perfection, and I certainly wouldn't expect other people to do anything perfectly. Report
Walking Guide