I was really interested to read in today that scientists have been looking into whether children experience a sugar rush at sweet filled parties and whether this causes hyperactivity and behavioural problems.
I took Noah to a village party over the weekend and he joined in lots of games where the prizes were sweets. His favourite was searching for hidden pegs and then presenting his hard earned collection to the judges!
Noah is on a sweet free diet because of his increased risk of getting MS so rather than sweets I asked the organisers to hand him strawberries and grapes. He was equally excited about fruit prizes. He is only 3 so really the taking part meant the most.
Noah has been on his diet since he was about 8 months old so he doesn’t know any different. He loves his food and never complains that he wants things that other children have.
People often comment on how calm he is and whether this is linked to his healthy diet. This is what drew my attention to the article in the news today. I was really interested to know if there is a link.
Well, apparently not! Professor Benton of Swansea University says that sugar gives children energy but that is not the same as feeling energetic. He says the apparent change in behaviour is down to expectation. If we expect our children to become hyperactive and naughty after consuming sweets or fizzy drinks then we often try to restrict them. The more we nag them then the more they resist. This change in our behaviour impacts on them causing them to appear naughty or out of control.
So I am not going to suddenly introduce lots of sugar into Noah’s diet because he was never on it for behavioural reasons, just for good health. We all seek to keep our children as healthy as we can. But it certainly seems that the research can point us in a great direction in terms of our own behaviour. Chill out and your children will too.
Mindfulness is a great way to become aware of our own expectations. When we meditate we learn to become aware of our own thoughts. Once we are aware of an expectation our awareness acts to dissolve it. We recognise it for what it is. Just a thought and not reality. So learning to live in the moment really can help in all sorts of ways. The problem was never actually there – it was just an expectation that there would be a problem!
Learn to meditate and see how life becomes much lighter. Things seem less serious, there are less problems. More time for enjoyment and less time for worry. Perfect.