Kids and sugar just seem to be attracted to each other, no matter how hard parents try to get them interested in different foods.
If your kid has a sweet tooth, is there really anything you can do to change it?
We certainly think so, and we want other parents to find their own solution to taming their kids’ sweet tooth too. Here are 12 simple tips that helped us tackle it.
1. Always Give Kids A Healthy Choice
When you’re providing kids with a snack option, always provide a healthy option in the mix. Even if they don’t always choose the healthy option, this is the first step in training them that healthy foods are better than sweet ones. So offer them both a piece of fruit, and/or a muesli bar. Remember, the ‘sweet’ option should still be at the healthier end of this scale.
2. Avoid Using Sweets As A Reward
Kids love sweets so much that it’s easy to fall into the trap of using them as a reward or punishment to help get things done. However, offering sweets as a reward, or threatening to remove them as a punishment, is actually not a good idea. It fosters a love-hate relationship with sweets, and makes kids see them as emotionally-charged foods that they ‘deserve’ or feel guilty about eating.
3. Be Aware Of Liquid Sugars
Parents often forget that one of the biggest sources of sugar in the average over-indulger’s diet comes from liquid sugars. Beverages like flavoured milks, soft drinks and fruit juice contain large amounts of sugar, and in the case of milks and juice they’re often given to kids as ‘healthy’ options. Parents need to think very carefully about their own child’s sugar intake from liquids, and ask whether this is encouraging their sweet tooth.