I had…the most stubborn, defiant, frustrating [kid] I have ever known – Jennifer

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I have two kids, a boy aged 11 and a girl who’s 8. I worry about them feeling deprived and then making private vows to eat every piece of candy they can find. That’s what I did. And I’ve been paying for it ever since. I want to apply the PnP ideas to them and their diet, but it’s taking a long time because they are so (dare I say it?) spoiled to satisfying their taste buds with sweeter food. – Lisa

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I have not started this because I find the thought of trying to do this with two children who are every bit as addicted to sugar as I am ABSOLUTELY DAUNTING. In the past when I have tried to keep sugar out of the house, not only have they stolen money to buy candy and ice cream at school, but I’d have to listen to their constant whining. It drove me nuts, and so I gave up. – Gracie

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Thank you so much for the encouragement! After really looking at my journal yesterday (only my 2nd day) I noticed a major thing. After I eat sugar, I get really perky and social. I stay that way for about 3 hours. Then when it wears off, I am the most grouchy person you’ve ever met! And the littlest things set me off. I always thought I needed to work on not being such a grouch, when for once, now I know I am not to blame. It’s the sugar! I can’t wait to be normal again! – Amanda

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I live in England too! It is nice to know there are other people who can’t have sugar. When I eat sugar, I feel grumpy and I get cross easily and then I feel sad. It makes me feel like I am on another planet on my own and my skin goes all itchy and bumpy. If I eat a little bit I want to eat more and more and then I get more grumpy. – Lucy

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I know it is more than refusal with my son. He gets upset and annoyed when I say NO to him. But, his reaction is so intense when I cut off his sugar supply. Two cookies with lunch turns into desperate pleas for more cookies or a popsicle or the dreaded lollipop. The way sugar pacifies him is actually quite disturbing to me. – Northern Girl

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I had absolutely no patience with them and no energy to do anything but “what had to be done.” We almost never had any fun together. This program has meant a world of difference to Mike and my relationship with him as well as my other children. Not only am I more stable, but Mike doesn’t have headaches any more and he is a much sweeter, easy to deal with child. I’m truly enjoying my children for the first time ever. He even reads labels now to see if there’s sugar in the drinks that he’s offered!” – Katy

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Yesterday my 13 year old did not do his chores exactly right and when I asked him to finish them correctly, he said, “Mom, What do you expect? it is not my fault that I forgot to finish – it is my messed up biochemistry.” My kids are too smart for me – but I was able to counter him by tossing him a cheese stick. And it worked. Today I noticed my husband giving the kids protein. And even better – telling the kids to wait for a sugar treat until dinner. Sometimes I think I need to stop thinking so much and just start doing. My husband did not need the whole theory, he just thought it made sense and gave it a try. I think I can learn from this. – DeAnna

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I started having my kids fix their own breakfasts when they were pretty young. My six-year-old son would fry himself eggs in the morning (of course he had to stand on the chair to do it). Now, he is fixing himself ham and cheese omelets! – Dianne

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My kids like to have a selection, so I just try to have the fridge stocked up with hamburgers and chicken that have already been cooked/grilled and the girls just “nuke” them and add what they want (cheese, salsa, etc.). They also like eggs and sliced turkey. – Colette

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This past weekend was Yom Kippur, a Jewish holiday. My husband and daughters and I were having dinner together Sunday night, you know, in the dining room, china….. holiday dinner. I had baked an apple cake for dessert for the others. It is sort of a traditional dessert this time of year for our family. So, Eddie cuts himself and the girls each a small piece which they all enjoy and then he cuts himself another piece when Lindsey breaks out into song! *Too much sugar, too much sugar, too much sugar for my daddy* sung to the tune of *found a peanut*. We were cracking up because it sounded like *meshugie* which in Yiddish means too crazy! How fitting. – Gail

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My daughter (1st grade) was having problems in school. The teacher said she thought Sarah was ADD or ADHD. She said Sarah would twirl her hair and get in a hypnotic state and not be able to focus in class. I made changes in her diet like no more sugary cereal for breakfast, no pancakes without protein and things like that. I notice a huge difference in her behavior at home, and amazingly enough she doesn’t twirl her hair anymore. – Lee

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It’s like getting the big-kid equivalent of the “easy baby.” You know, the one that smiles, sleeps well, plays well, goes everywhere and rarely fusses. Steady food and steady routine brings out the easy kid. Even our high energy, intense kids are closer to their “easy” selves. – Connie

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My kids and I enjoy each other more. We have more fun and want to spend time together. They don’t fight with each other, they are better at problem solving, and don’t expect me to do everything for them. I always ‘knew’ what wonderful, creative, intelligent and caring kids I have. Now I ‘see’ those traits every day. – Vicki

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But she has developed a sort of love affairs with candy and sweets. For example, once in the car she was just musing about sugar and said things like “Mommy, I like things that are sweet” (with a lot of feeling). And she plays with blocks and thinks and pretends they are candy – carries them around in different containers. Once she carried around a book a lot that had pictures of candy on one of the pages. – Audrey

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When we came home from our vacation to Pennsylvania, we dropped our stuff and ran out to the fruit store and to a take out place to pick up chicken for supper. I told my 4 year old boys they could pick out a fruit to have for dessert tonight. SO, little addicts that they are, they ran over to the counter where they have all the ‘poison’ and kept asking me ‘hey, Mommy, is this okay?’ I kept laughing and saying ‘Fruit. See the fruit over there.’ Finally after a few times, I actually physically turned Pesach around so he was facing the rows and rows of fruit and said, ‘Fruit, pick a fruit.’ We came home with melon, purple and green grapes and Aaron picked a pineapple.

