Tempting Toddlers with Sugar

Tempting Toddlers with Sugar

24th January 2020By nanhoodadminNo Comments

Each boy has wanted to eat more frequently than us adults.  For busy parents giving their sons more sugar, making it more an habitual, rather than focussing on healthy diet which might include a battle with their tastebuds, was easy.  I watched one Mum trying to have a conversation with another adult turn to the sugar sachet on the cafe table. She tore it open  and passed it to her buggy-restrained, rather bored 2 year old to suck. It kept her quiet for a few sentences but the damage to her new teeth and the embedding of an addiction will be the price. 

Make your own

Everywhere there is processed fruit, processed sugar and sugar or sweetener is even in processed meat dishes. The word ‘processed’ should be banned from any diet.

Making my own mini meals for the boys is ideal. But playtime or cooking is a dilemma. Sometimes there is not enough time for both. So we make playtime cooking time

Small tummies and nutrition 

Small children have small stomachs they cannot take in enough nutrition in a simple three meals a day regime. So have more mini meals ready and wait a while to hit the 3 meals a day routine. Some days they are more hungry than others. Stopping the battle to form a rigid routine was a life saver. Why battle with the boys when we didn’t need to? 

Food was needed every few hours until the age of about two when the boys  were ready to reduce or vary the eating pattern. Listening to the boys is important…do they want mini meals or is it me? Had I taught them the ‘snack time’ shout or was this a real need? 

The trick is not to introduce bad or empty nutrition. It will lay a foundation for a bad diet. 

Sugar risk

So much food has processed sugar on it or in it. There is no value in it but it is very moorish, in fact addictive. It has played a critical part in causing weight and health problems among our friends. 

Sugar alternative 

I made a sugar free cake for a birthday (dates and really old bananas in place of sugar)  and covered it with icing made from mushed avocado and cocoa powder plus a little olive oil to smooth it.  Once pushed through a icing decorator it looked lovely…even more so when it was spread all over the boys faces, hands and hair- by them not me!

Hidden sugars

We feed small children sweetened foods without knowing it. Flavoured yoghurts and milks are an example. Why is there maltodextrin, which our bodies treat as sugar, added to milk?  

Why are yoghurts sweetened at all? Flavoured yoghurts can contain 17% sugar…. equal to 4 teaspooons of sugar.

Why is breakfast cereal sugar ridden? Coco pops are 39% sugar, that is 10 teaspoons of sugar.

Then there is sugar in processed foods like sausages, whether meat or vegetarian and it is in frozen pizza. Its never ending…..play ‘ find the sugar ‘ around a supermarket it is easy! A read of Davina McCaul in Davina’s Sugar Free cookery book was quite informative. Or download the Public Health England Change for Life Food Scanner from your app store https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.phe.c4lfoodsmart&hl=en_GB  or https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/change4life-food-scanner/id1182946415  . Hold the food scanner up to any bar code of foods you buy and it will show you the sugar and salt content. 

Top Tips: Things to remember…

  • No child starts out with a sweet fetish. 
  • Companies want them to want their products. 
  • Addictive sweetness is the cheapest and easiest route to hook them. 
  • We should not be helping sugar addiction but challenging.  
  • Learn by using the Food Scanner app as you shop