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Feed them right from the start


15 Clever Hacks to Slash Your Child’s Sugar Intake

Posted by Mandy Sacher on August 03, 2016

Posted by Mandy Sacher on August 03, 2016

Kids’ lunchboxes can contain up to 40 teaspoons of sugar. With these simple swaps, here’s how to give your child’s lunchbox a makeover – and they’ll never know the difference!


For most moms, it’s a daily challenge trying to pack a lunchbox with healthy foods that kids will actually eat. Unfortunately, most ‘healthy’ supermarket foods are anything but that, despite what the packaging may claim. Just last month in Australia, food giant Heinz was taken to court over its Little Kids Shredz products, which contain more than 60 percent sugar. And as we know, excessive sugar is a leading cause of issues such as tooth decay, behavioral problems, obesity and type 2 diabetes.


As filmmaker Damon Gameau demonstrated in That Sugar Film, some kids lunchboxes can contain up to 40 teaspoons of sugar in the form of ‘healthy’ foods, such as organic apple and blackcurrant juice, sesame snaps, fruit bars, organic sultanas, a muffin bar, fruity bites, a fruit jelly pack and a jelly sandwich.


So, here are 15 simple and easy swaps that will help slash your kids daily sugar intake and hopefully also mean their lunchboxes come home empty. The benefits are HUGE and as a result, your kids will have better concentration at school, more stable moods (fewer tantrums and tears!) and will go to sleep far more easily at night.


10 Simple Lunchbox Swaps

  • Swap raisins for grapes. A small pack of raisins contains five teaspoons of sugar. Five to six (cut) grapes contain only one teaspoon by comparison.
  • Swap sweet popcorn for salty popcorn. Just as tasty but much less sugar!
  • Swap yogurt pouches for reusable pouches filled with natural yogurt sweetened with a teaspoon of maple syrup or raw honey. Most yogurt pouches contain around three –five teaspoons of sugar.
  • Dilute everything. If your child likes chocolate milk, dilute it with natural milk. Dilute fruit juice with water, dilute sugary yogurt with natural yogurt, and tomato ketchup with plain tomato puree.
  • Use sugar substitutes. Reduce the sugar content of homemade baked goods by adding in dates or a few drops of 100% natural stevia powder (not mixed with erythirtol).
  • Mix jelly sandwiches with protein-rich peanut butter or for a school-friendly version, mix with sunflower butter. Or better yet swap jelly for home-made raspberry and chia jelly or pure fruit jelly.
  • Swap sports drinks with flavored coconut water. Gatorade has nine teaspoons of sugar while coconut water contains just one to two teaspoons.
  • Swap muesli bars for lower sugar varieties. Snack bars, granola bars, muesli bars all contain sugar – get used to reading the labels of these products so you can pick the ones with the least amount of sugar in them.
  • Swap raisin toast for wholemeal toast.
  • Swap store-bought crumpets for homemade pancakes or pancake mixes that don’t contain sugar.

Plus Five More Tips For the Home

  • When buying snacks, choose a child-sized package rather than a large one.
  • Decant biscuits, candy etc into smaller portions rather than taking along the whole bag when you’re out and about.
  • Swap 100% drinking chocolate for a blend of drinking chocolate, carob, cacao powder and a little stevia.
  • Keep junk food out of the home. Have set times for desserts or treats, like on a Saturday morning after sport is the time when you go and get ice cream, so children don’t nag and pester but know when to expect ‘sometimes’ foods.
  • Swap sugary breakfast cereal for a whole grain breakfast cereal and sprinkle a little of your child’s favorite sugary one on top while they are transitioning. Another great trick is to sweeten with a teaspoon of carob powder – your child will think it’s a chocolate cereal.

 


 

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