Monday, April 22, 2013

Sweet Drinks in Kid's Diet

It is no secret that kids are born with a sweet tooth. They like to eat all kinds of sweets and they love sweet drinks - juices, hot chocolate, pop and the likes. Sugar quickly provides much needed energy, but more and more often scientists and nutritionists warn about the dangers of including too much sugar in kids' diets.

All sweet drinks contain big doses of  sugar or fructose. These substances very quickly increase the levels of blood sugar, which stimulates the production of insulin , which in turn creates cravings for more sweets and food. Therefore, such drinks not only cause obesity, but can lead to early development of diabetes as well.

Natural juices, especially the ones made without preservatives, are far much better. In fact, it has been proven that kids between the ages of 2 and 11 years who regularly drink natural juices adhere to a more healthy eating, but part of this is attributed to the healthy lifestyle of the family.

What can parents do to limit the dangers of the sweet drinks?

  • Eliminate the worst culprits. Pop, sports drinks, fruit juices, iced tea - most of those are nothing more than water, sugar, artificial colours and flavourings. 
  • Be role models. As parents one of our main goals is to raise self-conscious and responsible people.  At the  same time it is imperative to raise health conscious people with strong eating healthy habits.
  • Control, do not deprive. If you simply forbid your kid to drink the fruit juice he craves, you will not only traumatize him, but you will also make him crave it even more and go a great length to get it. Instead stock in on healthier natural juices and always offer choices.

Did you know that:

When a label says that a single serving of a drink contains 4 g of sugar, this equals 1 teaspoon of sugar. Most sweet drinks have well over 20 g of sugar per serving, which equals whooping 5 teaspoons of sugar. Multiply this by 3 servings, which is about average per day and you get the picture. If your kid really loves his sweet drink it is always a good idea to dilute the juice with water.

Did you know that:

Sweet drinks improve memory and the ability to memorize by more than 20%. This has been proven by a recent British study. According to the same study people with poorer memory have been found to have low levels of blood sugar.

So, beware of the dangers and remember  that everything is good in moderation.

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