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Sugar and toddlers

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#1 Kemma

Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:25 PM

Hi there,
I am just trying to get a handle on something going on with my DD 2.5 yo.  

I think that she has some kind of reaction to sugar.  Not physical like a stomach ache, but as in behavioural.  

It's becoming apparent that on days when she has more sugar than normal, like today at a playgroup party, her behaviour changes.  She's very contrary, angry, sad, tired, generally just very tantrumy.

I guess I'm not sure whether to blame the sugar (as in she has an abnormal response) or if it's just a normal 2.5 year old reaction to what's probably an excess of sugar.  

Do any of you have any experience with this kind of thing?  I hope I haven't been too vague.
Thanks for any tips/advice/knowledge

#2 Beanbag Warrior

Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:28 PM

Sugar raises your stress hormones, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if she got angry/tired.

It's completely normal, but a very good reason to avoid it as much as you can in every day life.

#3 Ice Queen

Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:30 PM

You probably need to share a bit more detail about what type of sugar.  If my DD ate a big slab of homemmade chocolate cake, no there would be no reaction but if she shovelled in a big bowl of Allens Snakes (like last Christmas day!) then yes she is a total loon!

So is it sugar, flavour, colours, additives etc?  

Try and narrow it down a bit maybe.

#4 tenar

Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:33 PM

How much extra sugar are we walking about?  

If DD has a small cup of juice, no problems.  

If she has a small cup of juice, a heap of sweet biscuits and a piece of cake covered with icing, she'll be pretty feral for the rest of the day.  I think that's normal.

#5 Bam1

Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:40 PM

My DD was like this and I someone said it could be sugar but I said it couldn't be as I knew her diet was very healthy (1st child of course). I soon realised it was the days that she had grapes that made her like this!

#6 Liadan

Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:45 PM

If my DD has a lot of sugar, we will have a massive tantrum, tears, screaming, etc when she is going through the sugar crash.

It's not much fun, especially if she is tired (as happened on her birthday... my ex's parents decided it would be a great idea to give her a big chocolate frog, jelly and icecream after dinner then give her back to me to deal with).

#7 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:46 PM

The link between behviour and sugar has been pretty comprehensively dismissed. The fact that she was at a party is probably the more realistic explanation. She probably got hyped up and is now tired.

Of course it might be some other additive that she is reacting to, if this happens often when she has a certain type of food then it's worth looking into.

#8 Domestic Goddess

Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:50 PM

If DS has a cup of tea (decaf ocourse) with half a spoon of sugar, he's fine. If he gets a hot chocolate with 2 spoons of sugar, I need to put the household in lockdown.

Also, I have noticed that DS is worse with white processed sugar than with raw sugar.

#9 Bluenomi

Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:53 PM

QUOTE (Livsh @ 19/12/2012, 03:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The link between behviour and sugar has been pretty comprehensively dismissed. The fact that she was at a party is probably the more realistic explanation. She probably got hyped up and is now tired.

Of course it might be some other additive that she is reacting to, if this happens often when she has a certain type of food then it's worth looking into.

This. Parents blame sugar (and red food colouring) for a lot of hyperactivity when it isn't to blame.

#10 Kreme

Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:55 PM

I agree with the PP that it's just a myth that kids either "get high" or "crash" from sugar. I've certainly never seen bad behaviour from my kids that I could attribute to sugary food.

#11 Chocolate Addict

Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:44 PM

“There have been no major studies that have been able to provide any scientific evidence that a diet high in sugar is directly associated with hyperactivity in children,” said Stacey Finch, a registered dietician at ACH. Instead, Finch said experts feel that hyperactivity is most likely the result of the excitement at birthday parties and special occasions where, coincidentally, children get their biggest dose of sugar.

and a heap of other websites when googling.

As others said it is more than likely the setting or the food colorings etc...

My child has never had a 'sugar high', mostly as he doesn't eat sweets, colour laidened or not.

#12 SeaPrincess

Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:53 PM

QUOTE (Kemma @ 19/12/2012, 12:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's becoming apparent that on days when she has more sugar than normal, like today at a playgroup party, her behaviour changes.  She's very contrary, angry, sad, tired, generally just very tantrumy.

My children behave like that after parties or play dates even if they eat normally.  They are excited to start with and end up more tired and more emotional.  DS2 finished up his last 2 play dates screaming at me that he wasn't going to come to school to pick ups DS1.  I wouldn't blame it entirely on sugar.

(But then I do feed them yoghurt, sultanas and white bread!)

#13 beachook

Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:58 PM

Eamon doesn't get chocolate for this reason....ANY chocolate....his reaction is a bit different though, if he does have chocolate he ends up all whingey and tantrummy later that day which invariably results in high temperatures and refusal to eat....it doesn't happen with other sugary stuff, only with chocolate, and it happens every time. The amount doesn't need to be much at all....example....yesterday his swimming teacher gave all the kids a small Santa chocolate.....like really little....I let Eamon eat it as he hasn't had any chocolate for ages and I thought he might be OK....by mid afternoon he was grumpy and whingey, a few hours later he was lethargic and I noticed a temperature that panadol wouldn't bring down...there was nothing else that could have caused this....this morning he woke up OK like he was never "sick"

#14 Excentrique Feral

Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:00 PM

its preservatives that send my pair crazy.

this website is very interesting: http://fedup.com.au/

#15 Escapin

Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:04 PM

Before having DD I did buy into the sugar=crazy but now I don't! The quickest way to have DD go nuts is to let her go hungry. She goes mental. Gets that from her mother...

#16 2 Gorgeous Girls

Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:11 PM

My 2 year old has massive tantrums, mood swings and grumpiness on a daily basis. She doesn't consume any sugar other than whole fruit and lactose.

I dread to think what she'd be like if someone fed her a whole lot of sugary treat food!

My seven year old does go silly if she has sugar but I'm more inclined to think its because she's normally at a party, eating "treat food" and gets very tired and overwhelmed.

#17 Miriam+1

Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:18 PM

QUOTE (Chocolate Addict @ 19/12/2012, 07:44 PM)
and a heap of other websites when googling.

As others said it is more than likely the setting or the food colorings etc...

My child has never had a 'sugar high', mostly as he doesn't eat sweets, colour laidened or not.

I've read this research too. But I don't know how it reconciles with my own experience of eating high GI foods leading to mood fluctuations.

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