Dear kind lady in the supermarket,
It was lovely to meet you in the supermarket yesterday. It’s nice when people chat to my little girl and ease the monotony of shopping for her. When you went to buy her a lollipop from the counter by the till, however it made me sad.
I tried to say no thank you, but I could see that you thought I was just being mean and that one little lollipop wasn’t going to hurt.
I wanted to explain the irony of how, 15 minutes later the cute little girl you wanted to treat would be flying around our house, bouncing off the walls. Then, how shortly after that she would slump into an exhausted, unhappy slump and our bedtime routine would be so much harder.
I wanted to tell you of all the sugar she’s already had today. There’s the natural sugar that occurs in the fruit she had for breakfast. Then there are all the sugars that are hidden in her peanut butter, in her ketchup and spread, in the meat in her sandwich and in the bread that encased it.
I wanted to tell you how I’ve researched the different names that it might be called, such as dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, fructose and evaporated cane juice. How I read the labels so carefully to keep track.
I wanted to explain the pressure I feel to keep my precious little girl healthy. How it’s all down to me. She’s already becoming so fussy and every little thing I give her counts. I worry about how the empty calories in sugar and how they are blocking the way for all the other things she needs. Things that will nourish her, give her energy and give me half a chance of protecting her from conditions like ADHD, obesity and asthma.
I wanted to tell you how I worry about her young, developing immune system. I read about how sugar can interfere with her body’s ability to use Essential Fatty Acids that play such a vital part in protecting her health.
I wanted to express my fears for all the issues that have proven to be association with sugar such as behavioral problems and learning disorders.
You gave my daughter a lollipop, but you gave me a bit of a problem you see. You made me feel like the bad guy when I’m really only trying so very hard to be good.
I wanted to tell you all this, but I didn’t. I thanked you for your gift of a lollipop when all she really needed was your beautiful, warm smile.
The Mother in the Shop with the Cute Kid
Disclaimer: This article is inspired by the experiences of Jackie and her friends in their quest to regulate the sugar intake of their offspring.