trying to get the kids away from soda's and coolaid

Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by confusedbuttrying, May 21, 2008.

  1. new here, i'm getting married next month and my stepson has adhd. and i can't get my ex to have my 8 year old son tested. we have 5 all together and the boys are a handfull. i'd like to know what i can get for them to drink, i get sugar free coolaid and they like tea, i try not to put to much sugar in it, should i start using splenda in the tea?? no one else watches any of the kids sugar intake but it worries me, i try to keep them away from sodas. guess i need to start getting no sugar added juices??? the two older girls are putting on weight and so am i, and the boys can't set still then may is the youngest (6) she keeps up with the boys pretty well, but i'd like to get us all healthier.
  2. PSALM 30:5

    PSALM 30:5 New Member

    Congratulations on the pending nuptials!

    Perhaps you can mention to your significant other how important this is to you and the starting of your lives together... and that his support would mean everything to you-- and your family... THEN bat your eyelashes and sashay those hips when you walk out of the room (wink)!

    Now is a great time of year to introduce fresh fruits (natural sugar) into their diets. Adding Splenda is an excellent idea-- just hide the container! Splenda is one of those things that when you know it's been added you TASTE it and therfore, HATE it!

    Good basic nutrition-- eating from ALL of the food groups and portion control are great ways to eat healthy and shed a couple of pounds. Consider 6 small meals versus 3 meals per day. Always eat breakfast, otherwise your body goes into starvation mode and you "hold on" to excess fat. Examine the types of snacks your kids are munching on: cookies, chips-- junk food. Replace with fruit, popcorn, pretzels, etc.

    Welcome to the group-- I'm new too! :eek:)
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You need to watch the fat intake, the salt and the sugar. That means - avoid fast food. There is only one remotely healthy fast food and that's sushi.

    Suggestions - you have summer coming in, so get fresh fruit and freeze it. You can then puree the fruit, frozen, and serve it in a cup with a spoon. It's like a thick shake, really delicious, loads of fibre, thirst-quenching, no added sugar (and you shouldn't need Splenda, either). If they want it sweeter - add a frozen banana.

    Or you can make it with fresh fruit. Banana sweetens it, especially if the bananas are over-ripe and beginning to get black spots on the skin.

    Fruit can be eaten frozen - strawberries, bananas, raspberries (or other berries), mango, passionfruit (freeze the passionfruit whole, then to use just cut them open while frozen and scoop out the ice block that has formed inside), pineapple, oranges (don't puree oranges with peel on). All of these can be eaten frozen. On my diet - my current dessert is a pure fruit juice (mango nectar) with no added sugar (although it has added mango pulp) which is frozen, I eat it like an ice block. Yum! Watch out for brain freeze, though.
    Oranges can be cut into segments and frozen, kids can then eat them as they are using the peel to hold it.
    Grapes are yummy when frozen but don't try to puree them - the skin is a bit much. But eaten frozen - wonderful.

    You do need to be careful to not over-eat with fruit, but for kids overindulgence in fruit is far less of a problem than for us adults.

    I have a banana cake recipe to die for, because I follow the old rule - you can substitute up to half the plain flour with cocoa (I substitute about quarter to a third). If you've using self-raising flour, you need to add baking powder to compensate for the loss of leavening in the flour you've substituted.

    When out and about with the kids and they're nagging for you to buy them lunch - if they're not into sushi, the OCCASIONAL fast food is not so bad, but more than once a week for a kid who is NOT overweight is asking for trouble. So our alternative - we go into the supermarket deli section (or just go to a deli) and buy whatever sliced cheese or sliced meat they want. Smoked salmon, even. Only buy just enough for a generous serve for lunch, you don't want to be dealing with leftovers. I often buy a small pot of low-fat cream cheese to use as a spread instead of butter.
    Then go buy some fresh-baked bread rolls. Have fun, get something fancy if you want, or plain if you prefer. Again, it can be made individual, from the hot bread shop.
    Then go into the greengrocer's and get either some mixed salad greens, or lettuce, or tomatoes - whatever you need for your vegetable shopping anyway.

