Hidden Sugars Everywhere!
As you know, I’ve been living the Atkins lifestyle for years. When I knew that I was going to write this piece on helping kids avoid sugar I immediately thought of the work they’re doing with their recent hidden sugars campaign. I reached out and asked for some visual resources to share with you, and lucky for all of us they were happy to share!
Closing the Sugar Gap
Today’s parents have a tough job. We live in an instant society. While we struggle to give our children balanced and healthy lives, they are bombarded with commercials that make them believe that foods are good for them that in reality are loaded with sugar. While we once thought a sugary treat was no big deal, we only need to look at the obesity epidemic in America to see that is not the case. Sugar is hidden in foods that are marketed as healthy choices, such as:
- Granola bars
- Instant oatmeal
- Breakfast cereals
- Pasta sauces
Check out Atkins’ Snacking Survival Guide for more healthy sugar free kids’ snacking tips!
Raising Sugar Free Kids
So how do you raise a sugar-free kid and not make them (and their friends) avoid your kitchen? The first thing you do is set your priorities. By giving your child activities they love that keep them active and fit, you teach them that healthy choices are fun are rewarding. Too many parents use sugary foods as a reward and the child is taught (much like lab mice) that good behavior equals treats. Instead, encourage your child to participate in sports, take dance classes, and get involved in community activities. A sleep-over, trip to the park or a new sports bag makes for a pretty sweet reward.
Be an example
Children learn from their parents. If you are always in front of the television with a bowl of chips, your instruction for them to play outside and eat fruit will seem like a punishment at best. I certainly know from first hand experience how difficult it is to break kids of unhealthy eating habits learned by watching their parents. I quit sugar completely three years ago and I’m still struggling to get my kids on the same page 100% of the time.
There will be times when you give in and let a child have a sugar-fest. They may partake in the cake at a birthday party or be given candy while out with a grandparent. The effects of the sugar will be evident soon enough. Point them out to the child. (Do not lecture, simply point them out.) When the child is hyper and cannot sit still, or feels on edge, or even has a bit of a stomach ache, that they feel these things because of the sugar. By explaining the effects while the child is experiencing them, the child will better understand the next time they are refused a treat.
What about holidays and birthdays?
Holidays and birthdays happen for all of us and let’s face it, no one wants a carrot stick in their stocking. Birthdays are important to every child and they want to celebrate with a fun, treat-filled day, just like all of their friends. You can give them a holiday party or birthday party complete with decadent treats without sugar.
Consider a candy buffet made with sugar-free candy. The selection of sugar-free candy that is available is fantastic. You will want to find the right online bulk candy supplier, and allow them to help you with a selection that will compliment your color choices and theme. The candy selection can also include gluten-free, fat-free, and kosher candy. Your child and their guests will only know that they have a beautiful candy buffet to enjoy. Just be sure that no one overindulges – too much sugar free candy can cause an upset tummy!
Candy buffets are easy to make, very trendy, and there is no waste. If you need information on how to set-up your candy buffet, click here.
Being a parent is a tough job. Make your wishes clear with any adults that will sometimes be in control of your child’s care. This includes other parents, family members and friends, and teachers. Let them know that sugar is not something your child consumes. This is not a punishment, it is the foundation of a healthy body and mind for your developing child. With a little effort and good common sense, you can raise a sugar-free child.