Does the title surprise you? Junk can be ok. As long as it’s just “sometimes.” Here’s how to deal with the Purim overload.
By Rorie Weisberg
With Purim around the corner, most moms are bracing themselves for the onslaught of junk and goodies that are about to pour through the door. What to tell the kids? No one wants to be the “mean mother” on Purim, but giving children unlimited access to too many sugary goodies is not a good option either.
Proactively prepare for Purim by teaching your kids about making choices. While many parents categorize foods as “healthy” or “unhealthy,” I like to keep things positive and instead call them “anytime foods” and “sometimes foods”. Communicate that all foods are ok to enjoy under the right circumstances. This message empowers kids to start thinking critically and make smart choices.
The whole family can enjoy a fun, relaxed Purim within healthy boundaries. As the mom, it’s your job to make sure you have lots of “anytime” food, like a high protein breakfast and lunch, on hand for meals, even on Purim!
To cope with the “sometimes food” blitz that inevitably happens on Purim, prepare a designated place for arriving mishloach manos. To keep things exciting, remind your kids that pretty soon you’ll all go there everything together to sort through the loot! During the sorting, go with your own instincts to set guidelines for your children. Keep the atmosphere fun and flexible within limits. Allowing each child to select a few treats for now and save the rest for later is a great strategy. In our family, each child puts together a Shabbos party hoard which lasts until Pesach! The goal here is not to demonize “sometimes foods” but to normalize them, and to teach children to develop their decision-making skills in a positive way.
Rorie is a health coach certified in integrative nutrition, a recipe developer, writer, creator of Rorie͛s Oat Dough Mix and founder of Full ‘N Free, LLC. She helps women make peace with food and their bodies, whether their struggles stem from digestive and metabolic issues or from years of yoyo dieting. To learn more about Rorie and her oat dough mix, recipes, programs and services, visit www.fullnfree.com and follow @fullnfree.