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!