My two young children were recently watching the kids baking championship when the hosts mentioned what desserts spelled backwards read. Their response to me: “What is so stressful about desserts?” Ah, the innocence of elementary school aged children. Why do desserts stress everyone out anyway? The dialogue that we have to put our minds though to make a decisions as to whether to eat the ice cream or chocolate cake–or fruit–creates such unwanted anxiety and…stress.
Back to my children who asked me why desserts are so stressful? Such a difficult question to address to a 6 and 9 year old. Below are some reminders and strategies to help create a positive relationship with desserts and other stressful foods:
- Try not to use food as a reward or punishment either for behavior of completing a meal
- Have dessert as part of your meal routines–some family choose certain days of the week to have dessert, others choose to provide dessert when asked
- Remind your family to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full and to honor their cravings
- Modeling is your best guide when creating healthy behaviors
A final thought: What if we just all ate dessert when we wanted it?I bet we would enjoy it more and not overeat it. And I bet desserts would make us a lot less stressed.