Tip # 9 Sugar or ‘no sugar’
White sugar is a man-made substance that will play tricks on your children’s moods and behaviour, energy levels, learning abilities. Sugar also strips their bodies of essential nutrients needed for their vital organs, bones, brain, and for general health and immunity. Sugar – not fat – is linked to obesity and higher risks of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancers in later life.
‘No sugar added’ products like squash, sweets, gum, sugar-free yogurts and other treats, contain sweeteners such as aspartame and other artificial substances that have been linked to degenerative diseases, digestive disorders and behavioural and learning difficulties. The chemicals they contain also have a powerful impact on your children’s brains, to keep them ‘hooked’ on the products that contain them.
Healthier ‘sweet’ tips:
- Sugar – whether ‘healthier’ or not – will cause tooth decay when eaten in between meals so limit to meal times only
- switch white refined sugar for unrefined, unprocessed raw sugar – when baking or cooking.
- Replace sugar with agave syrup, raw honey, date or other fruit syrup, maple syrup. These have a lesser impact on behaviour, moods and energy levels
- Use full sugar squash – only as an occasional treat – never sugar-free!
- Replace all fizzy, sugary drinks with water and occasional diluted fruit juice (unsweetened) at meal times.
- Fruit drinks contain sugar so opt for pressed fruit juice instead.
- Sweets contain sugar, sweeteners and bad fats, so should rarely feature in your child’s diet – if at all!
- Milk drinks and milkshakes also contain sugar, so take at mealtimes only occasionally
- Plain live yogurt with fresh berries or pureed fruits are a great alternative to sweetened yogurts. You could also add a handful of dried fruit or some raw honey.
- If your child craves sugar, make sure they have some protein at each meal (fish, lean meat, nuts, seeds, pulses, plain yogurt, cheese in moderation)
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