All things granola

Allergic to sugar

IMG_1132My kid is allergic to sugar. His symptoms may vary: sometimes it makes him hyperactive. Sometimes it makes him tired. Some amounts give him a tummy ache. Some kinds of sugar can cause a reaction where his whole mouth turns red, purple, green or blue. Always it makes him whiny and too full to eat a proper meal.

There are times, though, where his reaction to sugar isn’t as strong, like a reasonably-sized treat on Shabbat. Or cake and ice cream on his birthday. As long as I’m monitoring his sugar intake, he’s fine.

So please, don’t offer him candy at 9AM just for smiling sweetly in the grocery line–he is happy munching strawberries as long as he doesn’t see your lollies. And please don’t offer him frosted cupcakes every time he completes a project in school or celebrates a holiday. Please don’t give him liquid sugar just because he shows up at shul. He’s happy drinking water until he sees your soda. And when it’s your kids’ birthday or week to be the star or when your kid just returned to school from Israel, please don’t bring him a big treat. You see, there are more than 20 other moms offering him a treat on those occasions too, and he’d be thrilled by a trinket or popcorn instead.

Because if he were to eat all the sugar that he’s offered by well meaning adults, he might one day be among the 54% of our community’s kids who are overweight and 26% who are obese. You see, the obesity crises in our neighborhood is twice as high as the general population (13%). And he might, God forbid, be among the many of our community’s children expected to become diabetic as adults. And for now, he will get more cavities, and those–he can tell you from experience–are a pain.

So while many kids today have dietary restrictions, mine can’t eat so much sugar. And your kid? He’s probably allergic too.

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5 thoughts on “Allergic to sugar

  1. Amen!!!
    It is still Yom Ha Atzmaut without a blue and white doughnut in class and a blue and white cookie at lunch.
    We have a new policy in our house that who ever feeds our child unnecessary sugar must take custody of him 30-60 minutes after the consumption. Maybe then they will understand the severity of his allergy to sugar. These people just laugh when I tell them this, They also do not understand that loading him with carbs has a similar reaction. so eating a bowl of wacky mac without any protein is not dinner. Thank you for letting me vent and maybe now that I have your corroborated scientific findings people might begin the believe me when I say that my son is allergic to sugar. BTW my birthday treat of choice currently is taffy apples each kid gets a few slices. not a whole taffy apple they are happy!! Thanks

  2. I totally sympathize! It seems so much worse in Jerusalem that I feel like I have practically thrown in the towel. It seems like a kid sneezes and he is handed candy or a sugary Popsicle. But obesity is not such an issue here. I am guessing it’s for two main reasons : the kids are super active ; Israelis also eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies.

    I think the schools in Chicago are headed in the right direction, but it is a long way to go to shake the candy culture. What can we do to keep things moving? I am not brave enough to try and evict the candy man at shul. Can we gradually shift the beverage ratio to more water and juice? Convince more families to have candy free shabbos parties?

    BTW, I think most research does not show proof of sugar and kids’ hyperactivity. Other bad things like cavities, obesity, and such yes. Hyperactivity, not so much.

    • At least in Israel, the kids run around so much. And I doubt kids there think it’s cool to say, “Vegetables are for rabbits.” Research aside, I’ve seen kids go wacky just being able to frost their own cookie. it’s the sight of it, I guess! can’t wait to see you here…

  3. Ok, here I go… my first time actually commenting on site but probably 1,000th time to myself. This article is just on target! It cracks me up but it is so sad. We can only change our actions and hope that it will affect others around us, then we can expect a time when our children will live in a society that encourages healthy habits and a balanced lifestyle.

    You should know, that through your blog you are changing lives! How? You may ask. Well, when someone reads this and then tells a friend excitingly about what you said/do, and changes their own lifestyle, it affects the people around them and the ripple affect is endless!

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