Parenting during the holidays is never easy. Everywhere you turn, there are sugar-laden treats tempting your little ones and undermining your efforts. With Easter and Passover just around the corner, it’s a good time to share some tips for teaching your children how to indulge wisely. As a dietitian and mom, I believe that the key to raising healthy eaters is moderation. Here is how my family practices moderation, so we can indulge in occasional treats (like the Spring Sunflower Cups, below!) without worry.
Everyday foods are healthy foods.
Making the healthy choice an easy choice is important- for kids and parents! In my house, this starts with meal planning and keeping plenty of nutritious options on hand. We stock our refrigerator with washed, sliced fruits and vegetables that the whole family can easily enjoy. The pantry is filled with snack-sized portions of dried fruit, pumpkin or sunflower seeds and whole-grain crackers.
Avoid using food as a reward or punishment.
It can be tempting to use food to encourage or discourage behavior but it’s not a great idea. Rewarding with treat foods simply puts that food on a pedestal and increases your child’s desire for it. Keeping a neutral attitude about all foods will help kids learn moderation and decrease the chances that they will become adults who are constantly “rewarding” themselves with food.
Be a good role model.
What happens when YOU overeat? As parents, our actions speak louder than our words. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and try not to show signs of guilt or make a big deal out of your own indulgences. We are all human and food is something to be enjoyed, not vilified.
When it’s time to indulge- choose wisely!
When it is time for a little treat, be sure it is something truly delicious! These simple, allergen-friendly Spring Sunflower Cups are the perfect addition to your springtime celebrations. Naturally portion-controlled and made with high-quality Gerbs Dark Chocolate and Homemade (or store bought) Sunflower butter, they are worth the splurge!