getting my kiddo off sugar {again}

A few weeks ago, we started going through a really tough phase with P.

Her tantrums were reaching epic proportions. She would be very uncooperative and refuse to listen at key moments, like leaving the house in the morning, going to bed at night, getting into the bath tub and other higher stress situations. She started talking back a lot. For example, if I asked her to please listen, she would respond with, 'no YOU listen.'

Um yeah. It was clear I had a little threenager on my hands.

After a particularly terrible moment in which I had to full-blown wrestle her into her car seat and she scratched and grabbed my shirt collar, I was feeling at the end of my rope. And I did what I always do...I asked my mom what to do.

The first thing she asked me was: how much sugar has she been having lately?

Bingo.

kicking the sugar habit

Somehow I forgot about this post where I detailed how we got her off of sugar to aid in her bedtime routine. Somehow we had gotten to a place where dessert was a daily norm. Somehow we'd gotten to a place where she expected a sweet treat everyday at daycare pick up. And then wanted a pack of fruit snacks upon arrival home. And then negotiated her number of dinner bites before she could get yet another treat.

I sat in the car replaying the last bunch of weeks (months?) in my head. So much sugar, like a waterfall over the last few months, kicking off with Christmas, then her birthday, then Valentine's Day. Sugar, sugar, sugar.

That evening, I ran home and made popsicles out of Greek yogurt, blackberries and maple syrup. My mom suggested putting some rainbow fruit skewers together. I cut up big batches of fruit and put all of the fruit snacks and other treats on a high shelf in the cabinet where they'd be out of sight and out of mind, saving them only for a special weekend occasion.

The next day, I had strawberries packed and ready to go in the morning. Shaun brought a banana and a cheese stick for her at pick up time so she could choose what she wanted. In the evening, I got her pumped about trying the new 'ice pops' I made especially for her. She never asked for anything else.

And she behaved like a different child. She had zero meltdowns. She was happy and agreeable and only once asked for a piece of candy (a lollipop, her favorite treat in case you were wondering). I let her know that she could have a lollipop on the weekend. And she said OK and went back to her fruit.

I was totally amazed. We kept this up for a couple of weeks, allowing her some orange juice and one sweet snack after dinner. I push for berries and whipped cream but I also allow her to have a small scoop of ice cream or a cookie if she wants. But it's limited to one sugary item at one time of day.

Of course, Easter rolled around and we spent a week paying for the candy overload (are there any parents who didn't last week?) but we're working on weaning her once again.

It's amazing the effects that sugar has on our kids. I love my sweets and snacks and clearly so does P. So we'll keep working on it.

Do you ever experience sugar overload with your kids? Have you found success in cutting it out? What are some of your favorite low-sugar options for your kids?

ps: this article written by my friend Reesa on red food dye was truly eye opening for me.

life lately

hi! how are you?

I've been a little all over the place lately, so I thought today we could have a little coffee date to catch up. Life has been a little nutty over the last few weeks and so that's why I've been a little radio silent. I told you a couple of weeks ago that I was suffering from a sinus infection, and it sort of went away and came back, with a stomach virus thrown in, just for fun. I'm still battling sinus city {could it be from this semi-ridiculous weather we've been having?}, but starting to feel a bit back to normal. Here's what we've been up to lately!

penelope three porta1

A few weeks back, we celebrated Penelope's birthday with our parents and siblings with brunch at one of our favorite Jersey City spots, Porta. It was really a perfect spot for all 13 of us, the food is always solid and eclectic, and the staff was very accommodating to our large group, especially given that it was a birthday party for a 3 year old.

penelope three porta5
penelope three porta2

On Sundays, Porta has live jazz music which adds to the vibe and also provided an opportunity for some dancing. Unfortunately, this is the day that a stomach virus hit, so I didn't really enjoy much food {major bummer} but at least I was able to get it up to attend {it was dicey for a while}.

penelope three porta3

I also brought in a cake from Red Ribbon, our favorite local bakery.

penelope three porta4

Porta was super sweet about us bringing it in, though I know it's a faux pas these days. Penelope also refused to blow out the candles.

pres weekend 16 snow2
pres weekend 16 snow1

Presidents Day weekend, we went out to my aunt's cabin in Pennsylvania for the long weekend. It was really nice to really do nothing except read and do a little snow time. Temps were well below 0 so not too much time spent outside. Luckily we did get a little snow though!

valentines brownies1

At some point over the last couple weeks, we made small batch valentine's brownies from dessert for two. ugh they were so good.

feeding chickens feb1

This past weekend, we visited my other aunt for a day of seeing animals and lunch. Penelope got to feed the chickens...

feeding chickens feb3

...and help collect eggs {which we were also lucky enough to take home with us. nothing beats fresh eggs straight out of the coop!}

feeding alpacas feb1

we took her to see my cousin's alpaca and also to the local firehouse, where my other cousin is a firefighter. P refused to take photos there though, I think the trucks were a bit intimidating. It was a such a nice day and I feel really lucky to have such wonderful family.

So that's what we've been up to lately. I'm already counting down to the weekend as Shaun and I have a day date planned as well as some oscar watching with my mom on the calendar! tell me all the things about your life lately!