Is it Time to Rethink Our Sweet Traditions?

Is it time to rethink our sweet traditions?

Chiropractic Richmond VA Sugary Dessert

As Emmitt made his approach to his first birthday, I began rethinking our way of celebrating. The birthday cake smash and icing inhalation has been the tradition for first birthdays, but the American Heart Association has recommended NO added sugar for kids under 2. (So have American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Heart Association, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry- ) So what’s the big deal if it is just one day? What harm is a little sugar for a fun tradition?

But the fact is, it isn’t just one day. It is daily excess for most children (and adults) in America.
At the daycare center we had chosen for our (at the time) 1-2 year old daughter, I had some concerns about the menu. So I took it upon myself to measure the amount of added sugar in the daily menu (which was far better than the other schools we had toured, by the way). The ADDED sugar amounts per day ranged from 12 grams to 40 grams. Keep in mind this consumption of added sugar is only the amount consumed while at this school. The recommended maximum daily added sugar consumption for children and females is 24 grams/6 teaspoons. The maximum daily intake for men is 36 grams/9 teaspoons.

So if your kid’s birthday happens to fall on a 40 grams of added sugar day, is that traditional cake innocent or harmful? Why does it seem most of our "traditions" and holidays are sugary food focused-Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day. Think about the menus and the foods--stay tuned for more on each of these. I PROMISE there is a whole lot of sugar in those innocent choices (the condiments alone put you over the daily MAX allowance).

The CDC and AHA have guidelines for MAXIMUM daily consumption, but you have to be able to convert the recommendations from grams to teaspoons to get a good visual on how much sugar this is.
Also, what IS considered added sugar? It is so overwhelming to figure out what you should eat and what you shouldn’t.

In fact, it is so confusing that I made a presentation to help everyone understand the easier ways to eliminate extra added sugar. It is a lot simpler than you think, once you have a little basic understanding. And really, any decrease of sugar consumption is an improvement, so just start with the simple changes and grow from there.

So in our house, we do the sweet potato smash, and it was a orange, smushy hit! He loved it! So much so that he cried when it was all done! Emmitt didn't miss the cake a bit (he has never had it before), but even if we did give him cake or some other sweet treat, his daily consumption of sugar is usually 0 grams. We make almost all of his food and he eats what we eat.

One of the best ways to help your back pain or any joint pain is to maintain a healthy body weight. We are struggling with this in America, but we CAN maintain healthy body weights by making better food and exercise choices. We have to. Otherwise we will eat ourselves to death.

Life is sweet. Your food choices don’t have to be.  #sugarbuzzkill

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Aligned Chiropractic
5700 Old Richmond Ave Suite A-4
Richmond, VA 23226
(804) 477-3194