Is your family always indulging in sweets? If so, you’re not alone. Sometimes it seems that we are programmed to prefer sweets. Unfortunately, too much sugar can cause serious damage to your smile. Children are particularly susceptible to tooth decay, so parents need to figure out how to moderate sugary snacks. Today, the dental experts at Parkcrest Dental Group will share a few ways you can help your family learn the art of moderation.
Limit Sugar at Home
First things first, if you have sugary snacks in your pantry and fridge, it’s time to get rid of them. It’s best to donate them or give them away. If you want to go ahead and finish them off, that’s okay, but you should make sure not to replace any of them when you go grocery shopping. You and your family won’t be as tempted to indulge in sugary snacks if you don’t have easy access to them in your home.
Sugar can be hard to avoid if it’s in the majority of snacks in the home. If your family often eats sugary snacks without thinking about it, a good first step to limit sugar intake would be to limit the number of sugary items in the home.
Get Your Energy From Healthier Sources
A big reason people get into the habit of eating a lot of sugar is that it provides an energy boost. Of course, that boost is usually followed by a crash. This then means you either deal with the crash (not fun) or eat more sugar to combat it. It’s definitely a vicious cycle, but it’s one that you can break.
Getting an energy boost from more wholesome sources is much better in the long run. You can have more energy with a healthy diet. However, if you need a little bit more of a boost, tea or coffee can be helpful. While these can stain teeth over time, they’re not as harmful as sugar to the health of your teeth.
Offer Tasty and Healthy Alternatives
Instead of fruit snacks, cakes and cookies, offer apple slices, carrot sticks or nuts. Move your healthy snacks to the front of your pantry, and your child will be more likely to reach for healthy alternatives when they get hungry.
People reach for sugary snacks because they are often the most accessible options. If you’d like your family to choose healthier options, make them more available. Fruit in a bowl on the kitchen table is easier for a child to grab than a box of snack cakes on the top shelf of the pantry.
Sugar is the main ingredient in many processed foods, snacks, and drinks. Eliminating processed foods from your diet and replacing them with home-cooked options as an easy way to cut out high amounts of sugar. Customizing meals yourself allows you to add more healthy options to the table and exclude any unhealthy ingredients you may not want to include in your child’s diet.
If you aren’t much of a cook, there are many simple recipes online that are healthy. If cooking just isn’t an option for your family, Springfield has a lot of healthy options if you have to eat out.
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Don’t Offer Sweets as a Reward for Eating Healthy Food
We get it. Convincing your child to eat their green beans may be frustrating. However, offering sweets as a reward for eating other food only increases your child’s preference for those sweets. If you indulge in sweets occasionally, treat it like any other food — without making it seem like a special occasion.
Candy and cookies can be tempting for anyone with a sweet tooth. If your children often reach for sweets, promoting more healthy options instead of sugary snacks may make a positive impact in their diets. When children are more familiar with healthier foods, they may be more likely to choose them in the future.
We all crave Andy’s frozen custard or Pineapple Whip occasionally. Just don’t make it an incentive for finishing a healthy dinner, because your children will begin to expect sugary treats with each meal.
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Curb Your Family’s Snacking With Filling Meals
If you don’t have a lot of protein in your diet, consider offering meal options that are high in lean protein, like chicken breast, mixed nuts, and skim milk. Protein digests slowly, which means you feel fuller for longer. If your family feels full, they’re going to be less likely to reach for sugary snacks.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Many parents are pretty good about managing sugar-filled food, but they completely overlook the damage of sugary drinks. Soda and fruit juice are notoriously bad for your teeth, but they are often overlooked because they aren’t being ‘eaten.’ Opt for sugar-free chocolate milk or fruity mineral waters instead.
Give Your Kid a Good Example to Follow
Your children learn from watching you. If you are susceptible to the seduction of cookies and candy, your kid will almost certainly follow suit. Opt for healthy snacks and avoid keeping too many sugar-filled foods in your home, and your child will be less likely to develop a love for sugar.
Visit Parkcrest Dental Group in Springfield, MO
If you are searching for a highly qualified dentist in Springfield, MO, Parkcrest Dental Group is here for you. Our dental team is dedicated to developing healthy dental hygiene and oral health habits for your family. Contact our team today at 417-887-1220 to schedule your next appointment.