Friday, July 8, 2011
Sugar, Sugar: Why We Choose To Limit It
1. It's non-nutritive. We want every bite he eats to count. Ideally he'd eat all organic, local, non-processed foods - but that's not realistic for our family so we do our best to limit sugars, dyes, preservatives and to offer whole non-processed foods whenever possible.
2. Giving him a head-start. We realize we can't keep him from sugar forever. He had a (refined) sugar-free first year and so far this year has had very little sugar. I like to think we are giving him a good base; allowing him to learn to like the natural flavors and sweetness of fruits and vegetables.
3. I think sugar can be an addiction - and drug-like. I know I struggle with it, and don't want Leo to face energy crashes, greedy-crazes, and possibly obesity because I passed on my bad habits.
Right now I'm happy with where we are at with this. He had a low-sugar cake for this first birthday and we regularly make baked goods sweetened with honey and/or fruit puree. Occasionally I'll let him have a few bites of my frozen yogurt or a sip of lemonade. He loves smoothies and homemade popsicles. I really don't feel like he's missing out.
Of course right now he's ok with me saying no to him trying sweeter foods I still enjoy. For example I had a chocolate croissant at a playgroup the other day and he signed that he wanted some. I told him no, that it was my snack and he should eat his snack (a banana), and he was ok with that answer. Perhaps later I'll get more push-back, and when that happens I'll either limit my own treat intake (win-win, right?) or stay firm. After all, I'm not going to give him beer or coffee just because he insists, right? So things like soda and sugary treats will fall into the same category - not for kids. Or I'll get better at not eating them. Or we will all give in and be sugar junkies together. I'll let you know how it works out.