If you’ve ever wondered how to talk to your children about sugar, I may have found a great solution! It’s called The Sugar Story, and it’s written by Emelie Kamp.
Emelie is a Nutritional Counsellor & Wellness Coach from Sweden who runs Worth It Living and who found herself being asked again and again (as I am, too) about how to broach the subject of sugar with children.
It’s a difficult question to answer, because we all know what happens if you ban something or moralise food and make it seem “good” or “bad” when it comes to kids: it’s a perfect recipe for rebellion or guilt-ridden bingeing and emotional eating.
But it is really hard for us parents to know exactly how to explain the effects of sugar to young children. After all, they will most likely be looked on as “deprived” by many for not being allowed free rein with sugar, and they will start to wonder as they get older why many of their friends eat things that look yummy that they never get.
This is where Emelie steps in.
She has created a short children’s book called The Sugar Story. It is short and sweet (excuse the pun!) and even includes a few recipes!
But the main achievement of this book is that it is wonderfully simple and yet says everything you want to say to young children who are not going to understand long-term consequences and things like “diabetes” or “depression” or “heart disease” or “obesity”. This book explains the very basic story of what happened along the way that led us from sugar in fruit as a natural, wholesome source of energy to sugar in pretty much everything as a cause of disease. She explains through cartoon sketches and simple language why sugar is addictive and can cause problems in some forms but not necessarily in others. And she does it in just 20 pages!
And my personal favourite aspect is that there is a wonderful focus on what you can eat rather than what you can’t, and on why certain fruits and vegetables are so good for you in ways that kids can totally understand, relate to, and desire. My daughter loves telling me that broccoli makes her body go “YAAAAAAAAAAY” and Emelie makes this kind of thinking a normal part of a child’s understanding.
It is food and nutritional education at its simplest and most accessible, and it really helps!
So if you are looking for something in depth and descriptive for older children, this might not be the book for you.
But if you are wondering how to talk to young children about sugar without them going totally the other way out of sheer rebellion, or simply how to talk to little ones about nutrition and about eating healthily in an easy, light, totally scientific but not too in depth way, then The Sugar Story is perfect for you.