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What I’ve learnt from my toddler’s obsession with crackers

It’s a running joke…anyone who knows my 17 month old child, has heard him ask for a “clacka” (cracker)…repeatedly.

Rice crackers are simply his favourite food.

To me, they taste a bit like cardboard – but he loves them. He will sit for ages making his way through a plain rice cracker, with nothing on it, picking up little crumbs of puffed rice as they fall from his mouth, making sure he doesn’t leave any behind.

Yesterday afternoon I took him to my parents’ house, and as soon as we entered the kitchen, he pointed to the cupboard and proclaimed “clacka!”

He’d already had a couple of crackers earlier in the day (I try and limit his intake, offering him alternatives instead), plus he’d had an afternoon snack, so I distracted him with some toys and suddenly he’d forgotten all about the crackers.

Talking to my husband about it last night, we commented on the fact that he didn’t really need a cracker, and that this was one of his food associations.

What do I mean by that?

We all have food associations. Think about your favourite coffee shop – I’m sure you can’t drive past it without thinking about getting a coffee.

If you’re not a coffee drinker, what about a piece of cake or croissant from your local bakery?

Or…every night after you’ve finished dinner, do you go looking for something sweet? A piece of chocolate perhaps. Or even a piece of fruit.

Do you sit down to watch TV with a packet of chips on your lap? Or a cup of tea?

All of these are food associations. Some are healthy…but most are not so healthy.

Watching my son ask for crackers every time he saw the cupboard in which they were kept, was a good lesson for me to learn – food associations can start from a really early age.

But the good news is that as soon as you identify them, you can change them. 

This week I’m running a little self experiment – I’m only part way through the first day and I’ve already noticed some of my own food associations.

Most of my clients keep food/exercise/sleep diaries for me. This week I decided I would keep one myself – and tell you all about it via Instagram. I would love for you to follow along and let me know what your week of food/exercise/sleep is like – click here to follow my journey this week.

In the comment section below, I’d love to know – what are YOUR food associations? Are you addicted to a certain food without even realising it? Are your associations healthy or unhealthy? Do you need to make some changes?

Sometimes just acknowledging your unhealthy food associations can be helpful on a subconscious level in changing them to healthier ones.

Have a great rest of the week,

Dina x

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