A Spoonful of Sugar?

grandmother tea party

I’m sure everyone remembers the Mary Poppins song that says, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…”  And obviously I understand the point of the song…sweetened medicines are more palatable and putting fun in everyday activities makes them easier.

Nevertheless, it makes me think about the REAL effects of sugar on the body.  I’m not going to link to any studies or compelling articles about how bad sugar is for you.  I have a sweet tooth.  Oh my!  I could sit down and eat an entire cake with buttercream icing ALL BY MYSELF.  I have never done it, but I could!  I told Billy recently that I keep hearing how bad sugar is and I just stick my fingers in my ears and sing “Lalalala!!!  I can’t hear you!”

However, I just can’t deny how it worsens our health.  We don’t eat many desserts for a variety of reasons, but after a sugar-laden holiday my children get sick.  Without fail.  Every.  Single.  Time. They usually end up with “sinus” trouble, which is what people on the warm, wet coast love to blame everything on.  Pretty soon that drip turns into some kind of infection and they are down for the count.

I noticed it again recently.  My oldest 2 have been going to church day camp twice a week.  On those days, they usually get several sugary treats, unlike those of us at home.  So they have gotten moderately more sugar than the rest of the family over the past few months.  A couple weeks ago, everyone started having “sinus trouble” again (allergies, apparently), but guess who ended up with infections?  Yes, the 2 who have been eating more sugar!

The first time this DID NOT happen is after our church’s Halloween alternative right after I learned one of my children is allergic to corn.  Good-bye candies made with corn syrup, which is basically all of them!  We participated in the activities, I allowed her a couple non-corn treats, let the other kids have a couple pieces of candy, emphasized the games and other fun and THREW THE REST AWAY!  It is not a waste to throw poison in the trash can!  We didn’t get sick that time.

When I eat a lot of sugar I am jittery and grouchy and sleepy.  And I get sick.

So that’s my experience with sugar or the lack of it.  We’ve always eaten far fewer sweets than most Americans, but I’m becoming more and more vigilant about kicking the habit altogether.  With a few exceptions, I’ve tried to focus on yummy seasonal fruits and lightly sweetened desserts, preferably using honey or other natural sweeteners in small amounts.  I’ll gladly eat dessert if it’s offered to me at someone else’s house, but at my house we are keeping it to a minimum!

P.S.  Don’t even get me started on the doctor’s offices who send sick kids home with a lollipop!!!!!

Check out more Real Food Wednesday at Kelly’s blog!

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4 Responses to “A Spoonful of Sugar?”

  1. Kathy Says:

    I hear you! I have noticed when i eat sugar I feel terrible. So why do I keep eating the stuff? Because it tastes so darn good.

  2. chasityivy Says:

    I have tried several times to cut out sugar at our house, especially sugar in processed foods (So I could still bake a cookie here and there). It hasn’t worked..we haven’t been able to stick to it. I have an enormous sweet tooth as does my husband. I guess maybe we should do it gradually instead of going sugar-free cold turkey, or like you said, just keep it to a minimum.

  3. Katie Says:

    It is so hard to live outside the “world” and their idea of fun. People love to give kids candy! If only it was easy to forego sugar and teach our kids not to indulge in it either (and it tastes so good…).

  4. Rebecca Says:

    I wish we could think of other alternatives for incentives and treats in church, because I know you are right about sugar. And, even though we try to eat healthfully at home, it’s really hard to carry that over to anything that you are providing for a large group, camp, youth group snacks or whatever. This last year in Cubbies, we had a child who couldn’t have gluten and we did a little better in getting more fruits and veggies for snacks (no cupcakes!).

    I know that kids eat most at home, so what they eat at church isn’t as big a deal, but it kinda gets me that it’s the same people … I’m not sure I expressed myself very well, but you usually understand what I mean anyway. lol

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