Children often consult far more sugar than is healthy. It can be difficult to help them reduce their sugar intake. Though it can certainly be a struggle, it can be incredibly beneficial to their health to reduce their overall sugar intake. There are a few ways that you can reduce their sugar intake that they may not even notice! Here at Mountain View Pediatric Dentistry, we are dedicated to providing your children with the guidance and dental services necessary to maintain strong, healthy, beautiful teeth.
Issues with Excessive Sugar Intake
There are many problems that are associated with excessive sugar intake. When a child develops the habit of eating a lot of sugar, they are likely to continue to do so throughout their life. Some of these issues may not immediately impact their health, but they certainly will over time. Excessive sugar intake often results in tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, and many additional problems.
Read Labels Carefully
It is important to read all of the labels on the food that you give to your children. Much of the sugar that they consume is hidden in foods that you wouldn’t expect. Sugar is often in various sauces. It can also be found in some soups or other processed foods. It is important to examine the labels and choose low sugar options. However, you should be especially cautious with foods that are marketed as low-fat or fat-free. These foods tend to have excessive amounts of sugar in them.
Take it in Steps
It will likely be incredibly difficult to force your child to quit eating sugar cold turkey. They will likely be extremely resistant and resentful. This will likely be incredibly counterproductive, as they will indulge excessively whenever they are able to. However, taking it in steps tends to produce much more long-lasting results. For example, give them half as much ice cream as you previously would or cut a piece of cake in half. They likely won’t even notice the reduction, but it will substantially reduce their sugar intake.
Encourage Water Drinking
A significant amount of sugar comes from drinking beverages that are high in sugar. You should encourage them to drink water, instead of soda or juices high in sugar. You may want to add natural flavorings to make the water more appealing to them. Developing a habit of hydration can provide excellent health benefits over a long period of time. In addition, when they drink water regularly, it is more likely that bacteria and food particles will be flushed from the surface of their teeth.
Replace with Natural Foods
If your child consumes a substantial amount of sugar, it is likely that they will crave sweet treats. You can replace these with natural foods to meet their sugar-related needs! Fruit, honey, cinnamon, and other foods can be much more beneficial than foods that contain processed sugars. Honey or fruits can top oatmeal to create a breakfast that is far healthier than most popular breakfast cereals.
It can certainly be a difficult process to convince your children to reduce their sugar intake. However, it is important to ensure that you remain consistent throughout the process. When you give up, they are likely to simply relapse in sugar consumption. However, if you stay consistent, eventually their taste buds will adapt to their new diet. This tends to ensure that they will move away from eating processed sugars, because they will start to taste far too sweet.
Remove from the House
One of the best ways to reduce your children’s sugar intake is by removing sugar from the house. When sugar simply isn’t available, it is less likely that your child will get into it or convince you to cave on your goals. Without sugar in the house, it will require a trip to the store to obtain unhealthy, sugary foods. This often gives you enough time to reconsider and make healthier choices.
Make it Difficult to Access Sugar
The easier it is for your child to access sugar, the more likely it is that they will eat excessive amounts of sugar. Don’t shop while you are hungry, because this will often result in purchasing unhealthy foods for your home. Don’t put sugary treats in places that are easy to access.
Set a Bedtime
When your child gets sufficient amounts of sleep, they are less likely to turn to sugar to provide an energy spike. Setting a bedtime for your child will go a long way toward ensuring that they are able to obtain adequate levels of sleep. Kids need a significant amount of sleep to remain healthy and happy. In addition, a routine, implemented by a regular bedtime, often makes it easier for children to obtain enough sleep.
Modify Baking Recipes
There are many changes that you can make while baking in order to ensure a healthier final product. In most situations, these changes will have minimal or no impact on the taste of the baked good. You may be able to replace sugar with unsweetened applesauce. This will drastically reduce the total amount of sugar in the final product. You can also simply reduce the amount of sugar that the recipe calls for. Additionally, dark chocolate is a far healthier alternative to milk chocolate. The higher the cocoa content of the chocolate, the less sugar is usually present.
Here at Mountain View Pediatric Dentistry, we use many of the services that you need to improve the overall health of your child’s teeth. Nutrition has a huge impact on the health of the teeth. In order to strengthen the teeth, prevent cavities, and implement better oral health, reducing sugar consumption may be necessary. Several of these steps can be implemented fairly easily without causing significant issues. These steps can go a long way toward improving your child’s health and reducing their overall sugar intake. To learn more about how to protect the overall health of your child’s teeth, contact our team at Mountain View Pediatric Dentistry today!