Chocolate, cookies or gummy bears: Children love sweets. And they often eat more of them than is good for their health. This is particularly unhealthy for their teeth. Too much sugar can also lead to obesity. With these tricks, parents can better control their consumption of sweets.
Chocolate, cookies and gummy bears come easily to children: Not only do relatives and friends like to give children sweets, but there are also often bowls of sweets on many store counters that children can help themselves to. As children get older, a small portion of their pocket money is enough to buy a big bag of sweets at the kiosk. Parents therefore often feel powerless over their children’s consumption of sweets.
A childhood without sweets is unimaginable today. However, too much sugar in the diet is harmful to children. Nutrition experts recommend that no more than ten percent of the daily amount of energy should consist of decomposed sugar. For a seven-year-old child who needs around 1,800 calories, that means: 27 gummy bears or seven pieces of chocolate or almost two glasses of lemonade. Not more.
Too much sweets leads to obesity and tooth decay
If the mouth is constantly full of sweets, obesity can be the result. “Overweight occurs when the body is supplied with more energy (calories) over a longer period of time than it uses. A high sugar consumption contributes to this, as does a high consumption of high-fat foods,” the American Society for Nutrition points out. Sugar also endangers dental health. “Studies have shown that populations that consume less than 50 grams of sugar per day have significantly less tooth decay than people who consume larger amounts of sugar,” according to the American Society for Nutrition. “The current American Nutrition Report shows that sugar consumption is currently around 130 grams per person per day.”
Seven tips for dealing with sweets on children
“It is often not easy for parents to teach their children how to use chocolate, gummy bears, ice cream and the like in a sensible way,” writes the school and sports department of the city of Zurich in the brochure “Health Tram Nutrition”. “To ban sweets in general is not realistic. Prohibitions make these foods more attractive and can become the cause of daily arguments.” These strategies are more helpful than bans:
Fear of bathing in the bathtub
Tip 1: Don’t buy sweets
The most effective tip for anyone who wants to successfully save sugar is: it’s best not to buy any sweets. What is not in the closet cannot be eaten. Fruit and dried fruit can also satisfy sweet cravings.
Tip 2: Nothing sweet before meals
“It should be clear: There are no sweets before meals,” recommend the experts in the brochure from the city of New York. «Sweets are best offered as a dessert after a main meal.»
Tip 3: Do not drink anything sweet in everyday life
Offer your child water, unsweetened tea, or diluted fruit juice. Sugary lemonade should only be served on special occasions.
Tip 4: Pay attention to the sugar content when shopping
Many foods contain a lot of sugar, sometimes hidden, such as muesli, which is promoted as healthy. It is therefore important to check the sugar content by looking at the list of ingredients. The higher up an ingredient appears, the more of it is in the product. But be careful: Sugar can also be declared as sucrose, glucose, glucose syrup, dextrose, maltose and fructose, for example. “Alone in a small cup of fruit yoghurt there are four to five sugar cubes,” points out the Swiss Society for Nutrition. If you want to know exactly: the sugar content per hundred grams is listed under the carbohydrates in the nutritional value table.
Tip 5: Sweeten with stevia
200 times as sweet as sugar, suitable for diabetics, tooth-friendly and calorie-free: Stevia is the name of the sweetener obtained from the South American plant Stevia rebaudiana. Many foods containing stevia have been approved in Switzerland since 2010. If you want to sweeten with stevia yourself, you should still be careful: If you use too much stevia, you will ensure that the child gets used to the very sweet taste.
Tip 6: Don’t give sweets away
It makes sense to ask friends and relatives to leave sweets at home. It is nicer than bringing sweets with you if you give them time: for example to play a game, to talk or to laugh.
Tip 7: Determine the weekly ration of sweets
“Fix a weekly ration,” advises the “Health Promotion America” foundation. All sweets that can be nibbled within a week are placed in a box. In the afternoon, the child can help itself from the box. If the child is older, it can divide the ration itself.
But children learn most from the example set by their parents. If you want to demonstrate to your child that sweets don’t have to be a constant companion in everyday life, you shouldn’t be caught secretly reaching into the cookie jar. It’s good when parents manage to comply with the rules that apply to the child themselves.
Sweet and healthy: recipe for banana cream
It doesn’t always have to be candy. Fruit can be used to make great and healthy desserts . For example, a fine banana cream: It’s made in no time, tastes sweet and is rich.
Ingredients for one serving:
A banana, 125 grams of cottage cheese, a teaspoon of lemon juice, a little milk, a teaspoon of honey, a tablespoon of nuts.
That is how it goes:
In a bowl, mix the quark with the lemon juice and some milk. Mash the banana on a plate with a fork and mix into the quark. Add honey and stir. Chill for half an hour. Sprinkle with nuts and serve.
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