One of the major reasons that kids love carbs is because, like many of us, they have become addicted to sugar. While carbs in the form of bread and cereal are a more stable source of sugar than, say, a popsicle, they still break down into simple sugars and kids’ bodies have figured that out.
In many households, main sit-down meals have been replaced with small frequent meals and snacks on the go. Instead of a meal, kids look for a quick fix in the refrigerator. This tendency to eat small meals throughout the day has de-conditioned their ability to burn fat – their stable, calm, non-emergency fuel. This contributes to the sugar craze, because not only are they now craving the taste of sugar, but their bodies are relying on it as the main energy source.
When the body is asked to make long trips between breakfast and lunch, and then lunch and supper, it begins to burn fat efficiently. The longest trip was traditionally the one from supper to breakfast. It wasn’t that long ago that supper was as early as 5:30 or 6:00, and after that, the kitchen was closed and kids along with grown-ups fasted from supper all the way to breakfast. During this 13-hour fast, kids reset their ability to burn fat as a natural fuel and then break the fast with breakfast.
As a result of being good fat burners, they remained calmer, rarely gained weight, and were not nearly as addicted to sugar as kids are today. So, part of the sugar craving cure would be to get your kids fed handsomely three times a day. Don’t eat in front of the TV and make sure they don’t leave the table until they are completely finished eating.
Remember the old saying: If you eat standing up, death looks over your shoulder.