First published: 14 October 2022 @ 6:00 pm
Sugar intake is an ongoing problem for kids and adults alike. Unfortunately, many of those so-called “healthy snacks” for children are actually packed with sugar and other junk ingredients.
These types of snacks have a variety of names like granola bars, fruit snacks, trail mix, and cookies.
In this article, we’ll give you tips on how to cut down on the amount of sugar in your kids’ snacks, and which ones to choose instead.
1. Check the Food Label
Sweet foods can be a problem for kids, so it’s important to know what’s in your child’s snacks.
The food label is a great place to start. It’ll tell you exactly how much sugar and other ingredients are in the product.
If you see too many ingredients, then there’s a good chance that the food has too much sugar and junk ingredients in it. This can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
2. Be Careful with Fruit-Based Snacks
Ingredient lists can be misleading with fruit-based snacks. Many times, they’re full of sugar and preservatives.
You can get better fruit snacks at the store by buying natural, unsweetened ones. There are also lots of recipes for homemade fruit snacks you can make with your kids.
3. Check the Sugar Content
There are many types of sugar that you need to be aware of. Some of them are hidden, and many are not.
For instance, brown sugar is just a different type of sugar that has molasses added to it. It can also have some other ingredients mixed in. But when you look at the ingredient list on the package, it’s usually just brown sugar.
White granulated sugar is usually processed with bone char and may contain bone char, cornstarch, or other additives like calcium carbonate (a mineral), which can cause an unpleasant aftertaste.
White granulated sugar is processed using either acid or alkali to remove impurities. The type of processing determines the color of the final product (color ranging from white to light yellow).
You should also look for information about added sugars in your kids’ snacks and learn how much they are getting in each serving size. This will help you cut down on those unnecessary extra calories that come with all that sugar.
Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.
4. Avoid Junk Food
Sugar consumption is closely tied to junk food consumption.
The reason many people think that junk food is a “healthy” choice is because they don’t understand the connection between these two.
When you eat junk food, you’re usually consuming lots of empty calories and other harmful ingredients that can affect your health in the long term.
Junk food is high in calories, fat, and sugar. It also often contains salt and other chemicals that are linked to obesity and other health problems.
5. Get Away from Soda
Sugary drinks are a no-no for a variety of reasons, and it’s never too early to make healthy changes.
With sodas, the biggest problem is that they’re loaded with sugar and empty calories. Soda is essentially poison for your body, but you’ll find out how you can replace soda with some healthier alternatives.
Soda is also very addictive, so your kids will be more likely to crave soda as they get older.
6. Limit Sugar in Your Diet
Even dairy products can contain sugar. For example, a cup of skim milk contains 1.5 grams of sugar, a cup of whole milk contains 2 grams, and a cup of sour cream contains 3 grams.
Not that dairy products should be avoided completely, but it’s important to monitor the amount of sugar that you’re consuming.
7. Go Bland
If your kid is a fan of coffee drinks, lattes, and other sweet drinks, then you’ve probably been told that they need to drink more water.
But here’s a great tip for kids who enjoy sweet drinks. Simply swap out the sweet drink for a plain, unsweetened iced tea or water. This will help your child drink more fluids throughout the day.
Another tip is to avoid sugary soft drinks and juices. Instead, have your child drink plain water or unsweetened iced tea.
8. Be Selective of Condiments
That pasta sauce you love is actually loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients.
This is something you should know because your kids may also consume these things without realizing it.
Instead, consider making your own sauce or just using tomato sauce for your pasta dishes. It’s much healthier and tastes great, too!
9. Use Natural Sweeteners
Those breakfast cereals and snacks that you buy for your kids should not contain any sugar. The best options are those that use honey, maple syrup, and other natural sweeteners.
For example, look for cereals that use only honey and brown sugar. Other sweeteners such as agave nectar and stevia are also good choices, but they’re a little more expensive.
Photo by Paul Seling on Pexels.
10. Use Whole Grains Instead of Refined Grains
Your cereal bars, fruit snacks, and other kid-friendly snacks can be a substantial source of energy and nutrition.
But not if they’re packed with refined grains, which are stripped of all the good stuff. Refined grains are those that have been processed to remove most of their vitamins and minerals.
Whole grains are rich in fiber, B vitamins, protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, and other important nutrients that help support brain function and a healthy body. That’s why they’re the best choice for kids.
Be Mindful of Your Sweet Tooth
It’s a good idea to be mindful of your child’s sweet tooth. You want to monitor how much sugar is being consumed and make sure that they’re not eating too much junk food.
These tips should help you cut down on the amount of sugar in your kids’ snacks. But you may also want to consider making healthier snack options at home.
Have you found a good recipe for homemade fruit snacks? Share it with us below, and make sure to check other articles on our blog, Mature Parent!