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Yay for Birthdays!

Dear Miss Smarty-Pants,

I have a goofy question for you. The celebration of my son's first birthday is coming up. His godmother is of the opinion that he really should get dirty eating cake, and therefore it should be a chocolate cake. I really don't want him eating all that sugar, so I want to give him pumpkin spice cake. I'm also afraid he may have a sugar-induced meltdown, which could put a damper on the day. Do I put my foot down and insist that she not give him any of the chocolate cake (which I'm making for adults because it's my birthday too)?

Yay for Birthdays!

Dear Yay,

1. One bad sugar day is not going to map out a future of certain obesity for him, and 2. Why does the godmother care? 3. Need I mention there is also sugar in pumpkin spice cake?

I say everybody should relax - the kid will probably only eat about three bites anyway. Whatever you serve, put whipped cream on it - you can make your own if you really want to control the sugar content. Why should you add whipped cream? Because it is so yummy!

The Courier ran an article in their Oct. 15th edition debunking certain myths, and one of the myths is that sugar can induce melt-downs in kids. The article was written by Margaret Shapiro and originally published in the Washington Post. Here is what it said, in case you missed it, and for others who may have missed it, too:

Sugar makes kids really wired. Nope, even though many parents swear this is true. Live Science.com writes: "In one particularly clever study, kids were given Kool-Aid sweetened with aspartame, a compound that contains no sugar. Researchers told half the parents the Kool-Aid contained sugar, and told the other half the truth."Wrist sensors on the kids found they were "actually acting subdued," but the parents who thought their kids had ingested a sugary drink "reported that their children were uncontrollable and overactive." More likely it is the excitement of parties where sugary treats are served that makes kids wild.

So there you have it. Science is on the side of kids enjoying their birthday parties with a sugary treat! Bottom line: If you have solid evidence your child gets cranky from a little cake, it might be a good idea to have his blood sugar checked, or see if he has a food allergy. 2nd bottom line: Parents get to decide what goes into their child's mouth, not godmothers, Uncle Frank, or the next door neighbor. Of course a kid should not have free range in the kitchen. But a little sugar now and then should not be a problem. Happy Birthday to you and your son!

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