Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bad Kids, No Sugar For You

One of the families I nanny for live about 1/2 an hour away from any city.  They have a compost pile, septic tank, generator, solar panels, an organic filled fridge and no sugar added.

I firmly believe feeding children sugary drinks and snacks all day is detrimental to their health, however I do not think completely depriving a child is any better for their relationship with sugar.

Sugar is apart of our everyday lives and it is healthier to teach children to make smart choices rather than completely ignoring the question.  This not only applies to food but sex, alcohol, relationships, every social interaction depends on choices and avoiding the tough questions makes them harder to answer later.

I can just see the obsession in her eyes when Maple asks her mom if she can have sugary cakes, drinks, cookies, ice cream, processed foods on her birthday; the one day in the year where she is allowed added sugar.  Maple is only three, but I can already see the emotional desperation forming under her voice.

Every time where I find an obsession focused on food I reveal an emotionally disturbed person who does not know how to make wise decisions about food.  I was personally sugar pushed by my mother and used food to relieve my depression.  Maple does live in an emotionally adjusted family, however, their ideas about sugar need to take a turn or risk a severe obsession within Maple.

Carrots Caused This

The question is how does a parent manage sugar and let their child enjoy it?  A simple answer is not to make a big deal out of sugar, just treat it like any other food and limit it like any other food.  Carrots may be healthy, but eating too many will turn a person orange and make constipation an issue.  In short, moderation in all things.

I really do not think parents need to worry too much about their children eating added sugar if they feed them a healthy diet and let them have some sugary treat once in a while.  It's likely the sugar will be overwhelming to their taste buds and they will only want an occasional taste in the long run.  Obsession begins with denial, so don't deny children candy just don't make such a big deal about it and the children will follow suit.