As a parent, it can be tempting to offer kids candy or other sugary treats as a reward or incentive. However, there are better ways to encourage good behaviour. Fostering a healthy relationship with food includes separating emotions and environmental influences from eating decisions. Here's how you can help children learn to listen to their internal hunger cues and enjoy balanced meals.
The Danger of Sugar
Too much sugar can result in several health conditions to your child such as:
Each time the bacteria in your child’s mouth comes in contact with sugar, acid is produced, which attacks the teeth and eventually this process cause cavity. Although dental cavities are not life-threatening, it can cause severe toothache and severe tooth decay which may result in the removal of the entire tooth.
Sugary drinks and sweets are often high in calories. Calories are not inheritably bad as our body needs calories for energy. But eating too many calories — and not burning enough of them off through activity — can lead to weight gain. Children require fewer calories compared to adults.
Sugar contains calories, but no nutrients. Filling up on sugary foods and drinks crowds out nutritious foods that children need for growth and development. Too many empty calories could even result in nutrition deficiencies that could impact a child’s health negatively.
Should Parents Avoid Sugar Entirely?
Not necessary, adequate consumption of sugar is still tolerable as the calories in sugar do provide energy for children. Consuming sugar in moderation is the key factor to ensure that your child is able to grow up healthily. To do so, parents can refer to Malaysia’s dietary guideline for children and adolescents to find out what kind of food contains lower sugar.
How to Spot Hidden Sugar?
Foods that are marketed to children are often high in sugar. Added sugar is found in more obvious food products, like sodas, candy, sweetened cereals, and kuih. Sugar can also be hidden in seemingly nutritious granola bars, flavoured yogurts, "healthy" cereals, pasta sauces and ketchup.
Learning to read food labels can help you spot added sugar in different products. Simple swaps like choosing unsweetened applesauce over-sweetened products and picking fruit cups in juice or water rather those packed in syrup can help cut out unnecessary sugar.
Sugar comes in many different names. Check the ingredient list for the following words:
Ideas for Healthier Options for Sweets & Desserts
As much as we would try to avoid giving our children junk food, realistically it doesn’t seem fair to avoid giving them snacks and sweets entirely. Children can enjoy sugary food and drinks in small amounts as a ‘treat’ once in a while without impacting their health negatively. Try these ideas to help your child eat less sugar:
Karihome Tablets – Healthy & Nutritious Snack
Karihome goat’s milk tablets is a nutritious snack that is rich in calcium, vitamin A and fortified with probiotics and prebiotics for children. While Karihome tablets do contain sugar namely lactose, a natural sugar present in goat milk and natural glucose, it does not contain artificial & processed sugar such as sucrose and corn syrup.
Karihome goat’s milk tablet comes in 5 different flavours and 4 unique flavour combination:
Karihome goat milk tables white – Original milk flavour and yogurt flavour
Karihome goat’s milk tablets berries – Strawberry flavour and blueberry flavour
Karihome goat’s milk tablets honeymelon – Honeymelon flavour
Karihome goats milk tablets surprise – Comes in all the flavours which include milk, yogurt, strawberry, blueberry and honeymelon.
While Karihome goat’s milk tablet is nutritious, we do recommend parents to limit their child’s daily intake of Karihome tablets to 10 pieces per day. Healthy eating for children can include some sugar as small amounts of sweet treats in their diet brings enjoyment to eating, but parents should be wise to choose the right kind of snacks for their children. With a little creativity, parents can make meals fun and help their children enjoy healthy eating with less sugar.