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Growth Spurts Make Kids Crave Sugar Even More Than Usual

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Fighting a kid’s sweet tooth is a losing battle. One minute you’re feeling proud that your kid will happily eat spinach and stinky cheese, then next minute she’s forgotten all her words besides “cookie” and is refusing to eat anything but muffins. It’s exasperating, but it’s not your fault. And now it looks like kids’ tendency to crave sugar gets even more pronounced when they’re in a growth spurt.

A very cool animated video from Eater and the Monell Center research institute talks about how a recent study of children at various stages of development craved sugary foods more when they were in the middle of growth spurts. Kids in general craved sugar more than adults, and the kids who were growing craved it more than those kids who were not at the moment in a growth phase.

The findings make sense, logically speaking. Kids tend to crave sugar more than adults because their rapid growth makes their bodies want to consume more energy. Growing bodies want the sugar to

I realize this doesn’t mean it’s OK to just let my toddler skip dinner and drink out of the hummingbird feeder–which she seems to actually be trying to do–but it does make me feel a little better about the direction her food tastes are going right now. She used to be so good about eating chicken and cheese and fish and vegetables, and for the past week she’s been throwing it all on the floor and screaming for sweet things. I thought maybe I broke her brain by letting a baker at the farmers’ market give her a cookie, but now I’m thinking maybe she’s just going through a growth spurt. That’s a relief, at least.

(Gif: Giphy)