Does Your Child Have A Sweet Tooth? 5 Simple Tips For Reducing Sugar Intake Of Children

Encourage your child to consume foods from all food groups protein (milk, meat, poultry and cottage cheese), vitamins and minerals ( dark, green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits).

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Does Your Child Have A Sweet Tooth? 5 Simple Tips For Reducing Sugar Intake Of Children

Young children are hardwired to love the sweet stuff


Highlights

  1. Regular intake of sugar is associated with excess weight gain
  2. Moderating is the key for better health
  3. Avoid packaged foods as far as possible

We all know regular intake of sugar is associated with excess weight gain, increase in blood sugar levels, obesity, hypertension, in activeness, fatty liver disease and heart diseases. In fact, young children are hardwired to love the sweet stuff like muffins, cakes, jelly, candies, chocolates, ice creams, donuts and much more. Growing kids need calories for their better health and these calories should provide them nutrition as well. To avoid sugary foods, parents should introduce nutritious foods in their child's diet like whole foods, foods rich in fibre and most importantly home cooked food. Moreover, parents should also read the nutritional label of ingredients before purchasing packaged foods. Encourage your child to consume foods from all food groups protein (milk, meat, poultry and cottage cheese), vitamins and minerals ( dark, green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits). Maximum calories should come from the essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins and minerals and less from unhealthy fats and carbohydrates. 

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Encourage your child to consume foods from all food groups
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Here's How Parents Can Help Their Children With Diabetes Cope Better

1. Do not forbid but do control:

As a thumb rule forbidding foods makes them even more attractive to children. The occasional cookie, a packet of chips or a chocolate bar will not have negative effect on your child's health. Try not to keep sugary snacks in the home, avoid offering them if the kids do not ask for them, and limit the quantity offered even if they do. Make them understand why it is important to limit those foods and teaching them about their own health will work better in the long run than just saying no without giving them an explanation.

2. Avoid sugary drinks:

While fizzy drinks are of course regarded as the most unhealthy options, fruit juices are not as healthy as they seem either. Flavoured water and squash can also contain sugar and preservatives. Try giving children fresh fruit juices, lime water or healthy smoothies with yogurt, nuts and seeds and their favourite fruits. 

3. Eat whole foods:

Avoid packaged foods as far as possible, which are usually filled with empty calories, preservatives and "sneaky sugar" and almost no nutritional value. Instead load up on whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, dairy products and legumes, nuts and seeds. This will help your child keep full for longer and not tempted by the sugary foods.

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Avoid packaged foods as far as possible
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Children's Eye Health And Safety Month: 5 Ways To Protect Your Child's Eyes

4. Drink plenty of water

Ensure that your child drinks enough water all day long. Sometimes thirst can disguise itself as hunger and make your kid reach for sugar. If your kid's pee is clear, he is probably drinking enough.

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Ensure that your child drinks enough water all day long
Photo Credit: iStock

5. Eating in moderation:

Moderating is the key. Instead of a piece of candy or a chocolate bar get creative with snacks and desserts you give your kid. This will help your child slowly and gradually crave for something healthier. Try apple slices with Greek yogurt, avocado toast, homemade jam and bread, pancake with some maple syrup and mixed berry smoothie.

Also read: Popular Nutrition Myths Regarding Pre-teens Debunked

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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