Sugar in moderation is not a bad thing. However, it isn’t very nutritious and too much can cause your child to develop health issues down the road such as higher cholesterol and greater risk for type 2 diabetes. To reduce sugar in your child’s diet you can replace sugar snacks with healthy snacks, read the nutrition labels, and swap sugary drinks.
Replace Sugar Snacks with Healthy Snacks
Healthy Children recommends that adults and children get no more than 10% of their daily calories from added sugar. Sugar in foods can be sneaky, so it can be very easy for your child to go over that limit. Replacing sugar snacks with healthy snacks can help your child reduce their sugar intake. Watch out for snacks that are labeled “healthy” that can have a lot of sugar in them. Instead, you can choose snacks such as whole fruit, plain Greek yogurt, veggies and dip, popcorn, or homemade whole grain bars.
Read the Nutrition Labels
Reading the labels is important to knowing what is in your food. Many foods, even ones that are labeled as healthy foods, can be full of sugar. There are many foods marketed for sports for example that are high in added sugars and calories, and don’t provide much by way of healthy fats or protein. According to Macarro Smiles, sports drinks are less healthy than you think they are because of added sugar. Look for words such as cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, syrup, fructose, dextrose, glucose, and sucrose.
Swap Sugary Drinks
Making swaps for sugary drinks is an easy way to reduce your child’s sugar intake. It is easy to get too much sugar from a single drink. You may not even realize how much is in there because nutrition labels may show only part of the bottle as a serving size. Popular drinks you can make swaps for are sports drinks, lemonades, fruit punch and even fruit juice. Fruit juice is included because the processing removes fiber normally found in whole fruit. You can swap out sugary drinks for water or milk and eat whole fruit instead of drinking fruit juice.
Sugar is found in so many foods that it is easy for your child to go over the recommended amount daily. This can cause them health issues down the line. Help your child form healthy habits now by helping them learn to love healthy foods.
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