Not So Sweet Stuff

Sugar! One of my kids craves sugar like crazy. Admittedly, I have sweet tooth myself so I can sympathize, but at least I’m enough of a health nut to attempt to satisfy it with dark chocolate or a fresh cookie or pastry (my treat of choice) as opposed to downing an entire bag of candy (his treat of choice).

How does he get said candy, you might be asking? Well, he’s a worker. He’ll set up a lemonade stand or dog sit for a neighbor or ask to do money chores around the house. I hem and haw and whine and complain about him buying candy. I educate the whole family about health and nutrition. I try incentives like offering a 10% bonus for every dollar put in the bank. We try and try, but this kid’s greatest thrill is walking down to the gas station to buy a bag of crack candy. And then, he’s such a generous one, that he buys for any other kid around, too, which is really sweet, pardon the pun.

The conundrum is that part of growing up is learning about money. Spending it on candy and then not having it available for something else desired is a great life lesson and one you want your kids to learn earlier in life than later when the stakes are higher. But then, there’s that blasted sugar problem because it’s addicting, some studies proving even more addictive than cocaine. I struggle balancing the fine line between allowing the joys of childhood and enabling the addiction.

If you’re interested in the subject, check out this 60 Minutes report on sugar and/or this short article from Oprah’s website, both of which might inspire you to have more awareness of the effects of sugar on our lives. A friend of mine recently told me she’s taken sugar out of her diet and has loved the results–lost weight, less cravings, etc. Any ideas on doing a sugar detox for kids? Bring ’em on in the comments section below. Please! Thanks, as always, for sharing!

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6 thoughts on “Not So Sweet Stuff

    • Me, too, Monica, but knowing we can change our taste buds helps. I’m trying to use less sweetener, but still not drinking coffee and tea without my beloved stevia. Armenia, you’re an inspiration!

  1. I personally have a huge addiction to sugar. However, I never liked candy at all. Now chocolate…..Ahhh!!! Pile it on! In the past year, I have started a sugar detox in my house as well. I learned to drink tea and coffee without sugar, changed to 85% dark chocolate, and stopped buying baked goods in favor of baking my own with healthier substitutions ( my biggest guilty pleasure). I feel great! No more constant headaches 🙂 and definitely less cravings. Now with kids is harder! They really don’t know the difference in baked goods, so that helps, but of course they still want the candy and chocolate treat every once in a while. I played a video by Jamie Oliver that I found on YouTube and showed it to them. It talks about the ingredients in candy, shellac for example, and it really grossed them out! They do not like the idea of eating bugs, feathers, hair….. They are even grossed out! Two of them completely gave up candy and the other is wavering…will see how long it lasts! I don’t think we can ever expect them to completely give it up, but hopefully with all the education out there, they can learn to eat it in moderation. Good luck!

    • Oh my, that video sounds perfect! We had a little respite after the 60 Minutes episode, but I can’t keep replaying that and my guys love Jaime Oliver so a win win, thanks for sharing! He does a great one on pink slime by the way.

  2. Loved the topic (s) and I struggle with both as well… One being the money lesson, I give my kids allowance so they can practice spending/saving which I believe should be w/o my input but it kills me when (one in particular) only wants to buy candy with it! As we have been living in Europe, I notice so much less of the candy thing. Sure there are candy bars, but they tend to be chocolate bars almost exclusively. I feel like our culture in the states has just gotten so out of hand with many “have it now” opportunities, including the immediate satisfaction to the brain for sugar. I read somewhere that the brain is wired to crave sugar, salt and fat as those were in short supply in the hunter gatherer days, and if you found those things your brain was telling you to keep eating it. makes sense for back then.

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