The other day we were at a family BBQ, and my toddler daughter saw a Capri Sun, asking for it on our way out.
She was overtired, hadn’t napped properly, already brushed and in PJ’s for the car ride home and as I told her to save it for the next day, she started crying.
I thought of our 45 minute car ride with grandparents in the car and when she already opened the straw, I knew she was determined to have it.
The explanations of let’s have it in the morning, now’s not the time, etc. we’re not being heard by my cranky toddler.
So while she struggled with getting the now opened straw in the pouch, (weren’t those always so tricky as a kid?!), I helped her, dumped out half the drink-without her seeing-and handed it back to her, which she gulped down happily after she promised we would brush again.
My family joked about me being a dentist and over-doing the no refined sugar (and brushing twice thing-yes I admit I am nuts about the oral health) how they wouldn’t lie to their kids (who are much older) about it my attempt to trick her into thinking she was having the whole Capri Sun.
So let her have the whole thing of 16 grams of sugar right before bed? That didn’t feel right.
My husband and I aren’t for lying either and believe in transparency for our little girl, too. We struggled at first with being sure we used “tricking” her in contexts that are only for her safety, our privacy or then simply not at all because we want to allow her to choose honesty in how we raise her, (that’s a whole other article lol).
We plan on being sure it’s s safe place for her to talk about dating, sex, drugs, the things we had to lie to our traditional South Asian parents about.
That shouldn’t be a conversation.
I want for her to have an innate instinct on good food choices and eventually just know what is right.
So, getting her hooked on the junk is not my way of achieving that.
I will admit, I’m the mom who gives half of the slice of cake most parents dish their kids at parties, we let her have one or only two pieces of candy during Halloween time, (she’s only 3!!!).
I have seen way too many toddlers with dental cavities that sets precedence for their adult teeth. That’s why parents should always think about introducing their children to the dentist, such as this Dentist in Avon Lake, or one in your area at an early age so that they are accustomed to how this process works. By making them visit a dentist early, it won’t just ensure that their mouth is kept healthy, but it can also make them aware of how a dentist examines their teeth so it can be a straight forward process for everyone involved. This should stick with them throughout the years until they become an adult. The first trip to a dentist can be a daunting experience for a child though so make sure to talk to your child about the importance of oral hygiene and how visits to a Dentist in Citrus Heights are a fun experience so that it all does not seem too overwhelming. And as a yoga teacher also, I meet adults who reframe their ideology on food, because of a battle with a health issue and who wonder where their wrong food choices started in the first place.
It’s not like we don’t let her have anything. We let her enjoy herself in those moments we are around friends like birthday parties and holidays etc. Hey, we don’t want her to a be that kid that was deprived their whole childhood and then wigs out in college and eats Twinkies all day.
But I don’t bring anything into our home…because the allowances we give her for it all outside our home are enough to me.
Because if I don’t set the example of healthy choices in my house, then her own choices outside the home will be the ones that are opposite of what I’m trying to instill.
And look, I have nothing against Capri Suns in particular. Apparently, they came out with a no high fructose corn syrup version recently. And you know, I grew up with them too. But my parents were trying to assimilate as immigrants and they didn’t know as much back then on corn syrup and sucralose and the things we have knowledge on now, so as a health conscious momma, I don’t buy them for my little girl or even for her friends at parties I host. I opt for an organic version, make fresh juice or even homemade agave lemonade. The kids love it just as much.
At first, I felt guilty about tricking her and giving her only half that drink last night. It was bedtime and all that sugar would have destroyed her sleep.
But, I know when she’s a little older and not in her three-teen stage, I will tell her about choices and why we wouldn’t drink the whole thing and what it can do to our bodies.
And hopefully, she will watch me choose the water over soda at picnics as I opt for only 1 cookie (ok or 2) and a plate full of fruit instead. Because when I see 8 year olds drinking soda nowadays, it blows my mind. These same 8 year olds for sure are not going to the grocery store and purchasing it themselves.
And one day, we will talk about how respecting what we feed our body is what fuels our mind and essentially our lives.
Plus, I’m not judgmental of parents who do allow their kids the freedom of these foods in their own home, because I know that each and every home is different, which is fine. And who knows how I will be as a mom when my daughter is a teen.
But for now, I’m proud to be that mom, the one who served organic, healthy (but truly delicious) cupcakes at her daughter’s third birthday party last month. Who had to lie to her this time about how much Capri Sun she really had… yet still one who indulges and let’s her drink real hot chocolate in the winter time at local holiday fairs and still enjoys ice cream as a family in the summer.
Hey, I’m just a momma who is striving for her kid to have really happy childhood…in the healthiest way possible.