Kids are notorious for loving to eat sweets. From cake to candy to soda, there are few sugary treats that most children won’t devour quickly. Although sugar in small doses may be okay and even healthy for your kids, there is a point where too much sugar can affect the health of your children. Not only can sugar increase children’s likelihood of developing diseases like obesity and diabetes, but it can also damage teeth, which may lead to gum disease and expensive fillings in the future. Knowing the point at which you should cut your children off from sugary substances is important for every parent.
Sugar is Hard to Avoid
Unfortunately, sugar is almost everywhere you look. Sugar comes in different forms, and is more damaging in some forms than in others. The following are some common ways sugar may be listed on the food labels found in your home:
- Sugar from milk, or lactose
- Sucrose, otherwise known as white sugar
- Fructose combines with sucrose to make glucose and is the sweetest sugar
- Glucose, less sweet than sucrose
Regardless of which type of sugar your child is ingesting, the body treats it all the same. In small doses, sugar helps give children the energy they need to run and play. Sugar isn’t necessarily always a bad thing for children, but it is necessary for parents to recognize when it’s becoming a problem.
When to Stop
The real problem with sugar consumption comes when the sugary food begins to replace other, more nutritious foods in your child’s diet. If your child skips dinner because she is full from eating two cookies an hour earlier, she is missing out on valuable nutrients because her belly is full of sugar.
Replace Sugar Without Fuss
Most children will put up a fuss when mom or dad determines that it’s time to cut back on sugar consumption. The following tips can help to lower your child’s sugar intake, leading to better physical and oral health for everyone in your home.
- Satisfy a sweet tooth with fruits instead of candies or other sugary foods
- Don’t use sweets as a reward, and only provide them every once in awhile
- Mix high sugar cereals with more nutritious brands in the same box so your child doesn’t notice the difference
- Replace fruit drinks and soda with 100% fruit juices, and water down any sweet drinks you give to your child
Regular checkups and exams combined with brushing and flossing go a long way toward keeping your child’s smile beautiful and healthy. With the added efforts of lowering sugar consumption in your home, you increase your child’s chances of having a healthy smile well into their adult years.