It should come as no surprise that limiting sugar is essential in the healthy progression of your child. Although glucose is vital for the body, there are many different ways in which this can be incorporated into the diet without the need for excessive intake of sugar. Whilst indulgence is a necessary part of life, learning how to do so in moderation will prevent the likelihood of childhood obesity, reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and prevents damage to brain function. Here are some ways in which you can look to improve your child’s diet:
Look for Low-Sugar Sauce Alternatives
When beginning to reduce the quantity of sugar in your child’s diet, one of the easiest ways to do so is by starting small and looking for alternatives to some of your most frequently used condiments and sauces is the perfect way to do so. Whether they’re partial to tomato ketchup or favour a barbecue sauce, there are many varieties on the market that claim to be lower-sugar or even sugar-free. However, these can sometimes mean that artificial sweeteners are used in replacement. Instead, look at the ingredients listed on the back and opt for one with less sugar in it for a subtle change.
Reduce Intake Through Drinks
Your child may start off their day with a cold glass of orange juice to aid them in getting their five a day. However, the sugar levels in some of their favourite juices contain a high sugar content and few health benefits. In addition to juices, smoothies have also been included in a campaign by the government to remove them from counting towards your five a day, as they can contain as much sugar as a glass of fizzy drink. The recommendations are to drink sparingly to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Looking for options which have a low ranking on the Glycemic Index, the index which ranks carbohydrates according to how they affect glucose levels in the blood, instead is the perfect accompaniment for a meal.
Introduce More Fruit
If your child often finds themselves craving something sweet, it can be easy to reach for a sugary snack that is appropriate for being on-the-go. When this is frequently done, it can become a habit that is difficult to break! The perfect alternative is introducing more fruit into their diet. Fruits such as apples, oranges and bananas are handy for when you’re out and about, as they don’t require prior preparation. For those with slightly pickier eaters, try disguising the fruit into cereal bars made with dates or by selecting dried fruit options, such as cranberries.
Reducing your child’s sugar intake does not mean eliminating it from their diet. A fantastic activity to get you all involved would be to have occasional baking sessions, where you all come together to create your favourite recipes. From brownies and cookies to cupcakes and tarts, there are a number of different recipes with a low to no sugar content that is the perfect alternative to a store-bought option.
Choose Your Occasion
Throughout the year, special occasions arise where sugar is prevalent in the food that your child will be eating. If you’re looking to decrease the quantity of sugar that your child will be consuming, why not reserve sugar for these events? This teaches your child to eat in moderation, and controlling their intake when they’re young reduces the challenge later on in life. With a healthier alternative on offer, it is easier to find something that offers a similar taste rather than completely removing any sweet treats from their diet.
Here at St Peter’s boarding schools, Devon, we believe that encouraging healthy eating should start at a young age. Developing eating patterns that create a balanced diet is essential in their development and allows them to flourish, both physically and mentally. For more advice about consistent parenting and how it can be used within the home, please visit our blog.