You know when you have a craving for a food. You can close your eyes and almost taste the food and it makes you feel soooooooo good.
Now imagine this amplified times 10 or more, depending on how excitable your child is. This is what tends to happen if you restrict certain foods for your child and they start becoming obsessed with that food. They. Can’t. Stop. Thinking. About. It.
As discussed last week, restrictions are a tactic commonly used by parents to control certain food intake in children that often back fires. This may surprise some people as it may seem to be an easy method to control what kids have access to, but if you can relate to the above scenario, you will have a better understanding as to why this backfires.
In a world where there are no commercials, parties, holidays and other kids to influence your child, it would work without an issue.
The reality is there is a high probability that your child will be introduced to the food you are trying to avoid at some point. In a goody bag, at a party, from a relative or a grandparent. It usually happens at some point.
And when that happens, there will be questions or your child may choose to try the food. After they have tried the food, they may want it again and if you continue to restrict, there is a high probability your child will end up in the scenario at the beginning of this article. They will crave it.
This is the child who goes hog wild at a birthday party, not being able to stop eating.
This is the child that stood starting at the cake the whole party instead of playing the games as they were so fixated on the cake.
This is the child who will start hiding food in their room and secretly eat it when they are hanging out in their room.
The fine line in preventing this is to prevent your child from feeling restricted. It looks different for every child. Some feel restricted if they are not allowed to have the food every time they want it. Others never see certain foods. It is important to draw boundaries and remain in control of the food choices in your family, but determine the line where your child feels restricted.
Have you found your child’s line? Send me a note. I would love to hear how you manage this fine line.