The high season of sugar is just about to come to an end. Yes, October 31 to January 1 sugar is king. You now have six weeks to regroup, before the next sugar holiday hits…Valentine’s Day.
The resolutions you make for 2011 will make all the difference for your family’s health in the coming year. As this holiday season closes, I see that it’s nearly impossible for parents to fend off those who don’t understand the benefit of healthy eating for kids, no matter the season.
Parents, who attempt to be good role models and provide the most nutritious of foods and snacks, face detour after detour. When your spouse doesn’t see the necessity of healthy eating, you’re sabotaged at every step. If you are going it alone, it’s easy for other family members to sabotage your best efforts. This parent often feels defeated and needs all the support they can get.
Tristan wants to know why some grown-ups think sugar is love.
It’s not much easier for the household where both parents are on the same healthy eating page. They often come against well-meaning friends, neighbors and even family members. What can you do when loving Auntie, teacher (yes, even Sunday school teacher), or grandma gives your children candy? What about your baby?
This holiday season, I have been amazed, on numerous occasions, at the well-meaning adults who give not just children, but babies (like Tristan) candy, cookies, cocoa, and soda. Somehow it’s fun for them to share their sugar habits with even the smallest of children.
Keeping Sweets from Babies
I’m old enough to remember a time when adults protected, that is prevented babies (usually to age two), from consuming sweet treats. So I expect more from adults. You don’t have to teach children to eat sugar. On the contrary, sugar consumption at an early age usually leads to picky eating. Today, the problem is compounded. Not only are desserts loaded with sugar, but it’s high fructose corn sweetener and artificial colors and flavors that are the concern. If you have a child under two, inform the loving adults in his/her life no sweets at all until after the second birthday.
One Healthy Resolution
The average person eats between two and three pounds of sugar a week! When you make cutting out sugar (at least as much as possible) as your New Year’s resolution, you will be cutting out much of the artificial stuff in food as well. Not only will this one change keep your family healthier, but you’ll help to educate those around you by your family’s commitment to healthy eating. You can’t change them, but you can help them to see why you have chosen to eliminate harmful sugars.
Share your New Year’s resolution for healthy eating with everyone. Keep it about your family. You want the next year to be free from colds, the flu, ear infections and any creepy crud that may go around. Obesity is a national hazard, one you want to avoid for your family. Then, before each holiday, remind family members of your resolution to avoid sugar. If the adults in your children’s lives begin to understand that you are not being mean, but wanting a healthier 2011 for your kids, you may begin to gain their support.
Take every opportunity to share healthy concepts and how they have affected your family. I’m astounded that people with disease, don’t relate what they eat to their illness. Name a disease and sugar makes it worse. Sugar is an inflammatory and weakens the immune system. Sugar is commonly called “cancer food.” Sugar is a cancer-feeder, because cancer thrives on sugar. When you cut off sugar, you cut off an important food supply for cancer growth. Yet, family members going through cancer treatment continue feed the cancer.
It’s very frustrating to me that adults push (yes push) sugar on kids. They really don’t see the problem and definitely don’t understand the long-term consequences. Some adults will ignore your request. You are still the parent. You are your child’s advocate and protector, not your child’s best friend.
Explain to Aunt Susie or your next door neighbor, that you appreciate the half-pound box of gumdrops she just handed your child, but he/she can only have a handful. Then take the box and put it away. Hopefully, your explanation will help to educate. If it doesn’t, don’t worry. You will then have control over how much is consumed. Parenthood is not popularity contest. You have been entrusted with your family’s health. It’s up to you to make 2011 a healthy year.
May 2011 Be Happy And Healthy.