Just got back from a long day of nannying, and I have to admit, I’m a little ashamed about what I let my kids eat today. But there was no stopping it – I’m new to the job and I had to give the kids what they want. And obviously they want sugar. All. Day. Long.
For breakfast, we started out with Pillsbury Cinnamon rolls, and my two boys had Golden Grahams and Frosted Mini Wheats. Soo each cinnamon roll had 9 grams of sugar, and they were pretty small, so the oldest one had four. That’s 36 grams of sugar JUST at breakfast. I started to sweat a little.
In my defense, I offered to make them french toast – at least there’s a little protein in the egg and fiber in whole wheat bread.
But that’s not what they wanted and I wasn’t going to fight them.
For lunch, I just asked them what they wanted, and the resounding answer was Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese and PB&J. I didn’t even act surprised. The little one ate almost an the entire box of mac ‘n cheese….which is nearly 21 grams of sugar. I sat in silent horror as I watched them all devour lunch in seconds.
Don’t worry, it gets a lot worse. We went to check out a new game store that just opened, and this game store happened to also sell hand-spun milkshakes and gourmet popcorn. Of course they all wanted both. So three gigantic milkshakes and one basket of chocolate caramel popcorn later, and I was having heart palpitations.
Now, luckily, all of these kids are very active. The two boys were away at wrestling camp all weekend, and the girl plays lacrosse and swims. Between that and running around ALL day long because of all the energy they have, these kids are pencil thin. I have no idea where all of the sugar goes.
It got me thinking though: No little kid worries about the nutritional value of the foods they eat all day long. If anything, they stick to a small sampling of food that they know tastes real good and eat it almost every day because they know they like it. And the reason they don’t care about the food is, a lot of the time, they don’t need to. Kids are so active and can run around all day, and anything they put in their mouths gets burned up by their raging metabolisms so quickly it’s like it was never there. Well, herein lies the problem, and this is where the adults come in. Sometimes, kids do need to worry about what they’re eating – these are the kids who don’t have those metabolisms, or aren’t as active, but they still eat what tastes good, and they are unfortunately overweight as a result.
What I learned today is that, really, kids don’t know any better. All they know is “sugar is delicious.”
That might not be news to anyone, but I really realized today how important it is for adults to play an active role in what kids eat. Now, clearly I didn’t do a great job today. The only time I showed any kind of nutritional guidance was when, about five minutes after one boy guzzled down his milkshake asked, “Can I have a lemonade.” I quickly responded with, “Nope. But you can sure go get some water.” Denying kids sugar isn’t going to make you the most popular nanny on the block, and if that’s what the mom has in the house, I’m going to have to feed it to them. But my stomach hurts a little to watch it.
You’re probably reading this because you, unlike my little sugar fiends, are quite nutritionally conscious. So here’s Day 19, Cheers!
DRINK 8 oz. of water when you wake up. I mean it.
- 8 oz. water
- 2 eggs scrambled + half an avocado
DRINK 16 oz. of water before lunch.
- Spinach salad with beets + green apples + cashews + chicken
- If you’ve really been missing your salad dressing, I think this strawberry rosemary dressing would taste great on it.
DRINK 8 oz. of water after lunch
- 8 oz. water
- Leftover spaghetti squash from last night
DRINK at least 8 oz. of water before bed!