It was the tantrum that started it.
When Swedish mom Anna Larsson’s four-year old daughter threw a tantrum after being refused sweets, Anna had had enough. Her four-year-old wouldn’t want to eat anything except sugar, such as sweetened yogurt and other treats.
So Anna decided to cut sugar from her daughter’s diet.
After only a few days of removing sugar, the change was obvious.
But the results weren’t just amazing to Anna – the whole world noticed.
“Her taste buds were like new,” Anna said in an interview with BBC. “She was calming down so quickly, falling asleep so quickly in the evenings – and she did not want to look at the television all the time, she wanted to do things.”
Anna was so shocked with the results that she posted it to Facebook, and hundreds of other parents noticed. Her post went viral. Anna thinks people reacted to the post because she’s just an average person – not a doctor or a nutritionist.
Many of us know sugar isn’t healthy for us, but the dramatic results of Anna’s daughter created conversation for parents about how tolerant they should be when allowing their children sweets.
Should you let your kids eat sugar?
Anna claims her daughter’s behavior improved when she removed most of the sugar from her diet. Science hasn’t found much connection between sugar making kids (or you) hyper, according to Yale Scientific. But other parents, like blogger Brit Jessop, agree with Anna’s results.
Brit’s daughter, Emilie, didn’t have any sugar until after she was 18 months old, and even now, she only has it at family events and when offered by others. This decision, Brit said in an interview with FamilyShare, came because “it got extremely hard to tell generous and well meaning people no!”
Similar to Anna, Brit can tell a difference in Emilie’s behavior when she eats sugar. And it seems that even little Emilie, who is almost two and a half, can as well.
“I asked her once why she was so hyper one night (after some cookies from a family who had stopped by) and she legitimately said, ‘it’s the chocolate!'”
Simple ways to stay away from sugar
Brit is well aware of how hard it is to give up sugar. She’s tried to help Emilie avoid sugar, because Brit knows how addictive it can be.
“I can’t go a day without sugar. I know I have this addiction and am currently taking steps to overcome it, like any other addict would,” Brit wrote on her blog. “Some days I will even reach in the back of my medicine cabinet for a gummy calcium chew just so I can calm my craving!”
But she’s found a few things that have helped her (and can help you):
1. Remove sugary treats from your house
“I try to not buy it and not let it come into my house,” Brit wrote. She also warns about not baking treats either, which is hard to stop when the cravings set in.
2. Learn to celebrate events without sugar
While other trendy moms were giving their children a beautiful smash cake to devour on their first birthday, Brit made a rice and sweet potato cake instead.
And, as you can see from her photos, It was just as loved and adorable as any sugar cake. You can see her recipe here.
3. Keep a list of sugarless snacks on your fridge
Brit said this has been really helpful for her. When you’re in snack or hangry mode, you’re more likely to cave. Keeping that list handy makes it easier to remember what to snack on, and makes it easier for your child as well.
“Giving your little one multiple options to choose from can make it easier on them too,” Britt said.