Imagine a blueberry muffin and juice for breakfast?
Yummy peanut butter jelly sandwich with fruit punch for lunch?
Cupcakes at school parties and ice cream for dinner?
Wouldn’t these food choices make the best day of your child’s life?
A sugary pick will always top their favorite food list.
Some parents get into the habit of rewarding their children with candies or various other sugary treats for showing good behavior. Grandparents use sweets to see the little faces of their grandchildren light up.
Such treats and indulgence bring in joy in the life of our children, they act as mediums to connect us with them, they mix well with our cultural traditions and thereby end up becoming an integral part of every occasion we celebrate.
However, can these sugary treats be considered good for our children? Should sugar intake be heavily restricted or eliminated once and for all from our daily practices?
‘Sugar is the sociopath of foods. It acts sweet… But it’s poison’, Karen Salmansohn
Read on – to find out the harmful effects that sugar can have on your children and the various ways in which we can reduce sugar intake and not eliminate the same from their diet.
The most daunting task for parents is to keep your children away from candies, cakes, cookies, ice-creams, juices, and all other sugary food.
Foods that are rich in sugar have a less nutritional value which is a well-known fact.
Excess consumption of sugar is bad for our health. It causes poor oral health and various other diseases with obesity being the most common among them. It triggers various other health ailments such as heart diseases, diabetes, and high blood pressure. You need to make your children cut down on their sugar consumption, which could be challenging as most of our food choices are either high in simple carbohydrates or sugar.
Try out these smart tricks to reduce sugar consumption without eliminating them as treats from your kid’s life
1. Backpedal drinks: Go easy on juice and allow your children to have a tiny glass of juice in the mornings or evenings. Restrict lemonade only to special occasions with a Big No to soda. Avoid packaged juices and rather give them fresh fruit juice prepared at home. Make it sugarless or just add a pinch of Swee10 to make it sweet.
2. Reset the breakfast table: Swap their bowl of sugary cereals with freshly prepared porridges such as oatmeal and ragi malt.
Serve healthy fruit whipped smoothies, egg-based breakfasts, and home-baked muffins.
3. Get creative with fruits and vegetables: Pair up brightly colored and interesting textures of fruits and vegetables.
Be experimental as the appearance of the food can increase your child’s interest.
Stock up with varied choices: Kids will choose from what’s available in the house.
Store plain yogurt, nuts and raisins that can be easily scooped, and replace munchies and biscuits with oven-roasted vegetable crisps.
Variety can help; always have a couple of alternatives by rejiggering your grocery list.
Involve your children in cooking their meals, introduce them to healthy sugar alternatives, set examples, and avoid rewarding them with sugary treats. Teach and allow them to learn the benefits of consuming food in moderation.
A kid’s love for sugar is hard to stop, it is like desserts being the fairy tale of the kitchen – A happily ever after to supper. But even if we can’t make them stay away from sweets, we can introduce them to a healthier alternative to sugar.
So, parents, you are responsible for setting the groundwork – healthy eating habits are important as they act as the foundation to become healthy adults in the future.