Valentine's Day For Kids: Skip The Chocolate Gifts, Parents! School Activities Shouldn't Focus On Food

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald February 10, 04:00 am

Candies and sweet treats aren't just abundant during Halloween. Even Valentine's Day celebrations are sugar-filled as kids in school gift each other with these low-nutrient treats.

Parents and teacher are encouraged to make changes for this year's Valentine's celebration with the children. Instead of letting the kids give away or indulge in candies, chocolates and other sugar-rich items with their friends, experts recommend other ways to observe the day of love via non-food rewards.

Desert News cites that school celebrations don't necessarily have to involve food at all. There can be other activities like a special Valentine's Day game, extra time at recess or letting kids read their favorite books.

"When you give young children food rewards, they're going to reward themselves like that for the rest of their lives," kids health advocate Carol Muller told the news outlet. "It's not just about the sweets they're having (now), it's what we're training them on and how to take care of themselves."

In 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended reducing the distribution of unhealthy snacks with added sugar and sweet drinks among school children, via the journal Pediatrics. This covers not just the daily snacks or lunch students can have in school, but also what parents bring for birthday treats and other events, including Valentine's Day.

Experts from the American Heart Association recommend for kids to have a daily sugar intake limit of 25 grams only, but this isn't being strictly followed especially when children in school are celebrating events. Some parents equate fun with an abundance of sweet treats and junk food during kids' parties in school, but experts said this is not necessary.

So, this Feb. 14, parents should be more aware how kids can still have fun celebrating without doing huge damage to their health. Limit the sweets and encourage other parents to do the same, as well as ask teachers to prepare non-food related activities for Valentine's Day for kids.

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