How to reduce your child’s sugar and salt intake?
Once we started the solids journey with Mckenzie, we found out very quickly that it’s so easy to feed your child sugar and salt without realizing it. I believe it’s our obligation and duty to teach our kids good eating habits from a young age as this establishes their future eating styles.
I am sure many of us can admit that we eat way too much sugar (above the required daily allowance) and risk passing this bad habit to our kids….this was one of my biggest fears as I have a very bad sweet tooth, which I am slowly curbing with healthier options. (If you would like to see some of my healthy recipes, please comment and I will post them for you. I have recipes that are free from added sugar, vegan, low carb, toddler friendly and healthy Indian recipes)
What are the bad things we know about sugar or/and salt?
• It can lead to obesity
• Increase the risk of diabetes
• Increase the risk of high blood pressure
• Increases the risk of heart disease
• It damages teeth
We generally stay away from sweets, fizzy drinks, chocolates and biscuits thinking that we are doing a great job, but the concern is, a large amount is hidden in the food we eat.
Breakfast cereals, Fruit juice (can be just as bad as fizzy drinks)
Pizza and pasta sauce
Tomato sauce – a single squirt is over a teaspoon of sugar
Here are some of the ways we try to reduce the sugar intake:
Overnight/cooked oats/cornflakes instead of flavoured cereals.
Whole fruit instead of dried fruit and fruit juice. Try to offer more berries has they are lower in sugar compared to grapes, pineapple and melons. Whole fruits are better as it contains fibre. If I do offer Mckenzie juice, I dilute it with water. I would not recommend fizzy drinks until they are older and offered in moderation. Savoury snacks like vegetable pieces and hummus. Kale dehydrated in the oven is also a winner dipped in hummus. Unflavoured popcorn.
We cook meals as often as we can and keep high sugar processed convenient food for occasional treats and emergencies.
Learn to read labels and the ingredients. Fructose, inverted sugar syrup, sucrose, concentrated fruit juice are also forms of sugar.
We know salt is bad for kids as their kidneys are unable to cope with it. We decided to prevent Mckenzie from acquiring a taste for salt.
Here are some ways we reduce salt intake:
We opted for fish and chicken and reduced processed meats like sausages and coldmeats.
She does not fancy pasta, but when we try to offer it to her, it’s the wholewheat variety and cooked in unsalted water.
Keep crisps and cheddars for special occasions.
Make your own sauces like tomato sauce and chutneys.
Nutrition matters, teach your kids from a young age!
Photography by http://cheekycherub.co.za/