Will you be flipping pancakes today?
If so, what toppings will you be piling on your pancakes?
Lemon juice? Chocolate spread? Syrup? Or fruit?
Food is Pleasure
Food is a source of pleasure as much as a basic necessity.
Picnics in the park, fish and chips on the beach, Birthday Parties, Sunday Roasts, dinning out, takeaways, holiday buffets, School dinners and tea at a friend’s house, are all sociable, enjoyable occasions.
But food can also be a source of education, security and tradition for our children. Helping them to understand the time and days of the week. Such as it must be Friday because we are having fish and chips or Sunday because we are having a Roast dinner.
Tradition and Food
Tradition and food are strongly linked.
Occasions such as Pancake Day, can educate and help our children become aware of annual traditions or religious beliefs.
As in Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) which is a Christian tradition leading up to Easter. It signifies the start of lent and its an opportunity to use up all rich, sweet indulgent foods, ready for forty- days of fasting.
We may not all be religious but we can use these traditions to our advantage to help our children.
Ash Wednesday for example, is the forty days leading to Easter and the first day of lent. Usually it’s a time to give something up until Easter Sunday, for example, chocolate.
This can give us a good opportunity to teach our children self -control and it’s also a great way to encourage them to have a break from indulgent treats, such as chocolate.
Occasional treats are okay.
They remove temptation or compulsion to want them. What our children are allowed, they won’t crave, but when we forbid them, they want them more.
Remember Adam and Eve and that apple?
Life is Full of Treats
Most children will choose cake over carrots because they just don’t understand the health benefits of choosing the carrot over cake. And of course, cake is sweeter, giving their brains a sugar rush. If we stack their plate with carrot sticks at a party, while others load theirs with cake, obviously, they’ll get upset.
We have to allow everything in moderation or they’ll blame us for denying them, rather than thank us for taking care of their health. These foods are not bad when they have a little of them, now and again. The issue is, it’s hard to moderate these types of foods. They are empty calories that don’t fill them up but leave them wanting more and more. And they don’t eat them to satiate themselves, snacking is more of a past time.
The Snack Habit
The problem is today, sweet and salty treats are no longer a treat.
They are more of an everyday habit.
So, learning to abstain from them, if only for a short while, breaks this unhealthy snacking habit. This helps our children to savour and appreciate them as treats more too.
Maybe we can encourage our children to give up juice, squash, milkshake and fizzy drinks for Lent?
Every day, our children are consuming empty, excess calories in large amounts, from sugary drinks, like fizzy pop and fruit juices. Water may be the boring option, but it’s the most essential drink to rehydrate and give them the energy, focus, and concentration they need.
For today though, let’s let them enjoy their pancakes!
Happy Pancake Day All 😊