One reason I dread some holidays is because of ALL. THE. SUGAR. And the times I hear other adults say, “oh just let them have this, just this once . . . it’s no big deal.”
Well, let me first dispel that. It isn’t just this once. And really, it is big deal. Every little time adds up and it adds up quickly.
It’s Valentine’s, Easter, parades for all those “patriotic holidays”, Halloween, and Christmas.
Oh, I forgot a few . . . trips to the store when the cashier asks if your kid can have a sucker, doctor visits (seriously, there are still doctor’s giving candy), the grandparent’s house, the cousin’s house, the donuts at church every Sunday, oh and then there is class on Sunday and the rest of the week in public school. So in other words, many, many times every week, sometimes every day.
What’s so bad about Sugar?
Sugar gives you energy right? So how is that bad? And it tastes SO yummy.
Sugar lowers the immune system.
Sugar can cause upset stomach and loss of appetite.
Sugar stores fat.
Sugar raises chances of Diabetes.
Sugar raises chances of Heart Disease.
Sugar creates an imbalance in cholesterol levels.
Sugar is addictive.
Sugar stops the body from knowing it’s full.
Sugar hype and crash.
Sugar can lead to depression.
Sugar can age skin faster – particularly the face.
Sugar is Everywhere
It isn’t just in candy – there are “hidden” sugars in a lot of foods. And many of these foods are marketed towards our kids. Why? Cause it’s addictive, and let’s face it, it makes stuff taste good – so you can get kids to easily eat it. Moms worried about getting their kids to eat something will often fall victim just just letting them eat whatever – regardless of nutritional value.
The AHA recommends no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. That is about 6 teaspoons. If you start looking at labels you will see that it adds up faster than you could imagine.
Let kids be kids.
Everyone is doing it.
These are the things I hear from friends, family and other moms.
Here’s my big issue . . . have you noticed the amount of adults on Sugar Detox Diets? These diets are everywhere because the addiction is real and devastating to our long-term health.
Why then are we setting our kids up our children for failure?
Setting them up only to have to wean themselves off this addiction later in life.
Why not teach them healthy habits now?!?
Watch this video with your kids. Educate them and help the make good choices, on their own. I always find that when my kids know, and of course are reminded often, of what their decisions reap they do choose the better more than the sugar.
So then, how do we teach them to make better choices? What are those better choices? Here is what we have done in our house. Of course, this is something we are constantly working on – even the adults.
Teach them that water – not milk, not juice, not soda – should be their first drink of choice. I recently found out that water is not even readily offered as a choice for lunch at my children’s school. Milk – that’s all. So they take a bottle everyday in addition to the one that stays in there classroom.
Sweets are Treats
And as such, should be rare. Treats should be for special occasions – not for daily consumption. I am not saying I never allow my kids treats, but . . . I don’t buy them cookies, candy, juice or other things that readily contain added sugars.
We very sparingly have treats and only between lunch and dinner.
When we do have these things it is in small portions and rare.
But it’s Cheap
I get it. A bag of candy is way cheaper than fresh food. Than a toy. Than most other rewards. So teachers, doctors and parents use these things readily to motivate and reward children.
Buying toys or other items for holiday treats, party favors or whatever else can be expensive. So think about this . . . don’t do it. Just don’t. Generations have lived and thrived without rewards for every occasion. Make the big things meaningful and acknowledge the little things.
Let kids know you love and care about them by other means. It may take longer, but memories last longer than a sugar high.
So, to all those of you think I am being ridiculous and unreasonable and too strict – stop telling me “It’s no big deal”.
Stop trying to make me feel guilty.
Stop trying to tell me that I am denying them their “childhood”.
Yes, those are the things I have heard when my answer it, “no thank you” – usually also met with a look of shock. I know that sometimes love is saying no, is teaching discipline and self denial. It is often teaching delayed gratification – like a treat after chores are done.
It is a big deal
Look at that list of the things sugar can cause. Now look at the rise in childhood obesity, diabetes, cancer and the “lesser” issues of recurring colds and ear infections.
There are tons of other sources to learn more – it has to be each person’s decision to help stop this. I love Jamie Oliver, and he has a great documentary on sugar – as well as quite a few other topics.