Children often tiptoe to the candy shelf or the secret candy compartment in the kitchen cupboard. Because they often know exactly that mum or dad would react with a “fingers off the chocolate”. With good reason: Too much sugar can promote a wide variety of diseases, and the sweet taste can even make you dependent. But with simple tips & tricks, little sweet tooths can learn how to handle treats properly and parents can integrate healthy alternatives into their daily menu.
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Your child is literally born with a love for sweets
Because of the milk sugar content, breastfeeding milk tastes slightly sweet. The first taste impression of infants is therefore sweet – they associate it with the familiar feeling of breastfeeding.
It becomes particularly problematic in childhood and adolescence when too much industrial sugar is ingested in the form of sweets, lemonade and other foods.
Highly processed sweets not only contain large amounts of conventional granulated sugar, but there are also numerous additives in bags and packaging. Even if manufacturers advertise natural flavors and colorings, long lists of ingredients do not bode well.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), children should get less than 10 percent of their daily energy intake from sugar. This includes sugars added to foods, as well as the sugar content in honey and juices. Incidentally, the physicians do not include fructose, which is found in unprocessed fruit.
The number sounds pretty abstract, doesn’t it? The everyday tip of the professional association for pediatricians: It should not be more than 25 grams of sugar per day – that corresponds to six small teaspoons.
Six teaspoons doesn’t sound like much at first. It is therefore not surprising that sugar consumption in Germany is significantly higher. According to the DGE, the sweet stuff accounts for an average of 17.5 percent of the daily energy intake in children.
If there is a larger portion of gummy bears at the children’s birthday party, at grandma’s or after a long day at school, it should not be demonized.
Because, as you will no doubt notice when dealing with your offspring, bans often have the opposite effect. It is important that you explain to your child in an age-appropriate way why natural treats are the better choice in everyday life.
Tips for responsible use of sweets
Do not ban conventional sweets
Instead of fueling sweet cravings and cravings by prohibiting them, your child can choose two treats from the supermarket once a week, for example.
Portion sizes can naturally increase with age.
Restrict access to the candy drawer
If your child is allowed to choose something from the snack box once (or several times) a week, you should not empty the rest of the box or eat it yourself on the other days. Children are clever and quickly notice when their parents’ behavior does not conform to the agreed rules.
Prefer low-sugar types of fruit
Since children on average consume too much sugar in everyday life, you can regularly use low-sugar types of fruits. These include apples, oranges and kiwis.
But of course the following applies: fruit is always better than industrial sweets.
Don’t ignore your cravings for sweets!
If your child has a sweet tooth in the meantime, even though it has already nibbled, you can offer it a tasty alternative. In addition to a small portion of fruit, this could be, for example, wholesome biscuits, healthy crunchy muesli or an icy surprise.
Also Read : Strawberries Are So Healthy