Today Safefood.eu launch a new campaign aimed at encouraging parents to cut back on the quantity of treat foods that they give their children. They’re asking parents to say no to large amounts of treat foods so the campaign is called “Let’s Say No” and they’re using the hashtag: #letssayno
It’s no secret that my family have made some changes to our lifestyle and don’t offer so many treat foods to the children. So I figured it might help if I explain why we do this and also how we manage it on a day-to-day basis.
Why We Don’t Offer Treat Foods Regularly
There’s nothing wrong with having a treat every now and again. I flipping love chocolate and am partial to Haribo cola bottles (scuse me while I drool a little) but kids need nutrition, not extra sugar. Too much extra sugar for kids will increase their risk of becoming obese and lead to health problems.
Having treats in the house is expensive and that’s obviously a consideration for us.
We don’t want the kids to associate getting a treat food with feeling loved or rewarded. We’d rather vary how we reward the kids so treats here include; screentime, an extra story, an extra liberty (such as extended bedtime) and yes, we do have some treat foods but they’re of the healthier variety.
How We Don’t Offer Treat Foods Regularly
We don’t buy them very often. Treat foods aren’t on my weekly shopping list anymore. I don’t buy chocolate, sweets, crisps or biscuits. We normally do the shopping together and everybody helps to put the food away so the kids know what’s in the house. If it’s not there they can’t ask for it.
We lead by example. As the adults in the household, my husband and I have cut back significantly on the amount of treat foods that we eat ourselves. I’ll blog more about this in the coming weeks and explain the effect it has had on us.
We offer alternative, healthier, treat foods. We have plenty of yoghurts, fresh fruit, dried fruit, popcorn kernels (for popping) and rice crackers. If the children ask for a treat they’re given a choice of the above. So it’s not like we’re saying “no” it’s like we’re giving them a choice of what they want to have.
We educate the children so that they can make good food choices. As I mentioned earlier this month, the older boy has become very aware of what is wholesome and what is not. He’s involved in what goes into the basket and consequently onto the cupboard shelves.
Look, this is what has worked for us. That’s not to say that it will work for everybody. Maybe this will give you something to think about it.
It’s not a gold standard. I’m sure you’ll bump into me on a day that my children are covered in chocolate and I’ve a tell-tale biscuit crumb on my jumper. That’s okay though, it’s not like we eat treat food everyday. We want to be fitter and healthier as a family so we made the change.
Could you do it?
Disclosure: This is a topic that I’m passionate about and find very interesting so figured I’d write about it. All opinions are my own and I’m not paid to give them.
photo credit: ciaokatelinn via photopin cc