Sunday, February 1, 2015

Why is everyone giving my kids sugar??

I do believe that we could change the name of Holidays to Candydays and they'd basically be the same! Between Valentine's Day, Halloween and Christmas, it seems we have a never ending flow of treats cascading into our home year round. 4th of July, please don't lose your claim on watermelon. :)

*This post is not intended to be judgmental in any way towards those who may choose different foods to feed their kids. I'm not here to fuel the mommy wars!! As I view it firsthand, I simply want to bring awareness to what foods we are giving out to children in general. 

We don't eat a perfect diet. My kids eat their share of treats & goodies. But since the moment I became pregnant for the first time, I have become much more aware of what I am putting into my or my kid's bodies.  The items I work the most to keep out of our diet are high fructose corn syrup, artificial food dyes, msg & nitrates. (Thank you, Trader Joe's & Aldi's for making this possible on my budget.) This is just a guideline we use for our family to help make better food choices. I am not a medical professional and am not here to say these ingredients will make your  kids do or act in a certain way. But from my research, I've come to the conclusion that they are vastly bad for our bodies and unnecessary for good food, so why mess with it?! You can read why here, herehere, & here. If we're going to eat a treat, I'd prefer it's made with real sugar and/or natural food dyes. Should be pretty simple, right? But as my kids have gotten older and participate in more events & activities, it seems like candy is being shoved at them from all directions.
We've been to libraries, hardware stores, church, school, doctor offices, banks, thrift stores and more where my kids are offered candy. Before you judge me about being the mean mom and one little piece won't hurt them, let me just share that the issue is not one little piece. The problem is that it's offered EVERYWHERE. I want to say to any teacher, director, leader, employer, organizer out there....before you stock up on the candy to pass out, please reconsider! Handing out candy or sugar treats to someone else's child should not be a right that anyone takes for granted. Kids love stickers! Choose stickers!! If you really, really want to do suckers, then please consider these as a better option. Pencils, pretzel rods, rubber balls.....check out Oriental Trading. They have an amazing assortments of kids items for cheap!

My husband and I were at a catered dinner where we had a lovely menu of chicken marsala, vegetables, & fruit. The kids of all the parents were given pizza and cookies. Something seems wrong with this picture! My son recently came home from a birthday party and told us he had 2 cups of coke. My husband and I looked at him and in unison said "real coke?!!" Wow, I just wasn't expecting that to even be an option at a 6 year old party. Besides the pizza, ice cream & cake, needless to say, he was not feeling well! However, it was a great learning experience for him to see what a difference he feels in his body and I'm glad he has really become more aware of it. 

As foster parents, we have to watch our foster kids go to visits with their birth family and get fed junk food and candy and then have upset tummies for the next 48 hours. My foster son recently had to miss Sesame Street Live because it was after a visit where he had been fed junk food that made him sick. It is terrible to watch and feels so senseless! I watched this pattern go on for months until we were able to get the courts involved in what they were being fed. Since then, they are no longer sick after their visits. It makes such a difference. 

While I don't make a big deal of food choices being offered when it is out of my control, I feel the pressure because of my preference on whole foods. It's not's not what is being's not what everyone else is eating...... Someone even told my son, "we need to ask your mom because she is very particular". (Oh, not cool!) If we as moms don't raise our concerns and BE concerned about the many horrible food choices that are all around us, who will? 
Our bodies feel better when we are eating well and we want our kids to feel well. The less sugar we eat, the less we crave it. Obesity is so prevalent in America and if we don't teach our children not to crave sugar constantly, the problem is only going to get worse. Treats in moderation? Absolutely. But please don't expect for parents to feel excited next time you wave a sucker in front of a child's face and then "ask" the parents if they can have it.

*Although this post mentions some companies and products by name, it is not sponsored by any of them and all opinions are my own. 


kassandra said...

as the parent of a picky eater who only eats good real food at home, has only ever eaten it and is still a picky eater i can never expect someone else to pay for a 'healthy' option for her at a catered event or party and then watch their money go into the garbage can because she would refuse to eat it. healthy dinners is a battle i save for home i would feel terrible at wasting their money.

Unknown said...

I agree with you 100%. I have fought this battle with schools for years. My daughters' preschool was the first place that sugary candy was introduced into their diets as a regular "reward" for good behavior. Our next big battle was ice cream and Starbucks offered by their Godparents when sleeping over at their house! Your kids tend to follow your example. Hang in there.

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