A great guest post that I am excited to share with Momsies out there. Wendy is super-connector with Outreachmama. Her interests range from the corporate world to health and self-care to home improvement and parenting. Now if only someone came up with a way to extend the day by about 20 more hours, she could dedicate herself to all of these equally and constantly.
If you managed to get through the holidays without your children (and their parents) going into sugar overload, you are unique. We began in October with Halloween, went through the November feasting, and right into the sugar-laced December holidays, and ended the year with a party. The damage is done, and now we are going to pay for it. The holiday pounds are not nearly as difficult to rid ourselves of as the sugar-cravings.
You see, when we allow ourselves to overindulge in sugary foods, our body likes them. Our brains begin to demand them, and the more we try to pacify our brains with “just a bit” the more it screams.
As an adult, we can handle that. But a child doesn’t understand why they want a certain food. They have no idea that if they resist for just a while, the craving will stop. So, we have to help them control their cravings. First, let’s consider the facts:
- A child has limited space in their stomach. A sweet treat fills them up quickly leaving no room for any foods with nutritional value. However, that sugar will quickly fade away and the child will be hungry. This throws a monkey wrench into meal schedules. The child may be suffering from tummy troubles as his body tries to regain balance.
- Sugar causes your child’s insulin levels to rise too quickly to process sugar in their blood. The rise can cause hyperactivity and discomfort. This is followed by a fast and hard drop in the insulin levels once the sugar has been dealt with. The child can feel shaky and unwell.
- When you eat sugar, your body craves more sugar. A child who is allowed to consume sugar at will can quickly become obese. This will affect every part of their life.
Why would any parent want to allow these medical problems in their young child? Sure, the child is temporarily happy to have their sugar fix, but a smart parent weighs it out and soon decides that omitting sugar is much easier on their child than do damage control.
Changing your lifestyle
It starts with a lot of conversation. You must tell the other adults that play a part in your child’s life of your quest. If they are not willing to get on board, you will have to limit their visits to times when it is not mealtimes.
Remember, you are not putting your child on a diet. They can have reasonable treats, but they do not have to contain sugar. Keep treats for their special days and parties. Your child will be just as excited to have a sugar-free candy as they would be if it contained sugar.
Keep a stash at your parent’s home so if they are tempted to treat the child they have an acceptable option. Consider bulk peppermint candy. A sugar-free peppermint taste the same as a sugary one. It is the mint that creates the flavor. Peppermint oil is good for digestion problems. So, a sugar-free peppermint, may help the child.
Talk to your children. Have them help you make a list of their favorite foods that are healthy They will soon see there are many foods that they like that they can have.
Here are some other tips:
- Do not have products with sugar in the home.
- Set a good example. Do not expect them to refrain from snacks if you cannot.
- Have foods that they like and that they can eat, on hand.
- Have sugar-free candy on hand for treats you want to give them.
- Use natural products like honey to sweeten baked goods.
- Don’t fight unnecessary battles. Unless someone is deliberately undermining your authority, small treats from time to time will not hurt anyone.