Completely OT - Mummy post

Well, I may have embarked on the stupidest parenting experiment EVER...
Last week while shopping with the kids (which I try to avoid at all costs), my little Jono snuck off with my (environmentally friendly reusable) supermarket bag and started putting goodies in it. I was impressed to see he chose yogurt (not real yogurt mind you, but from the yogurt case nonetheless). I hit upon a (I thought at the time) brilliant idea.
"ok guys, on Friday, we are going to come to the supermarket, and you get to choose 5 items, anything you want, BUT it is all you are allowed to eat all day Saturday"

Ben " I'm getting 5 chocolate bars"

Jon "me too"

Brooke "I'm getting 5 boxes of rollups"

Jon "me too"

Ben "can we have as long as we like to choose"

Me "sure"

So, cut to Friday, and I was trying to find ways to get out of this stupid idea. But we had spent the week talking about it, and do they think they would get hungry if all they had was rollups for breakfast lunch and dinner, so I thought I would give it a go.
First stop I was pleasantly surprised, as Jon chose Pears!.....these were the first item swapped out I might add though, once he had 5 items. *sigh*.
I drew the line at kingsize chocolate bars and 2 litres of soft drinks...but otherwise they could choose as they liked. They all got a box of cereal, and that was the kicker I think. I knew they won't going to get hungry with a box of cereal to fall back on. Never mind... live and learn, eh?
So there was chocolate, and rollups in there various guises (strings, drops etc) - as an aside, how do companies get away with marketing these as a healthy snack, just because they are not in the lolly isle- we had biscuits, and lollies , oh, and Jon did get more dairy food...

Apart from them not making good choices, and not getting hungry, it actually went ok. There was quite a bit of negotiation and swapping and sharing. Jon swapped out a pack of biscuits for a pack of tic tacs at the checkout(I tried to explain), so he ran out of food first, and the others fed him from their stash. Late in the afternoon both Jon and Brooke headed to the fridge for fruit, which they were not allowed (Ben wouldn't go near fruit if it was the last food on earth), and their behaviour did not deteriorate as I expected.

I will do this again. I have already told them they must have one fruit item, and one item that needs to be cooked/heated up. I also think that 5 items was too many, they managed to graze all day. I will also add a budget as we go on.
So, while the first run did not go as I expected (starving children at the end of the day) I do think the idea has merits. I will work on it a bit more.

BTW it is my babies 4th birthday today. Happy Birthday Jono!!


Doreen G said...

What a great idea Jo--I think they will learn a lot from this experiment and the future ones that you plan--Well done.
I wish I could do the same with my 8 yo grand daughter but I know that she would not choose wisely--too many lollies.

Carol said...

What a fab idea, this is too clever, when you get the ground rules right it wil be fab. How old are the kids othere than jono??? Hapy birthday Jono!

Cathy K said...

This is a GREAT idea, Jo! And I bet they make better choices as you go along! :-) Clever Mum! Hugs, Cat

Gerry Krueger said...

When my kids were young, they got to plan one evening meal and help fix it. Some strange combos (like pizza and tacos the same night) not too many veggies but it was a good learning experience. Both boys grew up to be great cooks... I think anything getting them involved with their nutrition is a grand idea... Good for you.


Honey said...

This is off topic, but I was wondering what was happening with the comfort doll project? I'd love to make one but it doesn't seem to be happening in the southern hemisphere anymore.

Jo in NZ said...

Hi Honey, I am still happy to collect dolls for the comfort doll project. I have had a little more trouble with getting refuges interested here, but I also need to put more time into it... You can certainly send me one, although sending to Pat is probably a better option as I have 1 full dozen to donate, and yours would be all on its lonesome...

Honey said...

Thanks Jo. It's a worthwhile project and I love the beautiful dolls other ladies have made. I'll keep an eye on your blog and see how you go!

kerrykatiecakeskeb43 said...

Hi Jo! Sounds like a very interesting experiment!