You know the song from the late ’60s by The Archies that goes, “Honey … sugar, sugar … You are my candy
girl … ”? Well, that is Kaitlyn’s theme song for any time she is asking for something sweet. She took a dance class when she was about 4 years old and learned a dance routine to that song. I can’t help but remember her as she swung her hips from side to side and snapped her fingers to the music. Ever since then, we sing that song when we’re talking about sugar.
As we were eating pancakes one Saturday morning recently, Kaitlyn exclaimed, “Eating stuff with sugar tastes SO good!” I have to agree with her, but it’s for that exact reason that we don’t have pancakes with syrup very often. It tastes SO good, but I cringe when I read the label on the syrup bottle … 50 grams of carbohydrate per 1/4-cup serving! What??
I started thinking that there’s got to be an alternative to piling so much blood-sugar spiking stuff on her food, and I wondered if she would go for some sugar substitutes to sweeten her food instead. For whatever reason, we’ve never really had a lot of sugar substitutes in the house. We usually go the route of just trying to use the “real” stuff in moderation. You know -- a couple teaspoons of syrup instead of a quarter cup. Or better yet, a dab of butter and some fruit.
I began to think about venturing out and trying some of the other sweet options out there, and I wanted to get an idea about which ones Kaitlyn liked. I decided to do an experiment and have her blindly taste oatmeal with different sweeteners to see if she could tell a difference between them -- and if so, which ones she liked the best. Here’s what we found out.
I offered her five different bowls of oatmeal. Each bowl had one of the following: white sugar, agave syrup, sucralose, saccharin, or nothing (just plain oatmeal). I gave her a blindfold and had her try each bowl. She loved almost all of them except the one with saccharin. Her favorite was the one with agave, followed by regular white sugar, sucralose and then plain oatmeal.
This was a really fun activity, and I’ll probably do it again with a few other sweeteners to see what she thinks. I will definitely be keeping agave syrup in the house from now on though. I gave her the tiniest drizzle, and she loved it! I’m just glad there’s hope for a better way of satisfying Kaitlyn’s sweet tooth!
About the author: My name is Kim. My daughter Kaitlyn (the third of our five children) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just a few years after my nephew James was diagnosed with the same disease. I'm excited to pair up with my sister-in-law, Jen, to share our story with you!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.
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