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November 18, 2012

Evaluate Choices

Dare to compare

What it is

The foundation for choosing well.

Why it's Important

Choosing the best from a pool of good options takes comparing relevant features to that which is most important


Relevant Features

    Products: Functionality, Warranty, Price, etc.

            Food: Serving Size, Calories, Protein, etc.

         People: Values, Personality, Integrity, etc.

The Problem

Marketing hype and social pressure confuse decision making.  We're sold the idea of faster, extra, thinner, healthier, etc. Often the "extra" is wasted.

Infinite Choice Overwhelms

The Tip

Dare to Compare

Make a game out of comparing two similar snack foods and allow your child to make the best choice for herself.

Step 1


The next time your child asks for a not-so-healthy snack, like chips, ask her if she’s considered all her options.


“Sure you can have a snack. Have you considered some of the other snacks we have?”

Step 2

No Strings

Regardless the answer, ask if he would be willing to compare two snacks side by side.  Make sure to emphasize that he gets to choose his snack no matter what's discovered.

“I wonder what the difference is between this and that.  Wanna portion out a serving of each and see? I promise to let you pick your snack . . . or maybe even have both.”

Step 3

Clarify Importance

Before portioning the snacks, ask your child what’s most important to her, i.e., portion size, crunchiness, taste, etc.

Step 4


Allow your child to portion a serving of each snack onto a colored napkin or plate.

Do  ask him to read the labels to you

Don’t  criticize the snacks

Do  ask her what was surprising

Don’t  drag the experiment out too long

Do  thank him for playing

Step 5


Make good on your promise and let him pick his snack

OR --  have BOTH!

Step 6

Zip Lips

Zip Your Lips!

Trust that your message about wise choice making has been received.


Allow your influence to work its magic even if you’re not seeing much change on the outside.


Adding sensory input to ideas makes everything more fun and memorable


It’s fun to play with your food!


I’ve been surprised each time we’ve compared.  Who knew veggie chips were about as “healthy” as regular chips?


The no-strings-attached approach zaps the risk right out of curiosity.


Open her eyes to the world of choice without asking too much from her all at once.

Promise Kept

We promised to teach our kids how to think for themselves.  Encouraging him to clarify his needs and desires before comparing his options makes good on that promise.



Tip of the Week - Dare to Compare

Related Articles: Thinking in Shades of Gray, Successful Failure

Related Tip of the Week: The Ignore List


 Chime in >> What do you think?


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