Do you stress about what food’s your child is going to receive or be exposed to when they go to a party or if there is a celebration? Do you go through your child’s goodie bags and get rid of all the sweets in the bag? At what age does this concern disappear? What if you did not have to worry about how your child would act in these situations?
Friday was Children’s Day here in Singapore, and along with it came a lot of parties and treats for the kids. Along with that, in my family we had a family birthday, so there was cake, cake and more cake. Although there was a surplus of what many may consider “treats,” it was just a fun weekend for us. How can that be? It’s all just food – there is no emphasis on any of the food, and there are no restrictions.
It is well noted in studies that when foods are restricted for a child, there becomes an increased desire for that food, and when the food is available, the child has lost the ability to regulate themselves around it. (In other words, the child will over indulge as s/he cannot stop when full.) Have you ever seen a child go crazy at a birthday party? Or there are the children that have to eat every last drop of ice cream, or every crumb of cake? These are often traits seen in children who have put significance with these foods, and they have lost the ability to self-regulate.
Offering your child a variety of food all the time and treating all foods for what they are helps a child stay focused on their internal physiological needs. Want to learn more on how to do this? Learn more at the stress free meal workshop here.