Having children at home is a sweet affair but dealing with their sugar cravings is definitely not as easy as it seems. Children, and sometimes even teenagers, are naturally disposed to crave sweets. However, According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australians consume 14 teaspoons of sugar a day on average — well beyond the WHO recommended limit of six teaspoons a day.
How to Manage Your Child’s Craving for Sweets
The daily limit is even lesser for kids. A four-year-old should have less than three teaspoons of sugar a day, while kids under the age of two should have no added sugar. So, how do you manage your child’s craving for sweets? I have come up with a few ideas below.
Here are a few helpful ways to manage your child’s craving for sweet treats:
- Cook at Home
Over-the-counter and ready-to-eat food items are not just less healthy but are also loaded with preservatives and sugar. In such a situation, it is most advisable to prepare meals at home because in that way you will be able to actively keep a check on the amount of sugar added to every dish. For an instance, homemade pancakes can be prepared with far less sugar than pre-made pancake mixes. Also, once your children are well-fed and satiated, they will naturally have less hankering for sweets.
- Eliminate Sugary Drinks
Most packaged drinks such as sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, lemonade, fresh juice, and even chocolate milk have a high concentration of sugar. In fact, carbonated drinks are designed in a way to camouflage the taste of excess sugar in them, without which, drinking the soda would trigger nausea. It is better to provide your children with homemade beverages such as fresh fruit juice, smoothies, and milkshakes to ensure that they receive nutrients while also keeping a check on the amount of sugar added to the drink. You could also add cocoa powder to plain unsweetened milk to substitute readymade chocolate milk.
- Include a Plant-Based Diet
Fruits and vegetables are rich in a naturally occurring sweetener called fructose. Since fructose is organic it is a healthier option for consumption. Including fresh fruits and vegetables in your children’s diet will supply a boost of vital vitamins and minerals into their systems. As a plant-based diet is also high in fiber, it facilitates your children’s digestion, speeds up their metabolism, and strengthens their immune system as well.
- Make Treats at Home
It may seem difficult to find alternative ways to make treats at home to replace the candies that your child does at the supermarket. Nonetheless, with a bit of innovation, you can use your kitchen supplies to make homemade treats. You could switch to natural sweeteners, such as honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, or molasses when making homemade treats such as cakes, muffins, cookies, and more. Or, you could drizzle these sugar alternatives on cut fruits for a quick and healthy snack — your children will love it!
- Stop Hoarding Candies at Home
One of the best ways of controlling sugar cravings is by keeping sugary treats out of the house. Psychologists claim that looking at candies or having easy access to them motivates us to desire more sugar. Since sugar is addictive, regular consumption of candies can often turn into binge eating before you know it. It is best to avoid storing candies at home in advance; however, when you feel it’s time to allow your child to enjoy a healthy sweet treat, you can buy lollies online at The Lolli Shop.
As with everything, it is always advisable to practice moderation in curbing sugar intake. Just the way it is important to monitor your child’s cravings, it is also important to satiate them at times, especially when they experience a drop in their natural glucose level. Since sugar gives us energy, the consumption of sugar should be need-based at all times.
How do you Manage Your Child’s Craving for Sweets? Let me know, in the comments below!