It is almost impossible to enter a grocery store with children at this time of year. Christmas and Valentine’s are hard enough, with those seasonal goodies lining the shelves.
But Easter is probably worse. Something about the pastel-coloured eggs drives little people wild with desire.
It’s probably because Easter treats are specially designed for kids. I’m positive the chocolate used in Cadbury’s eggs is extra milky and extra sugary. And kids don’t forget. One exposure is enough to imprint a lasting devotion.
Like grocery shopping with kids wasn’t hard enough already. At this time of year you’re surrounded with what is essentially crack-for-kids.
So what do you do? Leave them at home? Stay strong and deny, deny, deny even the most heart-wrenching pleas?
It’s tough, and I don’t have the answers, but here are a few things that sometimes work:
- Offer to buy the materials for an Easter craft instead, like egg-decorating. They may just be distractible.
- Start introducing low-sugar, low-dairy dark chocolate as an alternative. Make it the only chocolate you keep in the house, so that when they ask for a treat, you have something to offer. At first they may find it bitter but many kids acquire a taste. When you’re at the store, you can say no to the crazy-sweet treats and yes to the dark chocolate.
- Offer to buy dried fruit snacks – without added sugar.
- Talk to your kids about why you don’t want them to have a lot of sugar and/or milk chocolate. They probably won’t be moved by the argument that you ‘don’t want them to be hyper’, but some kids can understand that eating too much sugar will keep them from being healthy and strong; that when they eat sugar they are more likely to catch colds and other bugs.
- Get kids involved in making sugar-free/low sugar treats sweetened with things like bananas and dates, so they can develop a taste for naturally sweet treats. Make the food prep process the treat they have to look forward to. Turn them from slavish consumers to canny producers!
- If you can afford it, buy your groceries at natural health stores. You won’t find Cadbury’s there.
It is worth it keeping our kids from milk chocolate when we can.
Kids are already getting far too much dairy, and it’s throwing their magnesium off-balance. Add to that the fact that sugar depletes magnesium, and it’s a recipe for frenzied, sleepless, overtired kids with the full range of magnesium-deficiency symptoms.
When I’m at a conventional grocery store, I sometimes think I’d like to complain about the placement of so much kid-candy right there at the cash register. It seems unethical.
What do you think? Can we change the way retailers market to our children, or is it entirely up to us to navigate the milk chocolate madness?
Share your thoughts.