Let’s be honest - it’s our fault that children get hooked on unhealthy food. We give them those snacks that become a subject of tantrums, and then wonder why they don’t want to eat kale and other healthy food. How often does a snack solves a problem in your family and keeps your child satisfied and engaged?
Sweets are perhaps among the most dangerous food habits that we can raise in our children. The problem of children’s obesity in the USA is still real because of the lack of healthy food culture in American families. We should really care about it more if we want to raise a healthy nation.
Sugar consumed in big amounts is dangerous not only for the child’s weight but for the teeth as well. Even the baby teeth require a careful attitude. If you just let your child eat sweets uncontrollably, very soon you will have to visit a pediatric dentist and treat dental diseases.
What to Do If the Problem Already Exists?
If your child already has a sugar addiction (yes, it’s a real addiction, like cigarettes and alcohol is in adults), you should act carefully. However, it’s possible to maintain healthy food habits gently, with love and without stress and negativity. Want to know how? Read the information below.
Breakfast is important
For many kids, every day starts with sugar. Yes, all those sweet cereals with chocolate milk. They should be replaced with whole grain products to give your child healthy fuel for the day. But you shouldn’t do it instantly. Gradually reduce the amount of sugar in your child’s breakfast - for example, replace chocolate milk with regular or vegan one, and add whole grains increasing their amount a little every day.
Don’t leave the house hungry
The more satiated the child will be, the fewer chances you will have for a tantrum in the mall. You can also take some healthy snacks with you so that you can tame the child’s hunger without buying sweets. Yes, fruits also contain sugar but at least not as much and there are nutrients too.
Maintain healthy family habits
A healthy lifestyle is a family culture. Instead of watching TV shows together with sweets and soda drinks, it’s better to spend time with your family outdoors, playing games and being physically active. This will be good for the health of all family members and will shift focus from comfort food to something more important.
Don’t use sweets as the sign of approval
Never bribe your child with sweets - it’s not only bad for health but also will turn your child into a manipulator. Find other sources of positive emotions for your child, otherwise, you may launch a dangerous habit of emotional eating which can result in an eating disorder as your child grows up.
As you can see, a bad habit of eating sweets is in many cases conditioned by family and parenting choices. Just a little more attention and creativity, and it can be eliminated. Yes, it’s much easier to just give your child a snack but let’s face it - this is not a proper way to raise children. Parenting is about responsibility, love, and care.