Sugary sweets and unhealthy snacks? No thanks.

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healthy eating, nutrition, food, children, sweets, sugary snacks,
The sight of these sweets does little for my blood pressure. It would do even less if I actually ate them. Pic credit below.

This blog post is going to make me sound like a miserable killjoy, but I don’t care. I am, you see, fed up of people giving my children sweets. I’m not going to pretend my family eats a perfect diet, but I do make an effort to get it right and teach the children about healthy eating.

Unfortunately I seem to be fighting a constant battle to stop people giving my kids processed, sugary rubbish. Not just any rubbish, but processed rubbish such an unnatural colour it could, for all I know, have been dyed with effluent from a nuclear power plant.

The catalyst for this blog post was an incident that happened at the weekend. I’d taken my two kids out on an organised walk. We arrived, we signed up, we made our donation and then the woman taking care of all the admin said; “And we have a little something for the children.”

Before I could stop her, she opened up a biscuit tin that was full of the most horrendous sugary junk and offered it to my eldest daughter, Helen. The tin having already having been placed under Helen’s nose, I didn’t feel I could wade in and stop her from helping herself.

This really annoyed me as Helen had already eaten a couple of sugary snacks earlier in the day. Thankfully I managed to intervene and stopped the toddler from getting her hands on any of this stuff.

The same thing regularly happens when I take the kids to the hairdresser. Before leaving they’re often offered some awful lollipop. I’d understand if they were reluctant to have their hair cut and needed something to make it seem like a more appealing experience, but this isn’t the case at all.

The one that really annoys me, however, is my local swimming pool. After swimming I sometimes take the girls into the café as a treat. The first time I did this, Helen ordered a cup of hot milk. When it was served, it was piled high with marshmallows. I’m not exaggerating, I think it was piled as high with them as it was deep with milk. I thought this was just daft and felt I had no option but to complain.

Needless to say, every time we go back to that swimming pool café, Helen asks for hot milk in the hope she hits the marshmallow jackpot. I’m not a total killjoy, I still allow her to have a few, but I make clear to the staff the marshmallow count is to remain in single figures.

So what’s your experience? Do you object to people offering your kids sugary snacks? Do you think I should relax and let the kids eat this stuff?

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Photo credit: Shirley Hirst. Published under Creative Commons agreement.


13 thoughts on “Sugary sweets and unhealthy snacks? No thanks.”

    1. I think I’m going put the same rule in place in my household; you can take the sweets but ask before eating them. Not something we’ve done before. Thanks for the inspiration Sarah.

  1. I would always ask parents before offering any food to young kids.
    I do let me 2yo eat cake, chocolate and biscuits as her daily diet consists mainly of raw veg and fruit. She’s a strange child.
    She has never had hard/boiled sweets, jelly sweets or anything like that though.

    1. I wish everyone would ask before offering food to kids. It may seem mean to decline, but I have done once or twice and for very good reason.

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  3. Jenna@TransformingIntoButterflies

    Yep. I hear your frustration.

    Eli is only a year old but still everyone tries to give him sugary stuff all the time, even family. Its difficult to get involved and keep saying no. I was really strict about no sugar but slowly a few things have crept in, but I wish people wouldn’t assume and just give him loads and then I have to look like the bad guy taking it away. I mean I let him have a small bite of a cake or a biscuit sometimes..and maybe the odd ice cream but hes not allowed mountains of sugar.. or squash…don’t get me started on squash. Every time someone always pipes up “a little wont hurt”… which is true.. but I wish to decide when that little is and how much that little is…

    I think people just don’t realise how bad sugar is for you and just how addictive it is. He dosn’t need squash yet, he is happy with water 🙂

  4. Paul Wandason

    I think it’s terrible how people give stuff to our children without asking us as parents for permission. It’s not just the health aspect, it’s the shallow buying of short term affection.

    The hairdresser can hide behind the pre-text of needing a distraction, but there are plenty of alternatives. Grandparents hide behind loving their grandchildren, but there are thousands of other (better) ways of showing love (and having been parents themselves they should know better).

    We don’t let people come into our house, drive our car, or stroke our dog without our permission…and most people know that. So why do they act differently when it comes to our children who are infinitely more precious than these other things?

  5. This is of major concern for my wife and I as our daughter (now 7 months) gets older. We work to avoid processed junk just like you and having others just mindlessly try to offer it would be frustrating to say the least. I have a tendency to lash out when people aren’t considerate towards health, and can only hope I learn to address this in a (somewhat) peaceful way.

    Good on you for doing what you can to prevent that lady’s candy from going to your daughter! Keep it up and fight the good fight for our kids and ourselves!

  6. Pingback: My Sunday Photo, 22 June, 2014 Post BritMums | Dad Blog UKMy Sunday Photo, 22 June, 2014 Post BritMums - Dad Blog UK

  7. I could not agree with you more. The Boy had no artificial sugar until he was one and even now I am incredibly careful about how much he has. He’s not allowed sweets but can have chocolate in moderation. When hairdressers or random people in shops offer him a sweet, he’ll often glance at me before tentatively taking one. Once outside he will verify that I’ll swap it for chocolate at home and it goes in the bin. Very rarely does anyone ask if he’s allowed before openly offering him. Grrrrr!

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