Thursday, August 7, 2014
We worry about the intake of fats and sugar that our children intake, so we wouldn’t let our children take sugar straight from the bowl to eat. But, if we don’t let our children do this, why do we let them have a diet rich in sugar? We don’t tend to think of the hidden amounts of sugar that lie in the fizzy drinks and foods that they intake and excess sugar means excess energy. Having too much energy in the body means that this is stored as fat, making diseases like diabetes and heart disease a higher worry in children later in life. You can make small changes to your children’s diet that will benefit them both now and in the future.
Not surprisingly, it’s estimated that around a quarter of the sugar taken in by children in their diet comes from sugar based drinks. Swapping these for various alternatives, like skimmed milk, water and diet/non sugar based drinks can really make a considerable difference to the health of your child. It’s good to remember that whilst fruit juice may seem a healthy alternative, it’s rich in sugar, so if your children do drink this be sure to limit them.
It’s a good idea to swap cereals rich in sugar for plainer alternatives, such as porridge. Whole grain cereals are another great alternative, along with whole wheat biscuits. Sugary snacks like chocolate, biscuits, cakes and sweets are all bad for your child in considerable amounts. If they intake these regularly, it can lead to health problems later on in life. Swapping these snacks for alternatives, like unsalted nuts, fruit or toast are all good ways of making small changes to their diets.
A good tip to remember is that when you’re shopping, you can compare food labels easily by the colour coded food labels that are on most foods. A colour chart shows the nutritional value of the food in question and it’s a good idea to switch to food that is marked no added sugars/sugar free. Go for foods that are more ‘greens’ and ‘ambers’ compared to foods that are rich in red.
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