The tantrums were unbearable and you caved in. You feel a pang of guilt as you reluctantly give the chocolate to your baby who is threatening you with top-notch crying skills. As parents, we often battle with what’s right vs what’s convenient. We are well aware of the harmful effects of sugar and how it can affect our children’s weight, behavior and concentration. But is there really a foolproof way when it comes to monitoring the sugar intake of children? Well, there are a few things that are 100% in our control, and that’s a good starting point toward a conscious sugar consumption journey.
First order of business, what is the right amount of sugar children can have? In the teaspoon world of measurement;
- Zero spoons for children under four years of age
- Five teaspoons for kids aged between 4 to 6 years
- Six teaspoons for kids in 6 to 10 years of age group
- Seven teaspoons for 10+ years old children
The usual suspects when it comes to sugar-heavy food products are your biscuits, cookies and breakfast cereals disguised as healthy food options but containing high levels of sugar, ice creams, carbonated drinks (did you know one can of carbonated drink has over nine teaspoons of sugar), and smoothies. This is not an exhaustive list but you get the idea, right?
Three practical tips to ace the sugar game:
- Decipher the labels: Brands make tall claims such as ‘zero sugar’ and whatnot to market their products. Luckily to the consumer’s rescue, the ingredients list on the label reveals a lot more. The indicator to look for is; total sugars of 22.5 g per 100 g are high and anything less than 5g per 100 g is low.
- Embrace Indigenous Indian produce: There are a plethora of Indian breakfast options that can be made using millets, lentils, jowar, oats, poha, and the list goes on. Today there are many Indian store brands that sell conscious children-friendly products that are delicious and healthy too.
- Fruits are your allies: Fruits keep the energy levels up and at the same time cater to the sugar cravings. Fruit tarts, fruit popsicles, fruit platter, the list here is endless!
We hear you, all this is easier said than done. Keeping sugar off children is like remembering a rhyme made in the dream. It is difficult, but it is important to remember that it is a lifestyle change and that each baby steps towards it is awesome and you are creating a healthy eating habit for your little human! What are some of the innovative ways you follow to keep sugar off your children!? Share with us in the comments below or on social @driefcasehealth