It’s that time of the year again, meaning homes are filled once more with candy, from spiral lollipops to dozens of imported chocolates. It’s as if it’s Halloween all over again, only this time, the candies are coming in for a whole month.
Though they make nice decorations, candies are anything but in a child’s eye. If you’ve restricted them from eating those until Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, they’re surely eyeing every treat as if there’s a target symbol on it. As such, their appetite may be unstoppable once the festivities begin.
Experienced dentists for kids know how hard it can be to control a child’s sweet tooth, but it’s not impossible. The key is not just to restrict them, but to also give them healthier alternatives that are just as flavorful and appetizing to look at.
That said, here are the smart tricks to keep kids away from sweets on NYE:
- Set Expectations Early On
Don’t wait until your New Year’s Eve party to stop them from eating sweets. Set your expectations ahead of time, letting them know how much candy are they allowed to have in a day. This will make it easier for you to say no when they ask for an extra treat. If your child begs, you can just repeat the rules you’ve agreed upon. You may get a bit of an attitude as a response, but your child will get over it quickly, and you’d successfully do your job as a parent.
- Make a Candy Calendar
If you’re wondering what to do with your basketful of candies, let them be consumed, but according to a schedule. Make a candy calendar, deciding what kind of candies your kids can have every day, how many, and at what time. This will be a fun way to control their cravings, as well as to discipline them.
- Don’t Make Candies as Rewards
Some parents use candies as rewards, but this may result in more harm in the long-term. Your kids may start to expect them every time they behave well, so keep out the candies from your rewards list. Instead, give them something more meaningful or useful, so that they’d learn how to be practical and realistic with their expectations.
- Stick to Water or Milk
Instead of giving them fruit juice, switch to milk, or just stick with water. Fruit juices are also full of sugars, so it’s not really a healthier alternative to candy or soda. 100% fruit juice can be acceptable, though, but offer it in age-appropriate moderation. Kids below 12 months old cannot have them, while 1 to 3-year-olds can have no more than 4 o.z. per day, and 4 to 6-year-olds can have 4 to 6 o.z. per day.
However, it can be hard to limit children’s fruit juice intake in reality. A more effective method is placing fruit into water to give it a little flavor so that they won’t get used to fruit juices. And if you can, don’t let them sip on juice for long periods.
- Prepare Healthy and Yummy Food on NYE
Most kids may hate healthy food, but if you add lots of flavor into it, plus make it presentable, they may fall for it too. Consider the following healthy dishes for your NYE party:
- Caprese skewers with palm balsamic drizzle – Full of vitamin C, lycopene, probiotics, and anti-diabetes properties.
- Roasted red pepper hummus – Excellent source of vitamins C and A; can be paired with fruits and veggies.
- Black bean beat hummus – Prevents obesity, heart disease, and improves digestion.
- Cauliflower crust rainbow pizza – Cauliflowers are rich in sulforaphane, which lowers the risks of cancer. The veggies you’ll use as toppings will increase the health benefits.
- Grilled zucchini skewers – Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, manganese, and magnesium.
Your kids’ sweet tooth won’t be tamed overnight, so it’s important to be patient. But these tricks may speed up their progress a little, and make them loads healthier.