Well Kiddos

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Leave the sugar bug behind!

Getting back on track after the holidays can be a challenge. New Years resolutions and over indulgence set aside, lets see how Patricia, Nutritionist and mom of 3, challenges her kids sweet tooth:

I have three children (ages 13, 8 and  5). Each in their own way is addicted to sweets. My oldest one is pretty good about candy, she rarely craves it. The youngest  begs for some chocolate as soon as the sun rises, and I have a hard time turning her down. All the nagging wears me out and too often I cave, which leaves me feeling weak and frustrated.
I very much like the approach in Sweden. Saturday is the godisdag (nibble day), This was introduced in the fifties by the dentists who wanted to improve the dental hygiene of the population. Six days of the weeks the children go without sweets and on Saturday they can have their chocolate, gummy bears and candy.It really does work, Swedish children have fewer cavities than children of other comparable countries.

We tried this, but it didn’t really work for us.I came up with something different. I let my children be in charge of the candy!Yes! Unbelievable, right?Well there are some rules to it.Each child has a jar of their own, which I fill on a set day (Friday after school). Every child gets the same amount. Then the fun begins! No, not the eating! It’s the trading they like best.  I like to watch them bargaining for their candy.
During the week they have open access to their jar, except for the hour before dinner where no candy is allowed. I don’t want them to spoil their appetite. We’re in now for almost half a year and it’s going very well. There is no begging for sweets anymore, no more whining or groaning. They usually only eat about 2/3 of the sweets, before the next fill-up comes along. I let them choose, if they want a little dessert in their school lunch (usually not), they also can choose something out of their jar, if they want some dessert.
The key thing is not to avoid making exceptions, so if we’re on an outing, I won’t buy anything sweet. I occasionally slip a note in the jar as well, which they can redeem for an ice cream, or if we plan to go out on the weekend somewhere, they get a note that says, they can redeem it for something sweet.

Maybe I should have a jar of my own as well?


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