It is never too soon to introduce a sugar-free lifestyle to your family. Nature has given us an abundance of foods that are naturally sweet. Adding sugar is really unnecessary.
Food producers use sugar, salt, and chemicals in order to preserve their foods in order to have time to ship it, stock it, and sell it. Even so, there are parents who see no harm in allowing excess sugar in the family diet. Let us give you a little information for your consideration.
Why is a few treats a problem, as long as the child is eating?
A child has limited space in their stomach. A sweet treat fills them up quickly leaving no room for any foods with nutritional value. We are not suggesting that a special treat from time to time will cause these issues. If they are eating healthy 90% of the time, a 10% window will not be an issue. But as their parent, you will need to monitor the situation closely.
Sugar causes your child’s insulin levels to rise too quickly to process sugar in their blood. The rise can cause hyperactivity and discomfort. This is followed by a fast and hard drop in the insulin levels once the sugar has been dealt with. The child can feel shaky and unwell.
When you eat sugar, your body craves more sugar. A child who is allowed to consume sugar at will can quickly become obese. This will affect every part of their life.
Why would any parent want to allow these medical problems in their young child? Sure, the child is temporarily happy to have their sugar fix, but a smart parent weighs it out and soon decides that omitting sugar is much easier on their child than do damage control.
If you are beginning this program as a preventative measure, that is great. If you are introducing this due to damage control, you are to be commended. But let us remind you, this is an act of love for your child, not a punishment. Your child had no power over what he was fed. You may have been fed sugar-laden food as a child too. So, this is a new beginning for everyone.
Changing your lifestyle
It starts with a lot of conversation. You must tell the other adults that play a part in your child’s life of your quest. If they are not willing to get on board, you will have to limit their visits to times when it is not mealtimes. Remember, you are not putting your child on a diet. They can have reasonable treats, but they do not have to contain sugar. Keep treats for their special days and parties. Your child will be just as excited to have a sugar-free candy as they would be if it contained sugar. Keep a stash at your parent’s home so if they are tempted to treat the child they have an acceptable option.
Talk to your children. Have them help you make a list of their favorite foods that are healthy They will soon see there are many foods that they like that they can have.
Let your children help make treats for holidays as part of the fun. There are tins of DIY treats available online that are made from fruits, veggies, and berries. Get creative and conquer the sugar beast in your home. As a special part of a grand celebration, indulge in a small amount of good chocolate. You can buy it from the same vendor you use for sugar-free treats. Make sure to make it special. For example, Ghirardelli is one of the world’s best chocolates. It would make a marvelous part of your celebration. Moderation is the key.
Here are some other tips:
1. Do not have products with sugar in the home.
2. Set a good example. Do not expect them to refrain from snacks if you cannot.
3. Have foods that they like and that they can eat, on hand.
4. Have sugar-free candy on hand for treats you want to give them.
5. Use natural products like honey to sweeten baked goods.
6. Don’t fight unnecessary battles. Unless someone is deliberately undermining your authority, small treats from time to time will not hurt anyone.
You must be patent. You have to live the way you want them to live. Children do what you do, not what you tell them to do. Just take little steps, keep the door to communication open, and it will all work out fine.