Does My Son Eat Sugar?
Updated: Feb 4
What does a sugar-free mama do when she's trying to raise a healthy human. Read on about my recent struggle and how I overcame it.
Is my son, Owen Sugar-Free? I sometimes get asked does Owen eat sugar. I share my personal story in my course on how not only is sugar addiction a real thing, but that so many of us are addicts. I explain the differences that I observed when Owen was younger, and I witnessed time after time how he had no interest in sugar. Owen has always been that child who could turn down a slice of birthday cake at a party, never wanted to trick or treat, and actually got annoyed with the amount of candy I would put in his Christmas stocking. I have had sugar for him in the house up until recently because I always saw it wasn't an issue for him. A bag of cookies would still be on the shelf 2 weeks later. I seemed to be throwing away more stale junk food than the amount he was eating.
Even though I think SUGAR SUCKS and I would love a world without it, the reality is that's not going to happen, and just because I have an addiction and I can't do sugar in moderation, does not mean Owen can't. Many of you know I've been plant-based for 27 years, primarily for ethical reasons. However, I've always had a meatless house, meaning no meat is allowed in the house. If Luke or Owen wanted it, they could order it when we go out. (Owen never has) I have NEVER wanted to impose my values and beliefs on my husband or my son. One needs to come to their own conclusions; otherwise, a choice won't stick. I raised Owen as vegetarian since he was born, and as soon as he could talk and spot the difference between how Luke and I ate, we each shared our viewpoints and let him decide. He since has continued to choose a plant-based diet — proud, happy mama, and on a side note Luke has come to not eat meat either. Score!! Lead by example!
As you can see my little baby boy is now a teenager. Cry! Cry! Owen hit puberty a good ten plus months back, and as each week goes on, I can see even the subtlest of changes in his physical body as well as his emotions. With these new hormones racing through his body, his chemicals and hormones are shifting. With this, Luke and I are witnessing not only more hunger, but more desire for sugar IF (and that's a BIG IF) it's in front of him.
We started noticing Owen grabbing a few cookies and then returning to the cupboard minutes later for a few more and then another trip back for more and more till one of us would have to call him on it. Owen would say to us, "If you don't want me eating it, don't buy it."
This is how crazy and sick sugar addiction is. I believe sugar is toxic and detrimental to our health, and yet I was still buying it for our son, even as I was starting to see his behaviors around it changing. I did this because I didn't want to make it forbidden and tell him NO and restrict it from him because I believe he will only resent me and it could make him want and desire it more. (and if I'm real honest, (Oh God I can't believe I'm telling you this) there's still a little part of me believing the LIE that sugar is a sweet, caring treat, that a Mother offers to her child for a happy moment or loving memory. UH- Gross-that's how brainwashed I was), still am) However, how can we sit by and watch him eat 1/2 bag of cookies or two ice cream sandwiches in a sitting when I know how bad it is for him? I also understand these cravings he is now experiencing are because of his hormones changing. They are real, and the chemicals in his brain and body are creating this desire and setting him up for a rollercoaster ride of blood sugar spikes and crashes. Right now more than ever, he should be fueling his body with more natural real whole nutrient-rich dense foods to nourish this transition and growth he is going through.
So Luke, (my hero) came up with a great idea. Since he's only craving more because it's available and at his disposal, let make our house Sugar-Free! Luke and I don't eat it, so why should he? So how did we handle the situation? We've decided it's o.k. for him to have sweets when he's not at home. So for instance, if he wants ice cream, we can all go for a bike ride to the Gelato shop 2 miles up the road in the evening. So we adopted this new family rule, and it's working. He's not asking for it or excessively eating at night anymore. I actually feel great about this new change and am reminding myself this is what REAL LOVE and NURTURING looks like.
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