No Sugar for 8 Yr Old,best Idea?

Updated on August 01, 2013
C.B. asks from Los Angeles, CA
14 answers

My husband has been pushing my 8 yr old son to stop eating sugar.My son has agreed and has been doing a great job.I wanna know,for his health.Would this be a healthy thing for him to stop eating sugar?We also want are 7 yr old and 5 yr old to start the non- sugar diet.Do you think its a good idea ? We have been talking about candy etc.I am just worried.Hes been doing this for almost a yr .

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answers from Philadelphia on

Nobody needs white sugar or high fructose corn syrup. I can not think of any packaged foods that are actually good for you. Naturally occurring sugars such as those found in fruit are healthy to eat though.

I know someone who grew up where their diet was restricted and now my friend and her siblings all have food/weight issues.

If you don't have junk in the house your kids can't eat it but I would not recommend forbidding them from having cake and ice cream at a birthday party.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would avoid all High Fructose Corn Syrup, and avoid white sugars when possible because neither are good for you.

That being said, I agree that replacing them with sugar-free stuff is worse because the sugar replacements like aspartame and sucralose are TERRIBLE for you.

Natural-occurring sugars like in fruits, honey, real maple syrup, etc are okay.

Instead of stopping eating sugar, I recommend replacing sugary treats with fruit and homemade foods made with honey or natural raw sugars.

We cut down on sugar drastically and opt for natural raw sugar treats or those made with honey. When my daughter gets a chance to eat regular sugar, she actually gets sick because it's too sweet.

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answers from Seattle on

I've never understood absolutes in anything. Reducing sugar intake is a great idea. Eliminating it is not a great idea. Same with fat. Same with salt. Same with just about anything.

Definitely make sure you aren't substituting fake sweeteners for the sugar.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You don't explain what your reasons are for only putting one child on this regimen. Does he have a particular problem with cravings, weight or tooth decay? What about behavior/hyperactivity? I think it's important to identify the goals and perhaps we could be more helpful.

That said, it's much easier if EVERYONE follows the same health regimen, rather than singling out one person and saying, "You can't, but everyone else can." Kids sneak, crave and act out. So you want to get off processed foods entirely - go to real cooking. Read labels - if there's a long ingredient panel, it's processed. Look for sugar or corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup in the ingredient list - you will be shocked at how overloaded things are. I tried to buy a loaf of bread last week - the "healthy" and "whole grain" breads were loaded with high fructose corn syrup!

Absolutely do not buy "sugar free" or "low sugar" products if they contain aspartame, sucralose or saccharine - those are the chemicals in things like Equal and Sweet & Low and whatever the 3rd popular one is (yellow packet - name escapes me at the moment). These do nothing to cut the sugar cravings or help weight loss, and they are probably dangerous.

There is a natural product called stevia - plant based with no calories. You have to be careful about where it's made. I buy mine on line from a reputable food science company with good FDA certification that does its own manufacturing here in the US. Rebiana is also safe - it's actually from the leaf of the stevia plant, which is the sweetest part so you can use less.

Natural sugars occur in a lot of foods (e.g. fructose in fruit) so your family can get plenty of sweet tastes from natural sources. I'm not sure why you ask if it's healthy to avoid sugar. Refined sugar does nothing for anyone's health, but avoiding natural sources like fruits and vegetables is a terrible idea. There are also certain supplements that make use of plain fructose which are not only safe, they are beneficial when limited and still part of a comprehensive supplement.

In general, if you substitute the darker versions of white foods, you'll do better. Sweet potatoes, oven-fried or grilled, are a great substitute for white potatoes. Brown rice and whole wheat pasta vs. the white versions, whole wheat flour vs. white flour, and even brown sugar or unrefined sugar vs. refined cane sugar are all important adjustments to make. Just taking out "sugar" and leaving in all these simple carbs that convert immediately to sugar will be counterproductive.

If your child has behavioral issues, they can be much improved with the proper products. If he has a weight problem, the way to address it is not just eliminating one element - it's to nourish him properly which the AMA says must include supplementation. If you need more explanation or info, let me know.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

What do you mean by a no sugar diet? There are naturally occurring sugars in all fruit, and many other foods. It wouldn't be all good idea to eliminate fruit. But if you're talking about not eating cookies, candy, soda... well then yeah, i'ts a good idea for everyone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I'm going to assume you mean sweets, baked goods, "dessert" type things when you say "sugar", right? Because if he eats fruit and dairy, he's still getting "sugar", it's just not added sugar. There's no benefit whatsoever to sugary treats and lots of detriment associated with it, so good for your son for giving it up. That's awesome! Encourage him, even better, JOIN him in giving up sugar. You'll all be healthier and happier in the long run!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

As long as you are not using foods containing nutrasweet or other non-caloric sweeteners as a substitute, it's not going to hurt him to avoid processed sugar.
Just don't give him diet sodas or sugar-free candy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

I just want to say that if you are cutting sugar (I'm assuming processed sugar) out of his diet, don't try to replace it with things labeled 'sugar-free'. Most of these products use aspartame to sweeten, which is worse for your body than sugar.

