If you’re following natural sleep patterns, you probably didn’t catch Jimmy Kimmel Live last week. (Its airs a bit late to accommodate my generous sleeping habits.) However, Jesse and I randomly caught this clip on Hulu. Jimmy asked people to videotape their kids’ reactions when parents jokingly told them that they had eaten all their Halloween candy. The results were hilarious. They are also very telling of the kind of hold that sugar has on our kids.
You would have thought you were telling some of these kids that a nuclear war was breaking out. What kind of news would you have to receive in order for you to react like that?
Can we really blame the kids? We know that food is essentially manufactured to be addictive. Its power over some is similar to street drugs, hence the name of this post. I have a particularly strong sweet tooth, myself.
Are there any mothers out there that indulged in sweet cravings during pregnancy? Or even breastfeeding? Eating something processed to be sweet during pregnancy, or “sugar bombs” as we call them around the office, can impact your children’s desire for sugary foods later in life. That third scoop of Cherry Garcia after a long day in your third trimester isn’t looking so justified anymore. The good news is that tastes can change, even our kids’.
So how do we get the kids off the sugar or at least loosen its drug-like hold on them (and us)? Even though it sounds extreme and tough to manage, the best bet would be following in Gisele Bundchen’s footsteps (never thought I’d say that). People reacted in surprising ways when she announced that her son “thinks broccoli is dessert”. People thought she was depriving her child of something; cake on birthdays and a bucket full of sugary crap on Easter. But maybe that’s not so crazy. Think about how much easier it would be to be healthy if we simply didn’t have the desire to ingest sugar. What if some fresh blackberries or a few beets completely satisfied our sweet tooth? Our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t have “fun size” snickers bars or freeze pops, and they didn’t have any problems with diabetes.
My advice? Focus on progression, not perfection. Start talking about healthy snacks like they are coveted treats around the kids. Get them excited about nutrition. Teach them the difference between sick and sad foods and happy and healthy foods. Make them understand that food is fuel for their bodies. If we’re honest with ourselves, its probably a good reminder for all of us.