All right, I’ve got a couple of people who’ve asked me this question now over a period of time. Here is another lady, “Can I have some tips for a parent who wants to feed less sugar to their child?” Easy, easy, easy way. There’s a hard way and there’s the easy way. It all depends on how you parent, of course. Should you buy sugar? Should you keep sugar in the house? Why would you have sugar in the house? Do you do baking? What’s it for? What purpose does it serve? You can always put the sugar away.
There’s two approaches I’ve got here. If your children are having a lot of sugar at this point, and you want to stop that, you could lessen that right away and slowly take it down. Don’t just stop overnight. It doesn’t usually work doing that. Going cold turkey with a child is not really a good idea when it comes to sugar. You can get lots of behavioral problems, but you can with any kind of food that you stop.
You may have heard me talk about the case a while ago, if you’ve been following my channel, about a lady who brought this child in and was extremely irate. It was a boy. Man, was he bossy. I mean, he was just about ready to throw punches at me and this is like, I think, a six year old, a seven year old, a really, really irate child. I can immediately see that we had a big behavioral problem here.
When I drilled down into it, you’re not going to believe it, it was shocking, but the lady was giving the kid a pound of cheese a day. She’s just cutting off slices and slices, and every time the kid would scream for more, she’d keep giving more. That’s not really a good way to parent, isn’t it? Not a good way.
If your kid kept screaming for your handgun, would you give it your handgun? Probably not. Well, a handgun is not like a block of cheese, but I think you get my point. Drawing the hard line doesn’t usually work. Being nice to your child and offering them substitutes for sweets and making a big fuss over it is a clever way to do it.
One way to get children off sweets is by putting them into fruit. Take them grocery shopping and show them the different fruits available and see what they like. Watch their facial expressions. They might like cherries, or they might like grapes, or they might like something else. When you get a child onto fruit, they won’t want sugar anymore because they’ve got their substitute. It’s right there.
“Oh, but I can’t afford grapes. I can’t afford this kind of stuff.” You can afford it because if you don’t afford it, you’ll be affording their dental bills. You won’t like that, will you? Look after these children’s digestive systems, and their mouths, and immune systems by taking refined sugars out of the diet as much as you can, including breakfast cereals, snack bars, candy, sodas, shakes, all that kind of crappy stuff that children really shouldn’t have. Look, nothing wrong for a child to have that at a birthday party, but children don’t have birthday parties every single day of the year. Every now and then, it’s nice to have your cake and eat it too, but you can’t have it all the time.
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My partner and I have got different friends. We’ve got one friend who’s got several children that are obese. The sad thing is, the children are brought up on basically peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on white bread, lots of sodas. If you go to the refrigerator, there’s always large bottles of fizzy drinks in the fridge. That’s what they drink day and night, just sodas. Now, her 26 year old boy has got type II diabetes. She’s had another boy in epileptic fits. It’s sad, and they got rotten teeth, but she’s a wonderful mother.
Unfortunately, she hasn’t got the funding to really look after these six children by herself, so the children end up on the short end of the stick. They get basically whatever she can give them. It’s lower socioeconomic. It’s sad. I’ve tried to educate her in showing her that if she cooks, it can be quite inexpensive to look at the brown rice and vegetables. But of course, it’s too late now because seeing these guys are all grown up, they know what they want. They want sweet stuff, and they’ll probably have that until they pass away. The sooner you get into the habit with children of getting them away from large amounts of sweet stuff, the better. You can do it with fruit.
Fruit works usually quite well, especially if you eat the fruit. You can’t be sitting in there with a Mars Bar in your mouth giving a child an apple. That doesn’t usually work, go down to well, does it? You’re not getting the apple thrown at your head until you drop the Mars Bar, so just be careful. You set the example by what you eat and what you drink, and the children pick up on that, all right?
I’ve always encouraged my four children to eat healthy and they do now. I think, many of them, most of them go to the gym and exercise. They eat really good food. They don’t drink or smoke. It’s all because of how we’ve been as parents, we’ve tried to. Well, we have glasses of wine, but we’re not alcoholics. We have junk food, but we don’t have bags of chips every single day of the week. There is nothing wrong with treats, but it’s what you do every single day that counts.
The important thing is to always encourage the children to eat good food by setting the example yourself, because you want the best for your kids. You’ll do that by encouraging them with your behaviors. I think you get that point.
There’s lots of nice treats. Take them to the shop and let them have a look. Then pick up the pack and see how much sugar is in it. You’ll be shocked. Over 70% of foods in supermarkets contain sugar. That’s why I don’t like buying a lot of stuff at the supermarket apart from toilet paper maybe and soap, and the rest I get from elsewhere if I need it. The fruit is the big one. That’s my starting point. I quite like that idea.
You can also make little fruit leathers up. You can do all sorts of stuff yourself. There are recipes online for different granolas you can make and muesli bars, all that contain maple syrup in small amounts, nuts and seeds, and things like that. If you’re prepared to buy those or make those, it’s far superior than offering just sugary snacks all the time.