Top Tip number 2: Sugar swaps
Jun 25 2009
We wouldn’t let our kids eat sugar straight from the sugar bowl. But we tend not to think about the sugar hiding in the other things they eat and drink. Excess sugar can mean excess energy which in turn can lead to stored fat in the body and diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
To prevent this, many families are making Sugar Swaps. They’re swapping food and drink with added sugar for stuff that’s lower in sugar or sugar free. In particular, more than a quarter of the added sugar in kids’ diets comes from sugary drinks. So swapping to water, milk (ideally semi-skimmed), sugar free drinks, sugar free squash, or unsweetened fruit juice really makes a difference.
Sugar Swap tips:
Drink swap - Switch from sugary drinks to no added sugar drinks such as water, milk (ideally semi-skimmed - but remember children under 2 need full-fat milk), unsweetened fruit juice or even sugar free fizzy drinks.
Snack swap - Choose snacks without added sugar such as fruit, unsalted nuts, breadsticks, rice cakes or toast, instead of sweets, biscuits, chocolate, cakes and pastries.
Food labels swap - When shopping compare food labels and switch to the one that’s marked lower in sugar or sugar free. Some packaging uses a traffic light system, which makes it even easier to choose food that is lower in sugar. Go for more ‘‘greens’ and ‘‘ambers’ and fewer ‘reds’ in your shopping basket.
Breakfast swap - Switch to lower sugar cereals or other breakfast options like fruit or toast (but if you spread on jam or honey, make sure it’s a thin layer!)
Dessert swap - Switch from sugary desserts like chocolate, biscuits and cake to less sugary desserts, like yoghurt or fruit. Or compare the labels on two desserts and choose the one with the lower level of sugars.