Is your child crazy about sweets? Do they always think about what dessert to relish in their next meal? If so, then it’s time to keep a check on their sugar consumption. Excess intake of added sugar can lead to various health issues later in life, including diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay. Too much intake of added sugar also affects your kid’s moods, energy level, activity, and hyperactivity levels. But worry not, here are some ways through which you can limit the sugar intake of your kids.
1. Develop Healthy Relationship With Sweets
Let’s be honest. We all love eating some dessert or sweet treat at the end of every meal or at least once during the day. So, how can you expect that kids would not love the same? However, the problem arises when kids just want to eat sweets all the time or they gobble down plate full of sweets at one go, which is not a healthy thing.
That is why it is essential to make your kids understand what sugary food items are safe to consume regularly and what should be consumed within limits and why. The goal of every parent should be to help their kids develop a healthy relationship with sweet items instead of stopping it completely.
2. Offer Sweet Alternatives
Eating food items that have natural sugars like fruits, beans or certain dairy products is absolutely fine. Some experts believe that natural sugars are essential for kids’ growth and development. It is just the added sugar that is the culprit.
To limit their sugar intake, always offer healthy sweet alternatives to kids. For instance, instead of giving them ice cream, chocolates, or cupcakes after a meal, ask your child to consider having sweet fruits like mango, strawberries, or banana to satisfy their sweet tooth.
3. Do Not Buy Sugar Laden Beverages or Food Items
One of the easiest ways to limit the sugar intake in your kids is to stop buying sugar-laden beverages or food items from stores. Be it juices, lemonades, sports drinks, sodas, coffee drinks, and so on, strictly prohibit yourself from splurging on these items every now and then. Even those 100% fruit juice has a lot of sugar concentration at times, so try to avoid them as well.
Also, don’t stock sugary food like ice cream, candies, and cupcakes etc. at your home. The easy availability of these items will make your child crave for them even more.
4. Be Aware of Sugar Synonyms
That box might claim to be a healthy snack for kids, but that’s not always the case. Sugar comes in various forms and with different names so make yourself aware of its synonyms. If the label reads that the food item contains sucrose, agave, processed honey, molasses, or dextrose, better leave the box on the shelf. It is not a healthy option for your kid.
5. Pick Foods With Less Than 10 gms of Sugar
Always look for food items, especially cereals and granola bars, which have less than 10 grams of sugar and more than 5 grams of fiber in them. Fibrous foods will help in lowering diabetes and prediabetes risk in your kids.
But most importantly, do not completely stop sugar from your child’s diet. Moderation is the key. Just try to limit the sugary stuff and introduce better alternatives to them, one at a time.
You can also read 5 Healthy Sugar Substitute for Kids