How to Introduce a Sugar Free Lifestyle to Your Children
It is never too late to instill healthy nutritional values to your children. With Halloween around the corner, followed by the holidays, your children will face mountains of sugary treats from now until after Easter. When our children are very young, we seldom consider the sugar content that sneaks into their diets. While it is true that a treat from time to time will not hurt them, over time sugar can do substantial damage. Consider the following:
A child has limited space in their stomach. A sweet treat fills them up quickly leaving no room for any foods with nutritional value. However, that sugar will quickly fade away and the child will be hungry. This throws a monkey wrench into meal schedules. The child is uncomfortable and may develop digestion problems due to the battle of getting their diet under control from just one sugary snack.
These treats stick to the teeth. It is difficult to brush a toddler's teeth effectively. There are foods that could harm your kid’s teeth long-term. Sugar is usually hidden in those foods.
Sugar causes your child's insulin levels to rise too quickly to process sugar in their blood. The rise can cause hyperactivity and discomfort. This is followed by a fast and hard drop in the insulin levels once the sugar has been dealt with. The child can feel shaky and unwell.
When you eat sugar, your body craves more sugar. A child who is allowed to consume sugar at will can quickly become obese. This will affect every part of their life.
Why would any parent want to allow these medical problems in their young child? Sure, the child is temporarily happy to have their sugar fix, but a smart parent weighs it out and soon decides that omitting sugar is much easier on their child than do damage control.
Changing your lifestyle
It starts with a lot of conversation. You must tell the other adults that play a part in your child’s life of your quest. If they are not willing to get on board, you will have to limit their visits to times when it is not mealtimes. Remember, you are not putting your child on a diet. They can have reasonable treats, but they do not have to contain sugar. Keep treats for their special days and parties. Your child will be just as excited to have a sugar-free candy as they would be if it contained sugar. Keep a stash at your parent’s home so if they are tempted to treat the child they have an acceptable option.
Talk to your children. Have them help you make a list of their favourite foods that are healthy They will soon see there are many foods that they like that they can have.
Let your children help make treats for holidays as part of the fun. There are tins of DIY treats available online that are made from fruits, veggies, and berries. Get creative and conquer the sugar beast in your home.
Here are some other tips:
Do not have products with sugar in the home.
Set a good example. Do not expect them to refrain from snacks if you cannot.
Have foods that they like and that they can eat, on hand.
Have sugar-free candy on hand for treats you want to give them.
Use natural products like honey to sweeten baked goods.
Don’t fight unnecessary battles. Unless someone is deliberately undermining your authority, small treats from time to time will not hurt anyone.
Photo source: https://unsplash.com/photos/YlwOMESLPQo
If you want to learn more
About the Author
Wendy is a super-connector with Sweet Services who helps businesses with building their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. Wendy frequently writes about the latest family and lifestyle trends for various outlets.