As a parent or guardian, there’s nobody who has as much influence over your children’s eating habits than you do! This can seem daunting, though, because you’ve only a few short years when you are in charge of what they eat, alone, and can help guide their food habits. Short of having a Venn diagram of things that everyone will eat on the side of the fridge, what can you do? How can you help curtail your kid’s unhealthy eating habits?
Setting healthy limits is one of the most complicated parts of parenting. Being able to eat a serving size of cookies is delicious…eating a box of cookies is less good! Teaching children that sugary and sweet foods are lovely as treats, but not daily options, is a good thing. It can help them to regulate their food later on in life. Moreover, it can help them to prevent choosing to eat sugary things in order to cover emotional trauma or distress, which is important to check early on as it appears. Children should eat less than 25g of sugar daily, which means about one yogurt or granola bar!
Give Them Healthier Snacks
A lot of common snacks like granola bars and crackers have added sugar that can cause cavities. Yogurt, crackers, and even breads and spaghetti sauces can hide hidden amounts of sugar. Get used to reading the contents on the back of products! Paying attention to serving sizes can help you as well. As your family is weaned off of sugar, you will initially crave it, but then eventually sugary items will have less temptation.
Try New Things
In fact, most snacks and treats which use sugar have a tendency to mask flavorless treats using bland recipes. Your ability to enjoy real treats will increase with your taste buds! Explore new things by finding treats which are fresh to your family’s palate. This can include fruits and vegetables that you might not have ever seen before, whether that means kiwi or dragonfruit. Discover different flavors and textures of apples and which you like best.
You want your family to enjoy things which are healthy and, ideally, which are also enjoyable to everybody. Test new flavors and natural sugars instead of processed ones. Check foods for corn syrup and sucrose additives. Set a great example and let them follow your lead to eating healthier, natural foods for all bodies to enjoy.
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