Do you find it hard to say no to treats for your kids? Be treat-wise with your little ones with our top tips for reducing the amount of treats your children get each week.
Safe food have started a campaign to help parents to be more aware of what they are feeding their children. We all know it can be difficult to say no to your little ones when they are looking for a treat.
At Mummy Cooks we were shocked to find out that “treats” provide on average 20% of the calories in children’s diets. We agree with Safe Food that children’s daily sugar intake should be an awful lot less than that!
So how do we change this?
Simple tips to start reducing the amount of treats you give:
The most important thing is to think of this as a long term solution – this is not something that you will do for a few weeks and then revert to giving treats whenever your little one asks. In order to make this effective and long-term start gradually. Don’t make too many strict rules at once. Don’t ban treats as this will make them more appealing. Establish some ground rules with your child.
- Limits: Make sure you explain to them what the limits are – how much and how often to begin with. Be firm and stick to the limits you set.
- When you do have sugary food: make sure that it eaten with a meal as it is better for dental health and they won’t fill up on treats between meals.
- Close the Kitchen: Introduce a rule that the kitchen is closed when mealtimes are over, however, do allow access to healthy snacks such as fruit, chopped vegetables and water.
- Say no in the supermarket: saying no at this initial staLge means that they won’t end up in the house which will make saying no at that point even more difficult.
- All Aboard: Make sure that the whole family is on board, children are more likely to learn from how you behave rather than from what you tell them. If your child sees you eating chocolate they will want it, this works in the reverse as well - if they see you snacking on a piece of fruit instead they will be more likely to want to do the same.
- Say No: In the long run it is kinder to say no - so don't be afraid to say it! Offer healthy snacks like nuts, raw vegetables and fruits over unhealthy choices.
Get the kids involved:
- Spend some time together as a family at the weekend preparing some healthy snacks for the week.
- Introduce a rewards system whereby treats are earned rather than simply received.
- Offer non-food alternatives like a trip to the playground or stickers/loom bands in the shop over sugary treats.