Mobile phones are getting smarter while people are getting dumber. Have you heard of this funny yet painfully true phrase? Yes it’s true, our mobile phones are doing most of the work for our everyday lives and we have become completely dependent on them. What about this: TVs are getting slimmer while people are getting fatter. Isn’t that true and at the same time very worrying as well? What’s more shocking is that a lot of these people who are getting bigger are very young teens and children. I don’t know the statistics of that claim but I’m sure you’ve seen at least one extremely fat little kid once in your life somewhere. You then wonder, what are the parents feeding him? You know what, you’re probably feeding the same thing to your kids.
Sugar Intake – How Bad Is It?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity rates in children are twice what they were 30 years ago. Many parents are unsure why their children are seemingly unable to stop gaining weight. A good guess is, of course, the high sugar intake from sweets such as cookies, chocolates, candies, and ice cream. So why not just stop buying unhealthy food completely, right? The trouble is, there’s a lot of confusion surrounding what the real healthy food choices are. We will discuss that soon enough.
Weight gain is one of the many undesirable effects of too much sugar intake. However, sugar doesn’t only make kids fatter, it also causes:
- Decreased brain function
- Mood swings and grogginess
- Fatigue or easy fatiguability
- Higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
How To Cut Down
We all know that we need to be reducing the amount of sugar our children are eating but when faced when a strong willed picky eater, how exactly do we go about doing that? Why not have lots of low sugar or sugar free alternatives on hand? Here are some of the ways:
- Instead of breakfast cereals, having oats is a healthier choice.
- Have homemade food prepared from scratch instead of buying take-out.
- If your kids are craving for a sugary treat for energy, give them apple slices with cheese, veggie sticks and pitta bread with hummus or a homemade oat bar or energy bites.
- Have more fruit and prepare them in a fun way so your kids will be enticed to try something out of the ordinary
Cutting down on sugar will depend entirely on your family’s lifestyle. If you guys are always on the go, then the above tips might not be applicable. Some other ways to cut down on the sugar intake include:
- Avoid sugar sweetened soda pop or sugar added juices
- Read nutritional information and labels of food bought in grocery stores
- Tell your kids to track their food intake with the help of apps or a food diary. From there, identify the sugary offenders.
- Plan your meals ahead of time and allow for occasional (but not frequent) rewards of small servings of sweets