When bad sugar happens to good kids

December 17, 2010

My son was served a plate full of sugar that sent him into a tailspin. I'm in a quandry - tell the school I don't agree or swallow my tongue?

The evidence is all over his face. After indulging in one too many frosting-sprinkle-and-gum-drop-covered-graham crackers at his after school program, he fizzled out like a dud firecracker and broke down into tears.

As I walked across the playground to pick my son up from his afterschool program today, the Spidey mom sensed that something was awry.  In the distance, I could see him bouncing around like a pinball, flailing around without his jacket on in the middle of December.  As I got closer, he disappeared into his classroom as the program supervisor spotted me and welcomed me in. 

Just a few minutes later, he resurfaced with a layer of brown muck across his face, dirt across his cheek, holding a plate of what appeared to be about 1,000 calories of crap – graham crackers caked in sugar frosting and doused with sprinkles, studded with gum drops.  “Look what I got mommy!” he proclaimed with excitement.  Of course he was thrilled.  Because the mommy ogre never gives him processed sugar like that.  Sure, the occasional cookie or piece of cake.  But it’s within reason.  And it’s ok because it’s me. 

So now, I get to look like the wicked witch of the OC and take that plate away from him.  Because he sure as hell is not taking it home with us. 

At first, I felt a little betrayed.  My son knows better, I thought.  With a mom who’s company is called Eat Cleaner, you better believe they were weaned on fresh fruit and veggies at a very young age.  But just like anything, when temptation stares you in the face at 5, and an adult is the one giving it to you, he thought he’d won the jackpot and tried to inhale enough of the cookie catastrophe he could.  But when I looked into my little guy’s face and saw the effects of the sugar indulgence, quite literally, all over his face, I felt that everything I’ve tried to teach him went out the window. 

I believe that developing good eating habits for our children is one of the requirements of being a parent.  If we just let them choose what they want, it would be a freaking fast food free-for-all.   Sugar, salt and fat just cling to our DNA like nasty hitchikers and indulging that taste is like hitting the crank. 

So, my little junkie buddy came down off his high  and proceeded to cry his eyes out for no coherent reason.

It made me very sad to experience this today.  I’m not sure what to do.  What do you think?



  1. It is a very sad, frustrating experience. You are not alone in this. But you’re almost quite alone in feeling this way. Because the majority of people either do not know what good foods are or feel it-to-be-useless to fight alone. I would definitely bring it up to the school/teacher attention. I would talk to my little guy about such foods and what they do (eventually, the critical mass of knowledge shall sink into his head and heart!) ;0) It is a delicate balance you’re trying to maintain. But that’s what made you so successful with your Eat Cleaner concept! Congratulations! Your son is a winner with a caring mom.

  2. I so HEAR you – then this all has happened to me and my children over and over again. Having had both children with different nutritional problems and having had to monitor that they would not get any processed and non organic substances, it was nearly impossible to do so, would I not have gone above and beyond to provide something suitable for my sons at all times.
    I learned much from it – but no understanding from hardly anybody. I too feel betrayed and my every effort to keep junk food out of my home and of my children’s system and mind is repeatedly being challenged and undermined by the school. It is a daily battle in every sense and it keeps me on my toes.
    I have been trying to raise awareness on the perils of not only sugars, but also on what substances are going into the Fast Food meals they serve in the cafeterias in the schools – only to earn big stares, ridicule and emargination on all levels.
    I have tried to suggest Healthy School Teams and that parties should be held without food – and fun activities should be introduced instead…..
    deaf ears – and a whole lot of behind the scene politics in the way again of shielding our kids’ health.
    I also went as far to wanting to form a parent/teacher/principal group that would work to bring healthy food into the lunch room – but nobody seems to want to do anything in that regard. They think I am overreacting and again, nobody wanting to do anything in it either.
    Repeated requests and suggestions in the recent past also with the Superintendent of schools and his staff have not been fruitful either so far – silence is all I got.
    So, for now all I can do and have been doing now for almost 2 years straight is, to go to the school each day and bring to my youngest son his home cooked organic meal and I stay the whole time there with him and make sure he won’t get any other food from anybody else. I also monitor that nobody sprays again some cleaning solution onto him or his food when the students are cleaning nearby tables……or when the maintenance workers are painting door frames while classes are in session or spray WD40 on some door hinges during lunchtime in the lunchroom, leaving an unbearable smell right before the kids get into the room for lunch……all things that happened in the past 2 years – and just yesterday again I witnessed somebody spraying another child with cleaning solution right into the face…….
    Since my youngest son has severe chemical sensitivities, these type of happenings are HIGHLY dangerous to him. Have alerted and told the principal and to the Superintendent a many times – and it still is happening. So, HOW can I BE CALM AND JUST TRUST????? What would YOU do in my shoes too?
    Thanks for reading all this. I will not give up on my children – and would like all other children be protected from the ignorant doings of grown ups and other students who should be instructed to handle chemicals in a safe way around other in the lunchroom too.
    Best regards to you

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