If you’re hoping to get your family fit and healthy in 2015, start with looking at sugar intake.
A new government campaign is urging parents to reduce the amount of sugar kids consume in order to safeguard their future health.
The Change4Life campaign ‘Sugar Swaps’ is offering email packs, videos and even text reminders to help you reduce your child’s sugar.
So if your children are still sluggish after too much Christmas sugar you might just want to take this challenge on.
Here are our top tips:
Many ‘healthy’ foods such as baked beans are full of sugar. Even 100% all natural fruit bars are high in fruit sugar. Choose foods with less than 5g per 100g, which is classed as low sugar. Choose ‘greens’ and ‘ambers’ more than ‘reds’ on colour-coded nutrition labels.
There are many different words to describe sugar. Look out for sucrose, maltose, fructose, invert sugar, corn syrup and even honey.
If kids are bored, they are tempted to snack on junk, so get them moving instead. Exercise also stimulates appetites so kids are less likely to be picky about wholesome meals.
Planning to have wholegrain bread and cherry tomatoes for lunch means they will be purchased and go in the lunchboxes! After school, snacks of rice cakes, savoury crackers with dips and vegetable sticks can also be prepared ahead.
If you bake biscuits and cakes yourself you can control the amount of sugar in them. Use mashed banana, grated apple or dried fruit to add sweetness with some nutrition.
Most added sugar in the diet of 4 – 10 year olds come from drinks. Instead of squash, fizzy drinks and fruit and fruit shoots, encourage plain water, diluted fruit juice and milk.
Honey has got nutrients in it like B vitamins and antioxidants, plus can be healing and is just generally nicer than refined sugar too.
really? I thought honey was just sugar, admittedly tastier thanks to the hard work of the bees. What other nutrients does it have?
Trevor, all sugars have the same calorific content, but if we're talking nutrition then honey is a far, far better choice than refined sugar. Also molasses has lots of iron.
as far as I understand it, all sugars have the same calorie content so switching to honey will make no difference. Quite right about fruit bars though - terrible sugary things. Give the kids a banana. Or a bar of chocolate, that at least has some calcium in it!
It's amazing how some families still buy fizzy drinks routinely. yes, they' taste great, but they should be a real treat. We have them on special occasions only and really appreciate them then.
Just don't buy sugary things!! Or at least, make it a twice a week treat. My wife makes muffins for lunchboxes with mashed banana and blueberries in and the kids love them.
i would recommend Davina's '5 weeks to sugar free' if you want some good family sugar-free recipes. Though quite a few have honey etc, but it's a good start to cut out refined sugar and still enjoy your meals!