The Sugar Police

For Valentine’s Day, we gave our girls each one small gift (a little board book for Ani and a set of foam stickers for Ella).

We wrapped them up and put them on the breakfast table. Everyone was happy – the girls because of their gifts, and Bart and I because of this really super good puff pancake

There was no chocolate to be seen.

That afternoon, at lunch, I told the girls we had a special treat for Valentine’s Day and when they saw these flavored Mott’s Snack and Go pouches, you’d have thought there were truffles the size of their heads waiting for them on their plates.

My suspicions that we keep the sugar under pretty tight wraps around here were confirmed when I asked Ella what her dream snack time treats would be.

Her first three answers?
“Graham crackers. Juice. Milk.”

Followed by “waffles, pancakes, and cold cereal.”

Way to dream big, little friend.
(In fact, Bart and I went to a Duke basketball game a couple of weeks ago, and I told our friends who were babysitting that she could have a bowl of ice cream before bed. When we returned, the husband told us that he’d scooped her a dish and she’d said, “No, that’s WAY too big. I can’t have nearly that much.” I was very proud).

Lest this all sound like my child is the champion eater, let me hasten to add that one of the reasons we try to limit sugar is because Ella is a complete sugar-fiend and would eat nothing but sugar if we let her.

And she’s definitely testing her picky-wings, so I’m constantly trying to maintain a balance between foods she enjoys and testing new foods on her.

One of the easiest ways to do this is at snack time when I can combine familiar items with new tastes.
We might do graham crackers with peanut butter sprinkled with coconut or dried fruit, or Mott’s Snack and Go pouches in a flavor other than plain apple (she’s really taken to the Mango Peach), or plain yogurt with various berries stirred in (when my children discover that yogurt comes in flavors other than plain, the jig is up over here).

I try not to push too hard at snacktime (I save that for dinner), but it’s nice to have a low-stress environment to try discovering that new tastes can be delightful and fun, rather than tear-inducing.

And it’s pretty helpful to have a one-year-old who is currently in that glorious stage where they will eat absolutely anything.

I didn’t appreciate that stage enough the last time around.

Mott’s® Snack & Go is the nutritious applesauce kids love in a squeezable pouch they can take with them wherever they go. Mott’s is also the only applesauce brand with Box Tops for Education®, helping to support kids’ schools.  Click here to download a buy one get one free Mott’s® Snack & Go coupon.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Mott’s® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Mott’s®.

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  1. my friend has a little 18 month old (that I try to claim as my own every once in awhile) and he loves these on the go apple sauce packets. they save our life when the two of us are trying to enjoy lunch together and he starts getting a little antsy 🙂

  2. Oh friend…I so feel you on this. I've been trying to stress less about this lately and I've been trying the Bento thing that really seems to help. I just put out a bunch of choices in a fun little box and she's more apt to try things…obviously I can't do this at dinner time (*i.e. I won't do this at dinner time, since "ain't nobody got time for that" – I'm anti making special meals for my own sanity). Still… toddler pickiness is the bain of my existence. Home girl has such a sweet tooth! At least I know she'll always eat fruit :).

  3. Thankfully mine is coming out of his picky stage and is getting better at trying things. (I might be speaking too soon.) He is also a total sugar fiend, and I try to limit his sugar intake, but it's difficult to do when we use sugar as leverage for good behavior. (Especially during potty training.) I'm reading Salt, Sugar, Fat, and I am suddenly more cognizant of the need to teach my kids that they don't need sugar in everything for it to taste good. (I'm also a total sugar fiend, so limiting my kids' sugar also means limiting my own.)

  4. I hear you on the sugar limiting — hard to do! How do you feel about the environmental impacts of giving applesauce in those little packets? And a big gee-ha for having a child who knows her ice cream limits! ps – Thanks for the booklist the other day – have got a whole bunch of them from the library and we're loving them.

  5. We're totally the same way with Kyle! If he sees a wheat thin he goes crazy and eats it in 10 seconds! I almost feel bad that a cracker is his idea of food bliss, especially since Derek and I totally eat brownies when he goes to bed!

  6. It will all even out. My now 14 year old is an AWESOME eater. She gets too sick with too much sugar, and loves to eat veggies… I think the draw to sugar is just part of kids learning. They learn to stick with things they know are awesome and sugar tastes awesome. Showing that she has self control and knows her limits at such a young age is such a great testament to you that you teach balance and not deprivation!

  7. I teach preschool and one of my goals is to introduce my class of the year olds to new foods. I've found that if I want them to try a new food it works best if I let them choose one of two new foods to try. This week we discovered we like asparagus and avocado but not eggplant or artichoke!

  8. You know what's funny my second child skipped the I'll eat anything phase. He wouldn't eat period at first….. now he eats but is ALWAYS skeptical of everything I give him. *maybe he was given a heads up before he came to our household* I like the coconut on graham cracker/PB idea.

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