Rewarding with FOOD…. to do or not to do?

I have had this growing suspicion that this epidemic of Childhood Obesity that is growing at an alarming rate, has more to do than with just parents feeding their kids crappy foods. I think I have a hunch where some of it may be stemming from.

Using food as rewards.

Not following me? What does your child come home from school with when they reach their AR goals? or get 100% on the test of the week? I’m betting almost 90% of the time its some type of food. Either a coupon for a free something from the fast food joint in the city, or a sucker, or a fun-sized something or other. Am I right???

I am “fed up” with people using food to lure my kids into good performance or good behavior. I am serious! What happened to free books from the Scholastic catalogs that teachers get? What about cool bookmarks, pencils, erasers, rulers, and cheap puzzles, etc!?? I mean, heaven forbid we should give kids something that they would actually benefit from! Right? See what I mean?

Even at church. My kids come home every week with some type of candy. Not kidding. I don’t remember candy in my Sunday school when I was a kid… we got scripture cards and pencils for marking when it was our birthday or baptism or something. I substitute teach in our primary age kids classes often when their teachers are out of town or whatever and EVERY time I sit down with the class and someone from the class asks, “Did you bring us candy?” I’m like, well hello to you to! This last week the kids were more concerned about when I was going to distribute the goods than listening and answering the questions I had prepared for the lesson. I was a little annoyed.

My kids often get sugar from kids on the bus, kids just playing in the neighborhood, and too often from grandparents. Seems everyone has a stash of sugar somewhere—- except me! When kids come to me for a snack- its apples, cheese, crackers, bananas… is that so nasty???? And if they don’t want those things I tell them that they must not be that hungry! Is that so bad????

Thoughts???? I think there is way too much candy and sugar being used as rewards. I don’t want my children thinking that a job well done = a sugary treat. And don’t deny that it won’t carry into adult hood. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Have you ever heard someone say, “I worked out so hard today. I totally deserve the biggest size of ice cream they have!” or someone aces an exam- what do they do a lot of the time??? Go out to eat and eat too much or get a dessert somewhere with someone. I’m telling you- its something to think about!!!