Keeping the Candy Monster Away

I know that Valentines Day was a little over a week ago, but we have been battling colds in our household and I am just now able to get to this post: holiday treats.  Let's be honest, who doesn't like a little candy everyone now and then?  Life is about balance and those sweet, sweet moments of indulgence.  Yet, too much of a sweet thing is certainly not a good thing.  And with children, it can be hard to teach them such a notion keeping them on track to moderation and healthy living.   

In our house we have used something called the "Treat Fairy" for the past 10+ years, starting with our oldest.  During those candy giving holidays - Valentines, Easter, even Halloween our children select about 5-8 pieces of candy to keep and the rest goes in a big pile with a note to be given to the Treat Fairy aka mommy's and daddy's work (sorry co-workers).  In return for their treats, they are given a variety of things from books to gift cards to a toy; and in the moments the Treat Fairy forgot to go to the store (guilty!), money.  Our children look forward to the Treat Fairy and most of the time their 5-8 pieces of candy never get finished and end up in the trash.  It is an easy way to give the children a little sweet indulgence but not overload them with treats.  

The best thing is when the four year old is eating his m&ms (his favorite) and can't even finish a snack pack.  He let's us know he is done and is ok with throwing the rest away.  It is a great moment because we know he is learning moderation.  The key being not to deprive the children of candy and sweets but to set them up for a healthy foundation of healthy eating and balance.   

I am sure that there are other such techniques out there.  I am certain we are not the creators of the "Treat Fairy", but it is something that has worked for us.  Give it a try, I am sure your children would love the idea too!