You Hear "Eat Sweets Sometimes" - Three Things that Make this Possible

You Hear "Eat Sweets Sometimes" - Three Things that Make this Possible

Do you feel sweets are everywhere from the supermarket checkout to birthday parties? Before you know, it is Easter, Halloween and Christmas. Sweets can have a place in a healthy relationship with food and eating. A parent’s role is to help their child find this place. We know restricting these foods too much can lead to them becoming more desirable. On the other hand, too many sweet foods are not good for our health and make it hard to fit in more nourishing foods.

Step 1: Know your feeding jobs

As a parent it is your job to provide food, set meal time structure and set out your rules. Your child’s job is to eat what food you make available and to be in charge of how much they eat. Read more about parents role's in feeding

Step 2: Teach our children how to manage sweet foods

With babies and younger children it’s simpler. You don’t need to offer what they don’t know they’re missing. It gets a bit trickier if they have older siblings. Around two years old children are much more aware of what’s going on around them. This includes advertising, seeing sweet foods at parties or you eating them. They also start to understand (and test) the boundaries you set. Sweet foods are part of the world we live in. We need to teach and role model to children how to manage them. Here are some strategies to put in place to help children have a healthy relationship with all foods:

  • Keep language around food neutral.
  • Provide opportunities for your child to learn about sweet foods – you can decide how often.
  • Don’t use these foods as rewards, bribes or for comfort.
  • Include these foods alongside other foods.
  • Sit down and enjoy them with your children.
  • Talk about how all food tastes and how it makes us feel.
  • Learn when and how to say no to these foods.
  • Don’t worry if your child eats more than you are comfortable with at times.

If you have been very strict around sweet foods at first, your child may seem to go overboard when offered. Over time, they won’t feel the need to eat these foods every time they are around and will eat a variety of foods.

Step 3: Create change in your community

As a community we can all help reduce how often children come in contact with sweet foods. We don't need to be shameful or negative in our language to do this. Some of the actions we can take in our community:

For more information visit Healthy Kids website