Sunday, May 20, 2012

Proud To Be Sugar Free?

This afternoon while making The Big One's fail safe peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch she informed me that she wanted just a jelly sandwich. Apparently, she no longer likes peanut butter. Since yesterday. Yesterday peanut butter was fine, today she only wants the sweet stuff.

After informing The Big One that no way, no how was she going to have just a jelly sandwich and slathering the peanut butter on her crust free bread, I got to thinking. It wasn't always like this.
I remember a time when I proudly boasted that The Big One rarely ate sugar. I would joke that she thought graham crackers were "cookies".

Up until around her second birthday, she had never tasted soda. When in line at the grocery store, I would tell her that the candy was "medicine" and she believed me. She loved her fruits and vegetables. Graham crackers were indeed her sweet treat. "Sugar Free" (for the most part) was our rule.

And then somehow it all changed. I'm not really sure how or when. Maybe it was when I went back to work full time -she was 18 months old. After a long day filled with mommy guilt, I often had to bring her back to work with me to finish out my day. All she wanted to do was go home, and to keep her from littering my office with brochures, rummaging around my desk, and writing all over legal documents, I would take her to the snack machine. She would stand there for several minutes picking what seemed most appealing- in the beginning picking pretzels or  potato chips, later graduating to cookies and then M&M's. After finishing my work day we would drive to pick up the Captain (at the time we only had one car) and have to wait for him to finish. We would walk her down to the Marina store to pick out some ice cream and get a drink to keep her occupied while sitting on the boat.

Maybe it was when she hit those terrible two's and we would bribe her with treats to "just be good" while we finished grocery shopping, or promises of a treat after shots at the doctor's office. Whatever the reason we have created a monster.

The "sweeter the better" has now become the rule. Ice cream, M&M's, Tic Tacs, and Spring Rolls (Swiss Cake Rolls) have become part of the daily routine. Requests for grapes, apples, and blueberries have been replaced with demands for chocolate cake, cookies and candy. She looks forward to The Captain coming home as he usually has some kind of treat for her in hand when he walks through the door, and if he should come home empty handed she rummages through his lunch cooler tossing aside bananas and oranges seeking out the "good stuff".

Tomorrow I will do better. Tomorrow I will not promise treats for good behavior, but instead will offer Mommy-Big One time for rewards. I will attempt to replace the cookie with sugar free pudding. When offering choices for snack I will omit the sweet stuff and offer options of fruit or snack of a more healthy variety. I vow that tomorrow I will start the transition so I can once again proudly say "Sugar Free" is the rule.
Do your kids eat junk food?  How do you encourage good eating habits in your household?