I just got back from a speaking engagement with AtWell Dental, here is Squamish, BC. Of course the topic of sugar came up, and it really inspired me to talk to you about cutting back the amount of sugar your kids are eating. I could talk forever about why sugar is bad, what it is doing inside your body, but at the end of the day that won’t stop you from eating it. Cutting back sugar takes time, and effort. A Health Coach is a perfect fit when sugar cravings are dominating your life.
It’s not our fault, humans love sugar, we’re built to seek them out. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that occurs naturally in foods such as grains, beans, vegetables, and fruit. Unprocessed sugar contains vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins. It breaks down uniformly and burns smoothly allowing your body to absorb all the good stuff. Refined sugar is the opposite, no good stuff, it requires extra effort to digest, the body actually depletes it’s own store of vitamins and enzymes to absorb sugar properly. Then in enters the bloodstream quickly creating a sugar high and crash
I asked what these dental professionals saw in the mouths of our precious littles, and they said CAVITIES directly related to sugar. This sets up a whole host of problems early in life that can be avoided, or at least significantly improved.
So how can we reduce sugar consumption in kids?
Here are 5 STEPS TO REDUCE SUGAR CONSUMPTION IN KIDS :
- no sugar coated cereal – replace with granola with natural sweeteners and fresh fruit
- packed lunches focus on whole grains, vegetables, and fruit
- no sugary drinks, replace with naturally sweetened waters teas and milk
- skip ice cream, replace with homemade fruit sorbets and smoothies frozen into Popsicles
- healthy snacks like fruit, apples with nut butter, peaches and plain yogurt, or whole wheat crackers with cheese
HOW MUCH SUGAR ARE YOU EATING:
I always get asked how to calculate sugar consumption, easiest way is to envision a sugar cube, that is 4g of sugar. So, with that guide I took to the grocery store to find out how much sugar is in some very popular items.
1 can of coke = 10 cubes
Rockstar Energy Drink = 15.5
Haagen Dazs vanilla = 5.5 per 1\2 Cup serving
Cliff Bar, Banana Nut Bread = 5.5 cubes
Ketchup = 1 cube per tablespoon
Snack Pack Pudding = 4 cubes
I was thinking about packed lunches, this is an example of a lunch and after school treat packed for a clients child before we started working together. One PB &J Sandwich, apple juice, raisins, nutrigrain bar, snack pack pudding, and skittles = 45 cubes. Crazy!
That’s just lunch and a treat. Getting control of our sugar consumption is crucial to achieving good health, especially oral health. I loved my time at AtWell Dental, such an amazing group, and they inspired this post to help cut down sugar consumption in kids.