09 September 2008

Fruit Juice Breaks Me Out

I'm one of those mothers.

You've heard of us. No sugar! No candy! No cake! No chocolate! No sodas! Halloween and Easter are the most stressful times of the year for us mothers who abhor sugar. It's an absolute no-no. Recent reports of Cherokee county, Georgia, using candy as part of a rewarding system in its schools has me thinking of running for the homeschooling hills.

Yeah. That's me. Over here in suburban Atlanta. Freaky anti-sugar mom. HI!

And I know, I know, there are mothers and grandmothers out there who are absolutely horrified that I don't give my children sugar anything - as horrified as I feel when I see my cousins-in-law feeding their one-year-old undiluted Sprite and chocolate bars. Because we all know it isn't summer without ice cream. It isn't fall without candy corn. You HAVE to have cookies in the winter and spring BEGS for months of chocolate-crunchy eggs. But I have a reason, a very good reason, for despising sugar in all it's heinous forms.

I learned a very valuable lesson about sugar. I have a huge sweet tooth and I pretty much crave sugar and chocolate on a daily basis. I was the kid who would come home from school, scam a dollar from my dad, and run a few hundred feet down the street to the Shop-A-Minit for a Hershey's Big Block chocolate bar and a Pepsi. This was a daily ritual and on the weekends it was all about that little bitch Debbie. The price I paid for this kind of chocolate/sugar habit was finding out at 30 that I was insulin-resistant and infertile because my body decided it was best to over-produce insulin to counteract my sugar-fueled diet and therefore cut my estrogen production down to practically nothing.

My sugar habit nearly destroyed my ability to become a mother.

When the need to freebase some chocolate becomes over-powering, I find some fancy Belgian 75% cacao chocolate and cut it with peanut butter in the hopes the protein will slow down my pancreas a bit. And I limit myself to three pieces. The kids? They get sugar on their birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and on the odd chance someone hands them a sucker. And at those moments? I'm horrified. I just want to snatch the sucker out of their hands and shout to the offending person, "HOW DARE YOU RENDER MY CHILDREN INFERTILE!" But I calm down and realize that one sucker won't hurt. Two suckers a day for the next 30 years probably wouldn't hurt, either.

But I can't be sure. I can't be sure that they inherited my pancreas or Ty-man's. I can't be sure that Miss-Miss will have the same problems as me when she decides to start a family. What I can be sure of is that when the twins celebrate their third birthday this coming weekend, they'll taste a little of their birthday cake, push it away, and wait for one of us to bring them fresh fruit. I'll smile and think how wonderful it is they prefer fruit over cake and I'll gladly cut up whatever they want, regardless of how badly the fruit juice burns and flares up the eczema on my hands.

But I'll also feel sad that I've deprived them of enjoying one miserable slice of birthday cake.


Anonymous said...

God - food and kids - this is one of the things that stresses me out massively. I want to strike the balance between the extremes, but I just don't know how right now. SO, I can definitely relate with your approach. It's stressing me out even to comment!

Bucky said...

Isn't most fruit naturally very sugary?

Expat No. 3699 said...

Less sugar, less hyperactivity.

Anonymous said...

My daughter didn't even taste chocolate until she turned 2. I am one of THOSE moms too. They each had a cake with whipped cream "frosting" and fresh blueberries for their first birthdays.

Although, I'll admit that I've relaxed a bit this summer after my husband was laid off. The kids spent a lot of time with their grandparents and I didn't have the energy to fight that battle. I vow to do my best when they are under my watch. I'm glad that the summer is over.

I pack their lunches and snacks every day for school because I'm super anal (and as a result, they are picky) about healthy food choices.

I also give out play dough or crayons at Halloween instead of candy...eek!

Cricky said...

I've never been overly concerned about Kelly's sugar intake until recently.

When I saw her at a party running from table to table to snatch the candies and secretly scarf them all down I realized there was a problem.

