Falling from the Sugar High.

May 31, 2010

We went to a big family celebration on Saturday mnight, and my children consumed around about three times their body weight in lollies.

I find the adult parties much worse for the lolly thing than the kid ones to be honest. At this event, my sister-in-laws 21st, there were containers of lollies (mostly red ones!) everywhere and any number of indulging adults to help my three small children scoff way too many of them.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not anti sugar. My kids (and I) eat our fair share of sweet treats. I do try to keep an eye on how much we eat though, and generally we try to keep artificial colours and chemicals out of our sweet treats as much as possible.

In the past I’ve tried a simple “no” – a total blanket ban on eating lollies at these kind of events. I’ve also tried to limit the number consumed. But it’s a party. The lollies are right there in front of their faces. There are any number of party guests just ready to spoil my kids when they tell them with an angelic smile that ‘yes Mum says it’s ok’, or worse to conspire lovingly with my children despite knowing Mum says it is not ok! So on this occasion I gave up and gave in…

You want another lolly? Sure eat as many as you like.

I knew this was probably not going to work out in my favour but hey, I was busy avoiding strangers touching me (will blog more about that later!) and eating my own fair share of red lollies.

The kids were all fabulously behaved at the party and we all had a great time…. then Sunday rolled around. All three small people in our house fell from the very tip top of their sugar high…. and the resulting crash wasn’t pretty.

There was an excruciating increase in whining, crying, whingeing and general complaints. There was absolutely no possibility of waiting a turn or attempting to understand anyone else’s point of view,. There were tears and melt downs and the Small Boy went feral on the punching and kicking thing.

Now granted, the Small Boy has been having a little bit of trouble with the whole ‘gentle hands, gentle feet’ concept of late, but when his Aunt leaned into the car to say good bye to him last night and he returned the sentiment with a mean left hook to her chin… that was kind of over the top, even for him.

What was more telling though was the resulting crying. He cried and cried all the way home from the airport because he loves his Aunty Sawah and ‘Goose Trap’ so much and didn’t want them to go home…. yet he’d just punched her in the face and not half an hour before kicked and beaten up ‘Goose Trap’, including a good poke to the eye. This angry and frustrated, yet confused and loving, demeanour really summed up all of my kids yesterday, and I blame the sugar.

Perhaps it’s just that the excess sugar is an easy excuse. I mean we did stay out late, everyone was tired. We had family to stay and our usual daily routine was totally out the window… So maybe it wasn’t as simple as overdosing on sugar…. or maybe it was

What do you think?
Does sugar (and/or perhaps the combination of sugar, colour and crap you find in lollies.soft drink etc) affect your child’s behaviour? If so how? And do you just ban that stuff all together or do you allow it on special occasions and just deal with the consequences?

Image from yomi955 via flickr

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan at Writing Out Loud May 31, 2010 at 12:09 pm

This is such a tough one. I’m very strict with what my daughter (20 months) eats, but there are times when it really does seem out of my control, i.e. around grandparents and at kids’ parties.

Like you, I’m not a complete party-pooper but I can’t understand why parents think that serving nothing but sugar is a good idea!

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Leah May 31, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I’m much more likely to blame the party and late nights myself, but I haven’t noticed any food effects on A (except I think she could do with a coffee in the morning lol). Tiring days or nights out will definetely get her everytime, which is the main reason her going to the footy with my Mum seems to take up so much time, because the next day she must recover! (worth it tho)

Plus now her and Opo are starting to interact in a more peer to peer way, only takes one of them to be in a niggle for it to become contagious, then I’m cranking at them too!

