What's the best way to curb my kid's craving for sweets?
By Jennifer Viegas for Live Right Live Well
Most kids like sweet things. In fact, many studies suggest this is
an evolved craving: Little bodies need lots of energy to grow, and what
better way to load up on calories than to eat something sweet? The
problem is, instead of healthy natural sweets like fruit, today's
treats are filled with refined sugar and come in the unhealthy form of
cookies, candy and soda.
Of course, the best way to cut back on sugar is
to avoid buying sugary foods in the first place, notes Melinda Johnson,
registered dietitian and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.
But that doesn't mean you have to cut out dessert altogether. Keep portions
small and avoid doubling up: Instead of serving cookies with ice cream, offer
two small cookies one night and a single scoop of ice cream the next, suggests
Johnson. View soda as a "treat" and not a regular dinnertime
beverage, she adds. Another trick is to mix sweet breakfast cereals with those
containing less sugar. When serving pancakes, French toast or waffles, offer
sliced fruit and low-sugar jellies and jams instead of syrup. "Most
importantly, eat the way you would like your child to eat," instructs
Johnson, since "kids learn the best by example!"
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