Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sugar and Behavior in Early Childhood Education

“Sugar is a type of bodily fuel, yes, but your body runs about as well on it as a car would.” ~V.L. Allineare

The children are already getting that glazed look. Sugar. Candy…. In all shapes forms and sizes.
Seems like most schools I have worked at over the years have caved into parents demands or modified their policies for specific occasions.
I’ll do what I am told to do either way as a preschool teacher.
But there are definite consequences to our actions when children are given lots of sugar. I usually type up a personal letter for the families giving a gentle reminder about their intake. Kids may go over friend’s houses, various families houses sampling goodies, a few party invites- vacuuming up holiday cookies and candies…the next thing you know…..They are in trouble for swinging from the rafters and for such unusual behavior.
The rules in the preschool class are the same as any other time.
There seems to be something about festivities and holidays that makes us want to make a shift from our daily routines…all the things we know that are good for us.
I have to remind myself too.
Kids can be sweet without all that sugar.


Jenni said...

To accomodate the parents, I allow them two options for special occasions: come in and do an activity that represents something they do in their home for whatever celebration or bring in something that promotes a healthy lifestyle (frozen fuit bars, trail mix, stickers, apples and peanut butter-if no allergies, etc...).

I have only had a few parents balk, but if I stick to it, it smooth over pretty well eventually.

I also worked at one place that for birthdays asked parents to donate a book to the center rather than bring in cupcakes...that worked wonderfully and built up our center library!

Barbra The Bloggess said...

Hi Jenni,
Thank you.
I like the books...

Dan Gurney said...

So true. It's hard. Highly refined sugar is, let's be real here, is basically a toxin. I don't refuse to take on the corporations who want to poison our kids (they'll win) so I just encourage parents to send really small treats.