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Mother Advocates for Sugar-Free Diet for Babies Despite Family Pressure

She explained how it not only affects their mental development but also causes obesity and heart disease.
by Sundas Behroz - 13 Jun, 2024 411
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A few days ago, I met a woman in my family who had recently become a mother. Since it was the first time I had seen her since she gave birth, I went to congratulate her. However, she seemed a bit sad. Even though my congratulations were delayed, her lack of enthusiasm surprised me. She's usually cheerful and enthusiastic, so I asked her about her sadness. She revealed that her worry stemmed from her baby girl, who was only seven months old. They had started giving her food a month ago, but the baby showed little interest in eating and was quite fussy. This was evident from the baby’s health.

She explained, "I feed her mostly homemade food instead of the ready-made baby food available in the market. I don’t give her sugar because babies under one year should not have sugar at all. My family criticizes me for this."

She continued, "If I add sugar to her milk, she drinks it. If I add sugar to other foods, she eats them eagerly. My family insists that I buy ready-made baby cakes and biscuits from the market, and when I refuse, they scold me."

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This woman believed that sugar is poison for children. She explained how it not only affects their mental development but also causes obesity and heart disease. Additionally, sugar impacts children’s teeth and alters their behavior. It harms the kidneys and slows the learning process, making children who consume more sugar learn slower and tire more quickly than others.

After hearing all this, I was in awe. While I was aware of sugar’s harmful effects on adults, I did not know it was so detrimental to children.

I expressed my surprise, noting that sugar is also a source of energy aiding children's growth. She replied, "Nature provides a certain amount of sweetness in its foods, which is sufficient for our bodies. Eating fruits and vegetables fulfills our sugar needs without requiring added sugar. So, why not feed our children pure fruits and vegetables instead of adding sugar to their food?"

I agreed with her, but the challenge was convincing our grandparents of these facts. They often say, "We gave you sugar, and you turned out fine." They don't realize that in their time, people mainly used jaggery, and health problems like diabetes and heart issues typically appeared at an older age, around 60 to 70 years. However, young people in their 30s and 35s face these problems today.

Grandparents argue that children won't eat food if it's not sweet. But how can children crave or get used to something they've never had? Prevention is better than cure. Instead of giving children market biscuits and cakes, provide them with homemade food. Keep them off sugar for at least a year, then introduce it in minimal amounts.

Are children given sugary products in your home?