There are at least 10 ways we as parents can eliminate some of the sweet treats that we give to our children. These sweet treats come in many forms such as sodas, sport drinks, energy drinks, juices and sweet treats or junk food. Listed are 10 ways to eliminate sweet treats for kids:
- Smaller portions – teach your child that giving them smaller portions can go a long way.Teach them how to share with other siblings or friends.Cut treats in half and save for later or another day.Use smaller bowls and plates to display food.
- Sip smaller and smarter – instead of always giving sodas and sweet drinks full of sugars.Give children more water and 100% juices or low-fat milk.Water eliminates the calories and is good for your child’s health.
- Avoid check out aisles that contain candy – believe it or not, there are some stores that have check out aisles that contains no candy.Use these aisles to keep your child from asking for candy.
- Avoid offering sweets to your children as a reward – for good behavior; reward your children with kind words, hugging or non-food items such as stickers or coloring books.
- Use fresh fruits as your child’s dessert – serve your children fresh fruits, baked apples, pears, or a mixed fruit salad.Giving your children fresh fruits also helps them in the weight area.
- Make their food look fun – use cookie shapes to cut the fruits and have your child help out in the process.It is sure to make them want to eat the fruit or food.Your children can make happy faces in their food and then eat the happy face piece by piece.
- Encourage your children to create new and exciting snack foods – allow your children to create their own new and exciting snack food by giving them new foods to choose from such as whole-grain dried cereals.
- Allow your children to investigate down the cereal aisle – teach your children to read cereal labels and distinguish between low sugar and high sugar cereals.
- Distinguish between treats and “treats” – avoid giving your children treats everyday.Make it a special occasion for giving a treat.Even though your children may do something good everyday, limit the treat.Your children may have picked up on the fact that when I do something good I get a treat, so your children makes it a habit to do good deeds daily.
- Don’t reward your children if they refuse to eat their meals – you should never replace sweet treats with food at mealtime if your children have not eaten.
Reference: K-State Research & Extension – Sedgwick County; Family Nutrition Program Newsletter