We feed our children too much sugar.
I think we probably all know that as a society, we consume too much of it. Even if you don’t consider all of the ways that it’s secretly hiding in our food. Too much.
I’ve always been wary of how much sugary drinks and candies my daughter Lena eats, though I do let her go a little nuts at holidays and birthday parties. We got lucky that she didn’t really like candy, cookies or cake until she was at least two years old. And we never gave her juice until then either for fear that she would never drink water again.
Now she asks for candy ALL THE TIME. But Lena’s still a water drinker. She likes fruit juice and she will take it if you offer it to her but if she’s really thirsty she will ask for water. Water is her go to drink and I am so thankful.
I’ve also cut fruit snacks out of her diet recently. They have a healthy sounding name, but boy they pack in a bunch of sugar! Not just any sugar, most contain high fructose corn syrup, as well as artificial colors and flavors – all so harmful to your health. She loves those things though so when I take her to the grocery store with me I don’t even go down they aisle they are on.
We can control her diet at home where we encourage her to eat meat, veggies and fresh fruit. However, it really bothers me that I can’t control what she eats at preschool. They have a different theory on what “healthy” is than I do. They are following the government guidelines, serving whole grains and canned fruit, etc. This is what we’ve all been taught is healthy. I just wish that the nutrition guidelines would catch up with nutrition science. This would be a game changer for health in our country.
So all of this considered, I was still shocked when I heard today that The Guardian and the Sunday Times both published stories about research revealing that between 2013 and 2014, dental problems (specifically multiple tooth extraction) was the leading cause for hospitalization for young children in the UK. I have to say that if it’s happening in the UK, it’s probably the same here. The most impactful thing about the research is that the numbers were up from the previous year.
I can’t help but think these are the results of too much sugar in our diet, which leads the feeling of constant hunger so we eat again to satisfy that need. I mean, that can’t be helping the situation.
So what’s the answer? I think a good start would be to educate others on what carbohydrates are (sugar) and how good it feels to be a fat burner (in Ketosis) rather than a sugar burner. But real change won’t come until the dietary guidelines are revised to reflect the truth, that we should use fat and protein as I primary sources of fuel rather than carbohydrates.