Friday, October 28, 2011

Taking the Mystique Out of Candy

Taking the Mystique Out of Candy

Today's post is from a guest blogger, Emily Matthews. Enjoy!

Many children, and adults, consume more sugar than their bodies need. Consequently, more and more parents are trying to show their children what harmful effects sugar can have on a person. Of course, it’s not that we want kids to stop eating candy and sweets. We just want them to eat less.

One of the best approaches to talking to children about nutrition and sugar is a mental one. It doesn’t take a masters degree in psychology to know that actions speak louder than words: show your kids what the sugar is doing them. Show them pictures of teeth affected by too much sugar. Sharing images of rotten teeth might be the tactic you need to open up a dialogue about moderation.

You can teach children about the sugar in soda using a similar method: drop a penny into a glass of dark soda. Let the penny soak in the glass for a few days, then take the penny out and show it to your children. The soda will corrode away at the tarnish on the penny and you can use this to show your children what soda can do to their enamel.

As a parent, you can also show your children how eating too much sugar will make them more tired. One way to do this is by having your children do an experiment. First, tell them about the experiment and explain it. Tell them not to eat candy for a whole day and play outside. On the following day, allow them to eat several pieces of candy before playing outside. This will allow your child to feel the difference and show your child that eating too much candy will make them become tired more quickly after the initial sugar rush.

These are wonderful psychological ways to teach your children about the effect too much candy can have on them. None of these tips will harm your child. They will, however, allow your child to physically see the problems caused by excessive sugar intake.

About Emily: Emily Matthews is currently applying to masters degree programs across the U.S., and loves to read about new research into health care, gender issues, and literature. She lives and writes in Seattle, Washington.

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