We don't offer sugary snacks and drinks. The house pretty much has sweet tea and oatmeal cookies as the only offerings for the occasional sweet tooth. I realized that she's making the bad choices of scarfing the candies down because she thought I wasn't looking. That scares the shit out of me.

I don't want to raise a binge eater (I'm one so I recognize the patterns).

I can't possibly trust the public school system to feed her nutritious lunches. The offer a cafeteria style choice (meal 1 or meal 2). Meal 1 is usually something healthy, Meal 2 is almost always pizza or cheeseburgers. Guess which one I'm sure my kid picks.

Gypsy said...

I think the Greeks were right -- everything in moderation.

But then again, I'm a total sugar whore. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

My kids were raised on pixie stix. I love that stuff.

My daughter has a few friends who are deprived sugar and other forms of junk food at home. Now they are very secretive when they eat it and they also tend to binge and purge when they can get together and eat it in secret. My girl is appalled and so was I when I heard about this. I also learned that this is not uncommon(from our pediatrician.)

gypsy is right...everything in moderation....even if that means only once or twice a month.

Molly's Mom said...

Dude. I am another one of those sugar nazi mothers. My SIL made M little cakes for her 1st and 2nd birthdays that were SO SWEET...with the canned frosting and everything. I only let M have like 1/4 of the little cake and SIL about had a sh*t fit.

I see too many kids in my line of work that have rotten or brown teeth from drinking pop (what do you call it down there - soda? Coke?) and refuse to let my kid EVER be one of them. The problem is finding a happy medium - I don't want her to rebel and go nuts on it all when she's older. Sigh.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Count me in with Gypsy and MetalMom. I was an anti-sugar freak until LittleBird hit two. Then, I had to relax a bit. It is my responsibility to teach good choices. Making a choice means letting them try. Showing them what it means to be moderate in your actions regarding food.

The kids gets tastes of my coffee. They love their fruit, and they love when we all sit on the couch and share a bowl of natural ice cream.

Good sweets choices also means choosing proper sweets. Teaching them that homemade/freshly baked cakes, breads and cookies versus the packaged-crap will give your kids better eating habits. If they KNOW that eating sugar freaks the shit out of you, guess how they are going to rebel to piss you off?

Donna said...

I can't say I'm that extreme, but I definately have a firm grasp on how much sugary-induced foods my kids consume.
My husband? not so much; the struggles of a working mom - relying on others to enforce mommy's rules.
Now, if I could just give up my pepsi addiction.

Anonymous said...

I used to be one of those mothers too. I relaxed as they got older, thinking that my early training would stand them in good stead, and actually it did. They had a couple of years of going nuts for sweet things, and spending their pocket money on oodles of sugar, but now (in their twenties) they hardly touch it. No sweets, chocolate, ice cream, cake, biscuits (cookies) and mostly no dessert. We took one of them out for dinner recently and he splashed out on profiteroles for dessert and instantly regretted it. He won't eat anything like that for a while now.

To me, that's a sensible enough balance. I only wished I'd been brought up that way because it's a daily struggle for me still.

I actually had a battle with my own mother about my kids and sugar. She said they NEEDED a certain amount 'for energy' and I insisted that they didn't.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

A Free Man - I'm with you. I can't figure out what's enough and what's too much.

Bucky - True, but at least sugar isn't full of empty calories like candy bars or cake. There's actual nutritional value to fruits.

Employee No. 3699 - Very true.

MommyCosm - As long as you don't give out toothpaste, you're OK!

Cricky - There shouldn't be a choice! There should only be healthy! UGH! Drives me nuts.

Gypsy - True. Everything in moderation is true.

MetalMom - Oh, GAWD! Pixie Stix! Heaven. Pure sugar heaven.

Molly's Mom - Down here? It's Coke. Everything brown and fizzy is Coke. But for me? I say soda. :) I've got a bit of the northerner in me.

NATUI - I think I'm going to have to relax a bit, too. I'll get there. I just need time.

Donna - A Pepsi addiction is a good thing - as long as you aren't shooting it up! :)

Jay - OK. See? That makes me feel better.