lose baby weightCheree Sheldon, Nutritionist for the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge shares some helpful tips on avoiding that endless nagging the kids sometimes have about wanting sugary treats:
The best, number one way, to never have kids asking for sugary treats, is to never offer them in the first place!!
Get your healthy eating habits in place from day dot.. And day dot, for me, comes prior to conception. Yep, even before you have fallen pregnant you should be planning for ways to stop those kids nagging for healthy treats!!
When you are pregnant, the foods you eat can set up a predisposition for your children for their eating preferences, as well as risk factors for type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Whilst you are breastfeeding, the tastes you consume influence the flavour of your milk and can contribute to the development of babies’ tastes.
What foods you introduce and when as solids, can also influence this.. So leave sugary tastes until last!!
Children have extremely sensitive taste buds and have a natural gravitation towards sweet preferences. We can tweak this habit by offering savoury foods the most.
As they are growing, discuss food choices with them and talk about why lollies and treats are only for parties or sometimes foods.
Put the fear of excess sugar into them by showing them pictures of people with really gross teeth and tell them that this is what happens when you drink soft drinks, juices and have too much sugar!
Educate your kids, by watching documentaries and films like “That Sugar Film” with them. This is a great documentary to watch with children, as it is an entertaining way to discuss why excess sugar is not the best choice.
When changing your family’s eating habits you can go two ways about it, all in, or slow and steady. Cold turkey is often great with adults as they have developed will power and mind over matter, but for children and families as a whole, what I have found is the slow and steady approach will be more successful in the long term than changing all habits all at once.
You need to pick your battles with children and food is often a big war. It doesn’t need to be.all at once, adjust your childrens’ habits one at a time. Overhaul your familiy’s menu from the top down!

1) First focus on breakfast

Let them know before the end of the box that this is the last time you are buying a sugary breakfast cereal and why. Let them know they can stretch it out, by having half of the sugary breakfast with half of a healthier breakfast. This way, the kids think they are getting a favour but really you are helping their tastes adjust to the new flavour before completely removing the old.
An example of this is mixing sugar and chocolate coated rice puffs with brown rice puffs before gradually having all brown rice puffs.

2) Second – battle snacks

Read the labels on all of the packet snacks you buy and focus on sugar content. What sugar is listed in the ingredients? Whereabouts in the ingredients list does the sugar come? If it is listed first, this means it is the biggest ingredient by weight.
How many grams per 100g of sugar does it contain? Try to aim for under 5g. But the next question is how many grams per serve is it? If it contains 5g per 100g but the serving size is 250g, then it will have 12.5g sugar in it, which is just over 3 teaspoons!
Can you make alternative snacks that are way healthier? Of course you can!! Get your kids involved with helping and they will be even more willing to try new things. Try the delicious, low sugar recipes from the Sugar Detox 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge to provide healthier snacks for your whole family.
Cut down on the amount of sugar in recipes, replace white sugar with nicer alternatives like coconut sugar or agave, swap white flour for wholemeal or grain flours like quinoa, add veggies wherever you can, and have fun experimenting while bonding with your kids!!

3) Lunch and dinners

These meals shouldn’t be too hard to make improvements to – just focus on real foods, make your own sauces from scratch instead of using bottles or packets (more hidden sugars!), and if you are going to offer dessert, make it super healthy, like homemade banana ice-cream, fresh fruit, nuts, or rice pudding.
Again try some of the delicious low sugar desserts from the 28 Day Sugar Detox Challenge.

4) Rewards

If you have a real whiner then use a sticker reward chart where you give your child a sticker each time they try something new or if they stop whinging about wanting unhealthy foods when asked… (you make the rules, you set the rewards- but please no food rewards!!)
Keep the end goal in sight. The long-term goal is the health and wellbeing of your family. Keep tweaking and improving your habits each and every day and enjoy the journey!
Cheree Sheldon, Nutritionist
healthy eating meal plans