Sugar usually ends up taking the wrap for making kids hyper; no matter what time of day or night it’s consumed. This makes sense, seeing as how sugar is more than capable of spiking blood sugar levels into dangerous territory when enough of it’s eaten at one time. You know the scenario all too well--the kids eat a bunch of cake, ice cream and junk food at a birthday party, get all excited and out of whack for the next couple of hours, then proceed to be grumpy, tired and lethargic just in time to return home for the afternoon.
While sugar won’t necessarily make your children hyper in this manner every time, you may want to consider avoiding, or at least limiting, the following foods in order to keep your kids relaxed, focused, healthy and happy without all the ups and downs.
Refined Foods are Bad News
Children who eat a lot of refined carbohydrates and treats for energy tend to experience waves of energy and dips of lethargy throughout the day without even realizing what’s happening. This is because once foods like wheat and corn are stripped of their outer layers, what’s left are very easily and quickly absorbed into the blood stream. This in turn spikes blood sugar levels, temporarily and dramatically raising energy levels which then promptly plummet again.
This means your child gets a lot of energy for a few minutes, only to be left with nothing in the long run. And they still have to get through the rest of their day! Instead of refined carbs, consider whole wheat versions of pasta and brown rice instead. For example, whole grain breads with all natural peanut butter are a perfect energy booster with lasting benefits.
Breakfast Cereals Aren’t Always the Best Choice
Although you may think that cereals are a great way to start the day, you might reconsider once you realize just how many sugars are found in most cereal choices on the market. Unless you choose unsweetened varieties that you can sweeten yourself with fruit then consider choosing oatmeal to start your family’s morning off instead.
Frozen Meals Can Fool You
Many companies choose to put added sweeteners and other unnecessary chemicals in their frozen meals in order to appeal to younger children that tend to be picky in the food that they eat. Unfortunately this comes at a price for the kids who end up with a huge energy spike after dinner, just to be tired and grumpy after just a few minutes.
This puts extra strain on the parents who have to deal with the fussiness well into the night too. In order to avoid bed time troubles, closely check labels for less than five grams of sugar per serving or better yet, skip the frozen meals altogether.