It’s not strange that your child loves sugar; all children prefer to eat sweets rather than nutritious food. You know that well, but you also know that you can’t permit them to eat large quantities of sugary foods. You’re afraid that it will cause disease, like tooth decay, obesity, and type II diabetes.
Should You Forbid It?
Is it really enough to forbid your child from eating sugary foods? No, because you know that everything forbidden is desired. So what should you do?
- Limit the amount of sweets your child is permitted to eat daily.
- Set a few rules like “You’re not allowed to eat sweets right before dinner,” and never allow them to break the rules.
- If your child cries constantly because you won’t let them have sweets, don’t give up. Just try to help them understand that they can have some later. And of course, to keep them from continuing to have tantrums, don’t pay much attention when they cry.
- It’s important to reward them for their achievements, but try not to make sugary foods the reward.
- In their first years—until age five—teach them how to trust in their capabilities to manage their sugar intake. No doubt they will start doing it on their own when they reach age six.
Be Smart about Preparing Their Meals
- Try, as much as possible, to limit their intake of pre-packaged food; it’s full of sugar and fat.
- If they like breakfast cereal, serve some that doesn’t contain much sugar.
- When you prepare sweets, replace refined sugar with other, natural ingredients like honey, natural maple syrup, jam, etc.
- Don’t get them used to drinking soda and processed juices. Set aside some time to prepare fresh ones.
- Encourage them to eat fruit and vegetables.
Our Advice to You
Remember that sugar has no nutritional value and that some studies show that children who consume it in large quantities have a number of serious health issues when they’re older.