Although rewards and incentives can be an effective way for teachers to encourage positive behavior, health experts recommend using an alternative reward. Below are some reasons why:
- Today’s kids are already overwhelmed with unhealthy food choices. They face high risks of being overweight and having serious health problems in the future. Children need to be taught and encouraged to make wise choices about food and healthy eating. Giving food (or treats) as a reward in class makes this confusing and difficult for them.
- Bribing with any food encourages children to eat when they are not hungry. They learn to reward themselves through eating, a habit that may continue into adulthood.
- When treats are offered as a reward for daily activities, children quickly learn to prefer “junk food” over healthier foods.
- Giving food (or treats) as a reward contradicts the healthy eating messages taught in school.