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Moms' Food Rules

By Paige Brady, April 30, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Paige Brady
Pizza with Salad

It's in the job description: moms have to make up all kinds of rules. Some moms are particularly gifted at this part of the job: "Don't run with scissors." Others, not so much: "No whiskey before noon."

Let's have some fun sharing our Moms' rules about food and eating - maybe even pick up some new ones! For example, I tell my daughter that she can only eat pizza if she has a side salad along with it. Here are a few of the "Moms' Food Rules" collected from my teammates.


  • You don't get a dinner roll until your salad/veggies are gone.
  • No quesadillas without pintos on the side.
  • Taste your food before adding table salt.
  • Take three bites of everything on your plate.
  • Can't buy a packaged cereal if sugar is one of the top three ingredients.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Don't snitch the cookie batter - there are raw eggs in there.
  • No mac and cheese without peas.
  • Wait an hour after lunch before getting back into the pool.
  • At picnics: a little dirt never hurt anyone and you can't taste ants.

What are your favorite rules from your mom or the rules you've made up for your kids? We'd love to hear them!

Category: Random Stuff




Pamela Newberry says ...
"No answering the phone during dinner." We made this one after our daughter kicked over the gallon of milk sitting on the floor next to her chair when she (middle-schooler at the time) jumped up to answer the phone.
04/30/2009 8:39:26 AM CDT
James says ...
No dessert before dinner (unless I get some, too).
04/30/2009 9:46:51 AM CDT
Jojo says ...
Some of my Mom's rules: 1. Finish the old before you start the new (as in, if there is a little bit left in the old milk container, you can't open the new one). 2. She totally did the "no batter" thing, which I have completely rebelled against since becoming an adult. Ah, rebellion tastes so sweet! 3. No dessert unless you finish your dinner. 4. Not really a rule, but we always had a bedtime snack of something healthy.
04/30/2009 12:04:37 PM CDT
Pier says ...
If you think you're eating because of boredom, drink 8 oz of water and wait a little bit. If you really are hungry you will still be hungry.
04/30/2009 12:17:32 PM CDT
Jenna says ...
I have figured out ways to eliminate too many rules. Working on what I consider to be important rules looks like this: 1. Wash hands. 2. Go ahead and enjoy your mac and cheese (I already added the veggies so they are unnoticeable) 3. We have our treat after dinner only (a very low sugar Gold'n Krackle with cinnamon on top, an occasional frozen yogurt, home-made cranberry sauce atop a couple crackers. 4. Daytime snacks: Dried Plums (prunes), carrots, strawberries, yogurt, raisins. It works out very well. Your children might prefer the cherries to the prunes or apple slices.... there is always a healthy alternative.
04/30/2009 1:39:05 PM CDT
Meaghan says ...
My mom had a few rules: No knives in the jelly jar and no stirring the jelly. Nothing white, nothing fried and no two things of the same color at the same meal. (Nothing white as in no mashed potatoes without skins, no white bread, no white rice.) All dinners begin with a salad and have two vegetables at least. If you don't finish everything on your plate there will be no dessert, no seconds of anything else and no eating until the next meal.
04/30/2009 3:11:49 PM CDT
Dharma Rahkonen says ...
My Rules are usually based on experience. Here are few No suggar except on Saturdays At dinner time we share problems, accomplishments and best part of the day, if you want advice you can ask for it and everyone has till dessert time to think of their advice. We have a little token we pass around that gives one the right to talk, only one person talks at the time. We eat at least 2 things per meal that are environmentally responsible and everyone has a chance to guess what they are and why they are responsible
04/30/2009 5:02:02 PM CDT
Marie says ...
My sons' favorite of my rules in otherwise extremely healthy vegetarian, but pre-vegan, times): Pumpkin pie = milk + eggs + vegetable + bread (piecrust) (ignore the sugar, please) = good food that can be eaten for any meal, in place of any other food, as long as it lasts! Pumpkin pie was their favorite breakfast. :)
04/30/2009 7:16:30 PM CDT
Eva says ...
The only rule mom ever gave us was to NEVER say "eww" or "gross" because it is all food she prepared which was meant to nourish us. :) Simple!
04/30/2009 11:14:58 PM CDT
Bethany Schultz says ...
