Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Simple Ways to Cut Sugar/Calories out of your Kids Diet

As American's, we eat too much--and too much bad stuff.   Childhood (and adult) obesity is on the rise which leads to other health problems.  If you are a parent of a young child, there are some simple things you can do to avoid so much sugar.  First off, don't give your children juice all the time.  Doctors do not recommend a lot of juice for young children.  When you do give them juice, cut water it down 50/50.  My children have never complained about it.  Next, limit the amount of sugary food you give them.  This requires becoming a label reader.  Have you ever looked at how much sugar is in many yogurt products (especially those targeted for kids)?  Also watch the "fruit" snacks.  Most of the time, they are not fruit or only 10% fruit and contain a lot of sugar.  There are a few companies that have 100% fruit snacks that are just flavored with natural fruit juice--look around, you will find them.  Also, watch the sweetened cereal.  I noticed recently that the packaging on kids cereal makes it look healthy by putting large words like "FIBER" on the package.  Don't be fooled--they are laced with sugar!  Shop around for lower sugar cereals made with whole grains--they are more satisfying to kids.  Remember, if kids aren't pumped with sugar all the time, they will be able to distinguish when things are too sweet and won't want to eat them.  Also, watch products that are labeled low fat.  When they take the fat out, they often add sugar!

Maybe you are a parent who has given in to all the sugary products, either knowingly or unknowingly, and want to scale back, but don't know how to do it without complaints from the kids.  This can be done.  First off, look for the all fruit snacks--you should be able to replace the sugary ones without your kids complaining.  Switch to no sugar added applesauce--another easy one.  Next, instead of buying sweets, start baking.  When I bake, I usually cut the sugar back on recipes and I have yet to hear a complaint that my baking isn't good!  My husband drolls for my blackberry cobbler, and I have cut the sugar in it nearly in half!  Also, instead of oil, in recipes for baking, you can add unsweetened applesauce and cut back on the sugar--ithe applesauce is a natural sweetener.  When adding chocolate chips to a recipe, you don't have to use the full amount.  If it calls for a cup, scale it back to 1/2 or 3/4 a cup.  Your kids won't even miss them!  Don't forget that you can also limit the amount of sweets your kids can have daily.

Remember, make changes gradually and before you know it, your kids will be eating healthier!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is disgusting how much sugar companies dump in products!

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