I remember growing up with a friend who was always excited on Wednesdays, because Wednesdays were “dessert night” at her house. I was intrigued, but also felt badly that she didn’t get to indulge more frequently. In hindsight, I don’t remember our family having dessert every night, but it probably was more than once a week (mmm… memories of Jell-O pudding, its cold, thick skin melting in my mouth. But I digress.)
Today, I try to encourage healthy eating as a family, but we don’t have a “dessert day” either. In fact, aside from birthday parties and special occasions, we hardly ever indulge in dessert. That said, my kids’ lunch bags DO include indulgences like Goldfish, popcorn, Bear Paws, and chocolate-covered granola bars. I’ve tried sending them to school with healthier options, but they never fail to return to me at the end of the day, untouched. At least at home, I can “police” what they eat, and make sure they eat their veggies.
Before my mom started living with us, I’d also let her treat my kids with donuts, lollipops, ice cream, and the like, but I had to slow that down when she moved in with us and continued treating every time she saw them. A grandmother who sneaks treats to her grandkids is cute, but not when it happens every day! She understands, but it took us a while to reach an agreement on it, as my mom takes pleasure in treating her grandkids, and thinks it’s her due as grandmother!
So I ask the question: how much treating is too much? Do you have rules, guidelines, schedules, or do you wing it and hope it works out in their favor, health-wise, in the end?
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