Normally I don’t give it much thought: Eric is not allowed to have candy or chocolate until he’s at least 3 years old, period. All the Chupa-Chups that storekeepers are trying to bribe him with end up in the bin. We don’t buy candy and don’t eat chocolate in front of Eric – no curiosity, no temptation, no problem.
On the other hand my kid doesn’t grow up in a vacuum. We visit people, friends come over bringing candy and he sees things that are new, interesting, inviting, why not try them? When his grandparents were visiting it took me a month to get a certain type of sweet biscuits Pop was eating out of Eric’s mind. As he grows and becomes smarter, my task of not allowing sweets is getting tougher.
And now Easter is less than a week away, and with all the chocolate madness I am beginning to have doubts whether I can “save” Eric from all that. Or maybe I am just trying to save myself the trouble of having to limit the amounts of chocolate he inevitably will be having, once he tried it for the first time. I know it will happen whether I want it or not, it’s only a matter of time, and if I can’t stop it – I need to be able to control it.
That means I need a chocolate policy. Basically I have two choices: to allow him to eat all the chocolate he wants for holidays such as Easter, Halloween and Christmas, or limit the amounts. It’s not that simple, because there are reasons for and against and the chocolate can have good or bad effects on kids.
I don’t want to make chocolate the forbidden fruit, because then one day, when I’m not around, he’ll eat a mountain of it and, being a little kid, won’t necessarily connect the tummy ache to the chocolate.
My plan is to teach Eric self control and eating sweets in portions. So even if he gets a lot of chocolate gifts, he won’t be allowed to eat them all at once, only after a meal and one piece at a time. This way he will get a taste of it, without overeating.
What is your chocolate policy? Do you limit the amount of sweets your little ones are having? Or do you think that it will ruin their holiday?