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Anyone raising kids without sugar?

3149 Views 13 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  cathe
Hey Moms.
Just curious if you have found success in raising kids without refined sugar or have found good ways to moderate it.
Curious how you handle holidays with relatives, birthday parties. Curious how you yourself might have come to being sugar-free.
I am very interested in how I can raise my daughter without sugar, at least for the first five years or so...then maybe let her experiment outside of the home. One hurdle first though...quitting sugar myself! Quite a tough order for me, though I gave up meat 8 years ago (I get plenty of complex carbs and protein) gave up smoking 3 or 4 years ago, drugs and alchohol 2 years ago, and lastly, quit caffiene with my pregnancy. Ironically, sugar was the first thing I tried to give up 10 years no avail. Would really like to raise my daughter without refined sugar, or as I call it...the gateway drug. Let me know what works for you and your family!
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hi moonstarmama

I'm suprised to see that nobody responded to your thread.

Yes I am trying to raise my child sugar free or as close to that as possible. I am addicted to sugar. I have been known to eat a whole bag of M&Ms. Not the individual bags, the big ones. What are they, 2 pounds? I don't know. Anyway, before I met my husband, I started eating healthier. I started doing all of my shopping at a food co-op where it was against the bylaws to carry any product that contained refined sugar. I do still consider the "natural" sugars as sugar but better than refined. That's how i started. Then I gradually started eating better foods because the co-op was a good influence on me. Then I met my husband, and wow, what a great influence. Not only has he given up sugar (of all kinds, and that goes for honey and maple syrup as well) but he is a whole food junkie. So when I say that we eat whole foods, I mean it. Tofu is about as processed as we get and we don't eat that too often. So we just don't buy any sweeteners. I was having a craving for sweets every now and then, and so I would make something like cake with honey in it once in a while. And I would always have sweets if we were at someone's house for dinner. However, last November, we decided to go vegan and things have changed. I no longer indulge in sweets when we are at someone else's house (unless I know it's vegan which it isn't about 99% of the time). And wow, to tell you the truth, my cravings for sweets has decreased to almost nothing. In fact, I still have a jar of honey that I have not used up yet. I told myself that I would use up this jar of honey and then not buy it anymore since it is not vegan. So anyway, my plan after I use up the honey is to have real maple syrup on hand for when I get a craving. I can make a vegan chocolate cake using that. If you want the recipe, let me know. With us not eating sweets, it's not difficult to keep them away from our baby (who is 15 months old). The key is to make sure you are not eating the sugar. I see so many parents trying to keep sugar away from their kids, but they themselves are eating it. If we lived near either set of grandparents, that would be difficult. We were just at my parents house and they had a 4th of july bbq. My parents have been pretty good about the no sugar thing (we've never left our child with them alone though as I wouldn't trust them), but I noticed my aunt out of the corner of my eye putting cake up to Mez's mouth and I quickly pushed her hand out of the way. Not only was it not vegan , but it was loaded with refined sugar. She gave me the look of death, but whatever.

Here's a funny story. We were just on vacation and were in Victoria, BC for my friend's wedding. We were eating dinner at this vegan restaurant called Green Cuisine. They had desserts that were vegan and had no sugar or sugar substitutes. I must admit, I went for the vegan dessert that had unrefined cane sugar in it, but my husband got the no sugar added dessert. Anyway, we were there eating, and he offered a bite of his cake to our baby and he didn't want it. He didn't even want to try it. He was so into the miso soup that he wouldn't take his eyes off of it.

I know I sould like a militant anti sugar person. who spends most of her time trying to fight off sugar. But I'm not. Another great thing about being part of a food co-op is socializing with people who eat healthy. So most of our friends don't really eat sugar either. So our child sees the healthy eating as normal.

Okay, I'll stop my babbling.

