Tips for Reducing Your Child’s Sugar Intake
Every day your child is bombarded with food and drink that contains lots of sugar. This makes it difficult for your child to avoid sugary treats as your child sees them everywhere and wants to consume them all the time. Unfortunately, consuming too much sugar can cause serious damage to your child’s teeth and gums. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help dramatically reduce your child’s sugar intake.
The following are some very easy, yet extremely helpful tips that help teach parents how to reduce their child’s sugar consumption.
Just Say ‘No’ to Sugary Drinks
When parents hear the term ‘sugary drinks’ they automatically assume we are talking about sodas or colas. While sodas contain a lot of sugar, they aren’t the only drinks that contain sugar. In fact, some drinks you might not even think of contain a lot of sugar.
In an effort to reduce your child’s sugary drink consumption, try to eliminate or drastically limit the follow drinks:
- Energy drinks
- Sports drinks
- Sodas – all types including sugar free, caffeine free, and non-colas
- Fruit punch
- 100% fruit juices
Some drinks to give your child include milk and water. If you do wish to give your child lemonade or fruit juice, water it down with water. This will reduce the amount of sugar your child consumes while still giving them the distinctive flavor of the drink.
Skip the Processed Foods
Sugar is hidden in many different types of processed foods. To reduce or eliminate sugar consumption, try to consume as many unprocessed foods as possible. Unprocessed foods may still have some sugar in them, but they won’t have any excessive added sugar which dramatically increases your child’s sugar intake.
Enjoy Eating at Home
Restaurants use all types of tricks to get you to crave their food. One of those tricks is adding extra sugar, not to mention fat and salt, to the food you eat. Added sugar enhances the flavor and makes the food taste good, but it can damage your teeth.
Avoid eating out at restaurants and opt to cook at home. This will give you complete control over what ingredients are added to your meals. When you have control over the ingredients, you can make sure that too much sugar isn’t being added to your child’s meals.
Plan Ahead by Packing Snacks
A lot of unplanned sugar consumption happens when your child craves a snack, but you don’t have any on hand. Instead of being able to give them something healthy, such as fruit, vegetables or nuts, you pick the first available thing at a store, which happens to usually include sugar.
Pack your own snacks ahead of time and you will be prepared for when your child needs an added ‘pick me up’. You can just reach into your diaper bag or purse and hand your child a healthy snack that doesn’t contain a lot of sugar.
Cure Cravings for Sweets with Fruit
Fruit contains natural sugars which makes it great when your child has a craving for sweets. You can just reach for an apple or strawberry and your child’s sweet craving will be cured, but that isn’t all. When your child eats fruits, he or she is consuming important vitamins and minerals that aren’t found in candy bars and other junk food.
Just remember to balance out the amount of fruit your child eats. While it is healthier and contains less sugar than junk food, it still needs to be consumed in moderation.
And as you all have heard us say before, absolutely no gummy vitamins EVER!
Schedule an Appointment with a Pediatric Dentist
Learning how to eliminate or reduce a child’s sugar intake can be difficult. Luckily, there is help available to you.
A pediatric dentist may be able to help you with eliminating sugar in your child’s diet. Not only can a pediatric dentist help you identify what sugary treats and drinks your child is consuming, but he or she can provide you with recommendations on how to dramatically reduce sugar intake.
Parents in the Melbourne, Florida area can schedule an appointment at Sunshine Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. Our friendly office staff will gladly help you learn how to reduce your child’s sugar consumption. Call us today to schedule an appointment.