Recently there’s been a spat of articles claiming that sugar is worse than crack, which certainly goes a long way toward explaining the national crime spree perpetuated by five year olds looking for their next hit of Lik-A-Stix.

Sorry, I need to apologize for that last sentence. It was clearly based on the stereotype that kids love sugar, and if I’ve learned nothing else over the past 32 years, it’s that stereotypes are bad, even if they are based on the tendencies of 99% of the population in question.

My son, by the way, is part of the 1%. Not that he doesn’t like sugar, but he could take it or leave it.

What brings up my discussion about sugar isn’t the patently ridiculous PR attempt by the cocaine industry to make their product look safer than one our kids guzzle down by the truckload, but a discussion of cereal on a local radio show last week. The panel was complaining about a recent list of the Best Cereals of All Time, especially for the inclusion of healthy options in that list. Cereal, they argued, was simply a delivery method for sugar.

The comment brought back personal childhood memories of hurriedly tearing through the Rice Crispies of Corn Flakes to get the real treasure: the deliciously sweet dregs. Or, as they called it on the show, the sugar sludge.

I haven’t had sugar sludge for years, despite it being one of the most sought after diabetes inducing treats of my boyhood. We’re just not big on cereal in our house these days. While I’d gladly eat Honey Bunches of Oats every morning from now until SMOD‘s ultimate Anti-Trump campaign comes into effect, Amy’s lactose intolerant, which has led us to pick alternatives for our morning dish.

As a side note, don’t bother recommending alternatives to milk to use with cereal. We’ve tried them all. Calling the items stocked on the shelves alongside milk a substitute is like calling a Timex a substitute for a Rolex. And just like a Timex, nobody it their right mind complains when soy milk is tossed down the disposal.

Anyway, because we typically avoid cereal, I donned my air of superiority while listening to that radio show. I thought that, for everything else we do wrong with our kids, at least we don’t feed them bowls of sugar laced wheat in the morning.

Two days later, Kella requested oatmeal. Oatmeal without sweetener is only a half step up from dirt, and since I’m not a monster, I let Kella add some sugar. This is the result:

She's also wearing a Ring Pop, but it didn't fit in the frame.

She’s also wearing a Ring Pop, but it didn’t fit in the frame.

It’s been a while since she’s had oatmeal, and I’d forgotten that she likes it layered with sugar. “Don’t mix it in, Daddy,” she’ll warn when I look at her efforts.

Even better, she’ll skim the sugar off the top with as little oatmeal as possible. Once she gets through the sugar, she’ll either push the bowl away or asked to be topped off.

While watching Kella tear through enough sugar to kill any lesser mammal, I flashed back on the radio show when they complained about the “healthy” cereals that made it on the Top Cereals list. Based on the scene in front of me, the radio people just weren’t eating those healthy cereals right.