Sugar is probably my least favorite of the food evils. It causes behavioral issues, rots my children’s teeth and seems to be an addiction for them. In fact, the American Heart Association claims that children 2-18 should have a daily sugar intake of less than 25 grams of sugar per day. Of course a “no sugar” diet is the most ideal, but realistically here are 5 quick ways you can improve your children’s health today!
Cut out sugary drinks ~ This should come as no surprise, but it is not practiced by many moms. My kids love chocolate milk, sports drinks, and juices. I recommend phasing these out and replacing them with fruit infused water. Here are some of my picks to help make drinking water something they look forward to.
Let them decide ~ When my children ask for a sugary snack, I will ask them, “if you only get one sweet treat for the day, is this the one you want?” Their answer is typically “no”, then they move on to something healthier and wait for something yummier to pique their interest. By giving them the decision to make, you are developing future adults that make good decisions and have willpower. It’s a win now and a win later!
Teach them to read labels ~ When my children began to see how much sugar was in different foods, they started making better decisions on their own. Education is the best preventative medicine. Speaking of reading….check out this post for ideas on getting your kids to read more.
Commit to baking one treat per week ~ We all know that homemade is healthier than pre-made or processed treats. They’re also cheaper and can provide quality time for your family if done together. My kids have come to love “family baking time”. Here are some great recipe books and products to help you get this activity into your weekly family routine.
Cut the sugar recipe in half ~ Experiment! Try shaving a little sugar out of the recipe and see how you like it. Add applesauce or bananas to a recipe to keep it sweetened with natural sugars.
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