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I'll also reply to this but I have to out do dinner. Poor me! We decided to go since we haven't done the
or the
and we didn't want to have to clean up before eating.
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We don't do any cane sugar and limit juice for very special occasions. We do ocassional honey (from our hives) and maple syrup. For ds 2nd birthday I made a fruit pie with almond crust and plain yogurt topping. It is a treat for them. Dd is five and I do let her have small pieces of cake at birthday parties, but I make sure she has some protein with it to help her blood sugar. Since she doesn't eat sugar she can only tolerate a small amount before she gets a stomach ache, so she has a good sense when to stop and usually only eats a few bites. Grandparents are understanding and have fruit on hand for my kids as a treat.
We are sugar free! We also don't use honey and maple syrup that much. We just eat fruits and use stevia. I am addicted to sugar but my body hates it. I have been battling yeast for more than a decade and during both my pregnancies have had borderline gestational diabetes. My dd also has tooth decay so that is why I keep the sweet stuff from her. However I do let her have organic ketchup which has o. cane sugar in it. I do sometimes sweeten teas for her with honey. On her birthday I did let her have a bite or two of cake that my MIL made. I would hate her growing up without ever indulging occasionaly on the more healthy sweets. But for myself i just stick to fruits and stevia. I know if I have a little bit of honey/maple syrup or sugar I would binge on it and thats not good. And once you stop than its easy to stay away but if you eat a little here and a little there than its much harder not to indulge.
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We are mostly sugar-free. I rarely bake treats like cookies/muffins, but when I do, I use maple syrup or honey. We do eat alot of fruit though. I usually combine it with a protein, like yogurt or a nut butter. My dd (23 months)has ice cream about once or twice a month. Julie's Organic ice cream uses juice and cane juice (I think) to sweeten it. DD hasn't been a big eater so I haven't had to worry about her eating birthday cake.

My biggest concern with her eating sugar is tooth decay since I had some when I was young. When GPs and friends want to feed her cookies and candy, I tell them that they can brush her teeth that night. This usually scares them away!

Since I've severely restricted my sugar intake, I've noticed that my taste buds have changed. Everything is tooo sweet now. I can really get my sweet fix from a handful of blueberries or a peach. I'm hoping that it's the same for DD so that when she tastes birthday cake it won't appeal to her.
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I bought a book called Sugar-Free Toddlers. It's pretty good. It's not meals, all snacks and breakfasts and stuff like that.
We are refined-sugar free. Whenever possible, I sweeten treats with fruit, juice, or stevia but for certain things I will use small amounts of blackstrap molasses, maple syrup, or honey. My oldest is 5 now and gets invited to birthday parties, etc. and I allow her to have a small piece of whatever they're having so she won't feel left out - I kept her away from sugar as long as I could but I don't want it to be such a forbidden thing that she will grow up wanting it for that reason or sneaking it, etc. In fact, we were at a potluck party last night and I told my dds that they could pick one sweet thing for dessert and was happy that they picked chocolate dipped strawberries over sugary, commercially baked chocolate cakes, cookies, and brownies. They each had one strawberry and were perfectly happy.
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Originally Posted by LaurenS
I have been known to eat a whole bag of M&Ms. Not the individual bags, the big ones. What are they, 2 pounds?
Me, too.
: It's one of the biggest reasons we try to stay away from sugar. For DS, we give him whole grain everything. For his birthdays, I make a cake that has minimal sweetner. He definitely is a sugar hound, though. He doesn't ask for it, but if he's had a bite of something sugary, he wants more. Although, to be honest, it may just be the novelty because he does eat more of a specific food if we haven't had it in a while.

This issue makes me nervous for when DH starts school and is a big reason why he won't be going to a preschool that is all day when he is 4.

We try to to overreact when we are somewhere and there is something totally yucky -- sugary and transfatty -- but it grosses DH and I out and we have been relatively successful limiting intake of that stuff. We've told our parents what how we feed DS and if they didn't follow it, we'd be limiting our time with them. My ILs are horrible eaters, but they live far, far away. My MIL bought teddy grahams the last time we had to vacation with them because she thought it would be fun vacation food. :puke
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I was raised with many dietary restrictions from allergies (wheat, eggs, milk, chocolate, soy, tomato, zucchini, nuts, etc.) so most of the time I couldn't eat sweet things unless my mother had made them. She did make me treats but would use only a small amount of refined sugar so I didn't develop a big taste for sugar as a kid.

