How To Introduce A Sugar-Free Lifestyle To Your Children

April 23, 2018
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How to Introduce A Sugar-Free Lifestyle To Your Children Wendy Dessler All-Around Pinay Mama

It is never too late to instill healthy nutritional values to your children. In the United States, we have just finished Easter celebrations. As with most celebrations and holidays, the event was a reason to overload our kids with sugary sweets. As we deal with tummy aches, children on sugar-rushes followed by the dreaded sugar-crashes, we think there must be a better way,

Consider the following:

A child has limited space in their stomach. Excessive treats loaded with sugar leave no room for foods with nutritional values. 

Sugar-filled treats stick to a child's teeth. It is difficult to brush a toddler's teeth effectively. If they fall asleep after eating sugar, the sugar eats away at their teeth for an extended period of time. This leads to long-term dental health issues.

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 distributed. A high blood-sugar count followed by a sugar-crash makes even seasoned adults feel ill. 

When you eat sugar, your body craves more sugar. A child who is allowed to consume sugar at will can quickly become obese. Sugar affects the brain, and the body craves the “feel-good hormone” it initiates. 

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.

How to Introduce A Sugar-Free Lifestyle To Your Children Wendy Dessler All-Around Pinay Mama

Changing your lifestyle

We all agree that we should do better. But, some of us have the feeling that we are somehow depriving our kids if we cut out all the sweet treats that the other kids get. While this is a misplaced concern, we feel it, so it is valid. Perhaps we should use the rule of quality over quantity. For example, a child that receives an Easter basket that is filled with books, small toys, and activities is just as exciting as a basket that is filled with candy. If you include a small Ghiradelli candy treat, the child is perfectly happy. They got a reasonable and quality treat and will have the thrill of their toys long after the sugar filled baskets are empty. 

You are not putting your children on a diet. You are teaching them the proper way to eat. You must have open conversations with them about your food rules. You will have to share these instructions with other adults in their lives. Your child will not have one bad side-effect of living without sugar. 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 parents or caregivers homes. 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 favorite 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. 

As your child grows, they will branch out and try different things. However, by then, they will have developed a taste for good and healthy food. They will have been taught to recognize the health effects they experience when they eat sugar and they will opt on their own to stay with what they know. It will not be difficult for them. You will have effectively taught them that they eat to live. They do not live to eat. What a wonderful gift to them that is. 

Here are some other tips:

Keep a sugar-free home.

Set a good example. This is a family lifestyle.

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.

Select your battles. Do not make a big deal out of a small issue. If you have to address an issue, address it with the adults in the situation, not the child. 

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