Jodie Parus, RD, LD
Rewarding children when they do something desirable is a great way to encourage them to repeat the behavior. Unfortunately, the reward is often a sweet treat, such as candy or ice cream. There are plenty of non-food rewards that can be offered to support your child’s positive actions.
When food is offered as a reward, those foods are then thought to be more desirable than others foods. Also, children may not make the connection that food is fuel for their body and may come to expect a sweet treat after every achievement.
You can assist your child in establishing a healthy relationship with food and avoid any negative long-term consequences by opting for some of the following non-food rewards.
• Verbal praise
• Special outing to the movies, park, zoo, etc.
• Play date with friends
• Sleepover with friends
• A new book or toy
• A break from chores