Constantly rewarding children with sweets and lollies can teach them that food is a coping mechanism.
That's according to Healthy Food Guide nutritionist Claire Turnbull who spoke to Hilary Barry on TVNZ1's Breakfast today.
Ms Turnbull advises that rewards of sweet foods for everyday tasks completed or to stop crying gives "constant reinforcement that when you do something good you get bad food".
She says the impact can "carry on during teenage years and adulthood" and teaches children that lollies and sweet foods are how to manage bad situations.
Ms Turnbull says it depends on the context of giving children treats and says it's when "it's consistent and it's the treat food. The ice creams, the chocolate, the biscuits".
Ms Turnbull advises that children should be encouraged to enjoy vegetables and we should stop saying things like "eat all your broccoli and you'll get pudding" because it implies healthy food isn't tasty and "makes broccoli seem awful."