Monday, July 16, 2012

more on the sugar thing...

We spent the first week of the school holidays sick with a virus which meant chicken broth and quiet times. The second week was action packed and...sugar fuelled. As a result, River is suffering today and missing the first day back at school.

I don't intend the 'sugar thing' to become a focus of this blog (or my life for that matter) it is on my mind again though hence this post. My usual approach to how much sugar my children eat is that we don't have any at home - no honey, no sugar, no processed foods containing sugar, that means no breakfast cereals, muesli bars, tomato sauce, no fruit juice and so on - we bake something most weekends and I have been using Natvia (a stevia product) as the sweetener, and then going to a birthday party and visiting grandparents are the times when River and Sol can eat sugar foods.

It just so happens that these holidays visiting Pepe (Pete's mum), my nan, and going to a birthday party happened all in a row which equalled sugar overload. Sometimes I wonder if having no sugar in the house, not even honey on porridge or sultanas is too extreme. But then before we quit having sugar at home the boys would always choose honey on toast or honey on a cracker so perhaps it is better not to have it all the time and only buy it occasionally. I am all for teaching River and Sol self-restraint when it comes to sweet food. I think it is an important lesson because in so many social situations we are presented with processed and sugar laden foods it is about learning to make good choices.

Driving home from the party River was in the back seat with a tummy ache and said, "I feel silly for eating so much sweet food. I should have listened to my tummy but I listened to myself." I told him not to worry, to remember for next time he is at a party or somewhere with a lot of sweet food that he can eat a couple of things and then enjoy other things about the party but not eat so much that he would feel sick. I explained that even grown ups have to practice doing that and that we have all over-eaten at a party. "Even Dad?" he asked. "Even Dad" I said.

I've written before about the sugar thing here and here. If you want to read more the following links are interesting with ideas on how much and how to cut back.

Should you raise a sugar-free baby?

How much sugar is okay?

Seven steps to reducing sugar in your child's diet

For more inspiration visit Sarah Wilson's blog and in particular her I Quit Sugar Cookbook

I'd love to hear where you are at with reducing sugar in your life or keeping it to a minimum. What do you teach your children about sugar? Do they seek 'treats' and sweet food daily? Are you and your partner on the same page about giving your children sugar and treats?


  1. i really loved this post and have been waiting for the time to respond. it is a tricky thing because humans are drawn to sweetness but it is educating and getting the right kind of sweeteners in the right amounts that is important (fully supported by a beautifully balanced wholefood diet of course). we do have a little drizzle of honey on porridge with tahini and yoghurt or raw milk but that is about it on a daily basis and then we occasionally have things like zucchini/banana bread or pancakes etc. I didn't have many sweet things growing up (partnered with a wholefood diet) and definitely went through a bit of a sugar frenzy when older (not so much now). so i do think a balanced and aware approach to sugar works for us, especially since Poe often complains about things being too sweet, if we happen upon any baked goods that have white sugar, he is definitely aware and more comfortable in his body with sweeteners like rapadura or maple syrup. and even Ilo was commenting about his birthday party and how we would need healthy food and then maybe just some muffins and a cake (he has requested an apple crumble cake). we use a few party ideas from Jude's Wholefood for Children, it is such a delight hosting parties where children aren't running around delirious on sugar highs.
    such a pleasure talking to you the other day.

    1. thanks Jay for sharing your 'sugar story'. I find it so helpful and interesting to hear how others are living this family life with so many sweet offerings available. Sounds like Ilo and Poe are very aware of what works for them and what doesn't and that is so perfect! It is that innate wisdom that children are born with that I am conscious of protecting and encouraging in River and Sol. It interests me too how siblings can have different tastes for things. I do think River has more of a sweet tooth than Sol, they both though are good at saying when they have had enough of something. River has requested old favorite chocolate cake for his birthday. I am so looking forward to celebrating. And yes really lovely to talk xx


Thanks for your comments. I read every one!

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