7 ways to reduce sugar in your kids diet

Sugar has a sneaky way of getting in to your familiy's food

It is a new year and many people start a fresh combating their bad eating habits and so forth. However, while parents are getting healthy your children may be forgotten as they are of a healthy weight and show no health issues but everyone can do with nutritious food. The main danger to a child’s future health is eating too much sugar mixed with an inactive lifestyle the kids of tomorrow are heading towards a future riddled with diabetes type 2 and obesity. There are so many things you can do to reduce sugar in your child’s diet and we have listed them here to help you and your family. 
  • Cut out juices and fizzy drinks- Children should be encouraged to drink water or milk as opposed to unhealthy sugary fruit drinks or soda pops. While these are fine have occasionally your child generally shouldn’t have more than one a week as there is absolutely no goodness in these drinks regardless of the zero sugar options. Even flavoured juice is stripped of all the natural fibres and while it may contain some vitamins they are by no means healthy. Think of your children’s teeth and push aside these drinks gradually adding more water to diluted juice and eventually your kids will drink plain old water or milk. 
  • Look at breakfast options- A lot of breakfast cereals are riddled with sugar unbeknownst to a lot of parents. Of course, kids will want the sugar coated or chocolate flavoured puffs of rice but these are the worst food you could give your child for the most important meal of the day. Consider oats or bran flakes and add fruit to sweeten them, sure your kids will hate them at first but persevere and if your child prefers toast opt for brown and even better make it yourself to avoid added sugar that inevitably lives in all shop bought breads. 
  • Make meals from scratch- Seems impossible but making sauces and dinners from scratch can be easy with a little organisation. You can make sauces or pesto’s ahead and freeze them taking them out only when needed. Forget processed foods or eating from the freezer unless it is food prepared days before and frozen to help with the busy nights at home. 
  • Throw out the junk- This is quite simple if there is no bad food in the house your child will be unable to access them so do yourselves all a favour and rid the family of the junk!
  • Bake treats and keep it homemade- No one is suggesting you cannot have treats but there are ways to bake or make treats without poisoning yourselves with a huge amount of sugars. A little internet search and you will find endless amounts of cookies, cakes or even ice-cream made with very little or no sugar and they taste great too! 
  • Keep snacks healthy- Crackers, fruit, soup and veggie sticks are all great options and will keep hunger away longer too than sugar rich snacks. 
  • Discuss food and the implications of unhealthy eating with your family- As it is a new year discuss food with your kids and let them all have their say in terms of what they like or don’t like. Look at options to their favourite foods and allow them to help prepare food. In time your family will feel better for the changes, your teenagers skin will improve and they will all feel energised but it does take time and commitment together. 
Best of luck X 
Written by Emma Hayes. Emma is a writer with Family Friendly HQ and also writes her own parenting musings over at www.emmasmadjotters.com


Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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