Dominate Your Child’s Next “Sugar Rush” Before It Starts

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The scene is a so many of us know : Kids running around a birthday party or family holiday event, “jumping on the sugar”, wild with excitement, sticky with joy, fueled by corn syrup, frosting and gummy products. Then the party is over and the misery begins. The crash-so often full of tears and/or shout-can ruin the rest of the day. SO Sumner Brooks, registered dietitian, eating disorder specialist and co-author of How to Raise an Intuitive Eater: Raising the Next Generation with Food and Body Confidence reveals to us the secrets of how to avoid the dreaded “sugar rush.

Do kids actually get hyper sugar?

The kids go crazy not because of all the properties of sugar that cause hyperactivity. Studies show that sugar itself does not alter behaviorso youThe “sugar rush” as a physical phenomenon does not exist. Yet you know your child do act differently after consuming a bunch of sweets. This is for several reasons.

First of all, tit environment playa postman. Think back to the busy and noisy birthday party or the chaotic, even stressful family vacation. “The reason why we perceive that children experience sugar rushes is not so surprising: they are excited, stimulated and full of energy”, Brooks says. Sensory overload and peers encouraging more energetic behavior create a loud party. “Children and adults are likely to exhibit abnormal or different behavior in these types of situations, and we just don’t need to blame the food or the sugar.”

Plus, the placebo effect can come into play. When kids hear “sugar makes you hyper” from their parents, they play the role. So the first tip to prevent sugar rushes is to stop blaming the sugar. Eating foods high in sugar may not make you or your child feel good, so Brooks offers tips to navigate a high sugar event.

Discuss expectations before an event

There are several ways to set you and your child up for success at an event where they might otherwise have had behavioral issues. “Behavioral expectations should be and can be clearly communicated before the party,'” Brooks says. Sand boundaries and consequences before entering a new environment. Brooks suggests, “Talk about what will happen when it’s time to leave, the manners you expect to see around food, gifts, friendships, etc.”

Although basic good manners are not directly related to sugar consumption, they set a civilized tone. Next, when it comes to food, Brooks suggests you remind your child to drink water throughout the event or Say, “If you need help preparing your plate for the party, let me know,” making sure that dessert will always be part of the meal. She says the focus should be that you want everyone to feel good during and after the event.

Give children aprecovery snack

In her work as a dietitian, Brooks says, “People sometimes confuse high energy with hyperactivity. Sugar, or any carb, is energizing, and Brooks says the “fast, excited, or noisy” behavior we observe after children have taken sugar is often the effect of increased blood sugar. “In reality, low blood sugar tends to cause far more behavioral problems in children than sugar consumption” because low blood sugar can cause “extreme mood swings, fatigue or lack of patience and less ability to think critically,” she says. You might call it a “sugar crash.”

To combat the accident, Brooks says he is a good idea For “offer your child a snack about an hour before going to a party, so they don’t experience an empty stomach or hypoglycemia in scenarios where food might be unpredictable or unappealing to them. She says, “nutritionally, try to provide a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in their day before the event”, but, “if they are excited, they may not have as much appetite,” so in that case opt for string cheese, yogurt, milk or peanut butter and jelly.

Pay attention to the event

Once you arrive at the party, with a good meal under your child’s belt and clear expectations, do it.Don’t let them run amok. “While none of us parents want to hear that part, it can also be in response to parenting which can be different in certain situations where we think kids are having ‘sugar rushes'” Brooks says. Children sometimes notice that they can “get away” with more at these events, because tThey are not watched as closely by distracted, socializing adults. They too have the freedom to eat foods that are otherwise denied to them.

You know your child better than anyone, so Brooks says you have to tune in to what your child needs in a given scenario. Some children snack when they are anxious, overwhelmed or uneasy. Brooks says, “If you have a kid who may be in that category, they really need you to be there and engage with them in those situations” instead of spending the holidays with the other adults.

Be careful how you talk about sugar consumption

Sneaky kids hear us even when we think they’re not listening. “I wish we could celebrate their joy instead of constantly turning to sugar jokes and sugar shaming,” Brooks says. “When most of the adults around them are commenting and complaining about ‘sugar,‘” she says children “want to rebel and do what adults don’t want them to do. So my best advice is to keep all sugar comments quiet.

She implores parents to model relaxed language around food, even foods we might consider “naughty.” Instead of “keep it away from me,” she said, “Oh, there is cake. I’ll take a piece, do you want one?” or “Does a piece of cake sound good to you right now?”

For the child who eats too much

Many children abuse parties because they are not allowed to eat certain foods. at home. And sSome kids just like sweets more than others. “For a child you repeatedly observe overeating sugary foods,” Brooks says, put less attention to controlling their sugar intake, and more attention to what might happen to them. The best thing we can do is stay calm, don’t judge, don’t punish them for wanting the sugar, and keep the experience positive.

For “a child who repeatedly overconsumes sweets to the point of not feeling well,” Brooks has some ideas for reducing anxiety about not having the sweetie sugar but keeping your child from having a tummy ache. She says, “suggest that they can choose something to take home for later, or offer to take some of that food home to assure them that they can have it at another time and that it’s not the only opportunity,” helps them begin to learn their limits in the moment with compassion.

Brooks says you have an opportunity in these times because kids “need to hear you say they can be trusted to listen to their bodies.” The children make a transition from tocompletely dependent on his parents being able to trust one’s own body—hThe way we talk about food and the body is a great way to teach them this important skill.

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