Stop Giving My Kids Sugar


I get it – kids are adorable and everyone wants to make them happy and see them smile. But please, I’m begging you, world, please, please stop giving my kids sugar. They think it’s a treat, you think it’s a treat – but I guarantee that it’s no treat…

My kids are sweet and loving and adventurous. See the picture above? That’s one of them after he acquired and ate some sugar. He’s insane. 

Before sugar my son is fun, silly, quick-witted and a pleasure to be around. After ingesting some of that sweet snack-time poison, he’s screaming like a banshee and hurling Legos at people while taking a toy axe to his bunk bed! Psychiatric lockdown-type stuff! 

Now, before you ask why I just don’t give them sugar & police their eating habits better, allow me to explain – I DON’T give them sugar. I don’t want to spend the rest of the day as a hostage to a tiny little maniac in my own home. 

Here are the top sugar sources in my kids’ lives: 


Yes, I too thought the school would know better. They have a phenomenal physical education program. They have a daily running club, in which my child has run nearly 200 miles this year. Its brilliant. Or at least I thought it was brilliant until I discovered that the top runners are rewarded with gummy worms!

 It also seems to be someone’s birthday at least twice a week, which means cupcakes or cake or little goody bags of sweets. I asked my son’s kindergarten teacher about it and she said, “Don’t worry. I save the treats for the end of the day so the sugar highs don’t interfere with their lessons.” But that’s exactly what I’m worried about. If you want to get them hyped up on candy, please do it at 9:30 in the morning so you can live with the consequences of your poor decision all day. I only get a few precious hours with my darling angels every day and it’s so much more pleasant when they’re not bouncing off the walls and screaming at me before the inevitable crash and evening sugar withdrawal sets in. Now everyone’s day is ruined! 

The class newsletter last week revealed they had made ice cream on Monday, had a party on Tuesday with brownies and green popcorn, and I’m supposed to supply cookies for events on both Thursday and Friday. If you’re going to keep force-feeding the kids sugar, then please stop assigning homework. Because they’re not sitting still. It’s not getting done! 


Now, isn’t it enough that we’re offering kids the free gift of eternal salvation without trying to sweeten the deal with candy? My kids come home from their Wednesday night program loaded up with goodies after being rewarded with huge amounts of treats for the Bible verses they recite – and it just so happens that my boys have excellent memories. 

This is, of course, right before bedtime. Wednesday nights are therefore filled with pure, unadulterated chaos, rivaled only by the stress of Thursday mornings, when we’re trying to get two kids dressed and off to school while they’re detoxing from the previous night’s sugar binge.  

I’ve tried complaining. Everyone else thinks I’m a mean mom trying to suck the joy out of childhood. I assure you I’m tons of fun. I also assure you we have more fun when everyone is acting sane and I’m not battling two mini Hulks who are completely out of control. 


One day my son asked me, “Was grandma like this when you were little?” I tried to explain that, no, when I was little, if I wanted something sweet to eat I had to bake a pie — and then do all the dishes. Every time I walked into a room I wasn’t presented with chocolate milk and ice cream and M&Ms and Oreos and Popsicles…. But Grandma has transformed into some sort of sugar and toy-supplying magical fairy. She’s a rockstar. The kids love her. No mom stands a chance against grandma and everyone knows it! 

So while we do our best to wage war on candy in our home, we seem to be fighting a losing battle. Without fail, when they kids are having a particularly difficult evening, hubby and I will look at each other and one of us will ask, “Did they have sugar?”

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31 thoughts on “Stop Giving My Kids Sugar

  1. Amy says:

    So what would you like the teachers to do? Every kid should be able to celebrate their birthday at school & we can’t tell parents what to send in. Would you prefer we give every kid a cupcake except yours?

    • Claire Louise says:

      I appreciate your perspective, but o have to disagree – there are a million ways to celebrate without cake and frosting and candy. Schools can absolutely tell parents what to send. There are all sorts of policies on what my kids can and cannot bring to school and very strict uniform requirements. In fact, all classroom snacks are required to be store bought – so no parents can bake a cake to bring in. And most store-bought cakes are even worse in terms of sugar content and artificial ingredients (dyes, preservatives – etc). We’ve complained several times because we don’t like our kids being fed anything without our consent – but it persists. Some kids can have candy and sugar and treats with no behavioral consequences, I’m sure. Mine can’t. Why not send apple sauce packets and stickers? New pencils? Coloring books and crayons? I’m fine with treats every once in awhile – but 5 year olds don’t need candy and cake every other day. There are so many other options.

  2. Amy says:

    I’m sure you don’t mind being told what you can send in but there are many parents who take it very personally when told what they can and can’t do for their child unless it is allergy related.

  3. Rebecca U says:

    I agree with you so much! I also hate how much sugar is in store bought food – even so-called savoury items. I’m all for things like crayons etc for a gift instead of sweets. Thanks for linking up #snotallaboutyou

  4. Emma says:

    I hear you I have a party to host this weekend for my 5 year old. Isn’t it funny that they are sent them home with a partybag of sweets after . Perhaps il think hard before I bulk it up with sherbet dips and skittles. Thank you for linking with #snotallaboutyou

    • Claire Louise says:

      Thanks for reading!! πŸ™‚ at our last b-day party we had all the kids make green slime to take home with them as their party favor – there were probably some parents who weren’t too thrilled with that mess either! LOL.

