As a culture we're kind of crazy about Halloween. We glorify candy and the excitement of the Halloween haul in the weeks leading up the event and then, the second it's over, we vilify the bounty. The problem with Halloween isn't the candy. The problem is the lessons kids learn about candy, power, guilt and more. It doesn't have to be this way.
The message that unhealthy-tastes-better-than-healthy is a message that comes through loud and clear. And kids get it from the get-go. Parents, you’re not to blame. It’s our crazy culture. Even if you did everything right, your kids would still get the “talk healthy,” but dig-down-dirty message. It is the cultural equivalent of "Do what I say, not what I do."
Attacking the obesity problem by teaching docs to cook. Hmm. Are there really families who have missed the message about cooking? And if people know they ought to cook but don’t know how, what could a physician say that would really change anything? Are doctors going to start conducting knife-skills tutorials between vaccinations?There's a better solution.
Many parents complain when grandparents spoil their grandchildren, especially when it comes to food. But food has the power to create connections, to build bonds, to make magical memories.(It might even get the grandchildren to look up from their devices!)
You know how the experts are always saying that it’s important to make sure your kids have a healthy meal before they hit the sweets? Well, the research shows kids will eat highly palatable foods even when they're not hungry. This Thanksgiving, teach your kids some habits they can really use.
Telling parents that picky eating is a normal stage of development is a message that is ruining our kids' eating habits. It disempowers parents, ties their hands, and produces the very dynamics it's intended to solve. It's also incorrect. So, to all the experts out there: let's stop expecting our kids to eat so poorly, and then, maybe they will stop eating so poorly.
Don’t fall for the idea that your job at Halloween is to control the candy. From a habits perspective, there’s only one question you need to consider: Next Halloween, will you have to engage in the same old candy-control struggle with your kids? Or, will they have evolved so you are off the hook and they can moderate more of the mess themselves?