Here is something I have personal experience of, not as a parent but as the hyperactive child in question. I had a real sweet tooth as a child, as many do and found quickly that sugar was followed by even more sugar to get the same sweet taste fix. For breakfast I loved sugar frosted cereal augmented by a heavy dusting of sugar, caster sugar if possible as it has a finely ground nature made it soak up milk and give that too, a sweet taste. You get the picture. Obviously I had the judgment of a child too and thought nothing wrong of feeding my addiction.
No wonder then that I found it hard to concentrate in class, got bored easily and could never sit down to homework when I got back home. Since studying nutrition I am utterly convinced that fined sugar is nothing more than a stimulant that has no right to be in the food chain. It is that simple, read my article “reasons to go sugar free” to find out.
But what can we do with a sugar addict child that doesn’t see the need to eat greens or some nice oily fish. It is true that when you are young food is just food. You eat what you like the taste of and are less interested in its nutritional properties. Well what I suggest is simple, you must start a gradual process of weaning off sugar as soon as possible. Slowly replace sugar with more natural and slow to digest sources of sweetness, honey, black strap molasses and fruits with their natural complex sugars. Ensure that a steady supply of natural fats and oils is in the diet in the form of fish, seed oils and vegetables such as avocado. I find the easiest and most fun way to do this is a form of deception! I smuggle avocado and oils such as hemp oil into smoothies, you’d be surprised that avocados and oils give an apple and banana smoothie a delicious creamy taste. Once in a while I’ll even throw a handful of raw spinach leaves in there too! In a powerful commercial blender the result is a smooth tasty drink that is attractive to kids and stubborn adults alike.
Look out for high sugar content in production food and avoid them, check the ingredient panel on the side and if sugar is in the top 4 ingredients, put it back on the shelf. To sweeten tea and breakfast cereal try using honey or black strap molasses, these are more complicated sugars and take longer to digest, avoiding the highs and lows of blood sugar rushes associated with refined sugar.
This is a gradual process with the end result of a more calm and rational child with stable energy and a greater ability to focus and learn. It is a terrible waste that a child may get frustrated with learning and give up on themselves feeling that they are stupid, only because they are lacking correct nutrition, nothing more. So next time the pressure goes on for a junk food take away with a bucket sized soda, think of the consequences, and get the juicer and blender out instead!