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Moms' Food Rules

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!

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44 comments

Comments

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.

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.

James says …

No dessert before dinner (unless I get some, too).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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. :)

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!

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.

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.

Alli says …

No singing at the table. She was afraid I would choke (or maybe it was my singing voice) :-)

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...

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.

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.

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!

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!" :-)

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.

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.

James M. says …

Slow down! Use a glass, don't drink out of the carton. Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.

:-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!

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.

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.

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!"

Pamela says …

We have a rule that the kids should eat at least 5 different colors of fruits and vegetables each day (makes the plate pretty) and the amount is not as important as the variety. But my favorite table advice is - It's a spoon, not a shovel.

Saj says …

Try it, if you don't like it you don't have to eat it. Not everyone likes everything

Beth says …

1. Eat what I cook. 2. Wash your hands. 3. Dinner is either tuna casserole, mac'n cheese, interchangeable meat sauces: spaghetti (it has oregano in the sauce), chili (it has beans and chili powder in it), or goulash (it has beans and macaroni and may just be recycled chili.)

Robin says …

We didn't have a whole lot of rules beyond chewing with your mouth closed and asking for things rather than reaching across the table. We were encouraged to try new foods (sometimes without being told what they were) before deciding if we liked them, which is how I ended up enjoying calamari, blue cheese, and liver and onions. Otherwise, we were pretty much allowed to eat the parts of the meal we liked and ignore the parts we didn't. My parents were pretty awesome that way. :)

Laurie Paxson says …

Rotels in everything.(Rotel tomatoes with chilis for those not from Texas)

Rebecca says …

My mom's rules: Eat everything on your plate - unless Dad was gone for dinner, then we just had to taste everything. Stay seated until everyone is finished eating - this one was the hardest! No dessert unless you ate all your veggies.

Denise says …

Our only rule for dinner was to share it together! It has been time well spent. Our daughter is now 23 and still spends many dinners (as well as other quality time) with us. By the way, she has also become a fantastic cook as well!

Becky says …

My grandfather always said "don't talk with your mouth half-full, fill it up!" This was his way of using humor to remind me to chew with my mouth closed. He had a great approach- no kid likes to be scolded at the table! I now say the same thing to my little girl!

Joyce Maxwell says …

That old adage not to swim until an hour after you eat was already debunked, but I noticed that people with sensitive digestive systems and people who eat maybe too much might have a tummyache if they swim too early. It's best to have something light before swimming, and save anything heavier for later.

Linda Glatt Anderson says …

Many of my rules are for the cook (me or my mom) which I figure will result in my kids learning how to prepare nutritious foods for themselves and their families in the future: The meal should be aethetically pleasing with many colors of food (the more colors, the more complete you vitamins and nutrients). At least three veggies at dinner and potatoes and corn are starches not veggies. -- my 5 year old has been known to say "where's the third veggie Grammy?". Although on pizza night, we relax the meal and cut back to two veggies (usually steamed broccoli and Greek salad) Salt must be kept to a minimum -- other spices are more interesting anyway. Of course, I've got kid rules too: You must try it before deciding you don't like it since I could have made it differently this time. A treat after finishing your dinner can be any one of a large number of fresh fruits. You don't 'hate' a food, but it can be something you don't prefer. After the one bite of the less preferred food, they can move on to their other food items, but only one less preferred food a night. You must have some protein at every meal.

Jennifer Stover says …

Make time for family, it's a comfortable, laid back time. Make sure that there is something everyone likes.

nina says …

My mother was Norwegian and we always had a starch and two vegetables with a broiled, boiled or steamed meat...usually fish. We NEVER had dessert, never had snacks, had to eat all our food -even liver and onions which I never ate and ended up falling alseep at the table several times over...had the same rules, which I feel are simple manners and show respect-no talking with your mouth full of food, no elbows on the table, don't start eating until the cook sits down or says it is okay to start, have to try everything...etc... I can't get enough candy and snacks...and have been that way since high scool-I used to hide candy bar under my mattress...and I have been everweight for years...defintly unhealthy... I majored in Dietetics, so I believe in good nutrition-but I never force my kids to eat anything they don't want, or to eat if they are not hungry...and if they prefer a cookie or ice cream to a fruit, no problem! They ask for apples and celery with ranch as well...a much healthier approach I feel...

ashley says …

If you eat it before you get home it doesn't have calories (This one started after I had moved out of the house, but I still like it)

Laura says …

I would just like to share that rules such as "you must finish everything on your plate" or "you must eat a certain amount of this" are NOT always appropriate eating habits to instill in kids. Telling kids they HAVE to eat something teaches them to ignore their own body's signs that they are full. This can lead to overeating once they become older. I like the person's comment who said if the kids can't finish it, they can save it for later. That's much better logic than guilting a kid just because he or she is full or isn't comfortable with a food.

Ashley says …

My Mom would always say when asked if we could eat something else or if she could cook something different… ‘Do I look like a short order cook? This is the order for the day.”

David A. Ridge says …

Uh, Take a listen to Jimmy Deans Naration of "IOU". It is played mostly around Mothers day!

Kim Chapman says …

Hi,I resently had my gallbladder removed and I'm watching what I eat more. I had changed our eating habits. I cook the food for my husband and I, so it had to start with me. My brother, who is a vegetarian asked if there was a wholefood market that I knew of here in Bmore, at the time I did not. So I searched the internet and found out about your stores. I have not visited one yet but plan to do so real soon. Thank you. KC

Kathy Prince says …

Only take want you will eat

K Prince says …

Everyone eats at the table and No TV.