Published: May 25, 2023
PART 1: SUGAR
Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that children are like baby birds, constantly chirping to be fed. “Mom, I’m hungry!” They announce with the expectation of fast-food service.
On one hand, you want your kids to be healthy, so you feed them nutritious foods like vegetables, healthy sources of protein, and slow-burning complex carbohydrates.
On the other hand, you want your kids to enjoy what they eat, which is where “comfort foods” gain a foothold in their diet. You don’t have to look far to find comfort foods. They’re everywhere.
These crunchy, salty, sweet, and nutritionally deficient “foods” are so loaded with sugar (coconut sugar, date sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup, molasses, rice syrup …) that they probably should be labeled as “sugar delivery devices.”
What’s wrong with feeding your kiddos sugary foods? These foods are chock-full of carbs for the quick energy kids need to pay attention in class and play hard during lunch and recess, right?
Yes, and … If you’ve ever thrown a piece of paper into a fire, you know what happens: It burns hot and bright for a few seconds, and then it’s gone. That’s basically what happens when kids eat sugary foods or drink beverages loaded with sugar.
So let’s consider how high-sugar consumption impacts your child’s:
1. Ability to concentrate, think clearly, and manage their nervous system
2. Level of behavioral control as their blood sugar levels spike and crash
Raise Your Hand if You’ve Seen This Movie
At a birthday party or family gathering, your child eats a couple pieces of cake (or pie), some ice cream, a half dozen chocolate-chip cookies, and downs it all with a soft drink or fruit punch.
Suddenly, they can’t sit still, they can’t concentrate, they’re disobedient and distracted, and their attention span can be measured in nanoseconds. They’re shouting, screaming, bouncing off the walls, slamming doors, chasing the dog (or cat), and upending anything and everything in their path.
About an hour later, the inevitable blood-sugar crash hits, and they’re curled up in a ball of tears, having a tantrum because someone else has the TV remote, and lashing out at anything and everyone for no reason.
Imagine this scenario happening at school
Instead of cake, cookies, and ice cream, your child just ate a breakfast consisting of a bowl of chocolate-frosted sugar bombs cereal, a pop tart, a glass of orange juice, and the rest of the Frappuccino you were hiding in the back of the refrigerator for your drive to work this morning.
First Question: Is your child primed for a morning of comprehension, discovery, and learning — or are they headed for the educational equivalent of Ricochet Rabbit strapped to a desk/chair combo for the next three hours?
Second Question: How’s lunch looking?
In our next blog, we’ll go over a few ways to plan ahead so your child avoids repeating this recipe for “a really bad day at school.”
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