Many parents and guardians worry about giving their kids too much sugar for fear of crazy hyperness followed by a sugar crash, which can lead to one cranky toddler. It doesn’t make too many adults very fun either. Fear not, there are ways to navigate a party without becoming the main event.
Is Sugar Related Hyperness Real?
In 2010, Yale Scientific published an article called, “Does Sugar Really Make Children Hyper?” which called into question the age-old argument of whether kids get hyper from eating sugar. The article discusses studies that gave kids sugar, artificial sweeteners and recorded a difference in the energy levels of the children. They found that there was no difference in their behavior or energy levels. And it theorized that it was excitement that caused the hyper behavior. Other studies have shown that there is a link between sugar consumption and behavior, especially when eating a sugary breakfast.
So which one is correct? Well, the jury is still out because there is not enough evidence on either side. One thing to remember (and is mentioned in the article) is that overconsumption of sugar can lead to an increased chance of diabetes, inflammation, weight gain, teeth decay, and health issues for both children and adults.
Regardless, there are things that you can do before and during a birthday party to help minimize any kid craziness (i.e. meltdowns, unwanted behaviors, etc.).
Keep your Routine: as much as possible keep to your usual routine the day before and day of the party. Take naps, meals, and other activities at their usual time. This may be hard to maintain if you are doing lots of prep but do your best.
Eat Balanced Meals: While this is important all the time, it is especially important to do so before the party. Try to consume a healthy fat, protein, and complex carbohydrates in each meal. This goes for both adults and kids. It can help make the difference between overindulging and enjoying yourselves.
Keep the Sugar till the End: Some parents like to let their kids have all the sugar they want on special occasions. Others like to limit the amount consumed. Whatever your method is keeping the cake, cookies, candy, and other sweets till the end (of the party) will help keep any sugar related behavior issues to a minimum.
Know your Kids: Every kid is different and as parents you know your kids best. So if you know that certain foods will have a negative effect, then skip them or give them a small bite. Or if they have a two-hour limit and then they get overwhelmed, then trust your gut.
Water: Have your kid’s primary drink be water. Many other drinks at a party can contain a lot of sugars. Even juice if drank while consuming desserts or other sweets can lead to a sugar overload. Milk (animal or plant based) can be alternated with water as long as the milk is not flavored.
If all else Fails… Have Fun! If you or your family members are overall healthy, then indulging once and awhile is not going to cause lasting damage to your health. Also, birthdays are about celebrating and spending time with family and friends, so enjoy the time and have a treat or two. Do your best to limit the indulging to the party, and then get back to your usually and hopefully healthier lifestyle.
Need more tips for planning a party?! Check out below:
What are your go-to tips for having fun with your toddler at party? Do you do any extra special? Post your comments and questions below!
Sugar & Spice,
Mrs. Know it All
Sources: Yale Scientific