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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingParenting · 1 month ago

Should a parent tell a pre-school child that white sugar is 'poison'?

OK, my 4 year old nephew has been over here for a few days because my sister is quarantining herself due to exposure to COVID.  She didn't give me any special diet instructions except "no junk food" which I took to be chips, cookies, candy etc.  This morning, I was getting him a bowl of Rice Krispies, and I was about to put white sugar on them, when he began crying.  I asked him what was wrong and he said white sugar was poison and he didn't want to eat poison and die.  Sure, it's not the best food for you, but it's certainly not 'poison'.  I think my sister has traumatized the kid.  Plus, now he's going to be telling people his uncle 'tried to poison him'.  Is this a bad way to teach children about a healthy diet?  Is the little guy going to need therapy?

11 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    I would say that is lying to a child  of that age. Definition of  poison :  producing a toxic substance that causes injury or death when absorbed or ingested .  It may cause " injury", but I'm 70 and I"ve eaten sugar all my life and am not dead from poison. I agree it is to be avoided, but to infer that it is going to kill you ??????????  I think a frank discussion with the child would be helpful, like " there are certain foods that are not great for our bodies, and we should try and not eat much of them ".  But to say sugar is poison, is an untrue statement.

  • 1 month ago

    Yes............

  • 1 month ago

    sugars not bad in the small amount , your sister lie to the child!!!!!!!

  • P.L.
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    No, but the child needs to be told that too much sugar is bad for our teeth and bad for our health generally.  The parent should be in charge of what goes into the child's mouth so all sugary treats should be out of sight or bought only on the day that the treat is allowed - once a week maybe.

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  • 1 month ago

    Parenting seems so simple from the cheap seats.  But the reality is that what your sister is doing isn't necessarily wrong or traumatizing like you believe it to be.  She is just using a strategy that takes sugar completely off the table (so to speak).to her son.  When he is older and understands what sugar actually is, your sister will have to change her strategy to get him to continue to avoid it.  FYI 4 year olds barely have any cognitive memory so will likely forget about your "attempted murder" by dinner time.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Gaydos suggests that parents offer kids healthy choices at every meal and let them choose what their bodies tells them they need. It may be meat ...

    Missing: 'poison ‎| Must include: 'poison

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Your sister may not have considered her son's age when she told him about the dangers of eating too much refined sugar, but she DOES have a point. Sugar IS dangerous to health when consumed in large amounts- and the reality is that most Americans consume FAR TOO MUCH. It's one of the major reasons why conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are so rampant among Americans of all races and backgrounds, but in particular are a problem among minority groups. Obesity, which is a precursor to each of the conditions I just mentioned, is at RECORD LEVELS across the country as well- and excess sugar consumption lies at the heart of it, along with lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle for most kids.

    Your nephew is at a vulnerable age. He's in the process of forming the eating habits which will affect him for the rest of his life. Naturally, your sister (his mom) wants to make sure that the habits he forms are good ones, and that his relationship with food is a healthy one. That's part of her job as a parent. But what she hasn't done is to explain the nuanced meaning of her comment about sugar being a poison in terms that her son can understand. The only thing HE heard when she made that comment was that sugar was dangerous. He probably didn't hear or didn't understand the rest of the story- only that sugar and anything with sugar in it was likely poisonous. And of course, this scared him, because he's too young to really understand subtlety. Then you came along and tried to feed him a cereal which is ALREADY sweet (Rice Krispies is marketed to children precisely because it is sweetened) and started to add additional sugar to it. Of course he got upset, because he'd been told that what you were doing was dangerous. He didn't know or understand that there are degrees of danger, because he hasn't been told about them and because of his age.

    You would probably have gotten a similar reaction if you'd attempted to feed your nephew something like a donut or a Pop-Tart. Both of those are loaded with sugar, and they are also high in fat and empty calories that kids this age DON'T NEED. What a child the age of your nephew needs for breakfast is some type of high protein food (such as eggs) along with unsweetened whole fruit, and some whole grain, LOW SUGAR cereal like oatmeal OR whole grain bread. Cereal is okay, as long as it's whole grain and DOESN'T HAVE a lot of sugar. Most of the cereals made by Kellogg's  are FULL OF SUGAR- just read the labels on them if you doubt me.

    Junk food includes chips, candy, and cookies, yes, but it ALSO includes things like chicken nuggets, fries, pizza, fast food (of ANY KIND) as well as soda and sugar-laden beverages like orange juice and Kool-Aid that are marketed to kids. I suspect that if your nephew is like most kids his age, he's already had most of these things at some point, and probably loves a good many of them. Even peanut butter and jelly is considered to be junk food by most dietitians, believe it or not, because it's full of fat and sugar. Most commercially sold peanut butters are full of sugar- again, read the labels on them if you doubt this. Brands like Jif and Skippy are particularly bad when it comes to this. And the frozen PB &J products, like those made by Smucker's, are even worse than the regular stuff. About the only reasonably healthy way to eat peanut butter is to buy the unprocessed organic product- the kind that's made without any sugar. But since kids usually won't eat things that aren't sweet, I am sure your sister probably buys Jif or one of the other brands that has sugar in it. The Nutella spreads are also REALLY bad for kids- and adults, for the same reason that peanut butter is. The two main ingredients in Nutella are sugar and palm oil. It's next to impossible to get a real hazelnut spread in the US- they just don't make it here- that doesn't contain sugar and a whole bunch of other unhealthy ingredients.

    I doubt your nephew will need therapy. What he does need is someone who is willing to take the time to explain what the story is with sugar in a way that he can understand and relate to.

  • 1 month ago

    Well I would wonder why you were putting straight sugar on a cereal, particularly without even asking him if he wanted it.  Sure, it's overboard to call it poison.  But it's her kid.  Talk to her and get specifics on what you can and can't feed him.  She might not even have been the one who told him that.  And if he can mimic that, he can be told you didn't try to poison him.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    His mother sounds like she's a bit overboard on the healthy eating thing.  She needs to word things better because little children are very impressionable.  I would have a chat with her if I were you...she needs to see the error of her ways before that poor kid needs lifelong therapy. 

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    If his mother convinced him the white sugar is actual literal poison, then when he grows up and begins to think for himself, he is probably not going to have a good relationship with his mother

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