After dinner I was reading this nature/animal magazine we get geared for 3-7 year olds. We were reading about raccoons and what they like to eat, i.e. fish. And the magazine asks a question, ‘So what do you like to eat? Pesach pipes up and says, ‘fish and poison!!!’ – Naomi

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Two weeks ago I wrote about my experiment to put my house under NO MORE SUGAR. But I had put a 2 week time limit on it and wasn’t sure what would happen after the two weeks. Those two weeks have been sold on keeping sugar out of the house. Hands down, no doubt about it. My 6 year old has benefited so incredibly, that it would be cruel to go back. She has slept better and had more control of her feelings and has just been a real joy, more than before! And the kids I (I also have a 3 year old) don’t bug me for treats! Dinner doesn’t revolve around desert anymore – How much do I have to eat to get dessert, mom? That’s all gone.

But here is the kicker – THEY DON’T miss it! I partly knew this would happen because it happened to me when I went off sugar, but well, they’re kids. After the 2 weeks we had a family meeting and when I asked my 6 year old how she felt about it, she said she just didn’t feel as good eating sugar and hasn’t missed it. So there! Viola! We are a sugar free house!

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Lee’s daughter got this as well.

The girls, especially my older daughter, has recently said, “Why do you want to feed us sugar all the time Papa?” Wahoo, a small triumph! Keep on keeping on and there are answers here that one could never find in a bottle of wine or a box of chocs.

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Geri talks about the outside feeders.

I stopped by the bank yesterday and the bank teller offered my son a red sucker. Didn’t ask if I minded, just assumed it was okay, I guess. Fortunately, my son said, “I can’t have this . . . too much sugar?” and I said it was. He put it down without a fuss . . thank goodness. This was the first time he has been offered candy at the bank without my being asked if it was okay. On the way home, we also stopped at one of his friend’s to play for a few minutes and during that time his friend gave him chocolate candy without my knowledge which he ate. A few minutes later, he was out of control, screaming, crying, kicking . . . the whole 9 yards. This continued until we got home and I got some real food in him along with his medications.

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This is Laurie’s experience:

For my birthday, my friends made me a delicious fruit salad, with lots and lots of cut up fresh fruit. They had “extras” to put with it, like whole grain crackers, yogurt, and cheeses. I truly did not miss the cake at all — nor did anyone else! There was not a crumb left after the party…unlike the half-cakes we had to try to pawn off on someone at the end of the day. I have always remembered this, because I actually PREFERRED it to a birthday cake (and believe me, it takes a lot to make me choose fruit over cake) — it was so delicious and refreshing. Most of all, it showed how much my friends cared about me and took my food plan seriously. Friends like that are priceless.

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Maggi does the same in a big way:

I decided that we would make our Halloween tradition about the pumpkin carving and the costume. That way, there is a special trip to pick out the pumpkin, carve it and eat dinner in the dark by pumpkin candlelight on Halloween.

The other thing I had wanted to do was to teach him how to sew — so, he picks out his costume, we go to the fabric store, pick out patterns, he chooses the fabric and we sew it together (that means I do 90 percent of the work, and he sews a few straight seams, pins the pattern and pins fabric…). This has worked great, as he has costumes for dramatic play that are really nice that he uses all the time throughout the year. The costumes this way are a little pricey ($40 or so) and very labor intensive for mom, but his cool midnight blue with silver trim wizard costume is a treasure and each one he has used for many years.

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Janie raised a fascinating alternative. She and her family simply are simply not going to do Halloween.

We decided we are going to go to the Grand Canyon! My husband has to go to a meeting in Santa Fe. So we will drive down there and spend the night and the next day. Then we will go on to the Grand Canyon. We will stay a couple of days and then drive the whole way back on Halloween. So we will miss the stupid holiday altogether and not have to worry about it. I will of course talk to them about all the fun we will be having, and all the things we will be doing instead of trick or treating.

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Mary loves eggs too.

Last Easter we had an absolute blast coloring real eggs! I got this huge pallette of jumbo eggs and we boiled and colored them all the night before – it took hours. The next morning we had an egg hunt in our back yard, all real eggs, none filled with candy. The whole thing wasn’t focused on sugar, and it was great. My kids each got 1 small chocolate bunny, and they couldn’t touch it until after a real breakfast. I also found these really cool big eggs filled with matchbox cars, and got them each one. So it was almost sugar-free, and it was great.