The Sweet Treat
A typical scene at home —
Myra is scared to go to school.
Mama papa enthusiastically preparing her: “Myra from tomorrow school is starting. It will be so much fun. You will make so many friends.”
Myra tearfully: “No, I don’t want to go!”
Mama-Papa: “But it will be a lot of fun!”
Mama- Papa sense this is going to turn into a wholesale tantrum. So they say, “If you go to school like a good girl, you’ll get an ice cream later to celebrate.”
Myra halts working herself up over the drama of going to school and says, “Ice cream and chocolate!”
Mama papa realise that they’ve dodged the proverbial bullet and say, “Done!!”
A parent might have this same problem if the child has to get a haircut, get a vaccination…the list is endless.
I’m a big believer in reinforcing good behaviour with some gift, but does it have to be something that is not good for the body in the long run?
Sweet treats – It’s tempting to reward a child’s good behaviour with them. They’re easily available. They’re a big hit with children. What could be the harm in offering a candy to a child to make the child feel good about completing a task you have set for them? In fact, grandparents love to use sweets to see their little faces light up. What gives us more joy than a smile on a child’s face?
But it’s heart breaking when we see a small child suffering because of those “innocent” sweet treats.
Nobody wants to harm their child, but when we look at how many children in our country (50%) are affected with cavities, we have have to face the fact that we are definitely harming them.
But how is it that sugar is causing this problem and causing the teeth to decay?
Sugars and refined carbohydrates get stuck on the teeth and form something called ‘plaque’. This plaque is food for the bacteria in the mouth. Millions and millions often get attached to the plaque to utilise the sugars in it as their food source.
When you eat something, you’ll always excrete something. In case of the cavity producing bacteria, it is acid. This acid, over a period of time dissolves the hardest thing in your body, i.e. the enamel of your tooth. So you can imagine how potent it is.
When we reinforce good behaviour with a gift/treat, children expect that if they do the good deed again, they will be rewarded again. If this treat is a candy or related products, they will demand for the same or similar things again and again and again. And this is eventually the crux of the problem. It’s not easy to convince a toddler that sugar is not good for them once they have tasted it.
Save your children from problems of teeth and body! Say no to ‘added sugar’.
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