sugar free and diet stuff for kids / artificial sweetners

Leila - posted on 06/16/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I have been trying really hard to limit my son's white sugar intake. I never buy soda, unless its diet and caffeine free, and instead of sugary juice, I use crystal light. but some other parents i talk too claim that the artificial sweetners used in diet and sugar free products, like crystal light, and sugar free popsicle, are worse for the kids than the sugar. what do you guys think??

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Angie - posted on 06/16/2010

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Absolutely they are worse. For me it was a progression of knowledge on this subject. It started with the fact that my husband is allergic to any artificial sweetener. Primarily Saccharin and Aspartame. So, when we first got together I tried to keep those sorts of things out of the house. Then later on I was trying to lose weight and started getting sugar free products and diet sodas and couldn't lose to save my life so I went into a specialist who told me that artificial sweeteners have actually been found to cause maintained weight... so it locks your weight and you can't lose and for some it will cause you to gain. It was that doctor that told me that Aspartame when heated to only 86 degrees take on the same chemical components as formaldehyde--- otherwise known as embalming fluid. I then began looking into it and found that the doctor was correct. You can google it.

Also, Saccharin and Aspartame in the late 90's were linked to a rare form of MS that some of our Gulf veterans were being diagnosed with - the cause was speculated to be the diet drinks that had been loaded off of the trucks and placed in the sun, later cooled and drank. - basically they drank formaldehyde.

So fast forward a couple years and I am in the doctor after a pregnancy (different doctor in a different state) and he tells me that if I want to lose the preg weight to go for as 'from the earth' as possible. He specifically said to stay away from anything 'free'.... he said 'nothing is free in this life', lol... he said that if something is free or diet, they had to replace that with something man made to make it taste as 'right' as they could get it. Which is basically chemicals added to your food. He said sugar is ok, but anything in excess is bad for you. It is ok for your kids to have a couple cookies every other day... it is ok for your kid to have a candy bar at the movies... soda is not ok because in just one can you have up to 33 packets of sugar and caffeine which is bad for anyone. Then fast forward a few more years and they come out with Splenda... all natural right? Nope.... When that first came out I called my husbands doctor to ask if he thought my hubby could have it and he said 'no, we don't know enough about it yet'.... he also said 'why does everyone try to skirt the bad stuff...if you are going to drink a soda... drink a soda... if you are going to have a cookie, have a cookie... just don't drink the 12 pk and eat the bag' Sure enough... a few years later and there are class action lawsuits from droves of people who are getting sick off of Splenda. Then a couple years ago I was talking to my sons pediatrician at his doctor appointment and he had started gaining weight, found out that is a prepubescent issue, not an over eating issue.... anyway, in that discussion we discussed artificial sweeteners and he said that there is more damage caused by the affects of artificial sweeteners than those from consuming sugar... when I asked him about fat free stuff he said 'have you ever noticed that most fat free dairy products won't melt.... that should be a give away... cheese should melt, ice cream should melt, lol'

So... after all that... My kids do not consume artificial sweeteners... they are healthy, hardly ever sick... full of energy... not bad energy but active energy, they are all a healthy weight, not one of the three are overweight... the older two (the youngest doesn't go to school yet) are above average in academics... to the point I had to enroll them in private school to keep up with an advanced curriculum. I would love to say that is genetics, lol.. which surely plays a part... but I really think that keeping all the chemicals out of their lil bodies sure can't be hurting.

Also, since I stopped using artificial sweeteners for me.. I lost weight.

They are poison... pure and simple.. by definition, they are poison. Next time you see a truck hauling Aspartame, notice the poison symbols all around the container. - that says it all.

If you really want to cut out artificial sweeteners by the way, notice that your toothpaste has saccharin and so does most all brands of gum.... trust me it is a lil hard to find drinks and snacks without it, but it is possible and once you have it figured out it is just as easy to grab the good stuff.

Hope this helped some!

[deleted account]

bottom line all these moms are right they called "ARTIFICIAL" for a reason. they contain chemicals and are not good for a child's still developing brain/body. it really takes a committed & vigilant mom to make sure her children are eating healthy. good for you for caring to ask :)

[deleted account]

Our pediatrician told us to stay away from artificial sweeteners and anything labeled "Sugar Free" or "Diet"

Going caffeine free in soda is fine, but we usually stick to regular Sprite (which is naturally caffeine free) for Jake's special treats.

IZABELA - posted on 06/18/2010

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I absolutely agree! Aspartame, saccharin, and other artificial sweetners have been shown to cause cancer, among other things. How about switching to sparkling water with just a small splash of juice or a slice of lemon or orange? One safe alternative to sugar if the herbal extract Stevia, which is sold at health food stores and most supermarkets (it's in the organics section at my store).

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Karen - posted on 06/22/2010

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I'm not sure about this but I saw a program on tv a few years ago where they tested the affect of sugar making kid's hyper. they filled half the cups with sugar koolaid and half the cups with sugar free kool aid. then they observed them. There was no difference in hyperactivity. None of the sugar drinkers were any more hyper than the sugar free drinkers. and vice versa. The kids didn't know about the drinks being different or the observation either. looking at the medical side (teeth health and such) I would stay away from the sugar free. Just limit sugar intake.

