Good Eating Habits:
Selections for Health
What is the easiest and most effective way to instill good eating habits in your son, daughter or even yourself? Start young! The younger the child is, the easier for them to adjust to a life with sugarfree foods.
Current Industry Standards In Food Manufacturing (per serving)
Calorie Free: less than 5 calories
Sugar Free: less than .5g (grams) of sugar
Lite (or Light): at least one third fewer calories than original
Understanding Sugar Free
Eating sugarfree does not necessarily mean using artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes.
Good eating habits can be obtained just by using naturally sweetened fruits and vegetables for the sweetener of choice.
By adapting your meal to include more natural choices, many adult onset diseases like heart attacks, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure plus diabetes and many others do actually start wearing down our system during the childhood years.
Bad habits are set-up and lead to a lifetime of poor nutrition and bad food choices.
General Guidelines To Implementing A Sugar Free Diet
Implementing a sugarfree diet
as a basis for good eating habits can be done at any time in your life cycle. But for ease in transition the following is some tips to try to make the adjustment just a little bit smoother.
- If possible, start the introduction from day one when your child is just learning to enjoy solid foods. A child which has never had sugary sweets and processed foods can not miss what they have never had.
- If starting a little later in the childhood years, be realistic and understanding. You can not just decide tomorrow the day has come when there will be no more sugar. Ease out of it gradually. Start with small things each day by either reducing the sugar content of the offerings you give or making substitutions with products that are OK. If you have offered a cookie to your six year old every day, that child is not going to understand why cookies are now off the menu for the rest of their life. Instead, just get in the habit of making some sugarfree cookies and keep them on hand. Explain from now on Mom is going to make the family's cookies because some of the ingredients aren't really good for our body which is leading to some of our health problems. By making this a family project, most kids will be glad to do their part to make this work for the family.
- As you slowly adjust the diet to all sugarfree options, try to make sure your child understands the consequences of back-sliding. When your body has reached the point when it is no longer accustomed to sugar, an overload of sweets will bring a host of consequences. Upset stomachs, increased bathroom habits, possibly headaches plus other individual symptoms are possible with each person. Keep the lines of communication open as your child ages. If there is something they miss snacking or eating, try to find a sugarfree option. Peer pressure is a powerful motivator. No child enjoys feeling left out of the crowd.
What About The Other Five Plus OneHoney, molasses, brown sugar, corn syrup and maple sugar
- it doesn't matter what you call it. It is all still sugar
. Many people consider some of these to be a healthier version than refined white sugar. But to our bodies, these all break down to the same components (sucrose and fructose). During the digestive process, these components are the same thing, it does not matter the origin of the sweetener. Dropping all forms
of sugar from your diet is a start towards good eating habits.
Then the other "plus one"- the ever-growing category of artificial sweeteners. These are now available in a whole host of selections on the grocery store shelves. Remember though, the aim here is not necessarily to reduce calories, but to instill good eating habits by offering nutritious and healthy foods. So feeding them a sweetener with absolutely no nutrients or any vitamins and minerals is not a viable option in an extended nutritional plan.
"Brown Bagging It"
As the years advance and pre-school and regular school years arrive, the aim is variety
. The last thing you want is for your child to leave everyday, toss their lunch in the trash and start "pigging out" on friends handouts. Here is some examples on how to keep a lunch interesting.
- Vegetables-have you ever noticed how a carrot stick is boring but carrot curls are fun? Radish fans, tomato roses, cucumber rolls- each of these are very simple with a few swipes of a knife. Or another quick kid-friendly treat-"Vegetable Kebobs". Thread some of your child's favorites on a skewer or make mini kebobs out of toothpicks. Add a side of sugarfree(check the label) salad dressing (or preferably make your own) and your child will be the envy of the lunch table.
- Cheese-Cheese comes in all kinds of forms. There is now cubes, strings, grated, small squares already cut for crackers, cream cheese plus on and on. Or just get a block of cheese, grab some cookie cutters and make interesting sizes and shapes.
- Meats-Meat chunks, ham and cheese roll-ups, bologna slices on a 1/2 pita bread with grated cheese....
- Fruits-Single serve cans and pouches of unsweetened fruits, puddings, applesauce, dried fruits, or even fresh fruit salad. This list can go on and on depending on your child's tastes.
- Breads-Whole grain crackers with fresh ground peanut butter or cheese squares, muffins, pita breads or usually a child's absolute favorite is oatmeal bread. Verify by checking the label there is no sugar used as an ingredient. Also, if you do not have a source for fresh ground peanut butter or almond butter, check the labels in the store. Many companies are now starting to market sugarfree nut butter varieties.
Just remember, small children also have small appetites. So keep their lunch small and simple. This way you can easily vary your selections from day to day. For an extra special treat, toss in a mini toy, a couple of stickers, or just a short note "Love U-Miss U-See U Soon". Love is a great foundation for good eating habits!
If you start instilling good eating habits in your picky eaters from their toddler years, as the child ages they can now accept the fact that this is a way of life.
Return to "Sugar Substitutes"
Home | About Us | Contact Us
This site is not intended to replace the advice and supervision of your professional medical treatment plan. Although all of the information is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge, we still recommend you carefully check all food labels before consuming any food product. We can not assume any legal responsibility for any illness obtained while following the advice contained on this site.