Treat Free Tuesday

I recently took the survey on the homepage of the main safefood website to see how I am doing as a mum of two girls (aged 7 and 5) in terms of physical activity and food.

As a professional in the area of food and health, I am confident that I am providing as healthy a food and physical environment as I can for my family but also acutely aware of when I am not (Bear in mind this awareness does not always equate to good behaviour!!!). So overall I have scored very well in the safefood test. The children have smaller portion sizes than we do, they don’t watch more than 2 hours of TV/screen time (at least not during the week, thankfully the survey doesn't differentiate between weekdays and weekend days) and they have activity most days. So the only place I fell down was on treats.

The girls get one small treat a day such as mini ice-creams or small bars. I don’t think it is excessive but I am conscious all the same that it is everyday and the long-term habit that is being formed. So spurred on by the classic Irish mother guilt that I am not doing my very best for the family (and that it wouldn’t do my waistline any harm either), I announced on Monday last that we were having two treat free days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays. To my utmost surprise, it was received very positively by all, no grumbling or whinging or whining. The anticipation of this negative backlash was one of my personal barriers for even bringing up the issue. 

So up early getting ready Tuesday morning, I reminded them at breakfast that there would be no treats today and both very positively replied "I will have yogurt", or "I will have strawberries instead". Come evening time the girls happily selected yogurts and strawberries for dessert after our dinner. I made poached pears and raspberries for my beloved and me and we were the ones looking for ice-cream to go with the nice hot fruit. To which the girls replied “Not allowed, cause it’s Treat Free Tuesday”.

Let’s hope Treat Free Thursday will be a success this evening and that these treat free days become the new healthy habit in the family.

Kids may pester you for treats when you're out and about. Do you give in? We go out on the streets to find out.

Posted: 31/01/2014 12:24:01 by Sinead McCarthy
Filed under: Childhood obesity, Portion sizes, Treats, Videos


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About Me

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Sinead McCarthy
Sinéad lives in Co. Louth, with her husband Jason and two daughters Eimear (7 years) and Clodagh (5 years). Sinéad has a PhD in Nutrition from University College Cork and currently works in Teagasc in the area of Consumer Behaviour in relation to food and health.