Diwali is picking up its pace, do not ignore what your child is binging this festive season. It is obvious that children will just love to indulge in sweets. Read this section to know some tips on how to control your child’s sweet tooth.
With the festive season is being just around the corner, it’s very difficult to resist your temptation for sweets like Ladoos and Jalebis, no matter which age group you belong to.
Festive binging of sweets especially in children needs to be controlled because sweet overload brings with it a lot of health risks.
Health risks of overeating sweets in children
During the festive season, the children get overload with sweets. Various studies have claimed that the children, who consume foods with higher sugar content during their early childhood – end up craving for it even later on in life.
Related read l How to avoid eating excess sweets this Diwali
This is a vicious circle that will never end. So, it is important that parents should monitor their child’s sugar intake early on during their childhood to avoid future health problems. Though sugar spikes are temporary, they can still have lasting effects on your child.
When taken in small amounts – sweets will not be harmful. However, an excessive intake of sugar tends to replace the intake of nutritious food, thus causing detrimental effects on your child.
The excess sugar intake in childhood particularly added sugar, leads to big blood sugar spikes over time – higher risk of insulin resistance, prediabetes, and Type 2 diabetes.
Childhood obesity is another cause of high sugar intake which further contributes to hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes.
It also affects your child’s mood, activity, and hyperactivity levels. Too much sugar makes your child restless and may aggravate behavioral problems too – due to their blood sugar is like a roller coaster; up and down all day long.
The continuous habit of eating sweets can cause severe tooth ailments as well; due to acid formation, dental decay, and cavities are on the rise.
The adulterated or improperly stored sweets can lead to food poisoning and stomach infections. Colouring agents in sweets may give rise to food allergies.
Control your child’s sweet tooth during the festive season
Children really can’t resist their temptation and might end up binging each and every sweet that has been offered to them. This will definitely result in an overdose of sugar.
- Monitor their behavior and teach them to be selective and choosy. Pick up either one or two sweets rather than munching over everything that’s on the plate.
- Do not allow them to be on empty stomach. Ensure your child has eaten a nutritious diet before stepping out anywhere to celebrate. It will help them to avoid overindulgence or binging of sweets.
- The home-made food and sweets are always a top priority. The adulteration or added sugar ingredients will harm your small soul. So the more food you that you can prepare at home, the better.
Avoid intake of sweets using a lot of coloring agents, additives, or taste enhancers. You must read the health risks of addictive foods.
- Use natural sweeteners like jaggery (rich in iron too), honey, dates, anjeer (figs), etc. instead of as a replacement for sugar.
Artificial sweeteners or sweetened beverages should be on the NO-NO list. Try to avoid lemonade, sodas, sports drinks, sweet teas, and especially coffee drinks.
- Read product labels – Look for products containing less than 10 grams of sugar, and if possible, more than 5 grams of fiber. Keep an eye on added sugar content.
- Monitor their taste buds – On the table, don’t make them start meals with a sweet dish. If we’re not introducing sugar in excess from the start, then their taste buds won’t crave those flavors as much.
- Keep them hydrated the whole day. Use a jar or a bottle to measure and target the quantity/amount of water to drink.
- Lastly, parents themselves need to be good role models. If they themselves keep away from having too many sweets, the children will automatically follow suit.
If your child is already habitual of eating sweets, make some little changes in eating patterns. You can still get them back on the straight and narrow by taking it slow.
It’s advisable to consult your pediatrician in order to help your child follow a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Though, it is the fact that children are born with more taste buds than adults – and they have an innate preference for sweet taste.
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Parents should accordingly monitor the child’s taste buds and their intake, so they end up eating fewer sweets. Just ensure that you do not overdo it.
The added sugars are the problem. But remember, not all sugar is created equal. Include whole fruits, whole grains, beans, or dairy products – those are natural sugars. It is necessary for a child’s growth and development.