Added sugar. It’s everywhere. Even in supposedly healthy items. And our children are consuming it in droves. Sugar has been shown to cause a royal ton of health issues from diabetes to obesity yet it is in more things than you can possibly imagine.
So what’s a mum to do when she wants to give her kids the best nutrition possible without being a total killjoy that burns every single piece of candy that enters her home? Here are my ultimate suggestions so that you can help your family live a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing too much of the fun stuff.
- Ease into it
If you’ve got sugary junk in the house, you can go all gung-ho and toss it out now. Or you can finish off what you’ve got and elect not to buy more sugar-loaded crud. You can also pawn off any extra stuff on your coworkers, or give them to your husband to take in if you don’t work outside the home. Sugar-free cabinets for you and a sugar-loaded break room for people who need an escape…win-win!
- Make healthier swaps
Shake up your morning routine by providing cereals that are made with whole grains. Top it with fresh fruits, like berries or banana slices, to give your kids that sweet taste they crave in a healthy way. If fizzy drink is a big item in your house, switch to juice. Fresh juices do contain sugars but fruit juice will count toward the required 5 daily servings of fruit for your child. Snacks needn’t be sugar-laden either. Serve fruits and veggies with a yogurt dip for a sensational sweet taste that’s good for them too.
- Cut down portions
Portion control is also essential when it comes to being on the sugar patrol. This sets the stage for your child for life. Even good-for-you foods can cause weight gain if not portioned properly. Teach your children to enjoy things on a smaller scale and when it comes time for a rare, sweet and sugary reward, your child won’t balk when you cut a cupcake in half or only give them a few squares of a chocolate bar.
- Talk the talk and walk the walk
Listen, Mama-Bear, making healthy changes isn’t easy for anyone. We ALL want that pie topped with ice cream. And that chocolate cake. And those cookies. Oh how we want those delicious things! But it is our job as mums to set a good example. I’m not saying you can’t ever enjoy something decadent, but making it a daily occurrence sets a poor example. If you want your kids to eat right without a fuss, you need to do it too.
- Get creative
One of the best things you can do is to make eating healthy fun. Arrange veggies and fruits in a fun pattern. Make a healthy dip like hummus to go with veggies. Make fresh fruit popsicles that taste even better than those sugary boxed ones. Make milkshakes with low-fat milk, bananas, cinnamon and vanilla extract and serve them in fun cups. There is literally no end to the amazing healthy treats you can make. And if you really want the best tip of all: let your kids help you make it. Because you’ll get to spend more time with them in a way that’s special and memorable, and who doesn’t want that?
See also ‘Are You Sugar Aware’ http://topmums.co.uk/are-you-sugar-aware/