Well Being

Bad kid or bad sugar?

By  | 

I don't care what the experts say.

Sugar makes my kid nuts.

It creeps up on him.  A fruit bar with lunch, maybe some yogurt.  A boxed drink.  The teacher's aide gives out some candy as a reward.  One kid's mom brings in donuts from the bakery where she works.  The neighbor brings him See's butterscotch lollies back from her trip to San Francisco. There's leftover Valentine's candy all over the house.

You see where I”m going with this?

Suddenly, my usually sunny, always argumentative, very inventive boy is in a craptastic mood.  He's too sensitive, he takes everything the wrong way, he's irrationally angry about something, he's throwing a temper tantrum…  so we start putting two and two together. What's changed? Nothing. Nothing but the amount of sugar he's consuming.

You know your kids better than anyone.  If you notice behavioral issues after a big sugar dump, or if you start to suspect they are sensitive to a particular food–wheat and gluten especially are often culprits–then do something about it.  Do a trial elimination, just like when you were introducing new foods when your kids were babies.  If no sugar has your household dancing around a perfect angel again, experiment with it.  How much is too much? Is it high fructose corn syrup (read those hotdog packages carefully, moms!) or refined sugars, or all sweeteners?  Is it worse at the end of the day?

Sugar is addictive.  It's empty calories, for the most part.  It's not necessary.  Try dropping some of it from your lives, and see what a difference a cake makes.