5 Quick & Easy Ways To Reduce Sugar In Your Child's Diet
I know most parents have their kid's welfare front and centre, but, cutting down the level of sugar intake by their kids will go a long way to ensure that happens. The problem is sugar is not only hidden in so many foods, but the content level of the sugar is quite a lot when you really look at it closely. Especially in juices, cereals, and cakes like blueberry muffins.
This isn't just a UK problem. It’s a problem that parents face all around the world and it’s getting worse. Especially since the pandemic hit.
A survey commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control, called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that there are five categories of food and drinks from which children are getting excessive amounts of sugar each day:
- Non-juice drinks, such as soda, and sports/energy drinks
- Fruit drinks (including 100% fruit juice)
- Grain-based sweets like snack cakes and cookies
- Dairy desserts, such as puddings
As you can see from this list, it covers a wide variety of different foods that our kids consume on a daily basis
Here’s the 5 :).
Drastically reduce sugary drinks
I mentioned this earlier. It’s not just those sport or energy drinks, but the juices that have 100% fruit juice. Of course, no one is saying to eliminate them completely. However, reducing the amount they drink is a good start.
Believe it or not, manufacturers add sugar to these drinks as a form of getting kids hooked on them. Also, the way in which they extract the juice naturally reduces the fibre content originally in the fruit. For that reason, kids can drink a bucket load of it since they don’t get full.
On average, a no-sugar-added 12-oz glass of orange or apple juice contains 40 grams of sugar. More water and milk are always recommended and also encouraging them to eat whole real fruit is a bonus.
Serve More Fruit & Vegetables
Now, I already covered this in the previous section, but, children should be encouraged to eat fruit and vegetables. In fact, the recommended amount is approx 5-9 servings of produce per day such as peppers, broccoli, carrots, bananas, and apples.
According to recent research, chewing is an important part of being content with how much they have eaten.
Eat Whole Foods That Aren’t Processed
The more food that you can eat in their natural state the better. Unfortunately, over the years we are starting to consume more and more processed foods that strip all of the goodness from our food.
So why are we consuming more?
The producers and manufacturers have realised what makes the food more appealing to us. By adding more salt, sugar and fat make the food more tasty and desirable and borderline addictive.
Cook More At Home
Now, this one is not going to be the easiest to implement, but it would be helpful if parents were able to cook more at home. Obviously, the more control you have over the foods your kids eat, the better it would be.
Restaurants, like processed food manufacturers, generally tend to add more sugar, salt, and fat to their foods to give them more taste.
Pack Snacks Ahead of Time
Snacks are a large part of a kid’s overall diet and is probably the time when they consume the most sugar.
It’s also, really tempting to give kids a treat when you’re out shopping from the sweet aisle, snack counter, or vending machine. However, if you are able to plan ahead, and bring some healthy snacks with you, such as fruit, nuts, and veggie sticks you may be able to avoid this scenario.
Now, of course, this doesn't have to be done every time you go out, but occasionally doing this will make all of the difference.