Healthy Eating For Kiddies: Top Tips For Eating Less Sugar
What we feed our children in their early years and during childhood can influence eating habits, health and body weight in later life. A healthy balanced diet with lots of variety is essential to ensure all their nutrient requirements are met.
There is concern about the amount of sugar we are consuming in our diet. Frequent consumption of sugary foods and drinks can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of diabetes and tooth decay.
Sugars are simple carbohydrates that are easily absorbed by the body providing instant energy. When sugar first springs to mind it’s normal to think of the table sugar we add to foods and drinks but there are lots of different types of sugars naturally present in the foods and drinks that we consume. For example, fruit and vegetables, milk and milk products naturally contain sugar. Here are our suggestions on how to reduce your sugar intake:
- Opt for all green traffic lights on breakfast cereal If your child likes a little sweetness at breakfast time, then add some fruit to your cereal. Frozen raspberries melt perfectly into a bowl of hot porridge and kids will love the marble effect they create when mixed in.
- Limit the amount of sweet treats and swap to no added sugar alternatives such as home-made popcorn with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Keep dried fruit for meal times rather than a snack to graze on and keep an eye on the portion size. It sticks to teeth which can cause tooth decay.
- Water down fruit juice and replace some of the fruit in a smoothie to vegetables. Try adding spinach leaves and a squeeze of lime – kids love the monster green colour it creates. Limit juice and smoothies to once a day
- Swap dessert to fruit. Cutting fruit into different playful shapes, can be as appealing as a sweet treat to children, or have you tried baking apples with a sprinkle of ginger?