Toddlers and Easter chocolate
We know that often toddlers LOVE chocolate so we aren’t sure what to say about how much they can have. How much is enough? Or too much?
Summary Toddlers and Easter chocolate
Most parents worry about how to manage their toddler’s chocolate consumption at holidays like Easter, Halloween and Christmas. Read on to learn my tips to be let go of your worries this Easter.
So why are we worried?
What should we do instead?
We want our kids to be able to listen to what their tummy says. This is a bit controversial, but I actually want them to eat as much chocolate as they like! Why? Because we can help them much more in the long term by teaching them to listen to their bodies, than we can by restricting how much they eat at Easter or Halloween.
We want them to learn that chocolate is just food, and they can eat chocolate without becoming obsessed with it. This way they eat enough to be satisfied and move onto playing once they’re done.
Tell me how!
The key is to have these foods as part of a child’s normal diet, but within the structure of regular meals. Kids who have regular access to all foods (but not constant access) can choose to eat as much as they feel like and stop when they’ve had enough. THIS is the holy grail of intuitive eating. We’re practising this as part of Toddler Mealtimes and Family Mealtimes.
What age does this apply?
To be clear, I wouldn’t offer chocolate to little kids who don’t know what it is. There is absolutely no need to give a baby under 12 months any chocolate. You could give them a blueberry and they’d be just as happy.
So, when is this magic cut off? For first born kiddos it can be somewhere around 2 years of age, but for those with older siblings, they’re often aware much earlier that they’re ‘missing out’. We don’t want chocolate to be seen as a highly magical food (it’s just food) so this is the point to introduce it without fanfare.
Here’s my top three tips for managing this sticky (literally) issue over the Easter weekend, which can also be applied at other holidays. These are inspired by the wonderful work done by the Ellyn Satter Institute. Members can read more about this here.
Check out the how much and how often section of our common questions page for more posts on related topics. If you feel really worried about how much your child eats, please get in touch with a paediatric dietitian experienced in intuitive eating and the Division of Responsibility. It will make such a difference for your child in the long run.
If you are not yet a Toddler Mealtimes Subscriber and you have a child aged 1-4 years then please come and join us for more support. We problem solve all of the issues associated with feeding young kids, and I answer all of your questions in our private Facebook Group. Join the membership now!
Dr Kyla x