All parents would agree that kids would go to any lengths to get their sugar fix. From pleading with you to throwing tantrums, nothing is off limits when it comes to getting their sweet treat. As parents who are looking out for their child’s health and well-being, it is one of the biggest challenges to curb your little one’s daily sugar intake.
Now, not all sugar is bad, and most healthy food for kids naturally has some sugar content, but the problem arises when we look at artificially and excessively sweetened foods like candy, cola, or cakes. These foods, if consumed regularly, can be highly problematic for your child. Here’s how.
Taking Down Teeth
Bacteria that grow in sugar cause tooth decay at an alarming rate. They produce an acid that eats away at the enamel of your little one’s teeth. To prevent this attack on their teeth, you could thoroughly rinse their mouth with water, immediately after eating any super sugary snack foods, but we all know how it is nearly impossible to get kids to do that consistently.
Sugar = Fat
Surprisingly, consuming excessive sugar will make your little ones put on weight even faster than consuming actual fats! The body gets shocked by the sudden rise in your child’s sugar levels and tries to correct it by storing the sugar as fats. These fats go on to cause childhood obesity in them which sometimes carries on the way into adulthood!
Sugar is highly addictive and makes children behave like addicts too! You would notice this behaviour in your child when they are craving a sweet treat. The intense excitement that kids get when they consume sugar (yes, we are talking about the high-energy spurts of enthusiasm right after you’ve agreed to give them their favourite candy), drives your little ones to seek it out obsessively. These bouts of high-energy playing are also immediately followed by sugar withdrawals that leave your kids completely drained, moody and grumpy.
Sugar is Sickening!
Consuming large quantities of sugar could also be making your little ones susceptible to common illnesses. It has been linked to immune system suppression, making them get sick more and more often. Even giving them sweet treats with lots of artificially added sugar as comforting, easy snacks when they are sick is a bad idea because it keeps them from fighting off the infection and getting better as quickly as they should.
Added Sugar is not Added Value
Added sugar has no nutritional value. It only gives your little one’s calories to run on, but so do many other nutritious foods such as eggs, butter, cheese, etc. While your little ones would be putting on a lot of weight with added sugar, they would also be starved of essential nutrients, keeping them hungry and even leading to malnourishment in severe cases! So, other than tickling their taste buds, you’ve got no reason to give artificially added sugar to your kids!
We know how important taste is for your little cuties. But, you can keep their snack boxes delicious and healthy at the same time, by using natural alternates for sugar, like jaggery. Jaggery is a natural sweetener unlike sugar, which is processed, that’s why jaggery is easily absorbed by the body whereas sugar is not. Children should not be given products that are over-sweetened, and parents should be careful not to. If sweetened products are to be given to children, jaggery should be the preferred option of choice.
Parents can pick from a range of delicious jaggery-sweetened treats, like timios Zookers, which are fun animal shaped biscuits that come with delicious Apple & Blueberry and Cherry bits. They even pack in the goodness of Wheat, Ragi, and Oats! So, basically, a win-win for every parent!
Read our blogs to know how you can use other healthy snacks for kids to replace overly sweetened foods in their lives.