My 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.