Chocolate, a single word all children (and adults) melt for! It’s okay except when your children start taking it to extreme measures and become uncontrollably obsessed with it! What parents miss out on is that most of the time this obsession is caused by you, Yes YOU! Parents! Why is this?
Here are 6 things parents do that push their kids into obsessing about chocolate as kids as well as when they have grown:
1- Eliminating sweets from your house:
Children are exposed to unhealthy foods whenever they go to their grandparents place, to school, or to restaurants, at their friends’ house, on TV, and so on.
So when parents declare a sugar-free household, they could only be intriguing their kids to seek what the “forbidden” foods are. Kids would rebel, seek sweets in secret and wouldn’t be able to have sweets in moderation when they are faced with them.
2- Providing unlimited access to sweets:
On the contrary some parents decide to fill their fridge with chocolate and sweets, thus, allowing their kids to grab sweets whenever they feel like it!
One thing we should admit is that most people preferably have a sweet tooth especially children! Therefore, if you don’t teach your child to eat sweets in moderation, he/she will establish an unhealthy relationship with food.
3- Use the sweets as rewards:
If you make a huge deal out of sweets, whether positive or negative, this draws your child’s attention towards them! For instance, if you say “it’s ice cream time!”, this will push your child to relate emotions of happiness to sweets. Moreover, when you use sweet food as a reward, it increases your kid’s desire for it. It sends the message that the good healthy food is punishment for the best part of the meal – dessert.
4- Cleaning the plate’s strategy:
Studies have shown that kids who are forced to clean the last grain of rice in their plate whether they like it or not tend to eat twice as much dessert than kids not expected to wipe their plates clean.
This strategy also teaches kids not to respond to their natural cues of hunger and satiety, carrying this habit through adulthood.
Doing all of these will create an unhealthy habit between your children and the intake of sugary foods!
You play the major role in establishing a healthy lifestyle now and for always.
Don’t forget that YOU are your children’s biggest role model, therefore don’t expect your child to eat healthy foods if you don’t!