Thanks to the likes of Damon Gameau, with his That Sugar Film, and Sarah Wilson’s money-making extravaganza, I Quit Sugar, everyone is riding a float in the totally anti-sugar parade. And so am I it would seem, what with the fact that I and a group of other Awesome Food Fighters will begin quitting our collective sweetener binges on Monday morning. But I’m not a total convert to the diet craziness of the modern age.
I love gingerbread and ain’t no one going to get me to give that up forever!
Body image is not my main goal, neither is my health (though it probably should be). I’m going to quit sugar… again… because my kids need a fighting chance to develop a strong and maintainable approach to food. Right now that’s not happening.
My eldest, Little E, jumps into the car after childcare and says “Surpwise, Daddy?”. He’s waiting for a naughty sugar-stuffed treat that I’ve gotten into the habit of giving him, in lieu of the guilt I feel for abandoning him all day long. But now if I don’t have anything or, deities forbid, I offer him an apple or banana, he loses his toddler-nut and tantrums the whole way home.
I’ve turned my boy into an addict. And he’s only two.
This poor food education I’m teaching him has to change but it can’t if I’m openly gorging on sugary goodness all of the time. To change my diet I need to kick the insane addiction I’m currently serving, and to do that I gotta quit sugar.
For a while.
Here is an important part of Dad VS Sugar that I want my supportive team to understand. This isn’t about swearing off sugar, condemning cake or nay-saying nougat. Our crusade is about taking back control of our own minds and bodies so that we can make smart choices and pass those onto our amazing children.
Sarah Wilson claims we need to quit completely for eight weeks, including most natural sources of fructose – good ol’ fruit. Go true cold turkey. But I’m not going to force anyone to give up something that is innately healthy and extremely sustainable (unless you buy your apples from a major supermarket chain in which case you’re killing the world people!). Fruit is not the baddie. Completely processed sweetener-injected crap is what’s killing us, so when my cravings get the better of me I’m turning to nature’s junkfood (stole that directly from Lazy Town) and munching on Granny Smith [insert filthy in-your-endo here].
We should probably add to this cheat sheet:
- We can eat fresh fruit.
- We can eat dried fruit, though we need to keep quantities in check.
- If we fall off our high-horse and eat something naughty, that happens. Just find a ladder or a sturdy jockey to step on and climb back up that tall thoroughbred.
- Once we have survived two weeks, we each make our own choices about how to continue. I plan to find a way to still have sweet treats but so that they are actually that – treats, meaning that I eat them less often than every hour.
I don’t want my kids to live a sugar-free life. That’s not what being a kid is about! I have so many great memories of Frosties, cobbers, choc-coated animal biscuits and Twix bars that sparkle with sugar-coated happiness, and my children deserve that as well. It’s my job to try to navigate a balanced path through the colourfully-wrapped maze that out modern world has become.
Do you have a favourite childhood sweet treat? What is it and what story is attached to it?
The cartoon criminal used in the featured image is by Mike Licht and is used via Creative Commons licensing. Click here to visit the original source.
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