Busting through sugar cravings is a big issue for families!
Sometimes a sugar craving looks like tantrums when candy is withheld, sometimes it looks like clandestine visits to the sugar bowl or maple syrup jug, sometimes it looks like a picky eater who will only eat carbohydrates like bread and pasta.
We know sugar causes all kinds of health problems and that we eat too much of it. But what should parents do when it comes to sugar and their kids??
We know at this point that sugar causes all kinds of health problems ranging from diabetes to heart disease, we know that sugar has an adverse impact on the gut microbiome which is a key player in our mental wellness, and we know that we generally eat too much sugar and that most of us do better on a diet that is lower in sugar.
This post is not going to explain why sugar is so bad. I'll write about that elsewhere. This post is for those of you who want to cut back on the sugar your kids are eating, but are have trouble breaking the addiction and kicking it to the curb.
Let's talk strategy around sugar.
The first thing to understand is that breaking a sugar addiction has little to nothing to do with willpower (yes, sugar is super addictive... so let's call a spade a spade).
When it comes to breaking a sugar addiction, it helps to think about what is driving the addiction in the first place.
Addictions don't come out of thin air... addictions move in to fill a gap.
So what's the gap sugar is filling for your child?
Can you see why this has little to do with willpower? There is something causing the craving and the question to ponder is: why is my child craving sugar?
If you can’t alter biochemistry by reducing stress, stabilizing blood sugar and controling yeast, you’ll find it very difficult to get sugar out of your diet, or your child’s.
So what is at the root for your child?
Start by looking for patterns.
1. Stimulate the same feel-good hormones as sugar, using nutritious foods instead.
2. Eat for better blood sugar stability
3. Try amino acids
The RDA for added sugar is currently 9 tsp for men (36g) and 6 tsp for women (24g). Half that for children. Start to pay attention to food labels to see how much you're taking in in a day. You'll likely be shocked!
It's time to kick it to the curb!
Ready For 3 Sugar Free Breakfasts to get you started?
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Jess is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist™ and Family Health Expert, specializing in brain health & resilience for kids. She is the author of Raising Resilience: Take the stress out of feeding your family & love your life, a mother and an advocate for children’s health. Her book and online resources have helped families all over the world improve the lives of their children with learning differences, anxiety, ADHD, autism and mood disorders by fitting the food and feeding piece into their health puzzles. She is the 2019 recipient of the CSNNAA award for Clinical Excellence for her work helping families get healthier, and she continues to work at bringing an understanding of the power of good nutrition to the mainstream conversation about children’s mental health, learning, and overall resilience through her blog, courses and as a contributor to print and online magazines. You can reach Jess at www.jesssherman.com
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