Sugar-Binge Recovery Guide for Kids and Adults
Reese’s, Kit-Kats, Snickers, oh my… it’s Halloween!
As a parent, you either love it… or hate it.
Either way, you’re probably prepared for the overindulgence.
But what you might not be ready for is the aftermath…
You know, the one that’s vaguely reminiscent of the war scene from Spartacus, followed by a rendition of the zombie apocalypse?
These sudden behavior changes in your kids are linked to what’s going on with their blood sugar levels.
Children don’t have to be diabetic to be significantly affected by sugar.
A 1995 study in the Journal of Pediatrics showed that children are much more susceptible to glucose changes than adults, and it doesn’t take much to send them soaring… then crashing.
That’s because it doesn’t take much sugar to overload their little systems.
So when they chow down on candy - like a scene from Willy Wonka, their pancreas “freaks out” and starts releasing large amounts of insulin to try and keep up.
The insulin then puts all that sugar to use as energy - hence the sudden hyperactivity and restlessness.
Then it’s a classic case of what goes up must come down.
Having converted all that sugar to energy, the body has little left for other functions, resulting in a crash.
These ups + downs in blood sugar are linked to…
Inability to focus
Just imagine the effects these reactions have on their academic performance. And those reactions are far worse in children with ADD or ADHD.
In fact, one Yale study obtained dietary records of 28 school-aged children with ADD or ADHD. After studying them for 7 days, they saw an undeniable connection between sugar consumption and “destructive-aggressive and restless behaviors.”
But it’s not just their behavior that’s affected by sugar…
Studies show that sugar consumption paralyzes the immune response for up to 5 hours.
More specifically, sugar hinders the ability of phagocytes to engulf and neutralize pathogens.
And since bacteria feed on sugar and there are temporarily no phagocytes to limit their growth…
A population of bad bacteria can double in size in a matter of minutes.
This is one compelling reason the cold and flu season “just happens” to kick off right around the holidays.
So… What’s a mom or dad to do?
How to Stabilize a Child’s Blood Sugar
Here are 4 quick tips to stabilize your child’s blood sugar and help them recover from the Halloween binge… These tips work for adults when they overindulge too ;-)
#1. Feed Them a High Protein Breakfast
Protein is a natural way to balance blood sugar pretty quickly. Start the day off on the best foot with a high-protein breakfast. Try eggs, high-quality meats, or a kid-friendly protein smoothie. This super easy Breakfast Muffin Scramble is my go-to to get my little one back on track.
#2. Offer Healthy Snacks Every Few Hours
After sugar overload, just one high-quality breakfast isn’t going to cut it. You’ll want to offer snacks high in protein and healthy fats to stabilize their blood sugar throughout the day. Good options are High-Quality Meat Sticks, nuts and seeds, and hard-boiled eggs.
#3. Keep Them Hydrated!
It’s a known fact that sugar dehydrates. In fact, if enough sugar floods the bloodstream, cells run out of the water they need for energy production, which exacerbates an already unhealthy situation. Counteract that by making sure your child drinks plenty of water. Avoid fruit juices for now as they’re often high in sugar.
#4. Pop a Probiotic (or just eat fermented foods!)
Not only can bad bacteria multiply within minutes of sugar consumption, but excess sugar can also negatively alter your child’s gut microbiome. Fortunately, you can restore proper gut balance by reintroducing good bacteria. Taking a High-Quality Spore Based Probiotic or eating fermented foods is a great way to do this.
I hope these tips help!
And remember to give your kids a little more grace this week - and time for their blood sugar levels to settle. If you follow the steps above, they’ll be back to normal in no time.
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