According to the American Heart Association , your child should not take more than four teaspoons of sugar per day. The problem is that most children consume more than thrice the recommended amount. When you or your kids eat sugar, you are damaging your body with weight-gaining food that has zero nutrition.
If you are willing to introduce your children to a sugar-free diet, you are a step closer to a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips that will come in handy if you are trying to get rid of sugar in your home:
Do Not Make Sugar an Enemy
No matter how much you hate it, sugar is not the enemy here. The consumption of too much sugar leads to tooth decay, acne, and obesity. However, sugar does not force itself into your lives; you end up eating too much if you do not pay attention to your diet.
You should gradually reduce the sugar in your diet and start introducing healthy fruits that are sweet. Children are an energy powerhouse, which means that they do not need sugar to make them energetic. You should feed them a balanced diet that includes proteins, carbohydrates, and fat.
If they still want sweets, you should consider buying sugar-free varieties. You can order them online from stores such as SweetServices.com.
Do Not Make it a Big Deal
As a mother, you might make the mistake of turning this into a life-changing event. If you barge into the kids’ rooms with garbage bags and start throwing all sweets inside, you are announcing that you do not want any sugar in the house, which is not a good approach. Your kids might take it negatively especially if you start shouting at them, and they do not know why you are reprimanding them.
Although some parents jump straight into the ‘no sugar in this household from now on’ rule, you should consider going with a softer approach. For instance, you could ban sugar from your house but allow your kids to have cake and sweets at friends’ birthdays. Make sure that you set rules that you and your kids can live with without adding any stress to your life.
Banish Sugar from the House
If you do not bring sweets into your house, your kids will not get their hands on them. This means that they will start turning to fruits and veggies when hungry, which is healthier and good for them. If you are throwing a party, you can opt for healthy, sugar-free treats instead of confusing the kids by buying candy after banning it.
If your child cries for candy, make sure that you buy some sugar-free sweets. Doing so will ensure that the kids stay happy and healthy at the same time.
Kids like to follow the example that you set as a parent, which is why you need to demonstrate something if you want them to do it. You cannot forbid them from eating sweets then eat a cake in front of them. You need to show them how strict you want the rules to be – if you snack on sugar occasionally, you should allow them to do the same.
Do it from a Place of Love
You are training your child by building a foundation that will determine how healthy they will be in future. Whenever you enforce new rules concerning sugar, you should express your love and concern by making it clear that you are doing it for the child’s good. When your child makes a good choice, you should praise her and let her know how proud you are.
If your child disobeys the rules, you should not overreact. Just talk to him or her gently and enforce your rules again.
Talk to Other Parents
You need to talk to other parents who have gone through or are going through the same thing that you are. If they agree with you, you can start your sugar-free diet journey together and encourage each other along the way. However, if a family does not want to stop eating sugar, you should limit the amount of time that your child spends with them.
Keep your friendship with the other parents intact but make it clear why your child will not be spending a lot of time at their house. If the kids need to hang out, they can come to your house or go to a local park. It would be a bad idea to take your kids to a household that allows sugar after forbidding it from yours.
Take Advantage of Teachable Moments
If your child eats sugar then starts feeling strange, you should have a sit down with him and explain what is happening. Make sure that you use a friendly tone instead of lecturing him. You can tell him that the sugar makes a person feel jumpy, which is why he does not feel good. If he has trouble sleeping at night, you should explain the effects of sugar on sleep.
If your little ones are addicted to sugar, eliminating sugar from their diet might seem impossible. However, if you are persistent and take baby steps, it is possible. The above tips for introducing your child to a sugar-free diet work but you will not see the results overnight. Make the elimination of sugar a group effort and your children will thank you for it in future.