Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sugar Nazi 1 - Them 0

I have been crafting up a storm lately but nothing is finished yet so I thought I would talk about something very important to me. The sugar intake of children.

Wednesday is one of those children who has a lollipop and then climbs the walls. So, she does not get lollipops. She had one once. Once. And her head nearly exploded after an hour of constant babbling and running. I think she was fifteen months at the time. That was our get out of jail free card. Wednesday had never really had sugar before that so we had no idea what her reaction to it would be. We were with the in-laws who were in from out of town and so she was mostly occupied and indoors (the lollipop had come from having dinner our earlier int he evening and I had popped it into my mouth without realizing someone would be watching)where she could babble and run until she crashed, almost literally. She had tripped over a toy, fell on the carpeted living room floor and started to half-cry. The sugar high was over and we as parents were much wiser.

The next dose of sugar she had came months and months later in the form of a juice box. We were at a friends place visiting and their little guy was drinking a juice box and so, Wednesday being the curious one wanted one as well. I couldn't find it in my heart to deny her one and seeing how we were just about to leave I thought we could manage it. Well, for the twenty minute car ride home Wednesday sat in the back seat just babbling away. And I mean babbling. Total jibberish all the way home. So we learned, again, how Wednesday reacts to sugar.

Now, Wednesday gets sugar through fruit. NOT fruit juice. We try very hard to keep fresh and/or frozen fruit on hand for Wednesday daily intake. Fruit is always offered first and foremost at snack time. At the park I have container after container of grapes and apples and such. She does get 'cookies' but they are Heinz Toddler biscuits and it takes five cookies to amass a whopping 7g of sugar. She likes them and I like that.

I am not going to lie, it is a constant battle with others. Thankfully Wednesday is still too young to know better. But, I have the nick name 'Sugar Nazi' because no one is allowed to give Wednesday sugary treats without first asking me. And I say no 99% of the time. She can have one fruit juice jujube or a teaspoons worth of ice cream from their bowl etc. But on the whole my child lives a relatively sugar free diet.

The reason I decided to write about this today was brought on by what I did yesterday. I babysat a four year old boy. I thought it would be fast times at Sweet household high. But alas, the child was very well behaved, very polite and above all, very mellow. Which was a blessing because it rained the entire morning so I was not able to take the children to the park to burn any excess energy. For breakfast they ate MultiGrain Cheerios with fresh blueberries, for snacks they had all the fruit they could eat (which apparently he detests) and Ritz peanut butter sandwiches and Heinz toddler biscuits. For juice I gave them watered down lemonade which both children were happy to have. For lunch he had a peanut butter sandwich and milk and then it was nap time. He woke up and his dad came to take him home.

All in all it was a breeze to care for the child. I was happy to offer to do it again tomorrow. Upon talking to his grandmother (my aunt) I found out that he reacts to sugar the exact same way Wednesday does. A single juice box or glass of chocolate milk will send him into a sugar induced frenzy. So, score one for the 'Sugar Nazi'.

I have just never understood people who give children sugar in the form of candy or the well meaning juice box and then marvel or become angry at the child who "bounces off the walls". And then when they crash they get sent to bed for a nap because "they must be tired". That is no way to spend a day constantly getting high and crashing and then being punished. Imagine that in an adult's day, being given speed a couple of times a day and then being given trouble for the poor decision making skills that come with it and THEN being sent to sit in a room by ourselves to think about it or sleep it off. Just reeks of unfairness I think.

I am looking forward to tomorrow at the park with two children though. And I am looking forward to tomorrow with a well mannered boy and my well mannered Wednesday. maybe, I'll have my big craft finished in time for them to enjoy it. But that is another post for another time.