8 SIMPLE TIPS TO BREAK YOUR KID’S SUGAR ADDICTION

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Let’s face it, kids love sugar and candy. Let’s also face the fact that almost everything that goes into your child’s mouth could contain sugar in one form or the other, starting from the breakfast cereal to the ketchup they had for dinner. Like many other universal ironies, what tastes good may not be the best for your child. Increased sugar intake can cause numerous health problems in children including tooth decay, malnutrition and obesity. It is up to you to stop excess sugar from slipping into your little one’s diet. Here are some effective ways to do so!
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1. IDENTIFY WHAT’S GOOD AND BAD
Start off by identifying what’s good and bad for your child. A simple rule to keep in mind is that added sugar in any form is unhealthy. The sugars found in fruits, milk, nuts, beans etc. are simple sugars and are necessary for your body. Sugar becomes complex and unhealthy when it is added to foods while they are being processed or cooked.
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2. LIST THE LIKES AND DISLIKES
Prepare a list of all the healthy and unhealthy foods your child likes to eat. This will help you identify what requires to be eliminated or replaced. You can leave the healthy list untouched and come up with ways to make the unhealthy list short, if not non-existent.
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3. TALK TO YOUR KIDS
Convincing your child to eat healthily is the best way to curb their sugar intake. Point out how excess sugar can make them gain weight or give them cavities. A warning about the frequent visits to the dentist could be the slight push your child requires to sever ties with sugar.
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4. CHOOSE HOMEMADE OVER PROCESSED
Processed foods tend to have double or triple the amount of sugar than their home-cooked counterparts. Try to cook meals from scratch as much as possible so that your kids are not exposed to unwanted sugars. The cakes, jams, jellies, ketchup, ice cream, pizza, pasta sauce, granola bars, fruit juices, peanut butter etc. that are homemade are guaranteed to be healthier.
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5. SWITCH TO SUGAR-FREE VERSIONS
One of the most effective ways to cut down your kid’s sugar intake is by switching to sugar-free versions of whatever they like. Nowadays you can get hold of sugar-free biscuits, ice cream, chocolate, and even toothpaste. Make a list of sugar-free items you can adapt into your child’s daily routine and see if it can make a difference.
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6. INTRODUCE HEALTHIER SNACKS
Encourage your kids to try out new and healthy snacks. Make them familiar with the crunchiness of carrot and celery sticks, the richness of almonds and cashews and the juicy goodness of oranges and strawberries. You can even come up with creative ways to make eating more interesting by grating some cheese on the celery or adding a dash of honey or caramel to the fruits and nuts.
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7. GET THE WHOLE FAMILY ON BOARD
Understand that kids are influenced by others easily; the best way to encourage them to lay off sugar is by including the whole family in the “Boycott sugar” movement. If children see their parents or siblings trying something new, chances are that they will do the same. So, instead of telling your kid what to do, show them how it is done.
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8. ALLOW OCCASIONAL INDULGENCES
Eating healthy is a practice that takes time and effort. Your child will not be able to quit sugar one fine morning, so do not push them too hard. Take things slow and don’t forget to indulge their sweet tooth occasionally with the treat of their choice.

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