Valentine’s Day and candy go together like, well, Easter and candy. But, last year I took the plunge into de-sugaring our holidays. As we approached our first candy-centric holiday in April, I vowed not to encourage poor health habits by purchasing candy for my children. You can read about it here.
I think it’s fine to celebrate holidays with a treat. I think desserts made with unrefined, real sweeteners are delicious. I don’t stop my children from taking candy from grandparents and other well-meaning adults. I allow them to eat what everyone else is eating when they are away from home. I don’t believe that forcing them to say no to fun foods is an effective way to teach them about health. Instead I believe that eating as cleanly as possible at home and teaching them about the damage effects of sugar and other processed foods will lead them to make the right choices as they grow. As adults they will have to feed themselves without my guidance and I don’t want to set them up for failure by making them feel as if they are missing something now. Still, I cannot in good conscious purchase candy for my children–holiday or not. A holiday is not an excuse for damaging one’s health!
A holiday is a good excuse for fun and family time, however. And this year, although I will not be giving my children candy for Valentine’s Day, I do intend to celebrate this special day with them. Instead of candy, they will each get a cute little teddy bear holding a gift card. (We haven’t tackled the dangers of materialism yet. One thing at a time!) I’ve also purchased a new game for us to play as a family. The fun of quality family time and the memories we will build will last much longer than the pleasure of a box of candy and will benefit the health of our family instead of causing damage.