I find myself making statements to my kids that I’m not entirely sure are true…but I believe they might be true. For example – I have told them for years that eating lots of sugar will make them sick. I am not against candies or cookies, but sometimes it’s all too much. I work to teach my kids moderation, but they’re kids and they’re getting candy from everywhere it seems and it feels like they just eat so much. So I throw out the statement, “You’re going to make yourself sick”. I think it goes in one ear and out the other. But after this weekend, Bennett might just believe me.
Bennett had celebrated Cinco de Mayo all day at school. He gave very few details but told me it was awesome. Later that evening, we went to a friend’s house to celebrate – Cinco de Mayo is a popular holiday around here.
Bennett was running around, swimming, playing with friends. Just as the pinatas came out Bennett was in the bathroom not feeling well. I came in to comfort him; trying to gauge just how sick he was – his behavior 20 minutes earlier gave no indication he wasn’t feeling well.
It wasn’t long before he was losing his lunch and his dinner – and there was a lot. But oddly there was nothing of substance in all his throw-up. I started to question what he had eaten. He proceeded to tell me at school he drank 6 cups of soda, ate a popsicle, candy and cookie, had some of his birthday candy after school and then proceeded to drink two more sodas that evening with some chips and salsa. That’s what was in his belly. Nothing of substance and a whole lot of sugar. A sugar level far exceeding anything he’s probably experienced. And he kept telling me, “I don’t know why I drank that much soda.” (he never drinks soda, so one soda would have sent his system into shock.)
I got him home, tucked him into bed. He insisted his belly didn’t hurt anymore and wanted to go back to the party which I kindly declined. I reminded him why its so important to watch what we eat so our bodies stays healthy and strong. I figured I might as well strike while the iron was hot and reiterate that much sugar is not good.
He agreed with me as he lay in his bed, but I wasn’t sure how long he’d remember.
The next evening he was at a friend’s swimming party. He came home as proud as could be, “Mom, they tried handing me a Gatorade and I laughed and asked for water instead.” At least he remembered 24 hours later – give him a couple more days and he’ll probably forget his sugar induced vomit.
I’m now left with trying to come up with an incentive program to limit the candy/soda intake on their terms, something to motivate them. Time to get creative.