Added sugars are the culprit behind many health problems. Especially in children, you will want to watch the intake of your child’s daily sugars. This can be difficult, considering children love sweets (even many adults do) but it is best to foster healthy eating habits at a young age. The US dietary guidelines recommend that we consume less than 10% of our daily calories from added sugars. However, in August of this year, these recommendations were tightened in an attempt to keep children healthy. Instead of this 10% ballpark, dieticians are now recommending that children should have less than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day! Aside from trying to promote a healthy lifestyle, sugar has negative effects on children and adults. Excessive weight gain and diabetes are two of the main issues children and adults face from consuming too much sugar.
Some things to do to stop your child’s sugar consumption in its tracks:
Don’t completely deprive your children of sweets, because this will then bring about cravings. If you teach your child to balance a healthy diet, they can carry this knowledge way into adulthood.
On the heels of this, allow your children to have one dessert food a day, and let them decide how much of it to eat. This will help them to listen to their own bodies, and decide when they have had enough of something.
Keep sodas out of the house. Sodas and sweetened drinks are empty calories. While they may taste good, they don’t provide much to keep you satisfied, therefore, you’ll be hunting for more food in a half hour.
Lastly, be aware of hidden sugars. Read your labels! Also keep in mind that natural sugars are still sugars, and you should limit your consumption of these as well. Not only are these tips beneficial for children, but for adults as well. It is a good idea to keep your eyes on what you are eating, and to practice the healthy, balanced diet that you are preaching.