Friday, December 07, 2012

My son is sugar sensitive (157.4)

I've suspected that Luke has sugar issues for a while now.  But Sunday night we got solid confirmation.

We were at a church Advent dinner, and cake was for dessert.  Luke had a good-sized piece (chocolate with icing) and as soon as he was finished he wanted more.  I said no, of course.

We worked on an ornament project for about 20 minutes, and he was squirmy the whole time (he's squirmy a lot, so this wasn't necessarily out of the ordinary).  At 7:30, we left for home.

In the car, he was a total monster.  He & Sophie fought and by the time we got home, Luke was in a rage & had a total meltdown.  He went to his room and screamed and pitched a fit for about 10 minutes before we went in and talked to him and he got calmed down.

I knew as soon as he asked for a second piece of cake that he probably has the same issue I do with sugar.  The sugar rage afterwards just confirmed it.

I talked with him about it the next day.  I asked if he liked how he felt the night before, and he said no.  I said the cake was why it happened.  We talked about how he reacts to other junk food & sugar he eats, and he understood what I meant when I said his behavior changes after he eats sugar.

Luke is a very intelligent 7 year old. We talk about everything--including his ADHD, which he's taking medication for.  He asks questions and we give him truthful answers.  He knows I don't eat sugar anymore and why I don't eat sugar.

So this week we've limited the junk he eats.  It is helping his moods at night tremendously.
Enteman's Little Bites (which is basically cake) and chocolate granola bars are what he often snacks on when he wants a treat.  He's not eating cookies or ice cream or candy every night.
He ate a Z bar the other night (Cliff bars make these for kids--organic, lower sugar than candy, but still has around 14 grams of sugar), and within about 10 minutes he went from normal kid to -bouncing off the walls couldn't control his body- kid.  So Z bars (alone, without a source of protein) are now out.

He is getting peanuts for snacks now, and when he asks for something sugary I say no, you can have peanuts or a PB sandwich.  He's been ok with it so far.

He is very limited in what he can eat as far as fruits & veggies because of his oral allergy syndrome.  His mouth itches when he eats most fruits--apples, bananas, pitted fruits like peaches, melons--and veggies--celery and carrots.  Basically he will eat strawberries, grapes, and broccoli and that's it.

We also have to watch his milk intake.  He LOVES milk.  But more than one cup of milk at night and he has the same reaction as he does to cake--bounces off the walls and can't control his body.  I started limiting milk several weeks ago.

It's interesting that Sophie does not have this issue.  She's self-monitoring when it comes to sugar, and doesn't even like a lot of sugary foods (for example, she skipped the cake on Sunday night). 

He's a lucky kid, I think, that I am aware of this issue NOW while he's young and we can direct him to healthier choice for his brain and his body. 

As far as fruits and veggies go, he will either grow out of his allergy or we will have to start allergy shots when he's older.  We had him tested by an allergist the first part of this year; she told us the mouth itching thing is fairly common in kids that have tree allergies.  He's highly allergic to every single tree and grass they tested him for. Spring time is brutal for him.

Hopefully he won't develop a peanut allergy!  I will have to find other alternatives for him, too.

Hope you all have a great weekend.  8 mile long run on the training calendar.  Not sure when that's going to fit in, but it WILL get done.  I'll report back next week.


Vickie said...

VERY interesting.

Buy no salt, dry roasted peanuts for him. (there is MSG in many of the salted, and any salt is likely to make him crave sugar, plus he doesn't need extra salt).

Hard boiled eggs, can even make then into deviled eggs using mustard (no mayo).

Youngest eats red pepper hummus. She eats with Carrots. I eat with cucumber (sliced into coins).

Sweet potato chips (homemade).

It is just as well that he has to limit his fruit, because that is sugar and if he got into the habit of fruit always for a snack, it would be too much sugar too.

Low sodium plain baked turkey breast (from deli) I just add mustard and roll it.

What is he drinking? Hopefully just water and his limited milk - ?

Vickie said...

Think how clean ALL the food at your house is going to be by the end of the next year. It will just keep getting cleaner and cleaner.

and if you were not where you are in your process, you would not be able to see any of the food issues with your kids. Sophie would just keep having migraines and you would not understand why. And you would have what you thought were sibling rivalry/discipline issues with your kids.

What is Luke eating for lunch at school?

Vickie said...

Luke could put a spear of cucumber in turkey roll for crunch. Or could stuff spinach leaves in there too. A couple of those in whatever combination he likes would be substantial snack for him.

I can see that you are moving toward my definition of snack (whole food) and separating that from a treat (usually sugar).

Vickie said...

I had allergy shots. In fact I had two rounds of allergy shots, one as teenager and one in my early 40's. And they did not progress me to the point where I could ingest something that I was allergic to. Like I still avoid anyone mowing their grass, mold, etc. And I still stay away from foods that cause allergy. I think it just moved me to the point where I am not having reactions from inadvertent exposure.

Jill said...

Wow that is so interesting! And so great that you could recognize that in him too. He's a got a good mama! :)

Laura N said...

Thanks, Vickie for all the food ideas for Luke. Yes, the definition of snack vs. treat is becoming obvious to me now. and to the kids.

He's going to be a tough nut to crack on all this. He's a very picky eater, just like I was when I was a kid. I'm fortunate Sophie likes veggies & understands about healthy snacks vs. treats. She's great about self monitoring her sugar intake.

Both kids take their lunch to school and always have. They both eat the same thing--a ham sandwich on one slice of whole wheat bread (1.5 slices of organic ham--no nitrites), ~10 cheezits, a granola bar, and sometimes one cookie or grapes. They each have a water bottle and that's all they drink at school. Since Luke started his ADHD meds, he has only been eating his sandwich and sometimes his granola bar. The cookie needs to go, I know. I don't think he'll miss it.

He only drinks water and his 1 cup of milk a day. My kids are great about water...we don't drink juice or sodas at home. It's one of the few things I got right with their diets from the start.

He can't eat any kind of tree nut, so he is limited to peanuts for snacks. I tried the roasted no salt & he spit them out. So we are back to the regular kind. He doesn't eat many at a time. I will check the Fresh Market and see if they have better nuts without salt he will eat. Their nuts are wonderful.

Vickie said...

Try mixing 1/4 plain with 3/4 salted. Get him used to that and then move to half and half if you can.