DH and I are vegan, so we're already going to have to bring our own treats when we go to parties with our future children. I don't plan to be what my ex called his mother a "sugar Nazi" - it is wierd that although he resented it at the time, he never developed a taste for sugar and in the 2 years we knew each other, I never saw him eat a dessert. EVER! However, I do want to limit what they have by offering choices that are healthy and sometimes having, as one of the choices, something that isn't so healthy. This way sugared foods don't become this mysterous special thing that all other kids can have and thus makes it tempting.

One thing that I think will make a huge difference is not having dessert be a part of a meal just like water or veggies. Creating that expectation provides opportunities for sweet teeth to develop - out of habit more than anything. I also don't want to make dessert contingent on eating other food - - I can see this happen with my almost-obese BIL as in one time when I gave him my Toffuti Cutie but warned him that this was his dessert and if he ate it now, he wouldn't get dessert after dinner. (In a household where dessert automatically follows dinner.
) His mom said, "if you want something sweet, you can have an apple." So he said, "If I eat this apple, can I have some ice cream?"


I go through phases where I want treats and phases when I don't. Right now I'm in a no treats phase where the only sweet things I eat are fruits. Once you get out of the habit, you really don't crave sugar, and it's really easy not to have it every day. I had a nectarine earlier and that did it for me.

ETA: Here's a great example: I love, and I mean love, hot chocolate. I buy this Ahlaska organic powder. But for kicks I bought a new brand (also organic) which called for 3 TBs per cup. I made it and couldn't even drink it, it was too sweet. So I made a cup with only 2 TBs and it was still too sweet and half of that was still lumped at the bottom!

So tonight I had my usual brand, which calls for 2 TB. I only put in 1 and it's almost too sweet. So it's easy to loose that sweet tooth once you give your body a chance to forget about it. Like smoking for me, too, which I quit 4 1/2 years ago.

Good luck!
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This is really, really interesting to read -- I hope to have a refined-sugar-free household by the time we have kids (I'm trying to kick the sugar habit now). If I stay away from sugar for a week or two, I totally stop craving it, but if I have even a small amount, I turn into an ugly sugar addict.

Looks like I've got lots of reading to do...
nak--excuse the mess

i've been keeping sugar away from dd as well but not sure the EXACT reasons why except to know that it isnt parents/family act like i'm from another planet cuz i dont let dd have juice, cakes etc (she's 13 months!) but really for me i always say to whoever tries to feed her sugary stuff "i have enough trouble with her not sleeping well i dont want her to have sugar making her hyper/not sleep well'...really that is a HUGE reason for me, plus the "misbehaviour" factor, not so much now but when she's older i really dont want to deal with a sugar monster

can anyone list some specific reasons refined sugar is "bad" that i can also read more about

Originally Posted by neveryoumindthere
can anyone list some specific reasons refined sugar is "bad" that i can also read more about
-empty calories (eating something naturally sweet means that you are also getting whatever nutrition is in that food, like fruits)
-causes tooth decay
-wires up and then drops your body into a depressed state (hence the kids who go nuts after eating sugar for a little while, then are suddenly really cranky and tired)
Refined sugar steals minerals out of your body as it attempts to metabolize the minerals lost in processing. It also depresses your immune system. Refined sugar (even juice by itself) causes your blood sugar to totally spike (why you feel good and get hyper and energy). Then a bunch of insulin is produced to deal with the sugar. When the sugar is gone you have all this insulin in your system causing you to crash and crave more sugar - and if you eat more sugar- the cycle continues.

Here's some other things linked to over consumption of refined sugar: hyperactivity, behavior problems, lack of concentration, violent tendencies, candida, bone loss and tooth decay (partly from loss of minerals from consuming the sugar).

When I make sweets - I make sure to use whole grains for fiber and fats and only small amounts of unrefined sweetener so that the sugar is absorbed slowly. And we don't have sweets every day - just every so often so it's not expected.
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