Babies & ToddlersHigh SchoolKidsParenting NewsPre-SchoolPrimary School

How to curb your child’s sweet tooth

Work to curb your child’s sweet tooth by recognising added sugars on food labels and focusing on healthy snacks and beverages.

Would you allow your child to consume 22kgs of sugar? This is is how much the average four to eight-year-old consumes a year!

According to experts, most children develop a sweet tooth from a young age. And this sweet tooth can lead to numerous health challenges both during childhood and into adulthood. Plus, filling up on sugary treats leaves less room in little tummies for healthy foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.

Children who consume too much sugar are at an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, or both.

Children over the age of 12 who consume around 80gms of added sugar per day are nine times more likely to have metabolic syndrome than those whose intake stays around 30gms per day. Metabolic syndrome is connected with added sugar regardless of the caloric intake or body mass index of children.

What you can do to curb your child’s sweet tooth

Adopt these simple sugar-busting strategies…

Start with the first meal of the day

Most children often consume more sugar for breakfast than for dessert. And the sweetness comes from more than cereal, fruit juice, and chocolate milk.

A single-serving container of flavoured yoghurt or two home-style frozen waffles with syrup can have as much added sugar as a full-size chocolate bar.

Make adjustments to your family’s go-to breakfast so that it is less sugary. Consider unsweetened yoghurt made from whole milk, steer clear of sugary boxed cereals and serve your child a breakfast rich in protein (a fast scrambled or hard-boiled egg) instead.

Limit sugary spreads

Reserve chocolate spreads, syrup, and jam for special occasions. Choose peanut butter, which is superior since it contains protein. Although most brands have 1 or 2gms of added sugar per tablespoon, this is far less than the four to eight grammes of sugar in one tablespoon of syrup. Other intelligent options are cottage cheese, ricotta, simple cream cheese, and butter.

Choose snacks wisely

When buying snacks, always read the product’s ingredient list to ensure that it does not include additional sweeteners such as sugar alcohols, stevia, or sucralose. Artificial sweeteners have not been well evaluated in children, and they will prevent you from helping your child transition to less-sweet meals. Remember, every 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon. That can add up fast, especially when kids ask for more.

Rethink beverages

Even if your child doesn’t drink canned sodas, chances are they drink fruit juice. Make water the main beverage served in your home.

Keep portion sizes in mind

A sweet treat every once in a while can help satisfy your child’s sweet craving – so long as you don’t allow your child to overindulgence. When giving your child sweets or chocolates, it’s important to keep portion size in mind.

Don’t use sugary treats as rewards

Many parents attempt to entice or persuade their children to behave or consume nutritious meals by giving sweets as a reward. Try to refrain from saying, “If you eat your veggies, you can have dessert,” or “If you are good in the car, you can have a chocolate.” It may cause your child to develop an unhealthy attachment to sweets.

Find a balance

Banning all sweet treats from your home can make the situation worse and increase your child’s need for sugar. Instead, demonstrate to your children that an occasional sweet treat is acceptable as part of a healthy diet – as a treat, in reasonable portions, and only on special occasions or days.

Related Articles

Back to top button