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2160 S. State Rte. 157, Suite B, Glen Carbon, IL 62034

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Chocolate is a colossal staple in the month of February and thus why this month is known as Chocolate Lover’s Month. It is a go-to candy for Valentine’s Day with chocolate lovers diving into heart-shaped boxes of assorted chocolates like dark chocolate, milk chocolate, peanut butter and chocolate, caramel and chocolate, and coconut and chocolate. It definitely has its advantages such as providing antioxidants that make us happy, good source of protein, and boosts heart health. However, eating chocolate in large quantities can pose health concerns, especially when your kids are eating it.

Chocolate Pros and Cons

As previously stated, there are health benefits to eating chocolate, but where there are benefits there are also drawbacks to consuming the delicious treat or candy. It’s good to see the pros and cons to anything, especially before letting your children bite into a large, tasty, chocolate bar.

Pros:

  • Cocoa products are full of flavonoids that act as anti-clotting in blood, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. This helps lower sensitivity to insulin while also decreasing the risk of diabetes in kids.
  • When your kids need some energy, give them some chocolate as it acts as a stimulant. Makes sense why Snickers uses the tagline, “Hungry? Grab a Snickers.”
  • It is a myth that chocolate causes acne breakouts, but actually improves the overall appearance in your teen’s skin with compounds such as magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, beta-carotene, and omega-6 fatty acids.

Cons:

  • Even though chocolate has healthy anti-properties for kids’ bodies, do not let them consume chocolate in large quantities. With its heavy amounts of sugar and fat, it can lead to weight gain.
  • Chocolate may give your kids energy, but the downfall is it contains a lot of sugar and caffeine, which can cause headaches and crashing if eaten in large amounts every day.
  • While dark chocolate may be healthy for adults, there haven’t been any studies done to see if the same results are said for children. So, keep in mind how much dark chocolate you give your kids because eating it every day can lead to health concerns in the future.

Healthier Chocolate Treats

With the pros and cons, it’s now time to find some healthier options to eating chocolate without the guilt of eating too much. When it comes to eating anything, especially sweets, the best practice is eating the recommended serving size with packaged products or in smaller quantities. Your kids not only satisfy their sweet tooth and chocolate intake, but it helps to keep their weight in check and provide healthier alternatives instead of them sinking their teeth into a huge candy bar.

Dipped Treats – Dipping foods into chocolate is one way to appease your chocolate craving. Create a chocolate fondue with numerous foods like fruit, angel food cake, or nuts (allergies aside of course).

Covered Treats – Covered foods smothered in chocolate is another way to get your chocolate fix on. Make up snacks like frozen chocolate covered bananas, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered cheesecake pops, nuts, or even drizzle chocolate on top of Rice Krispy treats.

Baked Treats – Baked chocolate treats have been around for years, but by baking them smaller, it makes snacking all the more fun. Bake miniature versions of the classics like chocolate chip cookies, chocolate brownies, and chocolate cupcakes. Even though these aren’t baked treats, instead of buying larger versions of the popular candy bars, purchase the Fun or mini size varieties to delight and bring joy to your kids’ taste buds.

Enjoy the delights of chocolate with your kids and set boundaries so that they don’t eat too much of it. If you have any questions regarding chocolate allergies in kids, or more information on the effects chocolate has on them, contact us today.