I read somewhere (sounds official I know!) that the later that you can introduce refined sugar into your childs’ diet, the less likely they will be to crave or become dependent on the soft drinks and lollies (candy) that have the highest concentration of it.
Subsequently we didn’t let our bub near anything artificially sweet until her first birthday when we then let her eat anything she wanted. She only ate a few bites of her birthday cake before ditching it and going back to the savory crackers, her food of choice.
It’s not as if we didn’t let her have the sweets as that would surely create an even bigger issue. We just did not have any sweet drinks or lollies or the like hanging around the house so she really didn’t know what she was missing.
I say ‘artificially sweet’ because there was plenty of fresh fruit consumed in that first year and who is going to argue that apples, pears and stone fruits are not sweet.
Remember that fresh fruit has quite a lot of natural sugars in it so you really have to watch the quantities you are dishing out. Eating too much fruit is almost as bad as not eating enough.
Also, fruit intake can in no way be substituted by store bought fruit juice as we found that most fruit juices contained more refined sugar than their soft drink pals.
Freshly squeezed is not too bad but the problem there is again quantities. It takes about four to six oranges to make a regular sized orange juice. Would anyone actually ever eat six oranges at a time?
Anyhow, the general idea was to let our infants’ taste buds develop properly before we hit her with processed sugar products that are the scourge on the health of a developed countries’ population. Obesity really is a massive problem (pun intended!) in the western world.
As our bub only received fresh fruit for snacks and water to drink in the first year,(and milk of course) then that is all that she wants to eat and drink now. After that it did not take her too long to develop a taste for chocolate and cake however she still will not drink soft drinks or fruit juices and is not really all that keen on candy. Thank the Lord.
Additionally she will only eat a small amount of chocolate or cake before she has had enough. I think that she finds it all a little too sweet.
It stands to reason that if you blast your developing infants’ taste buds with processed sugar products then they will become attuned to those strong flavours and anything more subtle like fruit, vegetables and normal food really will taste pretty bland to them.
It is difficult enough to get them to eat anyway without the added problem of the food not being sweet enough. That first year or so is a very important time to train their taste buds to appreciate all flavours and set them up to make good food choices for the rest of their lives.
There should be plenty of time to enjoy sweets….