When your baby was tiny did you entertain lofty ideas about never letting them know what chocolate/crisps/sweets/biscuits etc etc were? You know the kind of thing - they wouldn't even see these things, let alone taste them, until they were at least 25? I think we all went down that route briefly, didn't we? At least with the first child, anyway. I remember a friend nannying a little boy of two or three about 18 years ago who viewed a cup of green beans as a treat. I bet that didn't last! He may well be morbidly obese now!! Deprivation can so often lead to addiction, it seems.
I kind of hold with the 'everything in moderation' theory and, although we do try to offer the girls healthy, and preferably organic, food most of the time, they certainly do know what crisps, chocolate and doughnuts are. And the vast majority of what we cook is 'from scratch' with natural, wholesome ingredients, including cakes and biscuits. Luckily, they still ask for fruit and vegetables as snacks at the supermarket and at home, in preference to less healthy options. We have certainly have never had a supermarket demand meltdown over sweets or chocolate, as everyone else seems to be having with their small people whenever I set foot in Sainsbury's. Instead, Lara will walk happily around with a carrot and Sophia a bunch of grapes. Phew!
However, I must confess that we are a serious bunch of chocoholics in our house! We managed to hold Lara off until her second Christmas, well she didn't even show an interest in it until then. But the onslaught of chocolate in all its festive forms from well-meaning family and friends broke through her disinterest and a mini chocoholic was born! With Sophia it has been even more of a challenge as she has seen her sister eating the brown stuff and wanted to follow suit. But still it's not every day, and they both still have lots of Easter eggs and choccy Santas etc left over from this Easter and Christmas, so it can't be that bad.
Don't get me wrong, we do say no - I think a lot of folk erroneously think our AP philosophy involves never using the N word! - but largely the girls don't ask very often for chocolate, maybe twice a week at most and then they have a little bit broken into pieces in a bowl. What we have found though is that the much-vaunted idea of having a small piece of good quality stuff far outweighs a huge amount of cheap stuff. You knwo that weird-tasting chocolate that Christmas decorations are made of, yeah that, yuck! Well who wouldn't swap that for a delicious piece of proper chocolate, especially if it's from Ethical Superstore's Divine Chocolate range. (Just don't tell the relatives that we ditched the dodgy Christmas chocolate!!)
Yep, a couple of good quality chocolate coins or a Honeycomb Crunch bee is quite enough to deliver that chocolatey hit for Lara and Sophia, and Mummy will be more than happy to sit down with a piece of orange-flavoured choccy, yum! So we will happily carry on with our everything in moderation idea, and let the girls indulge their chocoholic tendencies. I figure as long as they eat 'healthily' 80% of the time, we're doing all right!