RICHARD ORD: No sweet start to New Year - official

Reviews of 2016 have been banned. Apparently nothing good happened.

Wednesday, 4th January 2017, 12:15 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:11 pm
One lump or 22? War is declared on sugar lumps in 2017.

Celebrity deaths, Europe dividing the nation and a reality TV star with a wall fixation getting his tiny fingers on the big red button marked ‘Fire Nukes,’ made for a depressing year.

Even clowns turned into killers (which makes me worry even more about Donald Trump).

For that reason we’re just concentrating on the year ahead.

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Unfortunately, it’s started with war waged on one of the few foodstuffs that deliver pleasure. Not pies, but sugar.

I heard my wife shout to our 12-year-old, Isaac, urging him to “come and watch this on the telly.” He ran through, no doubt with visions of tigers fighting bears on ice or a bungee jumping elephant spinning through his mind, only to be greeted by a BBC news item on the dangers of sugar. Three days into 2017 and the powers-that-be, and my wife, have sweetness in their crosshairs.

Children, according to Public Health England, are eating so much sugar at breakfast that they’ve devoured half their daily allowance before they start school.

Personally, I don’t have an issue with sugar consumption, if it’s enough for horses, it’s good enough for my kids. Apples and sugar lumps, the staple diet of the thoroughbred. The key is getting the balance right. As long as the kids are active enough to burn off the calories then surely there is no problem?

As such, I find stuffing your children with large helpings of additive rich foods and caffeinated drinks usually does the trick.

They’re so hyper they burn off the sugar in no time. You may need a shepherd’s crook to pull them down from the ceiling at the end of the day, but hey, that’s a bit of useful exercise for the parent too. The irony of my wife’s televisual lecture to our Isaac was clearly lost on her.

In the run up to Christmas, our boys had three sweet-loaded advent calendars. Two were industry-standard chocolate calendars with windows revealing a chocolate every day, the third was a fancy Dan one which hung across the mantelpiece and featured 24 dangling Santas each filled with sweets. Sweets that my wife had bought.

The result was that for the whole of December, our boys devoured half their daily allowance of sugar before they even had breakfast.

Where do they get this craving for sweets from? Could it be hereditary?

A recent clean out of kitchen cupboards revealed the answer.

Tasked with emptying out all the shelves to make way for workmen installing a new bench I uncovered a treasure trove of chocolate treats.

They were hidden at the back of cupboards, in pans and under teatowels.

The odd thing was that the majority of these treats, which included Viennese Whirls, Hotel Chocolat selections and Rum Truffles, were out of date.

Turns out they were my wife’s secret stash of chocs!

“I have to hide them or the kids will eat them,” she told me. “Problem is, I forget where I’ve hidden them.”

There’s no sugar coating this, she’s as mad as a hatter.