Teaching Children Not to Accept Food from Strangers

There are multiple risks when children accept candy, food, or anything else from strangers. It's important for parents to do everything possible to avoid these situations.
Teaching Children Not to Accept Food from Strangers

Last update: 07 December, 2018

We’ve all heard the same strict warning from our parents: “Don’t take food from strangers.” 

One of the situations that most worries parents is when a stranger offers their children food without their permission. So, what can we do to prevent this from happening?

Teaching our children to be selective

Perhaps this lesson may cause children to be more timid or fearful. However, teaching our children to be alert and use proper judgement will help them protect themselves. 

The first thing we need to tell our children is that they should only go to adults that their parents know.

Over time, children must learn to understand that taking candy or other things from strangers can be dangerous. What they should do is ask their parents or other trusted adults for permission before accepting any sort of gift.

Knowing how to identify family members and other adults who they can trust is very helpful. That way, if they’re alone and someone approaches them, they know how to go to. Therefore, we should always provide them with a plan of action for self-protection.

Three keys when it comes to strangers giving your children food:

  • Sign of danger: When strangers offer them food or gifts, children should learn to see this as something bad. We need to be clear and explain the dangers that go along with this situation.
  • Food under parental supervision: Even if your child receives something, he or she should adopt a habit of bringing it to a trusted adult first. Parents and teachers can then offer or deny permission to eat it.
  • Secret gifts are never goodIn fact, responsible adults will always ask parents for permission before giving children something to eat. If this doesn’t happen, children must learn to be suspicious.
Teaching Children Not to Accept Food from Strangers

Teach your children the danger of taking food from strangers

It’s every parent’s desire to keep their children safe at all times. However, danger can be lurking just around the corner and we need to be prepared. When the time comes, it’s important to teach children that bad things can happen.

At certain ages, it’s good for children to learn about drugs and how easy it is for them to be added to food. Addictions, abuse and kidnappings are all things that we need to talk to our children about, sooner or later.

Every child also needs to know that they must tell their parents or teachers any time a situation like this occurs. If they’re alone, then they should look for a police officer or someone in uniform.

Possible risks

Below are the most dangerous risks of these interaction for children:

  • Kidnapping: Most parents understand this risk perfectly. Children must understand the likelihood of strangers using candy and gifts as a means of enticing children and kidnapping them.
  • Child abuse: Perpetrators can also use candy as bait for abuse and molestation. The candy may contain some sort of drug, or simply be a means of gaining the victim’s trust.
  • Gateway to drug addiction: There are many cases of gang members passing out sweets that contain drugs to produce addiction among children.

“Teaching our children to be alert and use proper judgement will help them protect themselves. The first thing we need to tell our children is that they should only go to adults that their parents know.”

Drugs camouflaged in candies and the increase in addiction among youth

In today’s world, more than ever before, strangers giving children candy without parental consent is dangerous. In countries like Spain, Nicaragua, Mexico and Colombia, a number of cases of drugs being given to minors have been reported. 

As for drug trafficking, we know that criminal organizations can use candy with two purposes in mind. The first is to transport drugs in a way that goes undetected by authorities. Second, it increases the rate of addiction among youth, thus producing new “clients.”

Examining a candy’s brand or whether or not packaging has been tampered with is no long sufficient. Drugs in the form of candy are more and more elaborate and look just like commercial products.

In some cases, criminals replicate the packaging of well-known brands.

Teaching Children Not to Accept Food from Strangers

Use technology to your favor

Lastly, parents can use technology, the internet, and other resources to alert our children about possible dangers. There are many documentaries, songs and programs that deal with this issue. 

Don’t hesitate to consult these materials and share them with your children. Without a doubt, this needs to be a priority within your family.

Be sure that your children understand that they should never accept food from strangers without their parent’s permission.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.