“Ammi, one more popsicle please…” pleaded little Pathum, trying to open the door of the fridge. “No more sweets for today!” yelled his mother, feeling exhausted with little one’s never ending demand for sweets!
By nature, little children have more of a sweet tooth than adults. But research has revealed that children who consume excessive sugar are prone to many health risks now and in the future.
- Obesity – Foods high in sugar usually contain large amounts of fat which leads to weight gain.
- Health Problems – Children who consume more sweets than they should, are at a high risk of developing chronic health problems in Sri Lanka such as heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
- Malnutrition – Even if kids are obese, they can still be short of key nutrients. Sugary foods provide empty calories. Therefore, children who fill up their tummies with sweets are likely to miss essential vitamins and minerals.
- Dental Decay – Prolonged exposure to sugar is found to be the number one reason for cavities in baby teeth. Poor oral health is one of the major health problems in Sri Lanka.
- Addiction – Children can get addicted to sugary taste by having too much of sweet foods in Sri Lanka. As a result, they may refuse healthy foods that are essential to their growth.
- Behavioral Issues – An overdose of sweet treats in Sri Lanka can cause hyperactivity in children.
While getting too much, too often is not too good, there is no harm in an occasional toffee or a chocolate. Luckily, there are ways to fit these delicious yummies into a nutritional diet.
- Control The Quantity – When you give sweets to your children, always pay attention to the portion.
- Healthy Choices – Banning sweets completely will only make your child desire more and more sweets. Offer him healthier alternatives such as fruits. They will satisfy your kids’ craving for sweets while being a great source of vitamins, fiber, potassium and antioxidants.
- Go Natural– Whenever you prepare a sweet treat for kids, consider using sweeteners such as honey, raisins and dates instead of artificial sweeteners. Also, avoid sweetened drinks and resort to natural beverages such as milk, fruit juice and king coconut.
- Be Active – Encourageyour children to be physically active. This will help them burn extra calories and maintain a healthy
- Reduce Temptation – Do not tempt your kids’ taste buds by bringing home too much of sugary foods in Sri Lanka.
- Homemade Sweets – Tinned and packaged sweets you buy from the grocery are loaded with sugar and lot of unhealthy colourings. But if you make sweets at home, you can control the sugar content while keeping them as healthy as possible.
Despite the negative effects, sugar is not poison! So, it’s not a crime to give your children the opportunity to indulge themselves in sweet treats in Sri Lanka every now and then. Be mindful and have a sweet time with your little sweeties!
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