At NCA, we have many conversations with our member companies, consumers, politicians and other stakeholders about what it means to treat as part of a happy, balanced lifestyle and how confectionery’s impact on emotional well-being is connected to physical well-being.
In a recent post on The Scramble, Jessica Braider, a long-time food blogger and cooking and healthy eating educator, shares a story about a discussion she had with her son after he returned from a birthday party about moderation when it comes to treats, explaining that total deprivation of treats can also have a negative impact on health and mood and treating in small amounts should be encouraged and celebrated.
These are the types of conversations we’ve been working to encourage parents across the country to have with their children. Enjoying the occasional treat is not something to be ashamed about, nor something that parents should fear when talking to their children about living a happy, balanced lifestyle. Instead, treating should be seen as a small piece of a larger puzzle, one that provides pleasure and helps us bond in social situations – like childhood birthday parties – as we celebrate important moments. Here’s a brief excerpt from her post that describes how she thinks about treats like chocolate and candy:
“They taste good, they give us pleasure, and they are often shared in social situations when we are bonding with others and often celebrating. So enjoying them should not be something that brings us guilt or regret, but instead is associated with the benefits they bring into our lives. Yes, those benefits are different than what a vegetable, lean protein, or whole grain gives us, but they are still valuable in their own right.”
Educators and parents like Jessica are changing the conversation in a positive way and providing a roadmap for consumers attempting to have similar conversations with their children as they learn, grow and begin making their own decisions about what they eat.