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  • Writer's pictureDianne Pede

Reading & Chocolate: Foster a Love of Reading in Your Child Using this Sweet Prescription!

For maximum effectiveness, secretly savour 40mg of dark chocolate. Then, model reading for 6 or more minutes each day.


1. Let your child pick a pile of their favourite books and a cozy spot to enjoy them.

2. Grab your escape book or magazine and get lost in it for as little as six minutes.

3. While you read silently, your child explores their books. They will be the opposite of quiet as they tell the stories in their own words, and explore the magic of books.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

4. Later, or earlier in the day and out of your child’s view, enjoy the scrumptious dark chocolate. (This step is not for children)

Possible Side Effects

  • Intense feelings of relaxation and contentment in both adults and children.

  • Development of a love of books and reading.

  • Losing track of time.

Warning: The six minutes may turn into longer, causing responsibilities to be neglected. The recommended remedy is to immediately lower your standards and continue reading.

The Reading

When children see their parents reading for pleasure, it’s contagious! Spreading good reading vibes will help your little ones develop a love of reading.

Trust me. Fighting with a child to stop reading and go to sleep is a much more pleasant battle than fighting with one who is reluctant to read.

A 2009 study out of the University of Sussex shows that as little as six minutes of reading can reduce stress by up to 68%.

Surprisingly, reading was more effective in reducing stress than chilling out to music, walking, or having a cup of tea.

Taking care of our health should be a number one priority of all of us. If daily reading for fun is one of the strategies to improve health, sign me up!

A child receives double benefits when this daily prescription is followed. Their stress levels are reduced through the escape and pleasure of their own book time. Their stress levels are also reduced by having a more relaxed parent or caregiver. When we are a stressed-out cranky mess, our children pick up the added tension. Ask any child. They know when mom, dad, or other adult is uptight. They sense it and end up carrying some of that stress around with them.

The Chocolate

Chocolate and its health benefits are often in the news. A number of research studies indicate dark chocolate can reduce stress, and has other health benefits. (See links at the bottom of the page.)

For me, it’s a no brainer to embrace the wisdom of this research and add dark chocolate to my daily health regime. It’s so much easier and more enjoyable than sit ups, meditating, and picking the kale out of my teeth. I need to remember no more than 40 grams and the darker the better. It’s the cocoa in it that is believed to work the magic.

I invite you to join me in analyzing the effects of daily reading and dark chocolate consumption. To date, my only side effects are tighter pants and frequent trips to the library.

Let me know if you are up to daily reading and chocolate eating to improve your health and parenting success. I'd love to hear from you about your experiences in the comment section below.

Join me in the books and chocolate experiment to have fewer days like this!

Just say, "I'm in!" in the comment section below.

"Please sir, may I have my book and some chocolate?"

*This article is for entertainment and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.

Related Links and Further Reading


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