My friends 3 and 5 year old get given loads of eggs, she’s trying to stay healthy and I’d like to buy one too! Any advice? (question emailed in)
Thanks for your question. Easter can be a tricky time as everyone seems to want to buy Easter eggs for children. If you’re keen to buy an Easter treat, a toy would be a great alternative.
For managing chocolate overload, it’s important not to overtly restrict children’s access to the eggs, as this can make the chocolate seem even more appealing than it already is (find out more here: https://www.childfeedingguide.co.uk/tips/common-feeding-pitfalls/restriction/)
It’s good to establish norms around eating the chocolate – for example having a couple of pieces after dinner. Managing children’s expectations can be really helpful.
Good luck and happy Easter!
Dr Emma Haycraft
Answer from Jill Wheatcroft:
Thanks for your question. This is something which many parents are concerned about. Easter Egg hunts and family gatherings can be a lot of fun, children and adults inevitably end up eating an unhealthy amount of chocolate, actually there are loads of other ways of having easter treats that don’t involve chocolate and maybe thats a useful message to discuss with friends and family who do want to give an Easter gift. The best way to deal with over indulging in chocol is to establish some norms at the outset. So, for example, before easter weekend have a chat with them (even though they are little you do need to start somewhere and explain that they can accept the gifts of eggs but that some of them will be saved but that they can choose something for Easter Sunday and something for the next day (you can work out all sorts of versions of this to fit the situation and the holiday! Then, keep the eggs out of the way not on display. If you child asks for them the next day, stick to the deal, but if they forget to ask, there’s no need to remind them. This way, the chocolate will be spread out over time (& parents might even be able to enjoy some themselves without mixing up the message!).
The rule of thumb on this is the younger the children the smaller the amount of chocolate overall. It’s as much as anything else about getting the balance right – celebrating an event but not making it about chocolate – shifting the focus.
On our panel today:
Dr. Emma Haycraft is a senior member of the the child feeding research team and a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Loughborough University she is a co-creator of the Child Feeding Guide
Jill Wheatcroft is a Lecturer in Child Health and is co-founder and Director of Training at Riverside Cares. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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