I have been known to offer a stashed candy bar to a child instead of getting up to peel an apple (said child refused my generous offer, and I was forced to put my book down). I have also grounded my kids from the vegetable tray (don’t ask). That being said, I do care about my kids’ nutrition, so we have developed a few rules about junk food:
If you can’t open it, you can’t eat it.
If I have to open it for you, I will charge a “Junk Food Tax”.
If you can’t spell it (correctly on the grocery list), I won’t buy it.
Junk Food Rule Reasoning
The reason for Rule #1 is that my kids tend to shy away from anything remotely “hard”. I feel that motivating them to open things they really want will give them the confidence to open other things… like the toilet paper packaging.
Rule #2 came about from situations away from home (where the kids know where the scissors are located). The ‘Junk Food Tax’ is a bite of the treat we are opening. Birthday party candy is small, so they try extra hard to avoid this tax. The smaller kids often need help as well, but they are much more open to the concept of sharing with mom.
The third rule stresses the importance of spelling… it’s a skill that is strangely hard, even for my avid readers.
My rose-colored dream is that the Junk Food Rules help remind the kids that junk food isn’t a healthy (or easy) choice. Maybe they will grab a banana instead?