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Meanie Mummy
by Asa Butcher
2007-01-08 09:23:26
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Chocolate, biscuits, sweets, ice cream, crisps and fizzy drinks will win over most children’s affection in the time it takes a dentist to say, “Brush twice a day!” However, at what age should children be allowed to sample the sugary delights mentioned above? It may be more prudent for me to rephrase the question: How old should your children be allowed to eat sweets?

My own daughter is approaching 18-months and the mutual decision in our household is to wait a few years until she understands what they are. Neither of us saw any sense in forcing a sugar-loaded snack, crammed with E numbers, additives, preservatives and flavourings just to avoid looking mean in front of family and strangers. Yes, people are far more liberal with your children than you would like, but you don’t expect them to disrespect your decisions.

We have experienced people who found it a game to sneakily give our daughter chocolate behind our back or tell us that she is missing out. The first was revealed when she wouldn’t sleep that night from the sugar rush and the second demands to be questioned: Missing out on what? She has no idea about sweets or chocolate, and she can hardly be missing out on an item she does not know exists.

Should sweets or chocolate mysteriously appear in our house, my wife and I wait until she has gone to bed or avoid eating it in front of her. Should she happen to see one of us munching on something that isn’t too unhealthy and points at it, then we will give her a little piece to satisfy her curiosity – we won’t give more than that. Why should we, especially when it a treat to ourselves?

When I was growing up, my mum never kept biscuits in the house thereby removing the temptation and over Christmas I was told that one of my cousins didn’t regularly eat sweets until she was six-years-old. Both my cousin and I don’t feel as though we missed out, so a child under two getting feelings of denial is laughable.

Anyway, returning to the health issue, sweets don’t contain anything nutritious that a growing child demands; sugar can be given via other means. Who is to say that a childhood growing up on sweets hasn’t influenced our metabolism in some way today, plus damaged our teeth before the milk teeth had even left our gums?

These are questions that cannot be answered to my satisfaction, so we shall maintain a united front in our household against all the comments and criticism. On the bright side, any sweets or chocolate that do come our daughter’s way via gifts are donated to the Mummy and Daddy Sugar Craving Fund.

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hannah2009-02-25 20:32:56
boo u

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