Written for motherhoodtherealdeal.com’s #MyFiveThings series
I’m a passionate sugar free advocate so naturally that means my children are happily leading sugar free lives too, doesn’t it?
Like choc they are!
They are normal children who love to indulge on a sweet sticky cake as much as the next person. There is one difference though – their sugar intake is a lot lower than it was a year ago and they’ve barely realised the change.
Hopefully #MyFiveThings can help others make similar changes too.
1. Hidden changes
There’s little point in throwing out everything containing sugar and expecting everyone to happily swap to unfamiliar foods. Begin to substitute slowly. If you’re looking at ditching the Coco Pops or Cheerios start implementing your chosen alternative way before the old ones run out, offer it daily, begin mixing them (think Rice Krispies with some Cheerios sprinkled on top).
Or if after school snacks are your downfall – even kids organic cereal bars can contain 15g sugar per bar – maybe begin substituting with crisps (not healthy I know but not sweet) then chop and change with peanut butter sandwich, or carrot and cheese, or grapes and berries.
2. Expect a backlash
Tantrum over refusal of sweets? Ok, just offer an alternative and gradually get less sugar laden as time goes on. Apple pieces and 2 biscuits? Then soon, one biscuit and a piece of toast? Maybe toast with a drizzle of honey, and cheese chunks? Cheese and cheesy crackers… Toast and cream cheese, Veg sticks and houmous. Easy does it.
3. A bit won’t hurt
There will always be a time when there’s sugary foods around, it’s impossible to avoid it. Whether it’s on holiday, an afternoon with grandparents or a sugar laden birthday party that’s ok. Just cringe and bite your lip as long as you can, then place a boundary if you need to. Children can be fair if well educated and you may well find their palate has gravitated towards more savoury foods anyway.
4. Be prepared
If you’re out and about and expecting to find a suitable sugar free snack in your local cafe, soft play or park think again. It’s always best to have a suitable snack with you especially when your child is still learning to live without sugar.
5. Don’t expect overnight results
It would be unrealistic and unfair to expect immediate results. I’ve always found that my children’s sugar intake has been fluid, we work towards and get used to low sugar living gradually and sometimes for extended periods but celebrations or holidays can throw that off course. I’m willing to accept this as generally their sugar intake is lower than it used to be and I’m grateful for it.
The greatest thing about #MyFiveThings? They work for adults too… even the tantrums!
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