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Sneaking/hiding food and signs of overeating in your kids?

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#1 Thegymbum



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Posted 13 July 2020 - 05:31 PM

Wondering if anyone here has dealt with this.

Lately I’ve had issues with my 3 year old sneaking food and just in general being deceptive with food. Having struggled with an ed most of my life, obviously I’m very concerned and want to handle it the best way possible to help deter future issues.

She’s been getting extra snacks and sweets from the pantry whenever she eats a chance; I’m pretty vigilant and usually on top of it, but she ALWAYS wants more and is much more interested in food than what’s healthy for her age. She’s even snuck downstairs in the night and done things like eat several fruit bars while I’m sleeping... I’ll spare going into more detail, but it’s suddenly been red flag after red flag. She’s dishonest about it, too... usually if she gets in trouble for something, she’s brutally honest and always admits when she’s done something wrong. This is very new. It’s JUST the food.

So one part that’s been very difficult with the situation is that I only have partial custody and she’s with her dad a lot more than she’s with me (which I hate for a lot of reasons but for now that’s the way it is). His strategy: there’s a lock on the pantry and a lock on the fridge. That’s it. He doesn’t try to talk to her about it (and he’s even less communicative with me than he normally is- he’s actually said shit like “you’re the one with fucked up food issues, why should i listen to you?”, and implying that it’s entirely my fault that this is happening and using it against me... so fucking hard and like I don’t has enough guilt without him reminding me). He’s just yelled at her and used time outs rather than rational discussion. Between that and locking the food up, I’m just really worried about how to handle it and if this is just going to make it worse.

Of course he’s telling me I need to do the same- he thinks he “solved it” by locking up food, and says if I don’t, it’ll be like “mommy’s house is where you eat a lot and can get food”, neither of which is desirable.

Any advice? I’m at a loss. I want to discourage overeating and want open communication. I want her to be able to tell me she’s hungry and needs more and be able to discuss why a healthy snack and moderation is appropriate. She’s barely 3 so discussing it rationally is tough lol but I just feel at a loss. Obviously if we lock the food up it helps prevent it to some extent but what happens when she eats older and what happens when she has a play date at a friends house? Is locking up the food just making food seem more charmed and potentially going to lead to future binge eating problems?

I guess I’m just looking for some guidance here on what I can do to help when she’s with me.

TLDR: my 3 year old is stealing food, sneaky when it comes to food, always wants to eat, and my ex/her dad things he can fix it by locking the food up and I need some guidance!
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#2 Achelois


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Posted 13 July 2020 - 10:23 PM

Could it have started out as something like she is getting ready for a growth spurt and started to eat everything?  Then out of fear her dad overreacted and it snowballed?


That sounds like a really intense situation between you and her dad.  Hard to keep things constructive when he is saying things like that.

Edited by Achelois, 14 July 2020 - 06:36 PM.

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#3 indicats



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Posted 08 August 2020 - 03:14 PM

disclaimer: i'm not a parent, i just lurk here but i think this is normal for kids. all my siblings and i snuck extra snacks and sweets whenever we could and we had perfectly normal relationships with food at the time. i remember all of us sneaking down at night to get to the shelf which had the sweet stuff hidden. my younger siblings still do this and my mam has to hide the chocolate bars from them ahaha - prob just a growth spurt tbh, up to the age of 12 i was alwaaaays hungry and i would literally eat slabs of butter on my bread


the real problem sounds like it's her dad, he seems frustrating to deal with. i think locking it up might cause more issues than it solves but i don't have a solution for u. maybe a counsellor or pediatrician could give a professional opinion? good luck x

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