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to cut out sugar from my son's diet. And how on earth do I do it?

(91 Posts)
newrecruit Wed 31-Dec-14 12:02:02

DS is 8 and I think he reacts really strongly to sugar.

If he drinks fruit shoots / squash (very rarely) for the next half an hour he's terrible. Twitchy & physically can't sit still.

He struggles with concentration all the time and I think cutting out sugar night make a difference - or I'm jut making excuses.

DS2 is 5 and has never reacted in the same way.

Has anyone else managed to do this.

I don't want to cut out carbs - he needs LOADS of food and can eat more weetabix/ pasta than I can. However I think refined sugar might be the problem.

Or am I jut ening precious.

adsy Wed 31-Dec-14 12:07:38

yep. you're being precious.

newrecruit Wed 31-Dec-14 12:10:48

Thanks grin

CrohnicallyCold Wed 31-Dec-14 12:12:23

YANBU- but it could be additives as well. I know I react to certain colours and get a 'high' from them and crash around half an hour later. It doesn't have to be artificial colours/ flavours either.

I'd try keeping a food diary, then see if you can spot a pattern or common ingredient with the things that make him twitchy.

IsawJimmykissingSantaClaus Wed 31-Dec-14 12:12:46

100 Days of Real Food is a really good blog about a family that have improved their diet. It has lots of recipes on it.

Artandco Wed 31-Dec-14 12:14:18

Sugar in that form is easy to cut out. Just don't buy it. He will still have in items and out etc , but there's no reason anyone needs fruit shoots/ sweets/ biscuits etc at home on a regular basis

CrohnicallyCold Wed 31-Dec-14 12:15:37

Easy way to see if it's sugar or other additives- give him 'no added sugar' squash. If it makes him twitchy it's something other than actual sugar that does it.

newrecruit Wed 31-Dec-14 12:18:38

That blog looks good, thanks.

I need to get DH on board. I don't allow cocoa pops, crunchy nut cornflakes etc but he lets them put their own sugar on Weetabix.

And yes, I need to stop the biscuits. He doesn't have sweet drinks on a regular basis but FIL is always turning up with sweets.

newrecruit Wed 31-Dec-14 12:19:27

Actually he's the same with 'no added sugar' fruit shoots so probably more additive related.

ChickenMe Wed 31-Dec-14 12:20:48

Quite right, my OHs little cousin reacts badly to it too. So do I, in fact. I think it has drug-like properties. Interestingly, wheat is thought to have similar properties so any cereal carbs can be problematic for sensitive people.

One school of thought would be to increase consumption of (natural) fats whilst reducing sugar. For instance, a good quality full fat ice cream is slightly better than a sorbet because a) ice cream contains slightly less sugar b) fat is satiating and sugar is not c) naturally occurring fats are nutritious. Sugar is not. The fats I mean are butter, full fat dairy, coconut oil, animal fats. Fruit with cream is a good balance.

DustInTheWind Wed 31-Dec-14 12:23:25

Cut it out from the entire family's diet. Otherwise it isn't fair and he'd be right to be as unco-operative as possible.

Artandco Wed 31-Dec-14 12:35:25

Try letting natural sugars more than added. Ie banana sliced on top of the weetabix with no sugar. Porridge would be better but at least it's one step in the right direction

It's easier here as mine have never been used to it as never had it, and dh is 100% same ideals. As your son is older it's prob better to talk to him gradually about different food types, and what's better to have more or less of, instead of changing without any explanation

newrecruit Wed 31-Dec-14 12:37:12

I do try and sneak butter into his diet wherever possible.

He tends to eat a lot of bread type products (hot cross buns, brioche rolls etc) so that might so be a problem if grains have the same effects.

I'll try with the haribo though.

What about bacon sandwiches for breakfast rather than cereal?

newrecruit Wed 31-Dec-14 12:38:43

They have porridge with Nutella whih I convince myself is better than just a spoon of sugar.

BertieBotts Wed 31-Dec-14 12:40:14

It's really unlikely to be sugar. Sugar doesn't cause any issues with behaviour (although a sugar crash can cause jitteriness and skittish behaviour).

What you could look at is the feingold diet, which is a list of E numbers thought to cause adverse behaviour and present in a lot of those processed foods that you mention, fruit shoots and squash in particular. (Neither of which routinely contain sugar, in fact it's hard sometimes to find squash/kids marketed drinks which have only sugar as the sweetener.)

www.feingold.org/what.php

BertieBotts Wed 31-Dec-14 12:42:56

Bacon sandwiches is still bread based and bread is carbs which is sugar. There is a condition which is sugar sensitivity which I read about on mumsnet a while back. You'd be better with bacon and eggs or an omelette.

This is the list of EU names for the e-numbers. There are 21 on the avoid list which sounds like loads, until you scroll down to the "allowed" list! Some of these are generally avoided in products anyway - remember Smarties cutting out the blue? And cochineal is an animal product so not vegetarian so often avoided.
www.feingold.org/6enumbers.php

BertieBotts Wed 31-Dec-14 12:43:47

Here was the old mumsnet thread. www.mumsnet.com/Talk/food/a1415919-do-you-get-shaky-weak-between-meals?msgid=30476055

BertieBotts Wed 31-Dec-14 12:44:53

I'd do one or the other though - try feingold or low GI. Not both. Try one for a couple of months and then if it's not working try the other.

newrecruit Wed 31-Dec-14 12:48:17

Skittish is definitely a word I would use to describe DS grin.

He's not naughty - just constantly moving, constantly making noise.

Some of this is just who he is, but it's definitely worse at times.

He is also a terrible sleeper and becomes more hyperactive the less sleep e has ha.

BertieBotts Wed 31-Dec-14 12:52:02

I'm thinking of trying feingold for DS but just out of curiosity. Like you say he's not bad, he's just full on. He gets out a lot with Kindergarten thankfully but during the holidays when we want to veg he's more in need of exercise.

Bulbasaur Wed 31-Dec-14 12:54:18

Sugar doesn't cause any issues with behaviour

In and of itself, you're right. It doesn't.

But a small bit of candy and I was off the walls. I was very sensitive to it. It was eventually narrowed down to red dye and chocolate that was causing the reaction. Once those were cut out it was much better and I wasn't more rambunctious than normal on sugary crap.

Candy and all that processed crap have far more than just sugar. It could be an allergy to something in the candy, not the sugar itself. Also, sweets do cause an endorphin rush which can make children act a bit more wild.

HaloItsMeFell Wed 31-Dec-14 12:56:05

The sugar itself is unlikely to make him twitchy and hyperactive, if anything it's more likely to be colourings and additives that he is reacting to. Or caffeine in soft drinks.

Frusso Wed 31-Dec-14 12:58:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

newrecruit Wed 31-Dec-14 13:05:42

He's never had caffeine. That way lies madness!

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 31-Dec-14 13:22:03

It would be difficult to cut sugar out given high fructose corn syrup is being put in normal "non sugary" food these days.

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