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Kids and Chocolate: How much is too Much?

Kids and Chocolate

For some reason, parents often forbid their children to eat a full bar of chocolate after lunch or as a snack. In reality, such restrictions are not founded on fact, but rather on myths that used to circulate about chocolate decades ago. Today, scientists have discovered all the nutritive effects chocolate has and they recommend eating limited quantities of it. That is why there is no reason for your child not to eat chocolate. In fact, if eaten in reasonable amounts, chocolate has several benefits to your child’s mental and physical health. In addition, this delicious sweet will allow you to spend more time with your child and you will enjoy eating chocolate together.

Adding bars of chocolate

Math is perhaps the last area you thought chocolate can help your kid succeed. In fact, chocolate contains flavanols, which are responsible for increasing the flow of blood to the brain. As a result, people who eat chocolate find it easier to focus and in general, to think clearly and solve problems. Furthermore, flavanols are responsible for boosting memory and helping children cope with tiredness, which is often to blame for bad marks at school. That is why you should have a bar of milk chocolate rich in cacao before you decide to ban chocolate to your youngsters. It will help you clear your mind, if you understand what we mean.

Supplanting junk food

Apart from chocolate, the biggest worry you have about your child’s diet is junk food. Fried food that is prepared in questionable conditions raises more than one eyebrow but your kid just adores having a hamburger during a break at school. If you are unable to ban them from eating junk food, you can always cut your losses and find a less detrimental substitute for French fries and cheeseburgers. This is where chocolate or more precisely, dark chocolate comes into play as it can be quite filling, even when consumed in small quantities. If you pack a bar of dark chocolate, there is a big chance that your child will be full and they won’t buy a bag of crisps afterward.

(Choco) conditioning

Instead of fighting with your child’s urge to ask for chocolate, you can actually use it to our favor. Essentially, you have something they want and as every good entrepreneur, you should take advantage of this situation. Turn chocolate into a reward for achievement at school and diligence at home, thus establishing a reward system in which you reaffirm your role as the parent and the person who is in control. If your child is a good learner, he or she will see how this conditioning mechanism works and apply it at school. A bag of choco hearts offered to the whole class will buy you a lot of friends.

The social role of chocolate

Apart from being treated as a suitable reward for children, chocolate is also the ideal gift you could give your kid and vice versa. Instead of choosing to buy expensive toys for their birthday or the flower bouquets they buy you for your birthday, you could exchange the gift of chocolate. We are not referring to those unappealing bars of chocolate you can get at any supermarket but rather to full-scale choco-bouquets. Yes, there are companies like Gift Rebellion who make gift hampers loaded with chocolaty delights which are an ideal birthday or Mother’s Day present.

An energy bar

It seems that every time chocolate gets mentioned in the news by nutritionists, they speak only of its downsides, such as the sugar content that is one of the main contributors to diabetes. Although this is true for some chocolate brands, dark chocolate, for instance, contains soluble fibers and minerals such as magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. As a result of consuming a bar of dark chocolate, your energy levels skyrocket instantly, relieving you from stress and providing you with the much-needed energy boost. And the best thing about dark chocolate is that you needn’t eat much, as just a single bar or two are enough to get all the nutrients from it.

A lesson in doing business
Let’s face it, one of the biggest reasons behind prohibiting your children to eat chocolate is the fact that you are jealous of them because you cannot eat as much chocolate as you want because you’re an adult now and you need to set an example. However, this means that other people crave for this brown delight as well, so you can take financial advantage of this fact. Namely, your kids could prepare cupcakes or chocolate pudding for the local fair or the school bake-off. Once chocolate goes up for grabs, dollar bills will be pouring in, teaching your children an important lesson in entrepreneurship. They will realize that chocolate is not only a source of sugar but a source of profit as well.

Strong at heart

We keep hearing on TV that chocolate is bad for us but somehow mainstream media fail to mention the advantages consuming chocolate has on our organism. For once, the flavonoids inside chocolate are ideal for the prevention of heart disease. Since they are antioxidants, they have a direct beneficial effect on the heart, apart from slowing down the aging process. Therefore, don’t be surprised to see your senior mother asking her grandson if she could have a bar of chocolate he’s eating. Finally, chocolate helps fight bad cholesterol and high blood pressure, which means that we should not remove it from our diet altogether.

The final question that we are faced with is how much chocolate is too much chocolate. The answer to this rather complex question is not uniform and it varies from one case to another. We all have individual needs and craving for chocolate and while some can eat 100g of chocolate, others are full after a single bar. However, the fear that our children might overeat on chocolate shouldn’t make us deprive them of chocolate altogether. We have listed so many benefits of consuming chocolate in rational quantities that you simply cannot take this delight away from your kids. 

Mia Johnson is a Freelance writer & Fitness Expert From Sydney, Australia