Believe it or not, children are hardwired to crave sweets, right from the day they were born. It’s no wonder all your “that’s enough” statements whenever they reach for the candy jar for the nth time are met with angry eyebrows and wild emotional outbursts. But, of course, simply because they’re biologically inclined to munch on candies doesn’t mean you have to give in to their every request. When kids get addicted to sugars, they may suffer from malnutrition, obesity, and of course, the dreaded tooth decays. That said, wean your child from the chocolates and candies bit by bit with these strategies:
Swap processed treats with homemade sweets
Ideally, you want kids not to be exposed to unhealthy sweets altogether, but of course, that’s not possible. When they go over their friends’ house, there’s a good chance that their playmates will offer them candies. Or when they attend birthday parties, the goodie bags will for sure be filled with all sorts of unhealthy sweets. Even if you can’t control the environment they’ll be in, you can influence their decision-making. You can teach them to say no to unhealthy sweets themselves. One effective way of doing that is introducing them to healthier options. Such as muffins and cookies you bake with wholesome ingredients, like oats, nuts, fruits and veggies. When kids get used to these, especially when you involve them in making them, they’ll choose this over those offered by their friends.
Avoid giving sweets as rewards
Parents have a habit of drawing attention to sweets. In one way or another, you probably promised chocolates to your kids once they finish their plate full of carrots and broccoli. Sad to say, this is a bad habit. One, this sends the message that sweets are rewards, and therefore something to yearn for. Two, you’re all the more putting the thought of sweets inside their heads. In the long run, when this habit continues, they’ll always expect to have chocolates after eating their veggies. Instead of elevating sweets as ideal, treat it as any other food. At the same time, don’t make sugary snacks taboo. Don’t panic, don’t get angry when you realize your kid took a donut at their classmate’s birthday party. This also makes the food more desirable to them. Put simply, stay neutral.
Model good behavior
The best way to cut down your child’s sugar intake is to break away from your own cravings. When kids see that you’re cutting down on sweets, while telling them too much is bad for the health, they’ll pick up on this habit and do the same. Additionally, as kids’ dentists and Murray-based practitioners explain, showing them proper oral hygiene routines, like brushing teeth twice a day and flossing every meal, will help instill the importance of dental care early on. Taking them to clinics will also do the same. Not to mention avoid potential anxiety. Again, lead by example in terms of better health. You’ll never have to tell them off when it comes to sweets again.
Kids are naturally drawn to sweets, but that doesn’t mean that you give them the free rein on the cookie jars and candy stores. If you don’t want them suffering from tooth decays, curb their sugar cravings as early as now.