We’ve all got ideas about what kids ought and ought not to eat and drink, and right at the top of the no-no list, most parents agree, is an abundance of sugary stuff. Of course, in practice, keeping your kids out of the sugar bowl isn’t as easy as it might seem — there’s sugar in everything, for one thing — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a priority for a lot of parents of young kids.
So why, then, is Ashton Kutcher’s declaration that he and wife Mila Kunis are sticklers on not giving their daughter, Wyatt, sugar being met with groans and eye rolls?
The topic came up when Kutcher appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he gave a quick recap of the world’s most adorable family’s Easter festivities. He mentioned that he didn’t think his 18-month-old was ready to chase the sugar dragon yet, so he and Kunis filled a plastic egg with raisins instead. The little one dug the treat, the sugar bomb has yet to detonate, and everyone made it through unscathed, so what’s the big deal?
Well, according to the Internet, the big deal is that by depriving a toddler of treats loaded with sugar, her parents are dooming her to a life of sadness and a childhood completely devoid of magic. Poor thing!
Somehow, though, we’re pretty sure Wyatt will make it out of her Dickensian, sugar-free childhood pretty OK. For one thing, it’s not like they’ve banned something strange that children need, like putting the kibosh on plain water and placing her on an all-coconut-milk diet to align her chakras or something. Their no-sugar stance isn’t “oh, celebrities” wacky — it’s not even regular-person wacky. It’s a good goal.
And while the old adage about hyperactivity and sugar is dubious at best, there are plenty of reasons to limit a kid’s sugar intake, including preventing obesity, lowering diabetes risk and keeping those pearly whites cavity free. Most pediatricians recommend keeping sugar intake for kids at a scant 5 to 15 percent of their entire caloric intake, which includes naturally occurring sugar from foods like fruit.
That brings it around to the next reason it’s fruitless to worry about little Wyatt’s poor little rich girl existence. The two of them aren’t feeding her gruel. They did give her some raisins, which are — hold on to those pearls — pretty sweet themselves.
And a toddler doesn’t know the difference. If the sweetest thing she ever eats is a raisin, then as far as she’s concerned, dried, wrinkly grapes are the height of decadence. She doesn’t exactly miss what she’s never had, so everyone can feel free to crank down the concern by a full notch or two.
Banning sugar, especially early on, isn’t some act of stringent Cromwellian cruelty. It’s actually pretty laudable, and most parents try to hold out as long as possible. If these two have the resources, the wherewithal and a willing toddler, then more power to them!
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