My sister has four children, three girls and a boy. When her first, Jenny, was young, my sister kept her intake of sugar to a minimum, always offering fruit instead of cookies or candy, for instance. And it seemed to work wonderfully -- later in Jenny's childhood, if you'd offer her a choice between candy and fruit, for instance, she genuinely preferred the fruit.
Today, however, Jenny is 21, and has been overweight for most of her life (she started getting chubby around age 8). With the other three children, my sister did not restrict their sugar intake (She supervised it, of course, but did not make a point of it as she had with Jenny). None of the three younger children have any sort of a weight issue; they are active and lean. (Jenny was quite active and was even on the dance team in high school, which meant two hours of practice daily, but stayed overweight).
My sister regularly beats herself up over "causing" Jenny's difficulty with weight by what she did to restrict sugar intake when Jenny was a baby and toddler. She thinks that in essence, Jenny's young body didn't learn to process sugar correctly. Could she be right?
I'd really like to help her let herself off the hook for this one. Do you have thoughts? Or experiences with your own children?
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