    Then depending on how demanding the kids are, either find a comfy chair in the mall (we have them in a lot of Aussie malls) or if you've finished your shopping, load everyone into the car and find a quiet spot by the river somewhere, and have a picnic. The food tastes so much better outdoors and away from all the noise.

    I call this the family version of Subway. It's healthy, we can make it individual, and it's all really freshly made. It's also vastly cheaper, even with gourmet ingredients.

    Another trick - give your kid expensive tastes. As our kids have grown up and begun drinking alcohol (legally), we've worked to get them used to vodka and freshly squeezed orange juice, instead of those ghastly ready-mixed drinks of cheap alcohol and cheap orange-ade sold in a can or bottle. Alco-pops. Hate 'em. Instead, the kids are shown how to put a small amount of vodka in the freezer (because a large bottle won't fit) and a bag of oranges, for much more enjoyable drinks. So next time they go to a party - they won't enjoy the cheap and nasty stuff, and so are less likely to over-indulge.

    My favourite for slowing down a young drinker - vodka, freshly squeezed lime, teaspoon of sugar. Mix it all thoroughly, then put it in the freezer until it's a slurry. Great for midsummer. You can't overindulge because you have to wait for each one to freeze!

    After school snacks - vegetable sticks with some dips. I make an easy dip with cottage cheese and corn relish. Mix together in proportions to your liking, serve with vegetable sticks. The first time I had this was with cream cheese which needed to be watered a bit to make it spreadable. Really yummy, husband & I ate a vast amount. My sister in law made it for the boys after a day's sailing on Lake Macquarie in my brother's 40' yacht. As we tucked into the dip, all thoughts of "Captain Bligh, we will get you," faded. I found myself liking my brother again, all because his wife had made a delicious dip.

    A platter of fruit pieces goes down well, too. I've found if you cut fruit up and peel it, kids will eat it. I use a melon baller to core apple halves. Or you can use it to core a whole apple, then stuff the apple with pecans, raisins, brown sugar (or maple syrup) with a dob of butter on top, then bake it. Do this with green apples, not red (Granny Smith apples are best - do you get those?). Maybe better for winter.

    Splenda is good, as Psalm suggested. But make sure you mix it in well and only use it if they insist something is not sweet enough. Use it sparingly. I've found that over time, they lose their taste for sugar even if you use Splenda.

    With drinks - we had a rule that every second drink had to be plain water - "water's turn". It's more of an individual habit to get into because it's very hard to police. It was the compromise I made so as not to water down their juice too much. We had a friend at church who is noted for her extremely weak cordial - we reckoned she just waved the lid over the top. Really weak drinks, when you want something with flavour, is worse than plain water sometimes. So having a small amount of something sweet and tasty, followed by the water you should have had with it, was our compromise for the sake of health.

    You may find resistance if you make too many changes too soon, but if you can switch to a fruit smoothie as I described instead of a glass of cola for example, you might find them enjoying it.

    My kids get the occasional glass of soft drink, but we also have to watch the caffeine content (bear it in mind). The caffeine free colas we can get are also sugar-free.

    And that fruit smoothie of mine - you can freeze it into ice block moulds (put a stick in each one) and that is a good treat as well. You may need to individualise them - a couple of my kids hate banana in a drink, so I substitute mango - and to make it an intense deep pink, you only need 1-2 raspberries.

    You can do milk ones too, with banana, maybe malted milk powder, a dash of chocolate powder if you want and a raw egg. When I've had kids unable to face breakfast, I've made this for them.

    Breakfast - check the cereal, chances are it's high in sugar and sodium. I've switched carbs to high-fibre, so muesli is now our breakfast of choice. But muesli can also be individualised. Toasted muesli is also higher in fat & sugar, so watch it.

    And remember, just because the ads tell you how healthy it is and good for kids - it ain't necessarily so. Things like muesli bars, yogurt bars, fruit straps, fruit bars - read the fine print. Sometimes the only fruit in it is the picture on the box.

