I just finished listening to the audiobook The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes. I hope my children enjoyed their last cookie yesterday.
Okay, okay. Even though I can and sometimes do employ the strictest no-sugar, nothing-processed diet on myself, I've yet to make it more than a few weeks without a "cheat meal." If it's tough for me to resist the sugary options in this American life of ours, it's nearly impossible for them. I believe with my whole heart the right diet is: mostly vegetables, lots of lean protein, some nuts and fruit. I have always, since they first lifted solid foods to their own mouths, given food to them in this order. By the time they got to the grain option I usually gave them--bread, pasta, rice--they were already full of what I considered the best stuff.
But now they're in school. And sports.
This next chapter of healthful eating involves more sugar than I would like. And it all adds up: popsicles during cross-country practice, a brownie for Sadie's birthday, a cupcake because it's the last math team, a Gatorade handed out by Brody's mom after the basketball game. How do I manage all these sweets?
I'm open to suggestions, so if you've got 'em, please use that comment box below!
I realize I'm not the person who should be listening to The Case Against Sugar. There are millions of Americans who are completely ignorant of how sugary drinks and meals can affect their health. I can't reach them, but I can affect my three children and my husband, who, unfairly, is the only one who is allowed to break the no-juice rule in our house. (Hmm. This one is going to be a toughie.) I think I've got to ban Gatorade, which is something I've said for years that no child or adult needs to drink. And juice...never? Once a month?
However, I think the school is my second step. Dare I become a no-sugar or low-sugar advocate and start a campaign to ban birthday snacks in lieu of a birthday announcement or a special book being read? Dare I become That Parent who suggests all-fruit frozen popsicles rather than the cheap, sugary ones?
A commitment to healthy living is a challenge, but I am hugely committed to my children's growing bodies and healthy habits. But I can't go totally overboard because at some point they're going to have to navigate these choices by themselves...
(to be continued! as I ruminate on this!)