It’s Halloween in spring; otherwise known as Easter.
Only, instead of going door-to-door to collect sweet treats, kids run around like decapitated chickens hunting for plastic eggs filled with chocolate goodness under bushes, in trees and behind rocks.
If parents are lucky, their children will actually make it back to the hunt’s home base with at least a few pieces of uneaten candy to show for their efforts. The unlucky moms and dads are left to pluck their kids from wherever it is they decide to plant their tiny tushes mid-hunt and picnic from a basket bulging with marshmallow chicks, chocolate bunnies and egg-shaped suckers.
Heaven help us all when it comes to teaching our kids moderation and healthy eating habits in the midst of a sugar storm.
Goodness knows most of us can use all the assistance we can get.
And not just in the days following Easter’s candy circus.
Promoting good eating habits is a challenge year-round, especially if your offspring are picky about what they consume. Despite the demanding nature of everyday life during which you might be forced to stand on your head to cajole your toddler to try peas or bribe your teen to down something other than Mountain Dew, these simple tips may be worth a try.
Don’t Ban: Rather than banning chips, cookies or candy completely from your home, consider limiting your child’s intake. Putting the kibosh on certain foods only tempts a child more. Instead, allow children to indulge a little by capping the number of treats they can have. For example, give out a cup full of chips rather than the entire bag or two cookies instead of half the box. Monitoring portion sizes also addresses the issue of overeating.
Avoid Food as Punishment/Reward: Using food as a source of rewards or punishments can cause your child to form an unhealthy relationship with food. Rather than offer an extra large slice of cake to your child for good behavior, consider spending one-on-one time with him playing a game, biking or swimming.
Don’t Buy in Bulk: When purchasing sweet treats, buy the smallest size possible rather than the jumbo-sized package. It’s easy to dump an economy-sized container of Cheese Puffs into your cart at your favorite warehouse club, but you’re better off buying single-serve bags instead. Doing so will reduce the temptation to nosh on the seemingly endless supply of cheese snacks throughout the day.