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Refined Sugar and Me Week 12 — But What About the Children?

Let’s check in on week twelve of refined sugar & me in 2017! We’re now almost three months into this experiment in avoiding refined sugar, and I lost another pound this week to bring the grand total to ten pounds down across these 12 weeks. Maybe I’ll post a photo if I get to 20. 😉

My kids and sugar

This week, I have more questions for you than I have answers. While I have really reduced my own refined sugar intake this year and have eliminated desserts entirely (except but twice during these 12 weeks, for those of you who’ve been reading along), my kids still enjoy their share. While they don’t have dessert every night, no longer eat sugary cereals, and definitely don’t take in as much sugar as I did as a kid and young adult, they still get quite a bit from treats here, at school, at parties, at friends’ houses, and from some of the processed foods they’re still eating. Mr. 10 likes to bake (which I do like to encourage!), and High School Guy is always at some event or another where he’ll happily indulge — or getting invited by friends to something like today’s Free Cone Day at Dairy Queen, because our social interactions tend to revolve around food.

I’m not expecting my kids to follow my no dessert rule, but am expecting them to enjoy sugary treats as a small part of an overall well balanced diet. So here’s my question to you: How do you strike a balance here? How do you teach your kids to be mindful of what they eat while still allowing them to enjoy treats? How do you teach moderation without creating a sense of “forbidden fruit” that will cause them to go nuts when you’re not there watching? I’d love to hear all of your tips and ideas.

So, that’s me (and my kids) this week…

How are you doing on your own healthier eating plan so far — and what have you found that helps you stay on track?


Monday 20th of March 2017

I think the key is to set a good example for them and always talk about why you make the choices you make. Also, make healthy substitutions for their favorites. I cook all my meals at home and I make most of the treats at home. Home made granola bars loaded with healthy stuff, but also add some chocolate chips to make them feel like they are eating a treat. Ice cream - I make banana ice cream (frozen banana blended with some maple syrup and cacao powder or your favorite fruit). Make cookies/cakes at home with healthy ingredients, use coconut palm sugar, maple syrup or honey instead of processed sugar. I don't buy any processed foods or treats and I always talk about how bad they are, if they bring stuff from school from parties etc, I'll let them keep 2 or 3 pcs of candy and they give away the rest.. For Halloween they can keep 5 pcs of candy each and we take the rest to our local dentist who pays $1 per pound of Halloween candy and they ship it to the troops. We take this money and I buy organic chocolate for them instead. In the beginning it was kind of hard, but if you keep doing this and keep talking to them about how bad the other stuff is, eventually they will start thinking the same way and will make the right decisions when offered this stuff outside of the house.. I love seeing my 5 year old come home from school with some candy and throw it in the garbage saying it's bad candy or hear about my 10 year old daughter lecturing her PE teacher about how bad sugar is and how it feeds cancer. Yes, they try to sneak something here or there once in a while, but for the most part they seem to be on board. My oldest one is 14 and sometimes tries to argue with me, but I keep explaining my reasoning and how bad all this processed stuff is and he understands. We'll have some regular ice cream or treats when we go on vacation/camping during the summer, birthdays or holidays, or they get stuff at school etc, but I try to limit this as much as possible. Take slow steps and keep explaining why and eventually they will start thinking the same way.

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