It’s been four whole days since Halloween. My children have managed to both eat way too
much sugar, and live to tell about it.
Neither went into any kind of Halloween induced diabetic coma, nor have they renounced protein in order to become a sugartarian. In fact both kids
seemed to forget about their candy bags within a few days. They had their fill and simply stopped
I thought of this as I read an article in which Brazilian
supermodel Gisele Bündchen confessed that she gave her kids' Halloween candy
away. She said, “We don’t really have
that a kind of sugar in our house. I let them try one (piece), but they really
only had one bite and then they didn’t want it anymore.”
On one hand, it’s
amazing. Gisele’s kids don’t eat sugar. That’s one less battle she and Tom as
parents have to battle with their kids. Gisele’s kids are probably better off than the rest of ours. Or, not.
It’s not about dog
piling on Gisele, or her seemingly perfect life. Every parent makes their own choices about
how they run their household, and Gisele and Tom have clearly made choices with
theirs. But when we “normal” parents read quotes like Gisele’s, it inspires in
us a feeling of failure. No matter how
much we say “to each her own,” we secretly think, “Gisele’s kids don’t have
sugar. She’s doing a better job than me.”
I’m here to tell you
up thinking that people who ate candy and treats were bad as well.
Me personally, I grew up
in a no sugar household. We were the kids who had one piece of our Halloween
candy before the rest was tossed in the trash.
We could have one bowl of sugar cereal per month. I never had a cavity until I got one as an
adult, and I secretly see the fact that I actually have one cavity as a major
personal failure. I grew up thinking dessert was bad, as was sugar. And I grew
up thinking that people who ate candy and treats were bad as well. I grew up
fearing sweets, and food in general.
But left to my own
devices as an adult, I had no idea how to make proper food choices because I
had never been taught how to make proper food choices as a kid. I was raised with food in the extreme. Food
was either good, or bad. It wasn’t what it was, food. Simple as that.
Part of our job as
parents is teach our kids how to do things. That includes teaching them how to eat and
make healthy choices with food, which includes sugar. When we cut out an entire food group from
their lives, barring allergies or religious restrictions, we are missing an
opportunity to teach our kids how to have a healthy relationship with sugar,
treats and food in general.
So as much as I don’t
want my kids to eat tons of sugar, I actually want them to have a little. I
want them to enjoy Halloween. I want them to enjoy a treat every now and then
and not feel badly about themselves, or that they have somehow failed or eaten
something bad. I want them to learn to
eat anything they like in moderation and not think of food in the extreme. And then hopefully they’ll grow up to be
adults who enjoy food, not fear it.