How to cut back on your child's sugar intake

If you’re anything like me, the holiday season is stressful…for a lot of reasons. One thing that stresses me out every year is the sheer volume of sugar that abounds. We really try to be a low-sugar family. Now, I intentionally choose not to be militant about it, for fear that my rigidity pushes my children in the other direction…craving ALLLL the sweet things.

But I do try hard to keep my kiddos’ sugar intake at a minimum. I truly believe it improves their moods, allows them better rest, and is simply healthier for their developing little bodies. This time of year, it feels like we have no sooner thrown away the last of our Halloween candy than all the chocolate Santas are flooding into our home. And I swear, the chocolate Santas are still lurking around when the Easter eggs invade a few months later. I can’t handle it.

No matter the ages of your kiddos, here are a few things that our family has done to minimize our sugar intake. If these don’t work for you, that’s ok! Sometimes you just can’t care about everything. But if they do help your family, I’m so glad!

Tips to reduce sugar intake in kids

We drink water. Lots of it.

You would not believe how much sugar you can eliminate in your family’s diet by avoiding juice, soda, and similar beverages. So I don’t buy it…ever. If I’m really feeling fancy, I keep sliced lemons in the fridge to add to our cups.

We made our own baby food.

I know, I know, this one is time consuming. You do you, sister. But if you’re worried about what your infant is eating, it truly isn’t hard to make yourself. Time consuming, yes. Difficult, no.

We buy lots of fresh fruit, and very few sugary snacks.

Fruit can often stave off sugar cravings, AND it has far more nutrients! We love Aldi and Trader Joes for good fruit and lower prices!

We make very clear to our family what we hope for when it comes to our kids’ diets!

Of course, this doesn’t always mean our wishes are respected. It has taken me YEARS to get my mother-in-law to stop sending our kids candy in every care package.  AAAAND there’s a good chance she thinks I’m a lunatic. But every mama has the right to do what she believes is best for her children, so I think she is finally coming around.

On the topic of Halloween, we allow our kids to trick or treat, but then we “trade” them an object for most of their candy.

It’s a win-win for everyone. After a few days of a couple pieces of candy per day, our kids are kind of over it. That’s when I swoop in and ask them what they want to trade it for this year. It could be a book, a small toy, or a lunch out with mom or dad. Honestly, anything goes within a small spending limit. They get something special, and I feel better about their health. This same idea can really be used with any holiday or excess of candy in your home.

Good luck, mama! If you have any additional tips that your family uses to reduce sugar, please comment below!

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