As much as I tried to avoid it and encourage my children to eat fruits, vegetables and whole wheat, my children turned out to be candy fiends. They ask for candy all the time. And as anyone with small children knows, every holiday that comes and goes leaves you with a plethora of candy. I never buy candy, yet somehow we always have a bowl full of it in our kitchen. It actually sits atop the refrigerator in hopes that having it out of reach and eyesight will lessen its call to the Hess children. That hope is in vain. Palmer often scales the kitchen counters to grab whatever he desires and Brody has learned to pull up a dining chair in order to satisfy his sweet tooth.
One night before bed, right after I brushed their teeth, they asked for candy. I of course told them no. Just as the wailing and gnashing of teeth was about to begin, I had a brilliant idea. I told the boys there was a very important reason why they couldn't have candy at that moment. I then directed them to the computer monitor and googled images of cavities. These weren't your normal regular run of the mill cavities that I showed them. I pulled up picture after picture of gruesome, decayed, holey teeth. I told the boys that this is what happens to someone who eats too much candy. And that eating candy after brushing your teeth results in the biggest cavities.
The boys were enthralled. They are boys; they like that kind of stuff. They got within inches of the computer screen letting out enthusiastic squeals of "ewww!" and "yucky!" The whole time I was smiling inside thinking I had finally won the war against candy.
I turned off the computer and told the boys to scurry to bed. Brody cried out for one more picture of yucky cavities. I obliged and pulled up this humdinger of a picture.
He got real close to the monitor and curled up his lip in apparent disgust. Then very slowly and in a trance-like voice said, "I... want... candy... still."
Oh well. I tried. I suppose fear isn't the best way to teach proper nutrition anyway.