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Best candy for kids in lessons

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Over in the "what's in your pockets" thread, the topic came up amongst a couple of instructors about what type of candy is the best to carry during kids lessons. Giving the kids a quick shot of sugar can be the difference between a successful lesson and a meltdown. Besides, kids will do just about anything for candy (keep it clean, people!) A few instructors, including myself, said Gummi Bears. Another person said Jolly Ranchers. However, I don't know about hard candy mid lesson, for the choking risk. Also, despite my own use of Gummi Bears, there is the drawback of kids who are kosher or halal, since some gummi bears use pork gelatin.

 

So, what does everybody else use? What would be an alternative to the faithful gummi bear for me this season?

post #2 of 8

When coaching young racers, I always had sour worms in my pocket and I used them as rewards for doing drills. It's a habit I picked up from a coach a long time ago. Her routine went something like this. Work the drill for the first half of a run, stop and gobble a worm, free ski the last half of the run. It was pretty funny to see all of them crowding around me with their mouths wide open like little birds. As far as hard candy is concerned IMO it's never a good idea to be sucking on it while skiing. Like you mentioned chocking is a very real problem.

 

I no longer give candy to kids because times have changed and sugar must be dispensed carefully, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost you must make sure the kids do not have any diabetic issues. Secondly, a spike in blood sugar will be followed by a sugar low. So timing that snack so they eat something more substantial before that inevitable blood sugar crash is important. Additionally, their parents might even be opposed to us feeding their kids refined sugars. So you never know unless you have had that conversation with the parents prior to the lesson. In a well run school, the desk asks these sort of questions and it's documented on the card you give the parents at the end of the day. That doesn't mean a quick snack is a bad idea and most of the schools I've work in offer cookies and lemonade during indoor rest breaks. Other on the hill options include non-food items like stickers, or pins. I've seen more schools going this route along with training their coaches to take several potty and a snack breaks during the ski day.

post #3 of 8

Again - extensive research has proven skittles to be safe and effective. :)  Don't melt (though -  like Mogwai - don't get wet).  Hard to choke on a single skittle.  That said - EASY to choke on a huge half-masticated wad of skittles, so ration them out carefully.  One bag goes a long way. 

 

It is unlikely that a single skittle will send diabetics into shock.

If you drop a single skittle from the lift it is not agreat tragedy.  Biodegradable. Lots more skittles.

Minimal wrappers.

 

Pretend there is a skittle under your big toe in your boot and squish it.  Its hard. You really have to press down!

 

Fun game: Open mouth.  Close your eyes and guess the color skittle I throw in.

 

All that said - Non edible rewards are good for all our little jewish/muslim/druid/rastafarian/scientologist/vegan/diabetic/lactose intolerant/peanut allergy/shellfish allergy/acid reflux/concussed/tooth-decayed/adhd kids.

 

Then pull out a magnum size dove bar and scarf it down in front of them while they drool.  Make sure to smear it around your mouth and leave it there so they have to see it and smell it all day when to talk to them.  ;)

 

Carrot sticks are right out. 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm typically teaching in full-day kids programs, where we serve the kids snacks and lunch as part of the program. So we're aware of any wild dietary issues right from the start. As far as the sugar crash issue, I tend to feed frequent low doses of candy, to keep a steady buzz going. Much more effective than giving a massive dose.

 

I do like the Skittle idea. Except for that multicolored finger issue. 

post #5 of 8

One Skittle? Isn't that being a bit of a candy" tease"? Not saying it doesn't work short term but the inevitable thought among the kids is how can they get two.

 

Another idea that hasn't been mentioned yet is the food as a reward thinking. More than a few Moms and Dads have gone out of their way to avoid establishing that sort of thinking in their kids. It's become a big issue in regular schools and people like Laura Bush and Bill Clinton have been very involved in raising awareness through better school nutrition programs. While some may dismiss the connection here, it is worth mentioning the obesity crisis we are seeing among todays kids starts with small, seemingly innocent things like food rewards. Imagine a regular school teacher dispensing candy for good behavior / performance in their class rooms. Most parents would object to that practice. Anyways all I'm saying here is food rewards may not be the best reward option for a ski instructor. This is why most of the ski schools I know have a rest / potty break / snack schedule established to minimize the need for their coaches to carry sugary snack food. Don't get me wrong, Emergency fuel isn't a bad thing but if you are habitually dispensing candy, the school and parents might not view it the same way you do.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

One Skittle? Isn't that being a bit of a candy" tease"? Not saying it doesn't work short term but the inevitable thought among the kids is how can they get two.

 

Another idea that hasn't been mentioned yet is the food as a reward thinking. More than a few Moms and Dads have gone out of their way to avoid establishing that sort of thinking in their kids. It's become a big issue in regular schools and people like Laura Bush and Bill Clinton have been very involved in raising awareness through better school nutrition programs. While some may dismiss the connection here, it is worth mentioning the obesity crisis we are seeing among todays kids starts with small, seemingly innocent things like food rewards. Imagine a regular school teacher dispensing candy for good behavior / performance in their class rooms. Most parents would object to that practice. Anyways all I'm saying here is food rewards may not be the best reward option for a ski instructor. This is why most of the ski schools I know have a rest / potty break / snack schedule established to minimize the need for their coaches to carry sugary snack food. Don't get me wrong, Emergency fuel isn't a bad thing but if you are habitually dispensing candy, the school and parents might not view it the same way you do.

 

I work in a regular school, and we use food rewards all the time. Have yet to hear an objection from a parent.

post #7 of 8

Keep things sterile and only pass out individually-wrapped/pre-packaged items.  Individual skittles on a hand or glove (both of which have been on chair-lift bars, pole grips, the lodge, car keys, money, etc) help spread germs.  Same goes for gummi bears.

 

My $0.02

post #8 of 8

Chocolate, Hershey's kisses. Individually wrapped, germ free and oh so good. Halloween portioned candy bars Mars, Smarties, Kit Kat and much more. Warning one must be aware of allergies or special instructions from parents and or guardians. Some parents just don't like there kids to be wound up on on sugar high when the pick up their kids.For those kids I give them double!!!!!!

One Skittle, that's not a treat/reward. Its an insult for hard work and good behavior. Now a whole handful, now we're talk-in. yahoo.gif

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