Dealing with Sweet Chocolate Craving
Are you worried that your child prefers sweet things to other foods? Children are born with a sweet tooth as can be witnessed by their facial expressions and enjoyment.
Young children who are given sweet things to eat or drink are more likely to prefer sweet foods than kids who are not.
Too much of sugary food in your child’s diet may:
- Rot your child’s teeth
- Make your child become overweight
- Put your child at risk for type 2 diabetes
- Reduce your child’s appetite for healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole cereals, protein, and milk products
Here are some tips to bring your toddler onto the right track:
- Plan your meals with your child. Explain to him/her how too much sweet is bad for health.
- Avoid stocking up on sweets and junk foods such as chocolate bars, sweets, biscuits, cakes and pastries, ice cream, and other sweet dishes. Instead swap them for healthier options such as dry fruits, sunflower seeds, trail mix.
Freeze 100% fruit juices to make popsicles at home which can be offered as an occasional treat to your child.
- Request family and friends not to bring sweets often as a treat for your toddler. However,
don’t forget to treat your toddler with his favourite sweets occasionally.
- Replace sweets with healthy snacks such as fruits, yoghurt, cereal puddings and porridge, cereals without added sugar.
- Instead of carbonated beverages or juices offer buttermilk, lassi, smoothies and milk.
- You can also increase the nutritive content of the sweet dishes you serve. For e.g. serve ice creams with chopped strawberries and other fruits as a topping.
- Never use sweets as rewards for your child’s good behavior.
- Be a great role model by choosing healthy foods over sweet foods.
The ideal thing to do is to ensure that you replace whatever fluid your child loses through sweat and urine. To beat the heat during summer or if your child has been running around a lot while playing, then give him or her more water. Your child should drink water before, during and after physical activity.
It might be difficult to actively monitor water losses from the body and replace. Hence, as a thumb rule, you can make sure that your child drinks about 6–8 cups of water a day. This amount may seem a lot, but don’t worry. You can also count in that glass of milk or the bowl of soup that you give your child. All these foods add to the total water intake in a child’s diet.
How to Include Water in your Child’s Diet?
- Give a glass of freshly squeezed juice. Avoid colas and readymade soft drinks.
- During summer, you can freeze home-squeezed juice and make popsicles that they can suck on.
- Include lots of vegetables and fruits which are high in water content. Watermelons, oranges, cucumbers, tomatoes are great choices even for a fussy eater .
- Give your child soups, coconut water, buttermilk etc.
- If your child does not enjoy plain water, add a dash of lemon to it.
Do not restrict sweet foods completely; just give it strategically and in moderation to ensure good nutrition and joy for eating.