Why Avoiding Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates at Children’s Birthday Parties

Why Avoiding Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates at Children’s Birthday Parties Needs to Be a Priority

In 2015, 50% of the population are either pre-diabetic or diabetic.  Unfortunately, those numbers are worsening.

It all starts from diet during childhood. Childhood obesity is drastically increasing. 

In 2010, a study showed a clear link between childhood obesity with risk of severe obesity in adulthood. 

This is one of many reasons why it is important to take into account what our children are eating while they are young and habits are developing.

In this post, we will address the dangers of sugars and refined carbohydrates.  But stick to the end, where we share healthy alternatives for celebrations.  
These alternatives can make parties enjoyable again, for adults.  No more meltdowns and more fun!

What sugar and carbohydrates do to the human body:

What happens when your child eats sugar (candy, syrups, sodas, juice) or refined carbohydrates alone (ie bread, pasta, pizza, cake...)

When eating sugar and refined carbohydrates alone the blood sugar skyrockets (sugar rush with endorphins released), then the body produces in response high amounts of insulin (the “fat storage hormone”), then basically 3 things happen:
  1. A sugar crash (hypoglycemia – pre-pre-diabetes) with in 30 min to 3 hours causing some or all of the following to varying degrees (ie the snickers commercials)

  • hunger before the next meal (your child should not need snacks between meals, this is a sign of poor diet)

  • irritability

  • terrible ADHD/ADD (the brain requires perfect blood sugar control for it to work properly)

  • depression

  • anxiety

  • inability to control emotions (tantrums, loss of self control)

  • inability to learn

  • shaking

  • fatigue

  1. Storage of fat in the body and/or the liver

  2. One step towards diabetes with each blood sugar spike and crash

These symptoms will get worse with each time the body receives too much sugar or carbohydrates. Then insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) will start: the body is producing high amounts of insulin and the cells are no longer responding to the insulin. As one gains weight, continues to eat poorly, as well as continues to spike the blood sugar.  The fasting glucose levels start to rise until the body can no longer keep up and diabetes occurs.

It all starts in childhood when their bodies are growing and their metabolism is changing.

Skip The Juice: Why this commonly thought of as "healthy" or "safe" drink is worse than soda

Why Avoiding Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates at Children’s Birthday Parties

Juice has no fiber, fats, or protein to slow the absorption of the sugars that are in the original fruit.

Juice is boiled (by law it has to be) and exposed to oxygen which destroys key nutrients in the juice rendering it to be just a sugary liquid. And if the vitamins are intact (such as when you juice at home), then the blood sugar spike from the juice cancels out the benefit of the vitamins in the juice.

Want apple juice? Give them a peeled and seeded apple at the END of a meal. Soda, as well as juice, is not safe and should be avoided equally.

How to Avoid Obesity and Diabetes in Children

  • Avoid sugar at ALL costs

  • Avoid fructose (look up study on diabetes and fatty liver)

  • Avoid artificial sweeteners (look up study on insulin resistance and diabetes)

  • never eat too much carbohydrates

  • never eat a carbohydrate at the beginning of a meal (look up study on bread before and after meal)

  • first eat your protein, then vegetables, and finally the carbohydrate: slows the absorbing of the sugars in the carbohydrate thereby preventing a blood sugar spike and later the crash (called slow carb diet)

  • add healthy fats (ie avocados, avocado oil, grass fed butter, coconut oils) to your meals to help maintain your blood sugar and prevent blood sugar spikes: (look up study on fats don’t make you fat)

    • Avoid unhealthy fats such as: omega 6 oils like canola oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, etc.

  • Don’t eat these foods: candy, cake, cupcakes, pizza (sugar in the sauce and in the bread), bread, sugary salad dressings, syrups, candy, did I mention candy?, cookies, white potatoes (spike blood sugar VERY strongly) and much more.

  • If a fruit is going to be consumed then eat in moderation at the END of a meal and stick to low glycemic with berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) or a peeled seeded apple. Be careful to never eat fruit ALONE as a snack.

  • Exercise: increases “exercise responsive GLUT-4” in the cell allowing sugar to get into the cell without insulin thereby in part reducing insulin resistance and diabetes.

  • Get 7 to 8 hours (very few adults are good with only 6 hrs) of solid sleep every night (source) ignore the high-fat diet blurb, they should rephrase it. High fat no carb diets reverse insulin resistance): by getting less than 7 hours of sleep the body will be insulin resistant for that entire day no matter how healthy the body is at that time. This can lead to cravings and poor food choices.

  • for adults: consider ketogenic diet

  • for kids: consider slow carb diet with high protein, high fat, high fiber, low carb (not refined carbohydrates), and no sugar

What will happen with a sugar/refined carbohydrate restricted diet: weight loss of fat, reduced water retention, clear thinking, elimination of ADHD/ADD, no more fatigue, better sleep, extended life, greater sensitivity to the sweet taste, and less inflammations in the body (leading cause of disease), and more.

Sugar is more addictive than cocaine: (http://www.wbur.org/, https://www.davidwolfe.com/, http://journals.plos.org/)

Healthy Sugar-Free and Low Carb Alternatives for Celebrations

-Don’t fill treat bags or pinatas with edible snacks, instead fill them with small toys:Why Avoiding Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates at Children’s Birthday Parties

*stamps, temp tattoos, whistles, pencils, erasers, notepads, stickers, bubbles, crayons, stencils, balls, balloons, slime, playdoh, figurines, wands, hats, sunglasses, pinwheels, friendship jewelry, watercolors, kinetic sand, etc.

-Don’t serve refined carbs like pizza, baked goods, or sugary treats. Instead, replace with foods high in protein to keep blood sugar stable: Why Avoiding Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates at Children’s Birthday Parties

*Croquettas, meat empanadas, cheese sticks, cheese platter, chicken nuggets, whole fruits, veggies with dips, guacamole, meatballs, fish sticks, hummus with carrots or celery, deviled eggs, hot dogs on a stick with queso dip, etc.

-Don’t serve sweetened or flavored drinks (sodas, juice, chocolate milk etc).Why Avoiding Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates at Children’s Birthday Parties

Instead, stick to water, whole-fat milk (low or fat-free means they add sugar water), or lemon water.

Don’t serve flavored yogurt (which can have artificial additives and more sugar than candy)

-Party ideas that don’t center around sugar:Why Avoiding Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates at Children’s Birthday Parties

A magician, clown, active group class, pony rides, petting zoo, art project, etc.

-Avoid Sweets like Cake and Ice Cream:

There is no need to have a cake in order to put a candle. You can use alternatives such as bananas or strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. Even if the dark chocolate has some sugar it is far less than cookies, cake, and frosting. 

Why Avoiding Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates at Children’s Birthday Parties

Or Try These Better Cake Alternatives:

Sugar + Sweetener Free Birthday Cake Recipes:

Recipe Sugar Free Birthday Cake

Sugar Free Chocolate Fudge Cake

Sugar Free and Flourless Chocolate Cake

If you found this post helpful, please share it.  The sooner we can make children’s parties sugar and refined carbohydrate free, the sooner we can all enjoy healthy, happy kids again.