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OK, my 4-year-old nephew has been over here for a few days because my sister is quarantining herself due to exposure to COVID. She didn't give me any special diet instructions except "no junk food" which I took to be chips, cookies, candy etc. This morning, I was getting him a bowl of Rice Krispies, and I was about to put white sugar on them, when he began crying. I asked him what was wrong, and he said white sugar was poison and he didn't want to eat poison and die. Sure, it's not the best food for you, but it's certainly not 'poison'. I think my sister has traumatized the kid. Plus, now he's going to be telling people his uncle 'tried to poison him'. Is this a bad way to teach children about a healthy diet? Is the little guy going to need therapy?
No, he’s not going to need therapy. Tell your nephew you would never, ever give him something poison or do anything to hurt him, keep it light. Your sister (if it was even her) used too strong of a word to teach him that sugar isn’t healthy. I agree with you that it’s a bad way to teach children about a healthy diet, but sometimes parents go a little overboard and this is forgivable, it isn’t easy to raise children and she’s doing her best, so just explain to your nephew that sugar is not poison, it’s just empty calories and a special treat for once in awhile. Because she didn’t give you any specific diet instructions it’s likely just something she (or someone else) told him. Let your sister know because it’s not fair for a four year old to be frightened by that, and find out if it’s OK with her if he has a little sugar as a special treat at your house or not, if not she can send what she wants him to eat. It’s a stressful time for everyone and he’s away from home so perhaps he cried and reacted a little more than he normally would have.
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