Trying to teach children about eating less sugar and more fiber

One of my hardest battle as a parent is to reduce how much sugar my children eat. Not only socially it is normal to have desserts every day, but there is much more hidden sugar in the food that one would not event suspect, Reading Dr Robert Lustig’s Fat Chance: The bitter truth about sugar helped me to understand the challenge better and now we are trying to change our family’s habits:

1)  Reducing or Eliminating all sugared beverages. It is not a problem with soft drink, but it also includes juices and smoothies (as there is no insoluble fibre left to mitigate sugar impact on our bodies);

2) Increase fibre intake by eating more wholemeal grains, real (not processed) fruit and vegetable, pulses, nuts & seeds; Fibre inhibits the speed of flux from intestine into the bloodstream which gives the liver a chance to fully metabolise what’s coming. I started increase the variety of carbs to replace some of pasta and white rice with bulgur wheat, whole barley/millet/quinoa/buckwheat/amaranth, wild or brown rice, etc. at least some days of the week.

3)      Make desert a special treat for a weekend or a special occasion. My 8 yrs. old girls suggested to look together at the school’s menu at the start of the week so she can choose one day she will have a dessert after lunch as that will be her absolute favoured.

4)      Avoid processed food which usually has added sugar or salt.

5)      Become more aware of hidden added sugar (e.g. fast food hamburgers or pre-cooked meat, ketchup, flavoured yogurt and milk drinks) and reduce/avoid it. Also sugar has over 40 different names such as maltose, agave nectar, barley malt extract. So it’s good to explain it to the childrem.

6)      When baking at home, reduce sugar by 1/3 of what is required;

I explained to my children, it’s not a big deal if we don’t follow rules all the time, but it is good to have an aspiration and try to make a better choice when it is available. So next time you see me eating chocolate or ice-cream, remind me about this blog : ).