Eat Less Sugar this Spring
5 ways to help children eat less sugar this spring.
Sugar is lurking in most of the food and drink we consume. In fact, it can be hard to avoid if you don’t know where to look as many products that are marketed as healthy actually contain surprising amounts of sugar. You can help family’s make some positive changes by sharing these top tips with your school or nursery:
- Cook more homemade meals.
Try to cook more things from scratch then you’ll know exactly what ingredients are going into your dishes. Aim for a good variety of fruits and vegetables – the more colourful your plates the better. There are lots of sugar substitutes, such as honey and stevia, out there if you fancy baking, too.
- Save fizzy for Fridays.
Switch to lighter versions of your family’s favourite fizzy pop or make a 50/50 mix of sparkling water with a no-added sugar cordial. Even cutting back by introducing some new rules, such as only having fizzy drinks on weekends, can make a difference.
- Check the labels.
Read the labels on food carefully to check the amount of sugar as sometimes it can be labelled differently. For instance, sucrose or fructose is sugar. Use the traffic light system as much as possible and aim for all amber or green.
- Be less refined.
Refined sugars are those found in processed foods such as white bread, cakes, biscuits, even fruit juices. Stick to wholegrain varieties where possible and eat whole, fresh fruits rather than in the form of juice or smoothies which will help you feel fuller for longer.
- Stock up on healthy snacks.
Making sure you have cupboards full of healthier snacks will help you avoid reaching for quick fixes that contain high amounts of sugar. Swap snack bars for plain rice cakes, biscuits for a slice of malt loaf and ice-cream for sugar-free jelly.
Sheffield is Sweet Enough is a campaign run by Sheffield City Council alongside local parents, students, nutritionists, and business owners to help us all eat less sugar. You’ll find more advice on how to spot hidden sugar, recommended guideline amounts, great ideas on low-sugar swaps and recipes on their website: www.sheffieldissweetenough.org. There are also free resources to download, including a ‘Feed your family for less’ booklet for healthy meal planning tips on a budget.
By Alesia Harrison Sheffield is Sweet Enough