I remember as a child going to visit my grandparents. The one hour trip seemed to last forever but it was so worth it when we got there. If we behaved, we got 20 cents and got to walk to the local milk bar for a big bag of lollies. Remember those days when a bag of lollies only cost 20 cents?
When I was a child it just seemed to be the thing to do – reward kids with sweets if they were good. So it’s really no surprise that the next generation are doing exactly the same thing. How often do we reach for the jar of lollies, the cookie jar or the bag of freddo frogs when we want the kids to behave? I know I’ve been guilty of this.
Last week I was at my local shopping centre and I was grabbing the kids some sushi. The sushi place happened to be beside McDonalds and my kids watched on as a couple of kids jumped up and down in delight because their grandparents allowed them to have a happy meal. The grandmother looked across at me and said, “they’ve been so good today, we’re shouting them a happy meal”. To my shock, she then said, “my husband and I are going to grab a salad over there, we wont eat McDonalds for anything”. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing so I casually asked her, “if you won’t eat it, then why are you rewarding your grandkids with it?”. She looked at me with a baffled look on her face. Think it may have been an Aha moment for her.
Here are my top 5 tips to reward kids without using junk food.
- Have a jar in the house packed to the brim with lucky dips. Just a small token inside each one is all you need. Wrap seedlings, craft stuff, balls, etc. This is a great way to reward kids but make sure they earn it. Once they have completed certain chores or done their homework, at the end of every week, fortnight or month, they are entitled to a lucky dip.
- Fresh Juices are another great reward for kids and there is no better time to get juicing than now. The more colourful the better! The weather is warming up and the options are endless when it comes to mixing and matching. Be mindful not to use too much fruit as the high fructose content is not ideal for little ones.Mixing vegetables with a small amount of fruit is a great way to get around this. It’s a great way for kids to get the nutrients they need in a one small glass. A good juicer is a must! You can head over to Vitality 4 Life’s Raw Food Appliances for some more information on juicers and other electrical appliances.
- A rewards chart is another excellent option that works a treat without the treat. We have been using one here for a while. Each time the kids do their chores at the end of each day, (make their beds, feed the dogs, take their plates to the sink), they get a sticker or gold star. Once they get 10 stickers, they get to stay up an extra hour on the weekend.
- Take them on a bike ride, walk to the local park or ask them what they would like to do. My little girl asked to go to the library the other day as a reward for not fighting with her brother and for not talking back to me. We walked down there and had a great time.
- Get them to deposit $1 into their piggy banks which is rewarded to them for good behaviour. Obviously you want to make them earn their dosh so you may want to set up a chart similar to a rewards chart. This will also teach them the value of saving also. Win win. You could also get them to withdraw $1 each time they misbehave. (Gosh my kids would be in debt to me forever).
So the next time you reach for the lollie jar or bag of chocolates to reward your kids, have a think about what it’s really doing to their health and ask yourself what benefit are they really getting. Try replacing the junk food in your fridge or pantry with real, raw foods.
Now I have $100 of cold hard cash to Giveaway. Yep, just like that. To win, simply like Vitality4Life’s Facebook page as well as my new Facebook page and leave a comment on the blog below answering the following question:
What is your favourite healthy food recipe that could be used as a reward for your kids and what other ways to do you reward your kids for effort or good behaviour?
Be as creative as you like. The winner will be judged on creativity.
This giveaway opens today and closes at 5.00pm AEST, Thursday 27th November, 2014.
(Open to Australian Residents only sorry.)
The winner will announced on the blog next Friday 28 November 2014.
Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Vitality4Life who they have kindly provided the $100 cash giveaway.
I am flogging my blog with the fabulous Grace from With Some Grace today.