The summer of sugar

This has been one heck of a summer of sugar.

Where did all this sugar come from? Why did we have so much sugar this summer? Who is responsible for this terrible horrible dietary faux-pas?


Someone in this house is a great ice-cream eater. And she doesn’t have the hormones dictating her dietary ways, yet… 🙂 She would choose ice cream every single day if it was up to her. Or twice a day.

At first, I cringed and often did say no.

You had ice cream yesterday.

You had ice cream the day before yesterday.

You will order ice cream tomorrow at the restaurant.

No, you’re not having ice cream again today!

Another person in this house is a great pop drinker. The rest of us don’t drink any pop, or very rarely choose it. I don’t know what it is, but that boy will choose Pepsi over almost any other drink when given the choice. We had the talk about sugar, about artificial flavouring, and artifical colouring, we encouraged him to choose something slightly less gross like ginger-ale or the colourless Sprite or 7-Up, but alas, his favorite is Pepsi. He sometimes even chooses pop over ice cream…

Who are these children?

DH and I are more partial to salt than sugar. He likes his chips, I like my marinated olives and feta cheese. We rarely drink pop, although I do like my fizzy water with a squeeze of lime here and there…And we both like chocolate when we feel like it. Good quality chocolate (I am Swiss, after all). But chocolate seems to hit the spot more in cooler months than during the height of summer…

One day, I was filling out an online survey based on an ad about a sports drink. The ad was a commercial (to be played on tv one day) and included a short clip with a favorite, young hockey player. Benjamin, my own little hockey player, passed by me when it was playing.  The ad somehow brainwashed that child of mine (and it’s not even live yet) and he started asking to try the sports drink instead of the pop. He even went so far to compare the ingredient list of a Pepsi with that of the sports drink.

He deemed that the sports drink was a better drink to choose than the pop…

Progress?  I’m not sure, but for now, I’ll take it.

I guide him and encourage him to do exactly that, to be selective in his choices when choosing a non-whole food. Given he has a pretty good diet in general, eats at home almost all the time, mostly prefers raw veg or fruit over many other things, I don’t deny him his occasional choice to drink pop. Or now the sports drink, be that as it may. Although when he chooses bright orange or blue coloured drinks, I still cringe and make a comment about artificial colouring.

The way we try to solve this current ice cream eating and pop drinking dilemma is this way:

  • Ice cream is a dessert, not a meal replacement.
  • Ice cream is an occasional dessert, not a daily event.
  • You may choose a drink of your choice when we eat out someplace.
  • If someone offers to buy you a drink you may choose whatever drink you wish.
  • If you already had ice cream or a sugary drink today you may not choose a second one now, or later.
  • You may not choose a sugary drink AND ice cream at the same time. It’s either one or the other.

Once school starts again, this ice cream eating and pop drinking will drop off significantly. I’m trying hard to let them have their little indulgences without too many snide comments by keeping an overview of the big picture. They’re healthy. They eat mostly well (with some normal ups and downs which seems prevalent in North American kids). They eat home cooked meals at home almost every day. They grow some of their own food in the backyard…

The summer of sugar is not over yet But the summer of sugar is winding down, people.



2 thoughts on “The summer of sugar

  1. Ugh, we are in the same boat on all counts. My girls would eat ice cream until they burst if allowed; my son is a pop junkie (it’s his major “treat” food when we’re out, since his milk and egg allergy prevents him from getting other stuff like ice cream or cookies or whatnot). Over the summer I was all Fun Mom and tried to say yes to things like daily ice cream, and now we’re all in withdrawal. Our rules are almost exactly like yours – with one extra one, our son is supposed to have pop no more than once a week. Hopefully we can reign it all in…just in time for Halloween, no doubt :).

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