Trying to teach your kids to eat healthy is hard when the world seems to be filled with candies and other sweets that tempt your family at every turn. While you may be tempted to just cut out candy altogether, the truth is that this tactic rarely works. Your kids will be exposed to opportunities to eat sweets throughout their life where you might not be there to provide a voice of reason. Instead of banning sweets outright, it is better to teach your children to appreciate them by making them rare.
Avoid the Pitfalls of Making Sweets Forbidden
It is normal human nature to crave things that are forbidden. Telling your children that sweets are not allowed in the house only makes it seem more exciting to sneak a bowl of ice cream or a big slice of cake. Sadly, making sweets completely off-limits tends to have the opposite effect of what you are hoping to achieve. This strategy is unrealistic and could cause your children to develop an unhealthy sense of guilt regarding their desire to eat sweet foods. Opening up the option of having a treat on occasion eliminates your children’s desire to sneak a cookie that they find in the pantry when you aren’t looking.
Teach Your Children to Appreciate Quality Over Quantity
Many types of sweets that are marketed to kids are nothing more than refined sugar combined with artificial colors and flavors. When kids indulge in these types of candies, they often crave more because they are not satisfying. For those rare occasions when you give your kids sweets, choose quality chocolate. Buying fine chocolate for your family on occasion lets you show them the joys that come with enjoying a deliciously well-made piece of candy that satisfies cravings as it melts in their mouth.
Serve Sweets In Appropriate Portions
You must also pay attention to portions when your kids do have a treat. For instance, it is easy to overfill a bowl with ice cream or give them too many cookies. Choose treats that are easily portioned out into appropriate sizes for your child’s age. For instance, a piece or two of chocolate is usually perfect for satisfying their sweet tooth without overloading them with too many calories.
Plan Treats for Special Occasions
Sweets are perfect for celebrating special moments such as a birthday or major win at a sports competition. Consider buying or baking treats for special occasions when your child deserves a little celebration. This helps you to avoid filling your pantry with junk food that serves as a big temptation. It also gives you the perfect excuse to splurge on a luxury treat that highlights your child’s achievements.
Set a Good Example With Your Own Habits
Your efforts at making sweets special will fall apart if your kids see you snacking on junk food when they are not allowed. Be sure to enjoy a treat with your kids on those special occasions, and let them see how much you savor the moment. When your kids see that you also enjoy sweets on rare occasions, they’ll be more likely to pick up your eating habits.
Cultivating a healthy attitude about food in your home requires you to maintain a sense of balance regarding sweets. Letting your kids enjoy a sweet treat on occasion allows them to savor the experience and learn what characteristics point to quality candies. Giving your kids the rare treat is a fun way to honor special moments in a way that they’ll always remember.