Parenting Discipline Ban Chocolate?
photo credit: Jo Naylor
Parenting Discipline on “Ban Chocolate”
With St Valentine’s just around the corner is it possible to have the holiday of friendship and love without chocolate? There are many parents who oppose children eating chocolate. My advice for parents is to not look at this topic from only a nutritional standpoint but there are also cultural values, emotional and the gastronomical aspects that should also be profoundly considered.
It is best to avoid prohibiting certain foods to your child. What is important though is the frequency that you are allowing your child to have chocolate. By understanding that there are certain foods that have a better nutritional value than others parents can choose quality alternatives and allow chocolate consumption in moderation.
Although many parents start with good intentions when they “forbid” certain foods, reasoning that it is not a healthy choice the impact of this decision is however contrary to their intent. By banning chocolate to your children for example, just increases their desire and they are more fascinated to the food.
When they get the occasion to eat it, they will end up consuming too much, since the child will feel this might be the last time to savor it. Truthfully, at some point your child will be exposed to chocolate sooner or later. However, if this food is introduced naturally in their “diet” they will not binge or have it as a main dish when the opportunity presents itself.
How to Offer Chocolate to Your Child?
If you present this treat from time to time your child will understand that there is no need to overindulge and that there will be other times he will taste this delicious delight. This does not only apply to chocolate but also other types of foods, cookies, sugar, candy etc..
It is important that your child is exposed to these products and that he can appreciate them. When these circumstances present themselves let your child eat to his liking within reason of course. If your child understands that this will not be his last chance to enjoy the “forbidden food” he will eat a normal quantity.
When disciplining your child or dealing with a behavior problem avoid phrases such as, “If you’re nice, I will give you a piece of chocolate.” Rewarding your child with food should not be done. This type of practice only emphasizes that the “food” in question is intently “forbidden.”
Once in a while when you offer these “foods” be sure to prepare a wholesome meal that is nutritional and provides the needs of your child. That way, your child is not eating on an empty stomach or empty calories. Do not embellish the consumption of chocolate and steer clear from talking about it as an “exceptional” food. In doing so, you are sending the message that chocolate is a regular food just like the rest. Consequently, your child will experience this and appreciate it without excess.
Offer alternatives such as homemade chocolate desserts in order to control the quantity and quality of the sugars and fats. Most importantly, use dark chocolate instead, it comes from cocoa beans that are full of nutritional minerals and antioxidants. Studies reveal that chocolate has reduced blood pressure, improved blood flow, showed mild anti-clotting effects and may help prevent plaque formation in arteries. So eating dark chocoloate may contribute to improved cardiovascular health. Now that may explain why we see chocolates in heart shapes for Valentine’s Day! Enjoy your chocolates and have a great Valentine’s family fun.
Filed under: Parenting Discipline
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