Does anyone else feel really annoyed and also completely powerless about the infinite amount of candy that our children consume?
FYI I use the term “candy” on purpose to represent the endless pointless permutations of hardened or jellied sugar. Delicious chocolate for instance is not included under this definition.
Today was Grandparents Day at school and my sons teacher was reminiscing with my Mum about the “olden days” where little boys and girls were gifted a great, juicy orange as their Christmas present. That’s right. An orange. As in the fruit.
My Mum tells me that back in post-war Holland, the juicy orange gift was prized and treasured. I love an orange, in fact it is one of my favourite all time foods, but this is hard to imagine.
Now isn’t it fantastic that most of us have access to enough fruit and veg to eat in Australia. I am not making a sentimental suggestion that we head back to post war rations because adequate nutrition is doing us all a big favour (understatement alert).
But I am struck by the thought that the natural sweetness of a fruit could be considered a treasured gift.
Our kids eat so much processed sugar these days in every day food items (I am looking at you yoghurt) but the “lolly” has to be the greatest offender.
So in my sugar filled annoyance I made a little list of all the times that my kids ate candy when I didn’t want them to.
You can start with the big four. A lot of candy eating revolves around the big four.
- Christmas. Advert calendars (1 per day for 25 days), candy canes (24 class members), visits to the big, weird, bearded guy (2) and the awful Christmas stocking. That’s just Christmas. 52
- Easter. The hunt, the gift, the grandparent gift, the present from friends. 15
- Birthday. Who would begrudge your sweetnums a little bit of sugar on their birthday? 10- 6 million.
- More recently and unfortunately, Halloween. Great big bags of the stuff, dolled out by strangers or parents feeling guilty about not knocking on the doors of strangers. 12
- Then you can add in sibling birthdays cause we all know you can’t keep siblings from cruising the candy at a busy birthday party. 12.
- How about school/ kinder/ friends birthday party. Even the quietest kids go to at least 4 of those a year right? 4
- Then any teacher hoping for a shred of popularity will generally doll out the sugary stuff. So I’m thinking music, sport and designated non specific niche hobby teacher. 1 per term X 4 terms X 4 hobbies = 16.
- Random times you actually wanted to bribe your own children with lollies. I know we shouldn’t but we all do at least once. 2
- The time they catch you snaffling sweets from the secret cupboard and then guilt you into sharing. 5
- Melbourne Show. School Fair. Random annual Carnival. 10
- That friend you have who everyone loves, because she loves giving lollies to her kids. 5
- The weary supermarket visit where you accidentally say “yes” after ten “no’s.” Why did I just buy a bag of gummy bears? Or is that just me? 1
- Icy-poles, come Summer, because I hate to break it to you, but they are simply lollies frozen with water. Infinity
- Other random foods that are basically candy in disguise. I’m looking at you Cocoa Pops, some ice-creams and sweet biscuits. 12
- Other random occasions that have become weirdly linked to lollies. e.g. the hairdresser, the GP and/ or lessons or any sort. Thankfully the dentist only gives out toothpaste. 6
Now I don’t exactly love candy, but I’m not really against it either. In fact I think there is nothing sweeter than an occasional lolly pop. All things are fine in moderation.
It is just that the moderation bit has kind of gotten out of hand. In fact it has gone over the top, kind of like a kid in a candy store.
I quite fancy giving my kids an orange for Christmas. What do you think?
I guess deep down, although I think it’s a great idea, I’m slightly worried that they might call the police.
So do you have this problem too? What kind of event/ place would you add to the list?
I think that this change has come about so quickly, that parents are not really prepared for it. What do you do to try and limit access to sugary lollies in your house? I’d love to hear your ideas.