Good news fellow mums and dads! If you didn’t already feel like you were failing as a parent – get ready for confirmation. As well as all the ‘sorry sweetheart, we can’t go to swimming’, ‘playgroup is shut’, ‘no, you can’t hug granny’ stuff, it appears that treats (as we know them) are now also off the menu.
According to the new guidelines, I need to spend six days fobbing off my two-year-old’s desire for sugar only to finally reward him with three crisps or a small square of chocolate.
I’ve seen a fair bit of ‘Terrible Two’ behaviour from my chap, but I’m pretty sure this scenario will prompt some full-on rioting. I don’t know about everyone else, but I find it hard to make it through one day without handing my two-year-old at least two frozen yogurt lollies, a fist-full of breadsticks and a couple of chocolate covered raisins – and as far as I’m concerned these are the ‘good’ treats.
Then there are the ’emergency treats’, like the packet of chocolate buttons to get us around the supermarket and the ‘I need you to be quiet now’ bowl of crisps when I’m on a work call.Do the people who made these new rules have toddlers? Half a plain biscuit once a week – seriously? Frozen pizza once a week, and just a slice? What do we do with the rest of it?
Like most parents, I feel I try. I make healthy food – relying heavily on people like Aileen Cox Blundell of Baby Led Feeding, Ciara Attwell of My Fussy Eater and Rebecca Wilson of What Mummy Makes – to try to get courgettes, carrots and leeks into my child’s diet. We roll oaty amazeballs and make fake milkshakes, and still the frozen stuff and the sugar and the fat sneaks through.
Of course early-years health is important. I think we all know we should be making more from scratch, introducing kids to a variety of foods, upping the veg and lowering the processed stuff.
But instead of putting parents on the naughty step, how about giving us a hand? Maybe make healthy food cheaper and more accessible and the sugary stuff less prolific.
Or at the very least come round mine and mind my toddler after I’ve told him he’s only getting one chocolate button.