7 Ways to Reduce Your Child's Intake of Sugar
Around the time I received the 5th call from my son's Kindergarten teacher - within 3 months of him starting school – I started to suspect that something was up. Despite being a very social boy, he wouldn’t sit still, wouldn’t listen and would interrupt her constantly.
After a few unsuccessful conversations with him, I decided to immerse myself in behavioral literature, trying to find a fix for it all: star charts, time outs, consistent consequences etc. Some of these things worked while some didn’t. I also ran into literature about Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADHD”) and started to wonder.
The idea of having anything close to medication offered to curb the vivacity of my little boy was not an option to me. But I wanted to understand ADHD and learn about holistic methods to manage ADHD in children. Lo and behold, a low-carb diet is one of the most effective things.
Perusing the internet, I found countless articles showing the link between a low-carb diet to improvements not only in ADHD but also Autism.
The Australian movie The Magic Pill has an interesting case study about Keto being used to improve Autism. In the interesting book Boy Crisis, Drs. John Gray and Warren Farrell list sugar as one of the possible causes of ADHD, noting that high sugar levels can cause injury to the brain from the time babies are in their mother's womb.
From my end, I’ve been trying to reduce my boys’ consumption of sugar and have seen some small progress. They seem happier and more tranquil and, in turn, are more willing to listen and cooperate. Here are a few of the ways I was able to reduce sugar in my children's diets:
- We got them used to drinking water only, in every meal. Juices and sodas became treats reserved for the occasional celebration or birthday party.
- We got them used to loving bacon and perceive it as a treat.
- Our hot dog nights don’t have buns – just sausages (I began that because they were actually tossing the buns!). I offer them my homemade Keto catchup, which is sugar-free.
- Hot cocoa is made with unsweetened chocolate.
- We don’t carry ice cream in the house.
- Snacks are usually cheese and nuts, the starchiest being apples and baby carrots.
- We eliminated the ritual of having dessert. We may have it every now and then, but they don’t come expect something sweet at the end of every meal.
The easiest way to get them off sugar was to model this behavior ourselves. When the kids not longer saw us having sweets, they slowly stopped asking for treats themselves. Everyone benefited.
Obviously, there are goodie bags filled with sugar at birthday parties, Easter eggs and Halloween. They can enjoy their candy in all these occasions, but they know it’s not an everyday thing and when we take the bag away after a couple of days, they get it.
And by the way, the teacher’s phone calls have stopped!
How about you? What worked for you as your tried to get your children off-sugar?