  5. Karen says:

    You’d think with all the stuff about obesity and health, schools would not be allowing so much sugar/junk. I am pretty lucky, our school is good about that sort of thing! Nice rant! #effitfriday

    • Claire Louise says:

      Thanks for reading! I thought exactly the same thing about the schools! I’ve been totally surprised by the lack of healthy choices. I absolutely love everything else about the school it’s just the junk food that makes me frustrated!

  6. morna says:

    I was horrified reading about all the sweet stuff your kids are given at school! That is completely unacceptable. In answer to the other commenter I don’t think parents should be sending cakes into school at all. School is for learning not for eating cake, I don’t want other parents feeding my kids stuff. I’m irritated enough that my kids are asking for those fruity strips which are pure sugar but are masqueraded as a ‘healthy snack’ because that’s what all their friends have at snack time instead of actual fruit!

    My MIL is also a nightmare with this. She accused my husband of being mean for not letting her give our 3 year old chocolate every time she sees her (three times a week).

    I don’t have a problem with sugar highs -this doesn’t really seem to affect our kids. I do have a problem with poor dentition, childhood (and adult obesity) and type II diabetes.

    Great rant, sorry if I hijacked it! #effitFriday

    • Claire Louise says:

      I agree to everything you said 100%. I try to spend a lot of time talking to my kids about making smart eating choices and we talk a lot about how your body works and the effect of poor choices, especially on your immune system! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for commenting!!

  7. Talya says:

    I am totally with you on this one – our main culprit is number 3…especially annoying when it’s us not them who have to do with the tazmanian devil consequences! #effitfriday

  8. Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks says:

    I’m with you on this! I don’t mind my toddler having treats for birthdays BUT I appreciate others do and so I always ask before offering anything sweet to others. A lot of our treats come from baking together which I don’t mind.

    My mum is also the worst culprit!! I never had this many treats! We went out for dinner at Christmas and despite me saying no she gave my son a plate full of chips so he refused his dinner. Grrrrr.

    Thanks for linking with #effitfriday

  9. dirty nappy says:

    I wish my mother in law could use the internet so I could send her this post…..why why why!!!! She actually laughs when I try to tell you no chocolate!!

    • Claire Louise says:

      Grandmas can be so sneaky! My kids idolize grandma – and she happily fuels them up with ice cream & cookies & chocolate milk (& new toys!) Last Christmas one of my boys actually said, “We don’t need Santa, we have Grandma!”

  10. Keri says:

    I’m all for birthday cake, love it at a birthday party, but if kids want to share their celebration with school friends go for something healthy or non-edible, its not that hard! I swear there must be 56 kids in my daughters class, something seems to be dolled out at home time every second day which puts the poor teacher in a really awkward position – and this is despite several notes home from the principal reminding parents of the health eating and nut free policy #effitfriday

  11. Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows says:

    Yes, I feel your pain. My tot is going to be one year old soon and spending his first couple of days in the unsupervised company of his grandparents. I have little doubt that this will also be the occasion of his first taste of ice cream and heaven knows what else. I’m planning on pretending it’s not happening. What I don’t (officially) know can’t hurt me.

    • Claire Louise says:

      LOL! My kids head straight for the fridge when they get to grandma’s house! They know she’ll be stocked up on treats for them! πŸ™‚
      I hope you have a wonderful few days away! At least if he’s staying at grandma & grandpa’s they’ll have to deal with any sugar rush!! πŸ™‚

  12. Elaine @ Entertaining Elliot says:

    I don’t mind my son having a few sweets or a bit of cake now and again but on my terms! It drives me insane when we visit my Father-in-law and he’s handing out chocolate bars and sweets to my son, even when I tell him he needs to have his lunch first! If a 2 year old is given a chocolate bar, he is going to want to eat it – he doesn’t care if he hasn’t eaten his sandwiches yet! My F-I-L did ask me once what Elliot liked to eat so he could get some treats in and I told him to get some nice fruit….did that happen?! Of course not! #effitfriday

  13. Jessie, FlusteredMom says:

    Our schools here in NJ are not allowed to give kids anything that has sugar as the first ingredient. No candy is allowed at all, not even on birthdays. that said, I would totally run 200 miles for gummy worms! #effitfriday

    • Claire Louise says:

      That’s awesome! That’s the way it should be! I’m not saying never ever is candy okay (I do love chocolate) – but it’s gotten a little out of control. Thanks for reading!!

  14. Michelle Wallace says:

    I’m a teacher and I never give out sweets. That’s not why they’re there. That time is to be used for educational purposes and using sweets to ‘bribe’ them into work backfires according to research. It gets them to work short term, but not long term.

    Maybe it’s the difference between primary and secondary schools. I think birthday parties are for home, not school. (I’m a mean ol’ teacher, can you tell?)

  15. Vanessa says:

    As someone who has dealt with eating disorders and now has coeliac disease, I am totally against using any kind of food as a reward system. It is a slippery old slope! My daughter is 9 now, and I am teaching her to read food labels, understand ingredients, and make wiser choices about what goes in her body. She does love a good chocolate truffle, but her weakness is prawn flavoured crisps. We need to work on this, even if she is burning off most of them with all the dance & sports. Her school had an absolute crackdown on sugar two years ago, as schools in our area get graded on their meals plans and presence of sugar at school. They have a baking club but I can safely say most of what comes out of there is inedible πŸ™‚

    • Claire Louise says:

      Thank you so much for your comment! It can feel challenging at times to try to raise kids to be conscious of what they’re eating & teach them how to make those good choices when there are so many bad choices available (especially if their friends are eating junk food)! Keep it up, mama!!! πŸ™‚

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