Friday, May 30, 2014

Aliens, Screaming and Private versus Public Sugar

photo - 25g of sugar: recommended limit for adults.
'In space, no one can hear you scream.' As a Wannabe Sugar-Avoider (WAS) mum in the play-date world, I suspect no one wants to hear you scream. I'll admit it, I'm feeling lonely and out on a limb.
The photo above is 25 grams of sugar. This is the daily limit that the World Health Organization recommends *for adults*. Adults. So, do the maths for kids. You can see there's barely enough here to make a biscuit (pauses to scream).
For months now, I've been trying to cut back on sugar (not calories) and eat low GI/GL foods in the house, filling myself with 'slow-burn' food. Naturally, I've tried to take the kids with me. I've learned to bake biscuits that are mostly oats, butter, bananas, raisins and a splash of honey, as surely, these are better for them than a shop-bought Hob Nob. After school, I give them nuts and apples and milk.
But we don't live in isolation, and everywhere we go, the world is fuelled by lavish, 'treat-y', fast, carbohydrates that spike blood sugar like a 'hit'. They are the social currency of the mums' world, and play-date land. People offer your kids treats all the time, often directly, to the kids. So if you blurt out a 'no', you risk offending the host and giving your child food anxieties. D'oh.
And, there is no easy way off the train. Our kids will ask for their birthday parties and how can I possibly throw one with just fruit and oatcakes? Mea Culpa; I have complied like the others. Ah, but parties are rare, you say. No. At this age, they get party invites every other weekend, and why shouldn't they have fun? Can we just find a way to do it without involving about 8 or 10 of those egg cups full of sugar? Ten times an adults daily amount, before the sweet-filled party bags? Just about every childhood celebration is based around sugar: Easter, Halloween, Christmas...
And in all of this, I wonder how I'm ever going to keep the kids within healthful recommendations. That's all I'm trying to do! Yes, the argument rages in my head. I feel like a Nay-Sayer, a Debbie-Downer, a Party-Pooper, and yet all I want is to follow health advice from the WHO and prevent myself and my family from ending up with type 2 diabetes or worse, further down the road.
But I can see that it's going to take a revolution on a much bigger scale. Right now, I can do private no-sugar but I'm flailing with  public no-sugar, involving friends and kids. Is there any advice from Action on Sugar for  this?
I still feel like Sigourney Weaver, floating alone in her space ship, trying to save the Universe, fuelled inadvertently by doughnuts and glucose-fructose syrup.

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