As a 13-year-old at ISB, let me share with you my story of how ending my addiction to sugar made my body and mind feel great. Hopefully, my story and experience will help you encourage your child to end his or her sugar addiction.
I play hockey, and one day I had a lousy practice with a lot of problems and felt so tired and unfocused. I decided to test whether avoiding sugar for a week would help me feel better. When I tried this test, I found that almost everything we buy at stores has added sugar. Even recommended snacks like fruits and vegetables have lots of sugar. The process of staying away from sugar was difficult because no matter where I looked, it was everywhere.
The process was challenging, but I avoided any unnecessary sugar for a week. When I had my next hockey practice, I felt great. In fact, I could have practiced for another one or two hours. At school, I felt that I could focus better and focus for longer periods of time. Overall, I felt like an entirely different person. However, avoiding sugar is an ongoing battle. Once I had a piece of candy thinking that it wasn’t going to be that bad, but I was wrong. As soon as I ate it, I felt horrible. I became so tired at school and had a terrible sleep that night. It surprised me how even the tiniest amount of sugar could affect my body and mind in such an adverse way! After that incident, every time I ate something I read the label to see if there was sugar added.
Now, whenever I want to eat something that has sugar inside I tell myself, “Eat this and enjoy now, but suffer for the next couple days.” The fact that I know how much better I feel by not eating sugar helps me to avoid eating it.
Not all kids my age can stop eating these unhealthy items by themselves and will need some indirect help from their parents. As parents, you can stop buying lots of junk food. This change will make it harder for your child to consume sugar. Even better would be for you to become a role model for your child by eating healthy, and sharing your positive experiences. Try not to force your son or daughter to stop eating these things because it won’t work. In fact, their resistance may lead to even more consumption when you are not around. It takes time and lots of positive encouragement, but you can influence your child. It needs to come from within your child that eating sugar is unhealthy and make him or her feel bad. By gently but consistently guiding your child, it will be their choice and make a lasting impact.