How To Tame Your Child’s Sweet Tooth

Sugary treats lurk around every corner, making it difficult for parents to tame their children’s sweet tooth. How do you manage the situation with your kids when you step out with them? Do you give in to their demands or take the stance of a health-conscious parent who wouldn’t budge? Health reports show that kids aged 2 – 18  should consume up to 6 teaspoons of sugar daily, but it’s not the reality. If this interests you, here is how to tame your kids’ sweet tooth and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

  • Avoid sugary rewards

Many parents do this without thinking much of the adverse consequences if the habit is not curbed. Do you reward your child’s good behavior or achievement by getting them sweet treats? Sugary treats may seem harmless, but they reinforce the idea of using them as desirable prizes. Believe it or not, it can trigger the start of a long, unhealthy relationship with food in the future. An occasional sugary treat is alright, but the problem is when it becomes the go-to reward system. A better alternative is to respond with positive words of acknowledgment. Before heading to the store to pick out your child’s favorite treats, take a breather and think about what is best. Positive reinforcement helps build a child’s confidence while teaching them not to expect sugary treats. How about a special outing to your child’s most loved place or rewarding them with an educational toy? The gradual shift from the sugar-based reward system teaches your child not to rely on unhealthy snacks.

  • Reinvent sweet treats

Have you ever heard the saying, ‘If you can’t beat them, join them?’ This statement is apt for this point, and you’ll soon know why it’s so. Sometimes, turning your child away from sweet treats is a real challenge. It may even be unrealistic to eliminate them from your little ones’ diet. If that is your situation, become creative and reinvent sweet treats by using healthier alternatives. Have you considered swapping regular ice cream with homemade fruit sorbet without adding the usual sugar? Take it a notch higher by adding natural yogurt to give the creamy appeal of regular ice cream. You may not be a kitchen whiz, but you can get creative with fruit skewers. If your little one is craving a lollipop or another type of candy, you can imitate the same candy colors but with fruits. Grapes, berries, diced pineapples, and apples make excellent fruit skewers or kebabs. If you’re concerned about your child holding those pointy sticks, how about baking a simple fruit pie? The internet and a trusted cookbook will be your best friends if you’re baking for the first time. Switch things up occasionally by introducing an apple fritter for breakfast; your kids will love you for that surprise twist. It contains a fruit, after all.

  • Educate your kids

Education is power, which can be a great starting point for your kids. Teach your kids about the health consequences of excessive sugar consumption. Begin from the impact on oral health, blood sugar, and the body in general. Use simple language as much as possible to help your little ones appreciate and understand the life lessons being imparted. Apps like Smash Your Food, Nicholas’ Garden, and Fooducate are created with children in mind. 

Technology makes your job easier when it’s time to educate your children on nutrition and healthy lifestyles. Remember to use age-appropriate online resources if you must rely on technology. Children have a better chance of making better and more informed choices about their health when educated early enough. Never assume that your two-year-old is too young to pick a few healthy cues from the lessons you teach.



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Dear Fathers
Dear Fathers
Dear Fathers is The Premiere Media Platform dedicated to telling stories of black fathers from all angles.

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