Right from our childhood days, we are used to the fact that good behavior and good marks are celebrated by giving chocolates and candies. This one habit is passed down from one generation to another. But it’s time to put a stop to this bad habit in order to raise a healthy family.
Indeed sugary treats are loved by all children, but too much sugar intake is harmful to the health of the child. There are numerous problems associated with too much sugar intake. Unfortunately, not many parents are aware of it. Below are a few issues that might arise due to excessive sugar intake.
Addiction to sugar
Too much sugar intake can lead to what is called sugar addiction. This creates various psychological and psychological concerns for children in the long run. Sugar addiction has been found in certain types of animal studies and has similarities to drug addiction.
While there are other issues associated with this addiction, common withdrawal syndromes can be mood swings, tremors, and changes in the activity. This is one of the reasons why the low carb ketogenic diet is becoming popular as it limits sugar intake to the lowest compared to other diets.
Tooth decay is an excruciating issue and is associated with excess intake of sugar and sugary beverages. Tooth decay does not end with the need for filling. Many a time, the child might lose some of the teeth.
Though many people do not take tooth decay very seriously, if left unattended, tooth decay can lead to severe illness, and in some extreme cases, even to death.
There are many healthy sugar alternatives you can use instead of white or brown sugar. For example, you can use monk fruit and stevia. They contain much fewer calories compared to sucrose and you can easily incorporate it in your cooking, baking and beverages.
The major cause of malnourishment
Too much sugar intake does lead to obesity and diabetes. While that is yet another concern, parents are often left shocked that their obese children are, in fact, malnourished. Although malnutrition is often considered to be a means of starvation, it is not that.
Malnutrition can mean poor nutrition or the influence of a particular nutrient. When a child consumes too much sugar, that is the only nutrient that reaches the body while the others are ignored.
Many children are given one candy bar a day if they are incredibly obedient or well behaved. While the kids may get happy with the treat, it can cause severe psychological harm. One particular study has shown the link between too much sugar consumption and violence later in life.
While the parents think that they are reinforcing positive behavior by giving candies to their children, originally, they are failing to teach the child the need to control their gratification. As these children grow up, they tend to become more violent as they don’t know how to delay their gratification process.
Foods to give children instead of sugar
Now that we know the problems created by too much sugar intake, it’s important to curtail the amount of sugar consumed by the kids. The following options can be looked into:
- Instead of pops and fruit punches, children can be given plain water with some fresh fruit in it to add flavor.
- Sweetened milk and yogurt can be replaced with unflavored soy milk rice or almond drinks
- Sliced berries and other assorted foods can be added to plain cereals instead of sugary flavored cereals and flavored oats.
- Though children prefer fruit gummies and chews, you can add a twist by offering them fruit dips, dried fruits like apples, mangoes, pineapples, and such other options.
- If your children prefer chocolate milk, then you can bring down the sugar content of the drink by adding plain milk in equal amount
- It is also safe to use natural sweeteners. Most of the sweeteners have aspartame sucralose, acesulfame, or potassium. These are low in calorie content and do not impact children much.
So, get only what is best for your kid. Feed them well and keep them happy!
Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.