Reduce Sugar for your Kids

Looking for fast ways to help your kids with weight control? Reducing sugar intake may be the best thing you can do to help control the risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.  Although refined sugars have long been blamed for their negative effects on our kid’s health, food manufacturers spend enormous amounts of money debunking credible research that shows the harmful effects of our sugar laden diets.

Nutritionists look to parents to help kids control their cravings for the sweet stuff. They point to the problems with high glycemic index substances such as glucose, sucrose, dextrose, maltodextrin, corn syrup, and a host of other difficult to pronounce chemicals that are routinely added to foods to make them more palatable and attractive to kids.

Food manufacturers have even begun adding sugar to foods to improve flavor when they reduce fat and salt. These foods are then marketed as low-salt or fat- free, creating the illusion that they are a healthful alternative to other products.

If you are considering reducing sugar in your home, here are a few tips that may help:

Start with unsweetened cereal and add fresh fruit, Better yet, consider starting the day with increased protein.

Reduce fruit juice. Although fruit juice is rich in vitamins, it is usually packed with sugar and lacks fiber. Instead of orange juice, eat an orange.

Kick the ketchup. About one-third of ketchup is sugar.  Reserve it for special occasions instead of making it a standard part of setting the table.

Darken your Chocolate. If your kids must eat chocolate, make it dark. While there is a lot of information available about the health properties of dark chocolate, it is still high in sugar, so moderation is the key.

Skip the Syrup. Most “maple syrup” is really just sugar and a little flavoring. Smothering pancakes and waffles with it is a caloric nightmare. Look for fresh fruit alternatives. Some nutritionists recommend agave syrup as an alternative because of its low glycemic index.

Reducing sugar is not going to be a popular decision with your kids. Take it slow and expect resistance in the beginning. Work with your kids to find healthy substitutes and speak with Dr. Scinta if you are not making any progress.