*You must sit down to eat. *Put it in a bowl, don't eat out of the container. *Don't take more than you can eat. *Do not feed that to the cats! *After you clean your plate you can have dessert. *You have to take as many bites as you are years old if it was something we didn't like. *You must take one bite of a new food to try them.
05/01/2009 11:04:55 PM CDT
Julietta Miller says ...
"no one leaves the table until everyone is finished" @ Dharma: I agree that talking when sitting together at the table is important, but too many rules make life boring and predictable! also experience.
05/03/2009 5:42:02 PM CDT
Alli says ...
No singing at the table. She was afraid I would choke (or maybe it was my singing voice) :-)
05/04/2009 11:10:52 AM CDT
Maureen says ...
Too many rules...looks like your kids are going to have eating disorders....never had any rule growing up and never had any for my kids...we still eat the raw brownie and cake batter and never get sick....we never ate vegetables growing up and neither do my kids...who are now adults...my son never was on an antibiotic in his life and my daughter was on one once...never forced my kids to eat anything they didn't want to eat and now they eat everything...
05/04/2009 3:05:25 PM CDT
jerri says ...
my mom's rules were simple - never do anything to embarrass me, don't lie, and always eat something green at each meal.
05/05/2009 1:03:36 PM CDT
Cynthia Stevenson says ...
This isn't really a rule but it sure works on vacation...No otherwise well fed, healthy child will starve to death if they eat ice cream and only ice cream for 3 days!...At a meeting someone saw some of the kids eating ice cream for all 3 meals 3 days in a row--no veggies no meat (or alternatives) just ice cream and this went on for 3 days...none died but the 4th day breakfast was fruit and other choices with lunch being peanut butter sandwiches and celery sticks from the salad bar! Their bodies rebelled and wanted something else...lol...see no otherwise well fed child will starve to death only eating ice cream for 3 days...go ahead eat what you want until your body rebels and looks for the other options of good stuff.
05/06/2009 1:35:04 PM CDT
Jen says ...
We don't have rules regarding food just encouragements. 1. Whenever there is something new at dinner we encourage the kids to try it before they decide they don't like it. 2. Never feel as if you have to eat when you aren't hungry or just to be social.
05/06/2009 1:36:57 PM CDT
Carla Davis says ...
Always sprinkle the coffee grounds on the flower bed, save the red net plastic onion bags for homemade toys over the holidays, put collected kitchen scraps in the composter in the backyard, and combine your proteins when eating vegetarian (a la Diet for a Small Planet). I remember her the most on Earth Day!
05/06/2009 1:38:42 PM CDT
Dawn says ...
I grew up with a single mom. There are a few meal "rules" that she had that I have adopted as a mother: 1. Take a little at first. If you like it, you can have more. BUT, only take what you can eat. 2. Don't throw food away. If you can't eat everything on your plate, save it for another meal. *Can you see a theme here? "Don't waste food! There are people starving around the world who would be happy to eat that!" :-)
05/06/2009 1:43:24 PM CDT
Vixii says ...
I'm with Maureen...too many rules. Lot's of love, a sense of adventure and tolerance for others needs and desires tends to lead to healthy people who live a life that nurtures them, a life that usually include eating the foods that serve them the best.
05/06/2009 1:43:41 PM CDT
sue says ...
In the summer when it's too hot to cook you get hot fudge sundaes for dinner. Just make sure to chew with your mouth shut or you have to leave the table.
05/06/2009 1:44:29 PM CDT
James M. says ...
Slow down! Use a glass, don't drink out of the carton. Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.
05/06/2009 1:49:07 PM CDT
:-Di says ...
My Mom always told my sister and I that "If you sing at the table you'll end up with a crazy husband." So we sang louder! Also: No talking with your mouth full, chew with your mouth closed and no elbows on the table!
05/06/2009 1:56:40 PM CDT
Lara says ...
You can't have more green beans until you eat your chicken. I know, I have a weird child. And yes, I've said this more than once.
05/06/2009 2:07:19 PM CDT
Meenakshi says ...
Oh! so many! But one that sticks out was: She said, "If you eat out of the vessel food is cooked in, it'll rain on your wedding day!!!" LOL! She always made us use a bowl.
05/06/2009 2:36:35 PM CDT
Tom says ...
I'm very much with Maureen, Jerr and Vixii. Eating should be fun and not following a list of rules. We just try to give them a good example with our own behaviour - and...it works! Just one simple rule: never say "ugh!" just say "I don't like it!"
05/06/2009 3:07:59 PM CDT