Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kids and Candy

Introducing chocolate, candy to kids is quite a tricky question.  Do we or don't we, how much should we, when should we, so many questions.

With a strong diabetic history from the kid's paternal side, I was strongly against any excess sugar usage in the kid's diet but the kid invariably ended up to be a sweet lover and has a tad bit more interest on sweet stuff.  When I was sick, the kid got the first taste of her candy, thanks to my mom, the doting grandmother, the Hershey, Ghirardelli and Lindt chocolates her father got for her.  The gummy bears did not do well with her taste, so it was Kisses and Snickers festival for a while and it was only much later that it came to my notice and by then the damage was done.  The kid become a total Choco-a-holic to my horror sustaining just on chocolate with the normal food forced down her throat.. sigh.

Anything in a limit is fine, but the kid started living on chocolate alone to my horror of horrors.

Some UNACCEPTABLE reasons to feed candy
**Hmm.. the kid is not eating anything else, so why not try it?
**She has skipped one meal, ayyo that tiny belly has nothing it, if she wants a chocolate let it be...(my experience says that she will skip the other meal and also the mid-meal snack because of eating candy to her content :(!!)
**She is so happy, there is a glow in her eyes at the mention and the site of candy, I do not want to take it away from her.
** the funniest of all, by my mom of course, if chocolates are bad why are so many chocolate ads targeted on kids and why are they not banned by the government.. since it is not banned, it is okay to consume.. are they all mad to let such dangerous stuff available to kids..(which made me search for walls to strike my head hard.. in a typical Brahmi style ;).

Loss of appetite.
Itching around the anal area (supposedly pin worms).

To top it all, there were suggestions on this too like everything else from every corner from the so-called raised-so-many-kids experts that all is well and she can eat lollipops too (They had me pulling out the remaining hair on the scalp..)

Popular Misconceptions
**No problem she does not have teeth, so no problem at all, we can get her to stop before she gets the teeth.
**Oh it is okay, even if the teeth come no problem.. they are milk teeth and are going to go away anyway.
**Eating lots of candy leads to juvenile diabetes.
**Eating candy is good for health.

Even if the milk teeth fall out, the kid is at risk in future due to improper dental hygiene.  We are even advised to stop night milk feeds by bottle and also bottle feed to avoid bottle-tooth decay in kids, so why risk cavities.. We need to wash the mouth, rinse and spit after every sweet consumption which is not possible with the kids, so why risk the caries when there are so many healthy alternatives.  CHOCOLATES ARE NOT POISON... THEY ARE IN FACT VERY GOOD IF GIVEN IN MODERATION.. BUT do Toddlers have an idea of moderation, it is we, the parents who need proper discretion as to how much and when we need to give.

Why should we limit chocolates or candies to our children?? - Dr. Sanjay.

Never is there an easier time to teach self-control than when a person is a child. This is an excellent time to teach responsibility and discipline. What a child learns when they are young affects them when they grow up.

Here comes the concept of building eating healthy food since childhood. Children learn to binge on candy, chocolate and sweets at a very young age. See all these things contain lot of calories, if child develops eating these high calory food all the time, it becomes a habit, which can lead to problem like obesity and muliple problems related to obesity in future life.

So, its important to limit eating such high calory food. How you limit is upto you, may be once a week, may be on some particular days, may be as an incetive.
Eating chocolates everybody likes, dont you ?? but take it in limits. Try to develop good habits of eating more healthy food like fruits. I will prefer my child to have an apple rather then a five star as a routine habits. But if he follows my advises, i will surely bring one chocolate for him at the end of the week.

Try to make habit of brushing teeth every time before he sleeps, there is tendency to eat chocolates and sleep, which increases rick of caries/cavities.

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