Other than that, cutting sugary foods out shouldn't harm them. The human body does not need extra sugar.

However, I wouldn't cut it out entirely. Moderation is the key. If it is completely forbidden, chances are that when they get out of your sight or move out on their own they will go crazy with it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

The thing is unless he is living in a bubble he is going to eat foods with sugar in them.

This is so mean for a child to do. Really...never eat a piece of birthday cake until he's an adult. Never having an ice cream cone with the team after the season is over, not being able to ever go to a sleepover with a friend, having to take his lunch every day and either sitting there eating nothing and watching everyone else eat all sorts of yummy foods or throwing his lunch a way and begging his friends to share.

I think it's too hard to say no sugar at all. There are many many many alternatives to just not using it at all.

When I make Koolaid I use half the sugar. When I make a gallon of tea I use 1/2 cup sugar. It tastes plenty sweet.

I have a friend who finds recipes where you lower the sugar added. Like for a pie she uses a small amount of sugar and adds other foods that make the pie sweet that are not sugar.

Once you get used to tasting foods that just use less sugar you find that foods with a lot are just too rich and you don't like them as much.

Taking something away will only make him want it more too. Even if he's on board to do this he's going to find he wants sweet stuff all the time. He'll binge on it if he gets any too. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.....

I grew up in a household where food was limited, my dad was a heart patient and my mom didn't fry foods or use a lot of butter. We didn't have the alternative additives that are so widely used today. I hardly ever got chocolate or sweets.

As soon as I was an adult I totally lived on sweets and chocolate for years. I never really liked fried foods though. I only use oil to make brownies...

So my advice is this, you take it away totally and he'll be an outsider with everyone he comes in contact with. Kids are cruel to begin with, why give them more ammunition.

He'll eat and eat and eat foods that you don't allow any time he comes in contact with them. It's simply better to limit his sweets and allow them occassionally. This way it's not a forbidden food that is out of his reach.

Artifical sweeteners and other fake sugar are poison for our body's. It will harm him in the long run and make him sick. DO not use them at all.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Why the focus on the 8 year old? Weight? Just be careful or they can rebel and sneak it.



answers from Los Angeles on

Definitely discuss this with the pediatrician or a pediatric dietician to get the most accurate information. However, if you are cutting out processed sugar that's ok. I agree with the other moms that artificial sugars - ie nutrasweet, aspartame, etc. are not good and you're better off eating real sugar than processed chemicals that taste like sugar. My doctor told me diet drinks are worse for you than regular soda. Your son should have natural sugars that are in fruits and veggies and milk. I do think it's a good idea for young kids to be aware of foods with too much sugar and to eat them in moderation. However, unless your children have an allergy or some other health reason, at some point they are going to want treats that contain sugar because all their friends are having it - especially at birthday parties or Halloween. Kids who are never allowed to have sugar tend to sneak it a friend's house or binge on it once they are old enough to buy it for themselves. So maybe build into their diets some "treat" days so they don't feel deprived. Or make some homemade treats with your kids and use natural sugar like Agave or fruit juice to sweeten them. Good luck.!



answers from Honolulu on

Foods in the body are broken down into glucose.
You cannot eliminate this bodily process.

But sure, with excess processed sugar intake or any excess intake, it can imbalance your body and health.
Same for, eliminating certain food elements. It can also, adversely affect one's health.
Any extreme, is not good. For the body.

So, if you want your son to stop eating sugar, then you'd need to stop eating... lots of things. Fruits, grains, carbs, etc.
Or do you just mean, that he stop eating candy?

You need to talk to your Pediatrician.
And get referred to a Pediatric Nutritionist.
Don't just, do it via guessing or trendiness.
And the brain, needs glucose. The brain, functions solely, on glucose.
To function.

Then, all foods have different Glycemic indexes.

You need to see a professional Nutritionist, per the age of your son.
Go according, to a medical professional.
Not trendy styles of eating.



answers from Detroit on

It's wonderful! His health depends on it. Good for you for taking this step for your child.
So many parents don't seem to get it. Diabetes and obesity and a host of health problems wait for their kids.

You also have to be careful to cut (or at least limit) it in things like ketchup, bread, etc. It's in so much. No candy is obvious, but read labels for ADDED sugar in other things. Fruit is fine as it's natural and has fiber. Fruit juice, no. Certainly 4 oz. a day max.



answers from Detroit on

to do a no sugar diet. you would have to stop buying most processed foods. no ketchup .. spaghetti sauce.. pancake syrup. jelly...

I am sure it is a good idea.. but can you really do this? what exactly is the child going to eat? fruit and veggies only? school starts soon.. what will you pack for lunch for the kids?

I would try to reduce sugars.. don't buy fruit loops, candy and obvious junk food.. but sugar is everywhere.. hard to totally eliminate.

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