Monday, August 16, 2010


I should have known I was in trouble when #1, in preschool, stated on his "person of the week" full body drawing stated that SUGAR was his favorite food.  How did my then four year old pick something that was barely available to him?  My family elders thought I was such a stingy mom because my kids didn't have even ice cream until they were at least 1.  Their 1st birthday cake was often the first sugar they tasted (at least for the 1st and probably the second).

It's all my fault.  When pregnant, I craved sugar.  Yes, it is horrible for you in general, but when pregnant, it is worse.  It was nothing but trouble for me and my loosening joints and back.  That did not stop me from eating it.  Home-baked cookies were my favorite.  Oh and movie candy, even if I wasn't going to the movies.

I don't even let my kids drink juice.  Juice is sugar.  We had friends over.  One of the moms asked for juice for their kid.  I said that my kids don't get juice without cod-liver oil in it.  You couldn't pay me to drink that, but it worked.  They used to think lemonade was water with 1/2 of lemon squeezed into it.

This year we went to a couple of functions where soda was free flowing for the kids.  I let them have it, but not caffeinated ones.  I had friends who did not restrict their kids intake.  Their rationale was why stress out when it isn't every day.  Enjoy the party and let them enjoy themselves too.  If it means soda and even caffeinated soda, and cupcakes and so on, then go with it.

I also have a hard time not using sugar as a motivator.  #1 was very overwhelmed with obligations of tutoring and such.  Stopping for frozen yogurt or ice cream made life easier for all of us.  His tutor even said it did not impact his work or attention.  But, food and especially sugar, should not be a motivator.  I am a bad mom.  I have said that we can only go once a week for the yogurt/ice cream.  Now we go to the drug or convenience store for a non-caffenated soda or candy.

Then baseball season came upon us.  #1 was in the minors.  Gatorade was free flowing.  Yuck.  I get how hard the kids are working and don't want them to get dehydrated on the rare hot day.  The problem compounded with the snack shack at the games and 3 little sisters wanting what their brother had.  All sugar intake must be fair, regardless of the size of the sibling.  I finally had to buy the powder and make it at home for fear of going broke.

We try to have club soda or diet tonic water be substitutes, but it only gets us so far.  We started making popped corn at home.  Now I eat buckets of it.  We've instituted a rule where #1, who HATES fruits and vegetables, had to eat a form of fruit or vegetable for breakfast and dinner or else he would not be able to partake in any potential sweets.  I'm still a bad mom.  Don't punish your kids with sugar.

We just went to a wedding where sugar was readily available for the kids.  I decided to relax and have fun and not worry about it.  #1 drank 5 Izzys!  Each kid had left with a full tummy of nothing but sugar and maybe a couple of bites of fries and mac-n-cheese.  They all proclaimed that the wedding was the best event they had ever been to.  We had fun too.  They left with buckets full of candy and bags full of jellybeans.  Our next day was 7 hours of driving.  I decided to let them gorge themselves with hopes that they'd run out or make themselves sick and not want to eat anymore.  It didn't work.  They still have some left and didn't get sick.  They were a bit wired after no exercise and all sugar, but it enabled us to only stop once for gas and twice for potty breaks.  They were content.  I'm going to regret this for sure.

Halloween is coming up again.  I do not like this holiday.  It ranks up there with Valentines day for me.  Too much centered around sugar.  I still have bags of the kids' trick-or-treating candy in the freezer.  They get to freeze a large zip-lock bag of their bounty each year.  It is doled out as treats at various times of the year.  Surprisingly, I haven't raided the bags.  Out of sight out of mind really works for me.  The freezer in the garage is just far enough from my brain and food that I don't even think about it.  I wish I could say the same about my kids.  Oh well, at least I'll have something to pass out to trick-or-treaters this year without shopping for it.

What is the answer?  Will they learn to self regulate?  Will I stop feeling guilty?  Who knows?

P.S. I predominantly shop at the farmers' market.  I didn't want you to think I only feed my kids sugar.  I'll post another time about our house food choices.  This post was really about my kids' food choices.

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