Too often food is used as a reward. “If you go put your shoes on right now, I’ll give you a cookie.” Since we know our kiddos love a sweet treat (and who can blame them?!), we as parents often use it to our advantage, because let’s face it, it works.
So, what’s the problem?
What ends up happening is the treat becomes a reward and gets put on a pedestal. When in reality it should be treated as food, not a trophy. The goal here is not to avoid treats, but give our children the foundation for a healthy relationship with food, all food, even brownies.
Below is a chart of common ways food is used as a reward and maybe what to do instead.
Instead make it about the experience not about the food. Creating traditions around food is great because it naturally becomes more about the experience than the food itself. Birthdays are a great example. Just think about your child’s last birthday party likely there was food and cake. After all, it’s unheard of to have a birthday party without a cake, but the party is so much more than the cake.
My point is that is not about deprivation or taking away something, but instead about enjoying food and making the focus less about food and more about the experience and the memories!
Share your suggestions below for how NOT to use food as a reward!
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