Brightly coloured packaging and persuasive advertising doesn’t help parents and caregivers when it comes to trying to steer children away from sugary snacks and drinks. There are thousands of options of sugary snacks and drinks that are appealing to children stacked on shelves across the globe. Yes, the UK Government may have introduced a higher sugar tax, but sugar obsessions are growing in children at an alarming rate.
Here are some tips for keeping artificial sugar levels down in your little one’s diet if you’re worried a sugar obsession might be brewing!
1. Check The Packaging!
Whilst the front of the packaging might be more eye-catching for both children and adults, it is important to check the nutritional values on the back of the packaging to see what additives and grams of sugar are lurking in the food. Snacks advertised as ‘healthy’ are often not as healthy as they seem and it’s not always foods that you need to keep an eye on. Watch out for smoothies as these may tempt you by sounding healthy but they contain fructose too! The average bottled smoothie contains between 18 and 28 grams, or between 4.5 and 7 teaspoons, of sugar per 8-ounce serving, much of it added sugar.
This is one step you as parents and caregivers can take to help manage the sugar levels in the foods in your home; plus it helps to keep your cupboards a temptation-free zone for little climbers who like to sneak a snack!
2. Make Swaps
Swapping out sugary snacks for healthier alternatives such as brightly coloured chopped up fruit and vegetables or rice cakes can help your child establish a healthy diet from a young age. Often fresh fruit and vegetables are cheaper than processed snacks and it means you know exactly what is in them.
If you start off by introducing one or two swaps to your child’s diet such as carrot sticks or raisins, it might not be as daunting for them. In fact, they might not even notice, and before long you might be able to get them to curb their sweet tooth altogether!
3. Fun Food Presentation
A great way of making foods seem more appealing when they may not have the same bright packaging or free toys as the ones full of sugar is by creating a work of art out of the meal. Whether it be an age old smiley face or a jungle animal, food presented in a fun way can help put a smile on a child’s face and help distract them from thinking of those sugary branded favourites.
4. Snack Baskets
Snack baskets went viral on social media recently and it has worked a treat for many families during lockdown. Snack baskets can be made up the night before or in the morning as the family starts their day. One snack basket per family member tends to be placed in the kitchen and is labelled with the family member’s name. The snack basket is then filled with the snacks that they are allowed for the day. This is a great way of getting all the family involved and tracking how many snacks are being consumed. It helps to keep those sugar crashes at bay throughout the day too!
We hope you found this Pottiagogo blog helpful at identifying ways to reduce sugar content in your child’s diet!
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