Candy such as jelly beans, sugar babies, lifesavers, and tootsie pops. Candy bars including Snickers, Butterfingers, and Baby Ruths. Soda drinks like Coke, Pepsi, RC Cola, and Dr. Pepper. Sugared cereals like Captain Crunch, Sugar Pops and Smacks.
These were the staples for most children growing up in the 1960s and 70s. But as a kid living with the Big D, these were absolutely not on the approved list for me to eat.
Except for ice cream.
My Mother grew up on a farm just north of Sedalia, Missouri. On most weekends, we drove the 90 miles from Kansas City to visit my grandparents and partake in the farm lifestyle. One of the benefits was an ice cream shop in Sedalia called Tullis Hall.
My parents discovered that the Tullis Hall owner had created a type of vanilla ice cream that was lower in sugar. What a treat when we went to the store – I still remember the multiple scoops of sugar free ice cream on a cone.
We had no idea how many grams of carbohydrates, fat, protein or calories were in the ice cream because food labels weren’t required then. We had no idea what impact the ice cream had on my blood sugars because blood meters weren’t yet available.
What I do know is Tullis Hall ice cream was special. Amidst the discipline that accompanied the diabetes diet, the stop on the way home was an exception and a real treat.
Thanks to the owners of Tullis Hall for making a sugar free ice cream and creating a moment and experience that made a difference.