Parents often have trouble keeping their kids from eating too much sugar, which can lead to all sorts of health problems down the road. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to cut down on sugar consumption without cutting down on fun.
Here are three sneaky ways to help your child reduce his or her sugar intake without being too obvious about it.
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How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy
1) Kids Love Snacks, Fresh Fruit is a Classic
While fruit naturally contains sugar, it’s not in a form that has an immediate impact on your blood sugar levels. This means that you can eat as much fresh fruit as you want without worrying about feeling crashy or gaining weight. Some great choices are berries, apples, and bananas, now you're taking the right steps to eating healthy!
The best part, fruits and vegetables are healthy snacks that kids can eat any time of the day! They make a great snack for children because it’s fun to dip things in different sauces, dressings, or dips! Let your kids enjoy their favorite fruits and veggie flavors with classic mixes such as apples in peanut butter, or carrots dipped in low-fat ranch dressing.
Finally, if you have to be sneaky, a great approach is to puree or grate fruit and vegetables into stews, casseroles, or even baking! Carrots, zucchini, and applesauce are all great options because they can add nutrients and your kids will never know you've added them to your meal plan!
2) Cut Down on Sugar with Dairy Products
The enemy is sugar, which causes inflammation that can lead us down a path toward diseases like heart disease or diabetes, but the fat in our diets can be used to fuel cells and help with the absorption of other nutrients. So, give your kids some full-fat dairy products for their healthy benefits—they’re lower on added sugars than low-fat options while still providing a healthy diet with plenty of what growing bodies need (including protein). Greek yogurt is especially good for you as it is high in calcium carbonate—a key ingredient for growing bones.
3) Sneak in Some Nuts and Seeds
Prepare homemade goodies with whole grain flour or a gluten-free substitute and add a serving of nuts or seeds to the recipe or topping! Baking not your style? Try some of these tips to add nuts into your child’s diet:
- Throw together a yummy trail mix that’s full of protein and low on sugar.
- Almonds and cashews make great additions to stir-fry recipes.
- Sprinkle roasted, chopped pistachios or hazelnuts on top of their favorite soup.
- Chopped nuts, such as macadamia nuts, are great as a crust on grilled fish.
- Both almonds and seeds are nutritious choices of snacks. Packed with healthy fats, nuts and seeds also help you feel full—and prevent that afternoon crash after a bag of potato chips. Almonds make for an especially convenient snacking option because they’re already portioned out in individual serving bags.
What’s your favorite way to ensure your kids eat healthy and don’t load up on sugar? Leave a comment and let us know!
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"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."
Hebrews 13:16 (ESV)