Sugar Reduction for Kids

Most of my arguments with the kids are related to sugar, whether buying it for them (or not), them begging for desserts and sweet snacks, and the sense of entitlement they have assuming that every meal needs to be capped off with something sweet. 

I have to admit I am not exactly the best role model, and usually they see me end my meals with something sweet, otherwise it the meal is not considered finished.  In the process of learning about all the bad outcomes of too much sugar, I have reduced my own addiction and wanted to pass on the healthy habits ot the little ones.  It’s been difficult – still is – but since my family has a history of diabetes I was determined to reduce (not completely cut off) sugars in our daily diets. 

It is even harder since sugar can be found in everything from bread to cereals and even salad dressing and juices, but any incremental reduction is better than nothing and the outcomes will add up.  Here are a few things I started doing with the little guys to give them more certainty and clarity on sweets and desserts:

  • Water is the norm, or freshly squeezed juices.  Sugary juices are only allowed in special occasions like birthdays and family gatherings.
  • Desserts are only to be had in special gatherings or restaurant, and if we do order one at a restaurant we share on dessert rather than have on each.
  • Once a week the kids can have a pastry or a mini donut, I usually use this as incentive to keep them well behaved.
  • Candies and chocolate bars are only given as special rewards for achievement or good behaviour.
  • Get as many, no sugar added food products as possible.
  • Daily sweet tooth fixes will be covered by either fruit or probiotic yogurts (usually vanilla).
  • Halloween, Christmas, Birthday, Easter, (and in our case we also add both Eids) are all exceptions; they can binge to their heart’s content.

Wondering if there are any other tips out there to “reasonably” reduce sugars with kids without completely cutting them off.  I realise they will get used to no sweets if I am a bit more disciplined, but at the end of the day I do find pleasure in having sweets and enjoying them with others, so I’m not quiet ready to cut them off completely from that experience.


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