Don't Use Foods to Punish or Reward

by Susan M. Kosharek, MS, RD

Don't Use Foods to Punish or Reward

When you need to discipline your child, do not do it with food. If you cut out food to punish a child, this can make your child feel anxious. Your child may worry that she will not get enough food or that she will go hungry. As a result, your child may try to eat whenever there is a chance.

In other cases, children begin to use food to punish their parents. They refuse to eat just to get attention.

Similarly, do not use food as a reward. Children may come to expect more dessert when they try new foods or clean their plates.

Also, when children are rewarded with sweets or snack food, they may decide that these foods are better or more valuable than healthier foods. This belief is hard to break. It may continue throughout your child's life.

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  • Cook healthy

    Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of all meals. Even a snack can be healthy.

  • Eat right

    Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day's experiences with one another.

  • Shop smart

    To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.

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