How to Limit Your Kid's Sugar without Starting a War

Mighty Mommy Cheryl Butler joins me to talk about the best ways to set limits on your children's sugar intake without alienating Grandma.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
Episode #370

MM: This is a great question, and has raised a bit of controversy in my kid’s school district as well as neighboring ones. When my oldest child (now 22) was in Kindergarten, I was the room mother for her classroom. I can honestly tell you that we had celebrations in our school nearly every time you turned the page on the calendar.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, kid’s individual birthdays were noted—it went on and on. In those days, I would call the parents and the request for items were always sugary delights—donuts, cupcakes, cookies with iced frosting, potato chips, fruit punch or soda. This is just how it was back then. Yikes!

Fast forward now, to when my youngest child, now ten, is in school, and I don’t think she’s ever had even a cupcake once a year at a party. Of course, allergies such as peanut allergies are also much more prevalent, and that’s definitely a valid concern for schools and families when food is being sent in from home.  The parties are now quite limited and when they do celebrate, the teachers request items like cut up fruit, pretzels, Smart Food popcorn, or Jello and cool whip.  I completely love the fact that we have gotten away from those sugar fests, however, I also find it just a little sad that my daughter has never enjoyed even one cupcake say on Valentine’s Day at school. Again, as a mom of eight and a parent who is active in the PTO and other school boards, I think moderation is key. We’re working with our school district to make an allowance for something special like cupcakes on Valentine’s Day or an ice cream party at the end of the school year, but adhering to healthier options for the majority of the celebrations. 

ND: And that’s just it: We don’t need to completely eliminate all the treats from our lives or our kids lives. But we do need to learn how to keep those treats from becoming daily habits.

Thanks so much for your good advice, Cheryl.  And for lots more helpful tips on how to add balance, perspective and fun into your family’s busy life, check out the Might Mommy podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or right here on our website. And be sure to catch part two of my conversation with Cheryl Butler on kids nutrition and sugar on this week’s Mighty Mommy podcast.


About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show. 

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