Sugar Makes Me Hyper
The words we use to describe ourselves often vary from how others would describe us. When it comes to the health and nutrition of my family, I like to consider myself informed and conscientious. Somehow to others, this translates as “extreme,” and some have even said “high maintenance.” We tend to choose foods that are minimally processed with wholesome and nutritious properties. The grains I eat are whole, the fruits and vegetables are mostly organic and the meat is grass-fed and humanely treated. I am lucky to live in an area where we can take advantage of fresh, delicious food. Farmers markets are in abundance here, and we relish in the bounty. I’m not completely inflexible, but I want to keep little man’s innards pure and healthy.
One of the things we like best about the Kids ‘R’ Kids Micah attends is their food philosophy. They employ an actual chef in the kitchen. He attended a prestigious culinary school and worked in fancy restaurants before starting a family. Like most of us, he wanted to spend more time with his young children and decided to switch gears. How lucky for the preschool! Chef Justin uses whole-grain pasta and rice. He makes multigrain bread for sandwiches and French toast. The pizza they eat biweekly is made from scratch in the Kids ‘R’ Kids kitchen, including the sauce and dough! There’s even a garden in the back where the children help grow fresh fruits and vegetables that make it onto their plates and into their tiny tummies. The biggest selling point for me was the absence of fried food. There are no chicken nuggets or French fries on the menu! The parents are invited in to eat periodically, and we always look forward to it. My favorite menu item is the homemade refried bean quesadillas with grilled veggies. Micah’s favorite is the squash casserole that utilizes squash grown in the school garden. For a foodie and health-conscious mama, their menu is a dream!
When Micah’s class was doing a summertime theme called “Lemonade Stand,” the teachers wanted to let the children sample some fresh-squeezed lemonade made from water, lemons, and sugar. Ms. Mya assured me the juice would be extremely watered down for my dude since this was his first time drinking juice. Not wanting my child to be left out, I agreed after Hubby reassured me it wouldn’t scar him for life. That afternoon, my hubby sent me a text message and asked me to log on to the webcam and watch our little man. I tuned in to see Micah running in circles around the classroom at lightning speed, much like that Roadrunner from the cartoons! I kept waiting for him to slow down but he didn’t relent. He kept running and running and running. I could see the teachers laughing at his antics as I chuckled to myself. I sat there watching for over five minutes as he perfected his classroom circuit. He would start out running past the bookshelves, straight through the blocks and construction zone, around the table, and finally he would throw himself into the giant teddy bear in the reading corner. He could have been training for a spot on the toddler Olympic track team with all the laps he was doing! Shortly after, his class went outside to play, and he ran the sugar out for good. By the time I picked him up that evening, my little man was back to his normal toddler pace sans the extra energy boost.
As I was leaving, I asked the director to make sure “juice” was on Micah’s restricted food list. She went in his file and handed me his paperwork to make the change. I reviewed the list and had an out-of-body moment. For a child who doesn’t have any allergies, my son has a long list of restrictions! Anyone looking at this list would surely think I was loony. I can be accommodating as long as he doesn’t get conventional milk, sugary snacks, overly refined carbohydrates or anything on the Dirty Dozen list of produce. Before you start shaking your head in disbelief, rest assured I’m not completely off the wall. Every now and again if I need a good laugh, I just might give him a sip or two of lemonade. I mean, I’m not completely inflexible—sheesh!