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Taming the Sugar Monster: A Guide for Parents

Thursday, April 18th 2024 10:00am 2 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

As a parent, you’ve probably grappled with this common predicament: how to steer clear of the standard, sugar-laden “foods” at parties that negatively affect your children’s health and well-being. It’s a scenario you’ve likely encountered or witnessed countless times, whether during Halloween, a birthday celebration, or Christmas dinner. Our culture’s insistence on including candy, soda, chips, ice cream, and cake as staples for a fun gathering often undermines the health of your family.

If you’ve been parenting for any length of time, you’re probably aware of the issues associated with these traditional treats. Even before the emergence of nutritional advocacy groups or widespread recognition of their dietary philosophies, you might have recognized the detrimental effects of excessive sugar and artificial additives on both children and adults. Perhaps you’ve succeeded in eliminating sodas, candies, and chips from your home, but found maintaining these standards challenging at external events or communal gatherings.

If you’re looking to diverge from the norm and aspire for healthier options for your children but are unsure of where to begin, your own experiences and strategies could serve as a valuable resource.

The Holiday Candy Conundrum

You might instinctively feel uneasy seeing the abundance of candy during holidays and wonder about its impact. Despite these reservations, conforming to societal pressures while attempting to limit your children’s sugar intake can feel like an uphill battle.

For those who celebrate, participating in events like trick-or-treating allows your children the excitement of dressing up and enjoying the company of their peers. Yet, instead of allowing unrestricted access to the bounty of sweets, you might consider a candy exchange. Let your children pick a few favorites, and then “purchase” the rest from them to discard. This approach may need adaptation for families with specific dietary restrictions. Offering alternatives such as a new game, toy, or a special day out can replace the conventional candy haul for other sugar-centric celebrations.

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