Sometimes we moms are hesitant to say “no” for fear of making things awkward in a relationship. This is especially true with food. We are culturally taught to offer and politely receive food as gifts. When we’re transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, it can be difficult to refuse a food we gladly ate last week. It becomes even more socially confusing when our kids are offered sugary treats.

Our friends, and even the bank teller who incessantly offers those lollipops, have the best of intentions. They aren’t secretly trying to give your child pre-diabetes. They just know that sugar tastes good, and candy gets an easy smile from your kid.

We can preserve relationships and keep our kids healthy. We just need some simple talking points. Just practice these – right here in front of the computer screen (or tablet screen or smart phone).

Here are a few lines that I use when my kids are offered junk:

  • “We’re trying to reduce sugar at our house. But thanks anyway.” 
  • “Oh, my kids are sweet enough already. No, thanks.” 
  • “Not today, thanks.” 
  • “We just had a great snack of apples and peanut butter, but thanks for offering.”

These lines recognize that you appreciate their kind offer. The giver’s pride is kept intact and your kids don’t get stuffed with more empty calories from candy. You might even help your friends to change their minds about junk food, especially if you offer an alternative like fruit.