[deleted account]

I never give my children or myself anything with sweeteners. I buy ocean spray squash. They also love drinking water. Sweeteners and anything artificial is deadly.

Sherri - posted on 06/21/2010

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I am very much for artificial sweetners less calories to me is always a good thing. I will NOT drink regular soda the sugar hurts my teeth will only drink diet. We drink a lot of crystal light. My kids love it. My 4 yr old also drinks a lot of flavored carbonated water drinks as he does not drink any milk, he calls it his soda. It is better than him having juice all the time and I refuse to only give the kid water 24/7.

Angie - posted on 06/21/2010

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Thank you!!! I am going to look for it. We currently use Toms for our toothpaste... it is amazing the things they will stick artificial sweeteners in, lol... Because of my husband I look at every label of anything that enters the mouth, lol... I will look for this gum when I go to Whole Foods this week. I don't know why I didn't even think to look there.
I actually wanted to post this ----http://www.circleofmoms.com/e_Y_14149 ----
It is the link to a Circle of Mom's group I just started. Your post here made me think, wow-it would be nice to have a place to share ideas like this!!! So, I just started it... please share with anyone who you all think might be interested... I also try very hard to go 'all natural' in our diets... I am hoping to create a group where we can all share when we find things like gum or drinks or toothpaste, lol. As silly as it sounds, but food producers have gotten sneaky about putting fake things into our food... I would love a place where we can all expose things when we catch them... for example.. gum... my husband chewed Big Red and Juicy Fruit for years and years... then one day he puts a piece in and says... this tastes funny... so I tried a piece and recognized the taste, swooped up the pack and looked and sure enough! They had started putting artificial sweeteners in them!! Thankfully I think he noticed it soon enough and spit it out. He ended up being fine, but when I wrote the company they had this 'in small doses it isn't harmful' attitude... OMG!!!! So, ya.. it would be nice to have a place to say 'hey! Watch out!! ' ... Anyway.. off my soap box... lol.... if everyone on this thread could do me a favor and invite anyone they think could benefit from a group like that, I would appreciate it!!! Pass the word!!! I think I am going to modify the group as well to not just be alternatives to the artificial sweeteners but also to help people to get away from processed foods... It is amazing how dependent one can become on those.
Thanks again!!! Hope to see you over in the other group too!!!

[deleted account]

Angie:



Yeah, my daughter got real tired of Hubba Bubba and teaberry is hard to find so a friend told us about the xylitol gum. The brand I buy is called SPRY and comes in either packs with pop out chickles (chicklet shaped) or comes in small canisters. They have peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, and a fruit flavor that is similar to juicyfruit. They also make xylitol toothpaste and mouthwash which get you away from the saccharine. If your helathfood store doesn't carry it, they might have another brand or you can order it online. Hope that helps!

Angie - posted on 06/21/2010

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Aileen!! Bless you... what is the name of the gum you get? My husband loves to chew gum but in the recent year all of them except Hubba Bubba so far all have aspartame or saccharin in them. My husband is fatally allergic to artificial sweeteners. We learned with Splenda that we don't even go for the 'new fangled' alternatives to sugar because some have proven to cause problems. His doctor said that at one time Aspartame and Saccharin were deemed 'safe'... so.... don't trust anything unless it is tried and true. (like sugar, lol) I am always on the lookout!!! I never thought to check our health food store and that is where I do 90% of my grocery shopping!

[deleted account]

This is true. I did exstensive online research about artificial sweetners and it turns out they are made from the same chemicals that are in weed killer and rat poison. There are proven links that these artificial sweetners can cause heart problems, alzheimers, cancer, hair loss, mood swings, headaches, and symptoms much like MS to name a few. My daughter is a real gum chewer (which almost all have aspertame) so we found gum made with xylotol at our health food store. Xylotol is all natural and can actually help prevent tooth decay. I buy mostly 100% fruit juice which has no artificial sweetners and limit regular soda to an occasional treat. My daughter drinks lots of milk and water which are much healthier anyways. Sugar is not harmful to children; what is harmful is EXCESSIVE sugar. If your child is a good healthy eater, snacks on fruits and veggies, drinks water, milk, and 100% jucie then treats are not going to be a problem. Just make sure they are good teeth brushers! God Bless!

[deleted account]

Artificial are much worse!! stick with caffiene free soda's and make sure he eats lots of fresh fruits and veggies!! the natural antioxidents are great!!

Angie - posted on 06/16/2010

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I've been told that we don't really know what artificial sweetners will do but we do know what sugar will do. For me, I think I'd rather chance the sugar. However, I don't buy soda (except for special occasions), candy, or any junk food. It's s tough decision. Speak with your childrens' doctor and follow that advice. Good luck...

Tara - posted on 06/16/2010

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I limit the amount of sugar period. We use lactose free milk, we drink lots of water and limit cake, cookies, etc to very small amounts. I more so encourage fruits and vegetables to snack on. I will however give my kids sugar free jello or pudding when they pack lunch for school. I don't feel they need a sugar rush during school hours.

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