“ My little world! ” exclaims every mother when they hold their bundle of joy in their arms!
Isn’t it the most beautiful feeling ever? You see your bundle of joy growing and you do everything to make your child healthy! While I was working in the pedo department (That’s what I call my pediatric department duty as! ), 2 things which amazed me was kids being exposed to screen and kids being exposed to sweets! Screen everyone can understand but why did I say exposed to sweets?
“ Sit quietly at one place, don’t disturb the doctor only then I will give you a chocolate”
“ If you sit and study today I’ll get you ice cream”
Also read: When is it Safe to Introduce Salt and Sugar in Baby’s Diet
I was a little shocked, because when I was a baby my mom never bribed me like this (Kidding!). I love chocolate, I love icecream and I will never want to leave that but it’s important for parents to understand that these small things later turn into habits and becomes their way of living. I can see it coming, but the mother couldn't. It’s becoming a habit, he is getting addicted to sugar, he might be inviting DIABETES in near future. Sugar addiction is a serious problem.
“ Doctor, my child doesn't listen to me that's why I have to give him chocolate so that he keeps quite”
But I'll say that find another way, so that your child listens to you. Adults get addicted to different things, children get addicted to sugar faster than you can imagine. Sugary foods have absolutely no nutritional benefits, call them as EMPTY CALORIES! Soft drinks, chocolates, candies, packaged fruit juices, energy drinks, energy powders, baby foods are loaded with extra sugar to enhance its flavour and preserve it for a longer period of time. That’s why we crave for something sweet and not random vegetables!
Unlike type 1 diabetes which is an autoimmune disease, type 2 diabetes is largely influenced by the type of lifestyle you live and sugar addiction plays a very important role. Research shows that every 1 in 4 children is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a very early age. Common thread between all the children is obesity and sugar addiction is most common cause of obesity.
How will you find out that your child is getting addicted to sugar?
Obesity is the most common symptom of sugar addiction but there are other symptoms which you need to notice and be alert which are as follows :
- Consuming lot of sugar, sugary foods.
- Hyperactive before bed, difficult to put him/her to sleep.
- Frequent mood swings
- Throws tantrums
- Difficult to concentrate
- Difficult to stay still or sit at one place for a longer period of time.
It’s important for you to know your child’s meal plan in and out. Processed sugar can be in anything that your child eats. It can be in the cereals, juices, packaged foods. To make sure that your child doesn't get a sugar addiction, you may need to reframe your child’s meal plan.
Also Read: 11 Healthy Food Recipes For Toddlers
Tips to reverse sugar addiction and prevent diabetes in growing kids:
Few examples of natural health mixes:
- Completely cut out processed and ready to eat foods from your child’s diet. Avoid nutritional powders which are available in the market, try to give natural health mixes as much as possible.
- Sprouted ragi powder
- Elaichi powder
- Sattu powder
- Create a habit of eating healthy breakfast in your child. Skip sugary cereals and start adding natural protein options like eggs, moong dosa, besan dosa, cheese paneer sandwich, paneer bhurji, tofu bhurji with chapati.
- Avoid bribing your kids with sugary foods, convert the bribe into some physical activity reward. Have a healthy bonding with your child.
- Make sure your child is eating balanced meal. All food groups are essential.
- Make sure your child develops a habit of drinking water frequently. Aerated drinks are complete NO, NO! Skip packaged fruit juices as well instead make fresh fruit juice for your child without adding any extra sugar.
- Do not give refined grains to your child instead add whole grains which develops a feeling of fullness and will keep your child satiated for a longer period of time.
- Eating sweets is not wrong. Our festivals have their own pleasure of eating sweets but everything in moderation works perfect! Our traditional sweets have their own benefits and goodness unlike the processed sugar available in the market which is controlling our minds.
Try out some amazing recipes to give your child a healthy sweet pleasure without any adverse effects!
#1. Cocoa blast
- 2 tbsps of raw cocoa powder
- 100 ml of milk (prefer cold)
- ½ cup of water
- 1 tbsp of jaggery powder or maple syrup or homemade dates syrup
- 1 tbsp of rolled oats powder
- Blend all the ingredients.
- Top it with some chia seeds!
#2. Yummy protein choco balls
- 1 cup of unsweetened peanut butter
2 tbsps of pumpkin seeds
2 tbsps of sunflower seeds
2 tbsps of chia seeds
2 tbsps of flaxseeds
2 whole walnuts
2 tbsps of rolled oats
2 tbsps of dark chocolate or choco chips
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Prepare small balls and refrigerate it.
#3. Energy boosting chia seeds drink
● 2 tbsps chia seeds
● 1 tbsp of organic honey
● 2 tsp lemon juice
● Combine the chia seeds, organic honey, lemon juice and 2 cups of water in a jar and mix well.
● Cover and keep refrigerated for at least 1 hour.
● Just before serving, stir and drink.
Also read: Are Strawberries Safe For Babies?
#4. Fruity milkshake with goodness of proteins
- 150 ml of milk
- ½ seasonal fruit (Prefer mangoes since its seasonal now or else apples!)
- ¼ tsp of cinnamon powder (dalchini powder)
- 1 tsp of powdered sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp of powdered flax seeds
- 1 tsp of powdered pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp of chia seeds
- Blend all the ingredients together.
Also read: 21 Winter Superfoods With Amazing Benefits
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