4 Ways You Can Monitor Your Child's Sugar Intake
Does your child have a severe sweet tooth? Do you find your kiddo frequently sneaking cookies or hunting down something within the cabinet? Perhaps it's a day full of juice or soda with plenty of mood swings and crashes to follow. If this sounds familiar, it's time to take control and ease that sugar addiction. Like other substances, the body learns to crave sweets, seeking them out in various forms such as treats or carbohydrates. For kids, just like adults, overconsumption could cause health concerns such as diabetes or lead to other issues such as hyperactivity and loss of focus. Learn to work with your child to curb those desires. The following are four ways to start monitoring sugar intake today.
- Track Numbers
Technology today allows parents to understand how exercise, food and sleep impact a child's health, particularly their sugar levels. If you think that your child's numbers are moving up and down (or staying exceptionally high), turn to a continuous glucose monitor to get feedback. This device supplies essential data, noting when kids are impacted by sugar. Evaluate where the numbers are and reflect on how choices change them. Then, you can eliminate anything spiking the glucose and understand the factors affecting your child.
- Skip the Boxed Foods
When you're at the store, make a choice to select whole foods rather than processed packages. Yes, the cookies in the aisle are easy and yummy. In addition, they are a convenient snack that is hard to turn down. Is your child going to reach for veggies when chocolate is nearby? Do you expect everyone in the house to ignore the bag of chips or box of crackers and grab string cheese instead? Those decisions are challenging for kids, especially when they don't grasp the repercussions of their choices. With that in mind, stock the fridge with lean protein such as light cheeses and greek yogurts. Have fruit handy and easy to grab. Pre Cut veggies and have a healthy dip such as avocado available. Eliminate the temptations and make choosing nutrition convenient and straightforward.
- Avoid the Drive-Thru
Some days are hard for parents. The schedule is non-stop, and the kids are screaming. In those moments, it's so tempting to grab meals through the drive-thru. While occasionally this choice works well to ease stress, frequent trips could escalate your kid's sugar levels. Hamburgers, fries, juice or soda are packed full of processed sugars. In addition, some people snag a sweet treat while there as well. These constant trips feed into the sugar cravings. Try instead to carry with you some additional healthy snacks. Grab a lunch box with a freezer component to keep proteins cool. Handoff some apple slices or strawberries to manage the sweet craving and a sandwich to ease hunger. Prep the slower cooker for those extremely crazy days, allowing you to come home to fresh soup or a hot meal.
- Focus on Water
It's easy to grab juice boxes at the store. That keeps them hydrated, right? Maybe. The sugars in the juices could spike their glucose, making them continue to want sugars all day. They could urinate more if it gets too high, flushing away their fluids. Instead, encourage water. Fill up the bottle, and keep it handy. If they need a bit of flavor, add an orange slice to it and let it sit for the day. Keep in mind that sweet tea, sodas and juices provide little nutrition. They satisfy taste buds, but they do not assist the body. In addition, they deter from appropriate water consumption. Make them special treats when you go out to dinner or visit with friends.
Yes, you can take control of your little one's sugar intake. It requires vigilance and effort, though. Be sure you understand what is causing the spike and modify your behaviors to accommodate the concerns. Buy more whole foods, avoid processed selections and drink water regularly.