Posted on: 12 February 2015
Are you the parent of a young child who has had the experience of having their first sweets? If so, your little one may have fallen in love with the taste of sugar. As long as you allow your child to consume sweets sparingly, they likely will not be adversely affected. The issue is that some children develop a love for sugar that can lead to health problems.
Reasons to Monitor Your Child's Sugar Intake
Dental problems - Consuming too many sugary foods and beverages can result in cavities.
Nutrition problems - High sugar consumption may also affect your child's appetite, and they may not have the desire to eat nutrient rich foods.
Health problems - If your child consumes more sugary foods than nutritious foods, they could develop Type 2 diabetes or become obese.
Reasons You Should Not Restrict Sweets Altogether
At some point, your child will likely have the opportunity to consume sweets when you are not around. It could happen at a friend's house, grandma's house, or even at school.
Your rules could result in them eating as much as possible to make up for lost time. This sort of binge behavior could lead to unhealthy eating habits in the future. An older child might also experience guilt after indulging in this sort of behavior.
Be mindful of using sweets to "pacify" your child. For example, if your child is upset or fussy, offer love and support instead of sugary foods. This is because your child could grow up connecting stressful events with eating satisfying foods that are not nutritious.
Satisfying Those Sugar Cravings
Consider offering nutritious foods that are sweet to the palate. Peanut butter and hazelnut spread can be eaten with crackers or fruit to satisfy sugar cravings. Ensure your child does not have a nut allergy. Keep in mind the guidelines for feeding babies and toddlers nuts for the first time, which is also something you may want to discuss with your pediatrician.
Substitute sodas and artificial juices with milk or pure fruit juices. Limit pure fruit juice consumption because although it is nutritious, it can still rot teeth. You can also make your own homemade popsicles from pure fruit juice.
Figure out your child's favorite fruits, and always keep them on-hand. Package them up, and take them with you when you are on-the-go. This can reduce the chances of you giving in to a temper tantrum or begging session for candy.
A dentist is a good resource to use to learn more ways to keep your child from eating too many sweets. Your child's dental visits are a great time to get educated about protecting oral health and avoiding the negative effects of sugar consumption.Share