no sugar How to reduce refined sugar from your child’s diet
The movement to cut sugar from children’s’ diets is growing, especially as advocates reveal the truth about refined sugars. In 2016, it was found that kids were eating on average 19 teaspoons of sugar per day—that’s more than four times the recommended amount for children Not only are children consuming more sugar than they should, but a recent study by the USDA suggests that refined sugars are so harmful to the development of children, they should be completely avoided before the age of two.
Read the nutrition label
According to Dr. Goran, Professors of Pediatrics, 80 per cent of processed foods and snacks for kids contain some kind of sugar. There’s nothing sweet about the amount of refined sugar in kid-friendly foods, but one way you can reduce sugar from your child’s diet is by simply reading the nutrition label more carefully. There are over 72 different names for sugar in the food industry. Some popular nicknames for sugar are: fruit juice, agave nectar, cane juice, dextrose, fructose, rice syrup, honey and maple syrup. Children should have no more than 4 teaspoons of sugar per day, which is 16 grams of sugar, so keep this in mind as you scroll through the label.
Swap sugar-filled snacks and beverages with healthier options
Another way to reduce sugar intake is by finding healthier alternatives. It can feel overwhelming at first, given the number of common foods that have added sugar, which is why it’s important to start with simple swaps including:
● Sugar-filled snacks with fresh fruit
● Cereal with oatmeal that is naturally sweetened with toppings like coconut flakes, almonds and fruit
● Flavoured yogurt with plain yogurt and adding your own toppings
● Soda and sports drinks for flavoured water – lemon, mint, and cucumber are incredibly flavourful and full of antioxidants
● Dried fruit with fresh fruit
Cook at home
Cooking at home is an easy way to limit sugar intake, and getting your kids involved in the kitchen can make it even more exciting! Find what your kids like to eat at a restaurant, and try to recreate it at home. Plus, you teach your kids a life-skill, and save money and add a new, healthier recipe to your cookbook.
Cutting refined sugar from your child’s diet isn’t a quick fix but it’s incredibly important to start as soon as possible. According to the Canada Food Guide, consuming added sugars in high quantities has been linked to an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. In addition to the no sugar lifestyle adding health benefits, you’ll notice improved sleep patterns, fewer mood swings and improved focus.