“Can I have my dessert?” my 6-year-old eagerly asks each night mere moments after finishing his dreadfully consumed dinner.
“I guess. Go ahead.” I tell him, acutely aware that I have only myself to blame.
Long ago, in a kitchen not so far away, I started the nasty habit of bribing my slow-eating, ever-picky kids to finish their meals with promises of dessert. I did it because it worked. “Ah, it’s just a sweet treat. So long as they eat a balanced meal, a little sugar isn’t going to hurt them” I thought.
Only, a daily dessert it isn’t “just a little sugar”, now is it? When combined with all the kid-friendly and consumer-friendly foods we eat, sugar is everywhere. It’s in my pantry, my fridge, all over my kids’ school (Hey, it’s [insert random no need to celebrate occasion]! Let’s celebrate with a sugar-filled class party!), the haircut place, my bank branch, and the local businesses we frequent. Everywhere we go, strangers and non-strangers alike are offering my kids candy. And that’s just the obvious dessert fare. Can we talk about the added sugar that exists in the foods we consume that aren’t even sweet? Gah! [read more…]
Image credit: Flickr/Melissa Weise