Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Too Many Treats?

I think I buy my son too many treats.

By treats I mean cupcakes, milkshakes, icecreams, Slushies, baby chinos and so on.

It's not that he gets a treat every time we go out but he often does and sometimes that adds up to a treat most days of the week.

Up until recently I didn't think it mattered much. Wild Man is super active and at no risk of being overweight. He eats veggies really well and I'm sure he is getting all the nutrients he needs.

So my only concern was that he was being spoilt, and I thought that as long as he accepted it when I did say no we were ok.
 Kids these days seem to be bought so many more things then we were. Certainly my children get more treats then I did. But they are also more often in places where treats are available.

I stop to buy myself a coffee, buy bread from a bakery not a supermarket, meet friends at cafes, Wild Man's swim school offers the kids a snake at the end of the lesson (I HATE THIS - do we really need to reward them for exercise??) and the end result is that my children are exposed to treats many, many times each week.

Even if I only got them a treat half of those times, that is still an awful lot of 'sometimes foods'.

Lately there has been so much in the media about the dangers of sugar and it has really got me thinking about the habits I am teaching my children.

Their weight isn't an issue now, but perhaps it will be in the future. They eat lots of good food now, but perhaps they won't when they move out of home and if I have unwittingly taught them that you buy a treat every time you go to the shops, that habit will still be there.

So I've started saying no.

It is more work for me - the occassional meltdown, having to pack more healthy food from home and so on - but for the most part it has been an easy enough transition and Wild Man has been really accepting, suprisingly so. Which leads me to suspect that perhaps the person buying the cupcake is enjoying the experience just as much, or possibly more, as the eater.

I don't want my kids to grow up thinking that every time you stop for petrol you should also buy an icecream or a drink or a sausage roll. And I think that the self control needs to start with me right now.

How often do you buy your kids treats? And how do they react when you say 'no'?


  1. I don't buy my kids treats as often now as I did when they were younger. I remember myself that when I went shopping with my mum she would occasionally buy me a cinnamon donut. I sometimes bought cinnamon ones for them, but Donut King had those gorgeous coloured icing men or telephones, and my daughter (now 10), still remembers fondly me buying her the occasional treat. I do worry about feeding my kids enough healthy stuff. My son's appetite has recently greatly increased and I do wonder what it is I should give him.

  2. Hi Cathy,
    I remember getting cinamon donuts too - it was such a big deal because it happened so infrequently!
    I have teenage stepsons and I know what you mean about their appetites - I try and steer towards cheese and bacon rolls when we are out or toasted cheese sandwiches or ceral when they come home from school. I find if I can get them full when they first come home they are less likely to snack on biscuits all afternoon : )
    Thanks for visiting my blog

  3. hmmmm it's so easy to do isn't it? Q has too many teeth - that's my fear. Plus she's a cyclone so more energy would really do me in. xx


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