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How To Introduce A Sugar-Free Diet To Your Family
There has never been a better time to switch to a sugar-free lifestyle. There are so many products on the market that allow you to sweeten foods without added sugar.
We develop our tastes very young. A child who is allowed to enjoy sugary food on a regular basis will always crave it. However, limiting sugar in our diets means our tastes develop differently. What tastes sweet to others is sickenly sweet to us.
As you begin your sugar-free lifestyle remember you are changing your body to make it respond to the foods you consume.
What’s in this?
We have to be smarter than the marketing industry gives us credit for. They slap labels on foods such as “fat-free” or “lite”. While these labels may be accurate, they are placed there to fool you into thinking that the product is healthy. It may be loaded with sugars (sometimes listed as other things like corn syrup) and overloaded with calories. Finally, these fat-free snacks have no nutritional value. So you are consuming nothing but calories.
We need only look at the obesity problems of children to know the importance of raising sugar-free children.
Tips to help you avoid sugar issues
Ask the parents of any child who is diabetic and they will tell you, it is easier to avoid sugar than to break a pattern of eating sugar. Begin a healthy family plan and stick with it. Here are some more tips.
- Limit the sugary foods in the house and if they are in the house remove them from sight
- Be sure everyone in your child car circles understands the plan
- Do not deprive your kids of special treats and special occasions. They will know other kids are getting sweets at parties or on holidays.
- If your child loves peppermint candy, order their favorite peppermint flavored candy in sugar-free form, they will not know the difference unless you tell them
- Create sugar-free candy buffets for birthdays, parties, and holidays
- Limit the importance of food
- Allow your child to have input on the foods you serve. This is a family affair and everyone should have a voice. You may be surprised at the food choices they make if given the opportunity.
Foods not to be used to reward or punishment. Food is an enjoyable way to keep our bodies healthy. Teach them moderation, self-control, and pleasure in all activities.
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Encourage healthy activities that will develop with your child
Put your child (and yourself if you want) in activities that not only provide exercise but that are directly affected by their diet. Dance is a perfect example. It is fun and conditions the body in a healthy way. Further, the child learns that eating protein is a good way to make it through class without a drop in energy. They learn that a high-carb snack will give them instant energy, and sugar makes them feel sluggish.
The equipment needed is minimal. Dance sneakers, leotards, leg warmers and a comfortable tee is all you need to begin.
Start now – Get Creative
Before you begin, understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Understand that a sugar-free lifestyle for the kids means a sugar-free lifestyle for the parents. Soon we will be in the sugar-season. Valentine’s Day and Easter are just around the corner. Each of these events brings sugar-filled candy and foods. Prepare in advance.
Get creative. Making cute little treats from fresh veggies and dips will make the child want them. Allow the children to help make the treats.
Children who are given healthy activities from early on, grow to know their own bodies and trust their own instincts. Their bodies and minds function at their maximum potential at every stage of life.
Often the child who is taught these life lessons, go on to teach them to their own children. This is your gift to future generations.