Aside from causing tooth decay, consuming too much sugar can contribute to a lifetime of poor eating habits. A recent study showed that 16 percent of total calories consumed by American children comes from added sugars. As your child grows, it can become harder and harder to control what they eat. That’s why it’s so important to teach them to make healthy choices early on. But how exactly do you do that? Smilez Pediatric Dental Group of Loudoun can help! To start, follow these rules as guide:
Avoid Sodas and Juices
Soda is completely devoid of nutritional content and loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners. While fruit juice might contain some nutrients, it is stripped of fiber and it contains far more sugar than it does vitamins. Stick to water instead. When children don’t grow up drinking soda they are far less likely to drink it as adults.
Skip the Sugary Breakfast Cereals
Most breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar. Giving your child a bowl of sugary cereal first thing in the morning leads to a sugar rush and eventual crash, making them crave sweets all day long. Try giving your family oats instead. You can make oatmeal, cold overnight oats, oat bars or oat muffins.
Never use sugary treats as a reward
Offering sweets and snacks as a reward leads to an unhealthy relationship with food. A big hug or high five is usually sufficient, but you could give stickers instead.
Avoid processed food as much as possible
The key to cutting back sugar intake is to prepare all of your meals at home from scratch. Most pre-made meals and convenience foods are loaded with sugar. Surprisingly, sauces are usually the biggest offender. Homemade sauces can be made in advance and frozen for use on busy evenings.
Of course, everyone enjoys a sugary treat every now and then. This shouldn’t be a problem as long as your child practices good dental hygenie and visits us at least twice a year! Please contact Smilez Pediatric Dental Group if you would like to discuss ways to limit your child sugar intake and create a custom plan for overall dental health.