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The Golden Rule On Sweets!

Questioner

H (29-female-US)

Reply Date

Jun 16, 2019

Question

What is a good rule of thumb for how often children should be allowed sweets? If it were up to my kids, they'd eat them for breakfast; if it were up to me, they wouldn't have any at all. We need to find a compromise.

Counselor

Answer


The Golden Rule On Sweets!

In this counseling answer:

•Try to make sweets sometimes treat rather than every day.

•Don’t use it as a reward anymore

•Encourage your child to enjoy natural sweets and delicious foods like fruits, and emphasize that fruits not only taste great but also help to keep the body healthy and strong.

•Give him a good mix of fruits, vegetables, protein foods, dairy foods, and grains. Then, there will naturally be a smaller part left for the bad stuff in his diet.

•Choose sugar-free candies whenever possible, and make compromises e.g. you can have a small serve of cake or a piece of candy or a small cup of soft drink but not all of them and not daily


As salamu ‘alaykum,

Dear sister, great are the responsibilities that lies upon the mother’s shoulders, not only does she care for her children’s faith, manners, studies, friends, chase them all the time for prayers, but also their health, fitness and nutrition. It is very important for a child or a grown up to eat a healthy balanced diet as this is the way where our bodies can maintain good levels of each nutrient. Al hamdulillah that this mission, although sometimes difficult, yet it is one of life’s pleasures.

When it comes to food, it is imperative that we teach our children healthy eating patterns as we can’t watch them all the time. These patterns are taught from their early childhood where the taste bud starts before they develop bad habits.

Looking at any Food Pyramid Guide, you will get a good idea about the right percentage and amount of food from different food groups it is also so clear that sweets are on the top of the pyramid as they are needed in the least amount possible.

Consuming a lot of sweets may lead to obesity as they contain a lot of calories, and unfortunately, they are Empty Calories (without beneficial vitamins and minerals your body needs to grow and keep working like it should.) Sweets are also the cause of a lot of cavities. Eating sweets in excess can affect their mode and cause them to be hyperactive and nervous and later they will be lethargic.


Check out this counseling answer:


Sometimes (in fact a lot of times) it is our fault that they eat sweets in excess as we use it as a bribe so they will do something or behave in a particular way.

Other children consume a lot of sweets not just because they taste good, but also because sweets make them feel good, so dealing with the reasons is a part of the solution.

So, the rule of thumb that you asked for is:

-Try to make sweets a sometimes treat rather than every day.

-Don’t use it as a reward anymore (research has shown that a child’s preference for a given food increases significantly when the food is presented as a reward) but instead use no edible ones e.g. a sticker chart , an activity he’s been looking forward to, social rewards (attention, recognition, praise, and thanks) affirm a child’s worth etc.

-Encourage your child to enjoy naturally sweet and delicious foods like fruits, and emphasize that fruits not only taste great but also help to keep the body healthy and strong

-Give him a good mix of fruits, vegetables, protein foods, dairy foods, and grains. Then, there will naturally be a smaller part left for the bad stuffs in his diet.

-Choose sugar free candies whenever possible, and make compromises e.g. you can have a small serve of cake or a piece of candy or a small cup of soft drink but not all of them and not daily. (Note that soft drinks usually have a lot of sugar in them which you do not need, they are also dangerous to our bodies on the long run especially those which contain cola)

-In helping our children developing healthy habits it is not right to eliminate sweets totally from their diet…

First, this will lead to the opposite result and they may eventually love it even more.

Second, this could push them to lie while eating it behind your back which is much more serious problem as fixing teeth is much easier than “fixing” khuluq(manners).

So moderation and balance are the key words here. This world is created in balance and so was our bodies try not to spoil this balance

And finally – Any good is from Allah and any mistakes are from myself.


Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides. 

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About Mona Salama

Mona Salama is a Medical Nutrition Specialist. Parenting Counselor and hold an Ijaza in Islamic Da`wah. She Graduated from Faculty of Medicine-Cairo University.

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