Finding ways to stay healthy can be very tough, especially around the holiday season, but as parents, we all face that battle between our children and sugar. We all know that too much sugar is bad and can impact our children’s activity levels and mood. . and this rollercoaster of blood sugar raising and lowering is a massive issue. So, what is the solution? It’s about improving their relationship with sugar and finding healthy (and stress-free!) ways to lower the sugar intake.
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Establish A Baseline
Start by finding out whether your child’s health is being impacted negatively by sugar, especially their teeth and gums. Too much sugar can lead your child down a slippery slope of needing fillings, or worse, having teeth removed. Many pediatric dentistry providers offer a wealth of information so you are savvy in terms of what you need to do to prevent potential problems down the line. However, it can also be a very stark lesson for your children if they need to undergo painful procedures in the dentist’s chair.
2. Look At How Your Children Hydrate
You may think something like fruit (including fruit juice, fruit snacks and other fruit-flavored items) are healthy for your children just because they have natural sugars, but the truth is that most fruity items have fruit flavors that come from concentrate. This means the fruit has all of the fiber removed from it. . . leaving a sugary sweet drink that tastes like fruit.
While you don’t have to cut all the fruity flavors from your child’s diet, it’s important to be mindful of the ways you’re being marketed “healthy” options that aren’t all that healthy.
3. Increase Fiber Intake
You might think about breakfast and granola bars as great snacks for your children, but they can be full of sugar. A good rule to follow is to find food that has 10 grams of sugar but contains more than 5 grams of fiber. Fiber is fantastic because it can lower the risk of pre-diabetes and can make your children feel fuller. This way they don’t feel the temptation to snack on unhealthy items.
4. Retrain Their Taste Buds
Retraining has a lot to do with how you introduce foods to your kids. It is possible to lower your child’s sugar intake. But it’s about gradually lowering it, rather than removing it completely. For example, if your children eat sugary cereal every day, you could benefit from swapping the base and instead sprinkling some dried berries in. This will give the bowl the sweet taste, but will retain fiber and lose out on the extra, unhealthy sugars and carbs.
5. Look At The Labels
If you really want to understand how much sugar your child is consuming, you’ve got to start reading the labels. When you see how much sugar your child should be consuming per day as an upper limit, and you start to track the things they eat, it can help you stay on course to minimize that total amount every day.
It’s important to realize that if a food item has 10 grams of added sugar, this is almost half the recommended daily amount for your child!
When it comes to removing sugar from your children’s lives, it may feel impossible because they have a variety of influences in life. However, this is where you have to recognize that while you won’t be able to have complete control of everything, your goal is to help them make smarter choices in life and recognize when they eat well they feel well.