Do you ever wonder if your child consumes too much sugar? Though you may not be giving him a lot of sweet treats, it’s possible that your child’s sugar intake still exceeds the recommended amount. A study reveals that on average, kids consume as much as 19 teaspoons of added sugar daily from soda, fruit-flavored drinks, and cakes and cookies. Too much sugar can cause obesity, tooth decay, and other health problems, which is why it is crucial to find natural ways to sweeten your child’s food without sugar.
Surprising effects of too much sugar on children’s health
If your child always seems to have a cough or colds, it’s likely that consuming too much sugar is the culprit. According to experts, one of the most common effects sugar can have on children are cold-like symptoms. Kids who drink excessive amounts of sugary beverages are also more prone to experiencing acid reflux and a weakened immune system.
As a parent, it may be more difficult for you to control your child’s sugar intake when children’s TV shows are inundated with ads for the sweet stuff. According to a study, the youth watch hundreds of television ads every year for drinks that contain sugar, and in 2010, preschoolers viewed an average of 213 ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks, while children watched an average of 277 ads. While we can’t control what’s on TV, we can limit the amount of sugar that our children consume by choosing natural sweeteners and adding flavor to their favorite foods without sugar. Here are 5 natural and easy ways to sweeten your child’s food and drinks without sugar.
Instead of letting your child add sugar to his cereal, give him frozen blueberries or strawberries instead. The berries will give his favorite breakfast a burst of natural sweetness, plus vitamins C which can boost immunity.
Fruit in ice cubes
If your child hates the taste of plain water and insists on drinking soda, try this: Freeze pieces of fruit in ice cubes and add those to a glass of plain water. You can also freeze pressed juice and use that to make water more interesting for your little one.
You’ve probably drizzled maple syrup on pancakes or waffles, but did you know that this is a healthier alternative to sugar? Maple syrup contains antioxidants which may prevent cancer and other diseases. Try substituting maple syrup for sugar when baking cookies or cupcakes.
Apple puree adds natural sweetness to baked goods, so try it the next time you bake a cake or make some muffins. You can also let your child add apple puree to her cereal or use it as a dip for crackers or other fruits.
Beets are naturally sweet and are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, iron, and magnesium. Try spooning beet puree over roasted meat for a hint of sweet flavor, or mix it with bitter vegetables or sour fruits.
Try any of these to naturally sweeten your child’s food. These are all great ways to control your child’s sugar intake while indulging their love for their favorite sweet treats.