Most of us consume too much refined sugar, and it starts from our early childhood period. Maybe you think its normal for your child to consume a little bit of candy or to drink soda. Unfortunately its not normal (or healthy).
Refined sugar can be found not only in sweets, but also in many other finished food products, even in those that are advertised as healthy. Therefore, some statistics conducted in the EU countries show a shocking fact: the children, through a variety of sugary foods, bring more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. In USA the dosage is bigger – tests indicate that children there eat up to 18 teaspoons of sugar a day. No wonder the child obesity in this country is such a big problem.
We do not claim that the refined sugar should be taken out completely of the daily food intake, but the quantities mentioned above can be really harmful for child’s health. Refined sugar may be more tolerated in the children’s body, however, latter in their adult life can cause numerous problems. Recent studies indicate that the root of some major diseases of today – obesity, metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, heart disease and cancer – could be the excessive consumption of sugar.
Therefore, protecting your children from refined sugar is not a bad idea. Parents are the ones who should be enough health conscious and make an effort to significantly reduce the amount of refined sugar their children take. Another danger is that the sugar can create a certain form of dependency. When someone is used to too much sugar intake, it can be vary difficult to “get rid” of this bad habit.
How to avoid sugar in child nutrition – recommendations
First, avoid to buy sweets for your children – cookies, cakes, sauces for pasta, soft drinks, fruit juices (even if they are labeled as “natural”) or purchasing Muesli (they are usually well sweetened with sugar).
Instead of cookies, biscuits and pastries, offer your children dried fruit, bananas coated with peanut butter or nuts mixed with a little honey and cinnamon.
Instead of buying sodas, make lemonade, grapefruit or freshly squeezed orange juice.
Instead of milk chocolate, buy your children a dark chocolate (with a minimum of 75% cocoa).
On your kitchen table try to have fresh fruits, vegetables, almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts. Studies have shown that what we see before our eyes, we usually eat it.
Of course, you can not forbid your children to eat sweets and you can not control what they eat when they are with their friends. But you certainly can influence what and how much they eat at home, and this is the basic for creating their (healthy) eating habits.