As responsible adults, it is our responsibility to take charge of the issue and restrict the detrimental sugar impacts on our children's health.
We all know that eating too much sugar is unhealthy for us, but every time we go shopping, we are assaulted with shelves full of sweets and sugary delicacies that tempt us against our better judgement. While we may be able to resist the allurement despite understanding the risks, children, on the other hand, only see the delicious treats and ignore the risks. As responsible adults, it is our responsibility to take charge of the issue and restrict the detrimental sugar impacts on our children's health. But how do you do it in a world full of wonderful sugary treats?
Sugar’s Effects On Body
When you consume sugars or carbohydrates, your system breaks them down and uses them to produce the energy that keeps you moving. The recommendations for children aged 2 to 11 years old are no more than 6 teaspoons or 33 grams of sugar per day. And, yes, we understand how difficult it is to quantify this, especially since everything we eat appears to contain a little extra.
But what does this delectable chemical do to your body, and is it truly harmful? Both yes and no. As previously stated, sugar is essential to power and maintain your system; however, there are two sorts of sugar - free/added sugars and naturally occurring sugars - and having too much of the first causes difficulties. So, let's see what's going on behind the scenes.
For the brain- sugar is delicious, but it may also be addictive. When we consume sweets and other pleasant foods, our brain produces a feel-good hormone that causes us to crave them more and more frequently.
Teeth- brushing your teeth is essential for preventing cavities, but it is especially crucial after eating sugary meals. Plaque on your teeth is formed when sugar molecules interact with mouth bacteria and saliva. This causes the enamel (tooth protection) to disintegrate and cavities to form.
Digestive system- while a treat now and again is good, eating far too much sugar puts you at risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. This is because when you consume more sugar than you require for energy, your pancreas activates and instructs your body to convert that glucose (blood sugar) to glycogen, which is then stored in your body, resulting in weight gain.
How To Avoid Kids From Having Too Much Sugar
1. Drink More Water
If you're thirsty, don't reach for that sweet, fruity drink right away. Juices count toward your five-a-day, but in their juiced form, they're also high in sugar and lacking in fibre, which slows absorption. Instead, opt for plain water with a piece of fruit to keep your child hydrated and healthy.
2. Snack With Caution
When you've heard "Mom, I'm hungry," or "Dad, I want a snack" 50 times today, it's easy to grab whatever is closest, but sugary snacks are not the answer. Instead of that piece of chocolate, keep a supply of nutritious, low-maintenance snacks on hand.
3. Role Model Behaviour
Think your child has no idea what's in that hidden top cupboard? Of course, they do, unless you're an expert at hiding when you nibble. However, keep in mind that children are quite good at picking up on your patterns, even if you don't want them to. This is why it is critical that you model a healthy relationship with eating, including 'junk' food. Children are more likely to develop an unhealthy relationship with food if you hide their eating habits. However, if you model healthy conduct, your child is more likely to grow up with the same views.
4. Incorporate Healthy Desserts Into Your Diet
A little sweetness is always welcome, and as part of modelling healthy behaviour, it may be time to brush up on your culinary abilities and learn how to make some healthier treats. Instead of the traditional apple pie, try baked apples, cinnamon, honey, banana-based ice cream, or even a baked berry mix. This is also an excellent opportunity to spend some quality time with your children and teach them crucial kitchen skills.
5. Communicate To Kids Properly
As parents or caregivers, they do not have complete control over our children's food, as much as we would like to. They will explore the world on their own, making their own decisions along the way. This is why, when it comes to eating, it's critical to talk to children about the "whys," or why things are beneficial or bad, and how much. Even 'bad' foods can be consumed in moderation, and forbidding them isn't always the key to nutritional success.