Test them with a big bag of natural confectionary lollies each on a quiet weekend after an easy week and see lol

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CabrissiTea May 31, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I know it does for La, especially if he hasn’t had any in awhile. He is fine with most stuff in the amounts I’d normally okay but I can still remember (vividly… in horror) the day we went to one of Nic’s friends who is an uber-bogan and lets her kids eat gobs and gobs of crap. (Proudly said this to me too and was chiding me for saying La couldn’t have a few things.) Literally while I was there they had milkshakes, sodas, biscuits, fairy-bread, four or five BAGS of lollies, sweet-cup jellys, two bags (big ones not personal size) crisps, ice-cream etc etc. Not one bite of anything even vaguely resembling actual food in 9 hours. The older boy was 3 the younger about 1.5? By 5 o’clock everyone was LITERALLY pinging off the walls while mum screamed at them to calm t.f. down. Total nightmare. La was on VIBRATE mode, chattering in hyperdrive, eyes dilated, face flushed red and hot to the touch etc. When he got home he laid down and just screeched hysterically for a solid hour before his body let him collapse. Nothing would reach him. I’ve never seen anything like it. So um. Yeah. I do believe sugar, dyes and the other lovely chemicals in there CAN affect them.

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StitchSista May 31, 2010 at 12:49 pm

A lot of people say sugar doesn’t affect behaviour. From my experience it most certainly does, and I think different kids respond differently too. It bothers me when people assume because it doesn’t affect their child that it won’t affect mine. I have at least one child who is sensitive to colours and lots of sugar.

Infact that child is affected by stimuli of all sorts that another child may not be.

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Tammy May 31, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I totally blame the colours and preservatives in this kind of stuff, the sugar not so much.

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jodie May 31, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Oh thats a hard one to pinpoint. Lots of sugar often accompanies a party so lots of excitement, lots of people and a loss of routine. I find lots of sugar combined with a late night, loss of usual routine and visitors as well is a recipe for TOTAL disaster. I have found its a little better as they are getting a bit older, but even my almost ten year old is far from immune. Also it may be the colouring as well as or instead of the sugar. Red colouring sent my daughter bananas as a toddler, and I still have to limit the ammount she consumes now… seemingly “healthier” options like rice crackers or bbq shapes, some fruit juices etc can still set her off.

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Katy May 31, 2010 at 3:41 pm

We just went to a baby shower – I knew it would have lots of sugary and fatty food (doesn’t agree with DD terribly well!!). I only took my daughter, and the boys stayed home with Daddy. So the boys “missed out” on all of “that” food.

Then I gave DD a bunch of grapes to eat in the car before we got there (2 hour trip there!). So she really only grazed on a few little things because she was relatively full, and at least I knew she’d had something decent before hand!!!

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Holly June 1, 2010 at 8:50 am

I dread other kids parties for that very reason. At my cherubs birthday there is the obligatory fairy bread and birthday cake, but thats it. None of these beautiful looking but evil dessert buffets for this house. Chocolate is strictly an easter thing after watching my angel turn into something resembling that scene in that movie whose title I’ve forgotten, where Linda Blair’s head spins around

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Leonie June 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I hear you! We dont completely deprive our kids of lollies but at parties it seems my kids are the ones with their cheeks full of the sugary crappy stuff! Oh and they totally react, especially my eldest.
I think the combination of the lollies, lack of sleep, excitement etc is usually a recipe for meltdowns in our house.
I try to keep the sweets to a minimum at our parties and last year made the kids a softie each to take home instead of more crap for their parents to have to deal with.
In saying that, we have a party coming up and i am doing homemade biscuits with white icing, fruit kebabs, ribs, chicken wings and corn. The cake will be colouring enough.Hopefully it means my children will also behave beautifully after said party – ha ha ha.. and miracles will happen :)

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del June 1, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Around here fizzy drinks, particularly of the cola variety, tend to coincide with particularly nasty nightmares so that is avoided. Most other sweet food the kids could take or leave and usually leave it. Of course that doesn’t include chocolate, it is devoured by the truckload if it is available. That aside, I am the proud parent of kids who have requested broccoli, cauliflower and pumpkin as a birthday treat and I had to convince them to eat out because I didn’t want to cook!

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Deb June 2, 2010 at 11:27 am

Nope, not sugar. Some of the preservatives affect some people with sensitivities, definitely. We steer away from that sort of thing because it just doesn’t fit into a healthy diet – we try to go 80/20 or 90/10, depending on the week! But I think late nights, excitement, strange people and exciting parties have far more effect than sugar.

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Marita June 5, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Seems to be mostly preservatives for us.

Soft drinks with caffeine are the other big evil, because my girls never have them so even a little coke or pepsi sends them feral.

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