With the governments new health advice to reduce the amount of sugar adults and children consume by half the previous recommended amount, lots of parents now must be thinking about how this can be achieved. I know, personally that I am looking at what we eat as a family and trying hard to reduced our sugar consumption. This fantastic and helpful guest post today from Adele from Nest & Dressed with 5 simple ways to reduce your child’s sugar intake, is well worth a read.
Thanks to increased coverage in the press lately more & more people are becoming aware of the evils of sugar and it’s about time, too! Sugar has been linked to everything from depression& infertility to heart disease & cancer. It causes mood swings, irritability and lack of concentration not to mention the effect it has on our teeth. Did you know that 46,500 kids are admitted to hospital every year to have teeth removed? How gross is that?!
I recently wrote in a bit more detail about why and how I have reduced my daughter and I’s sugar intake but today I wanted to give you guys a few simple tips to start cutting down the white stuff.
1. Read the Labels
It can be very overwhelming at first but as a general rule of thumb try to avoid anything that hasmore than 5g of sugar per 100g . You’ll be shocked at how much some of your family favourites contain but it is worth checking own brand alternatives as these often contain much less.
2. Swap Cereal for Toast
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You need to start the day off with something filling so that you (and the kids) will be less inclined to reach for the sugary snacks by 10am. Cereal is jam packed with sugar; there have even been calls to ban the worst culprits such as Frosties and Sugar Puffs. For breakfast we will either have Shredded Wheat (the only cereal with no sugar), homemade granola or wholemeal toast with 100% nut butter, a few banana slices and sprinkled with chia seeds. If your kids are Nutella fans you can make your own sugar free version by adding 2 teaspoons of raw cocoa powder to a jar of hazelnut butter. Yum! In the colder months porridge is a brilliant option but avoid the packet versions. I find a mug of oats and 2 mugs of milk makesplenty for me and Madeleine.
3. Swap Flavoured Yogurts for Greek
Kids yogurts have a scary amount of sugar in them. And how do they make them that bizarre shade of pink?! Stick to Greek yogurt for a protein rich dessert that will keep the kids full rather than cause a spike in blood sugar followed by the inevitable crash & burn.
4. No More Than 2 Portions of Fruit a Day
Ditch the raisins. When you remove the fibre from fruit you are pretty much just left with concentrated sugar. It doesn’t matter if it is ‘natural’ or not; sugar is sugar and will still have the same ill effects. Try to limit high fructose fruits like grapes & bananas and stick to lower options like blueberries, raspberries, honeydew melon & kiwi instead.
5. Swap Sweet Snacks for Savoury
Replace the raisins & grapes with savoury options. A snack for Madeleine will normally be half a packet of Pom Bears, some carrot sticks or crackers with cream cheese. Her favourite is a bowl of cheese chunks & pepper strips!
Madeleine has always eaten a low sugar diet so will rarely ask for cake or chocolate but if your little ones already have a sweet tooth you might get a bit more resistance! Make changes slowlyso they are weaned off sugar rather than overcome with cravings. In adults I think it’s best to go cold turkey when kicking an addiction but kids will struggle much more with the withdrawal.
A big thank you to Karen for having me as a guest on her fabulous blog. I am not at all jealousof the fact she is on holiday! You can find me over at Nest & Dressed for recipes, fashion, pregnancy ramblings and more. See you there!
You can also find Adele over on Facebook and Twitter too…