    What you cook yourself, you know what's in it. Anything else - pure guesswork. And you can be sure that if they're trying to make money, they'll pad it out with cheap carbs. I bought a rice paper roll from a health food bar thinking it would be good for me, full of sliced grilled chicken fillet, sprouts, lettuce and other good things - it was about 50% rice vermicelli. OK for kids, but not for me on a low carb diet.

    In summary - you need the kids on side. For this, you need three things -

    1) Education. They need to understand why this is better for them, and to really embrace it; and

    2)Taste. Win them over by showing them how much more delicious it can be.

    3) Moderation. There is always room for comfort food, let them know it's not goodbye forever to the junk. But junk in moderation, at the right time and for the right reasons. Never medicate with food - if a kid is unhappy, find another positive thing to do with them. For example, when easy child 2/difficult child 2 broke off with her first serious boyfriend and he really hurt her, we tried retail therapy. He had blogged all over the Internet that "she's got the maturity of a 12 year old and the boobs to match" so we bought her a couple of lovely lacy blouses which really emphasised her cleavage! A slab of cake would have been gone in minutes and she still would have felt miserable. But every time she wore one of those blouses, it was a mental thumbing of her nose to the ex.

    I hope this helps.

    One last thing - my sister in law just went on the CSIRO diet (an Aussie thing, very good). She cooked a meal from the diet book and served it to her family. Even though they're all thin and don't need to diet, they told her to go ahead and cook more, this stuff tastes great!

  4. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Keep in mind that sugar does not cause hyperactivity. Nevertheless, there are other health reasons for limiting intake of it.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    And also keep in mind that some children -- like mine -- react to artificial sweeteners like aspertame (Equal) and sucralose (Splenda). My kids get monster headaches from these sweeteners so I check every label to make sure it isn't in the products I buy.

    For keeping kids away from soda and cool-aid, I just don't bring it into the house. Not here, they can't drink it (they do get an occasional soda at a restaurant). At home, my kids drink milk, water and calcium-fortified orange juice. That's it. To make water more interesting, we make ice cubes of 100% juice with a berry inside. As they melt in the drink, they give the water a little flavor. We also add lemon, lime or orange juice to seltzer water to made "soda."
  6. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    I disagree with the statement that sugar doesn't contribute to hyperactivity. Give my kid something sugar filled and I guarentee you you will regret it.
    What I did to back away from those drinks, for them and me is I slowly backed off the amount of sugar I put in there. We usually have a picture of tea and a picture of kool aid in the fridge. I put about half the amount suggested of sugar in it. So its not something they crave, but something they will drink if they are really thirsty.
    Also, we get a water service once a month with the stand up cooler in our kitchen.
    Those things seem to work pretty well for us.
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    It isn't a statement that sugar doesn't cause hyperactivity, it's the research. There has been no reliable research that supports that belief that sugar causes hyperactivity and lots that doesn't.

    But again, the research is highly subjective because there is no objective way to measure "hyperactivity". That said, in double blind studies in controlled environments using placebo and impartial observers, the hypothesis didn't prove out.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I think as far as sugar is concerned, it comes down to what we each observe in our own kids. There are a lot of variables involved because a lot of sugary drinks/foods have other additives too, such as artificial colouring and preservatives. I find preservatives a big problem especially with cosmetics and eye drops, I have to make my own and avoid any commercial preparations. mother in law has similar problems and couldn't understand why her favourite brand of hypoallergenic skin creams now cause a reacftion - it's because regulatgions have changed and now they all have to contain preservatives. mother in law was blaming it on Vitamin E, because she first had the reaction to a cream which advertised itself as being loaded with Vitamin E. But you get levels of Vitamin E in sesame oil, for example, and I showed her how her skin does not react to sesame oil.

    easy child used to believe she reacted to sugar, that it made her hyperactive. She and her friends would load up on sugar sachets from cafes, and eat them "to get high". I didn't notice any difference, they always seemed manic to me, whether on sugar or not. But she DID react to one particular food colouring, it made her hyper and irritable.

    I think this is a case of whatever you identify as a trigger, yourself, applies to yourself.