As a nursery we have been working closely with our parents in a bid to reduce sugar in our children’s diets. We understand that healthy eating habits start young and therefore we take our roles in supporting children’s healthy eating very seriously. Too much sugar in a child’s diet can cause tooth decay, weight issues, affect sleep and behaviour. As a nursery we are committed to taking steps to reduce sugar and are increasingly concerned by the amount of ‘hidden sugars’ that can be found in food.
The following tips and hints are what we do at nursery and can be useful to try at home.
Low sugar drinks: at nursery we only offer children milk or water, at home if you do offer juice drinks choose the no added sugar options and double check the labels.
Snacks: By offering low sugar snacks such as fruit, rice cakes, vegetable sticks, toast and crackers children avoid sugary treats. Healthy snacks do not need to be boring; children love making their own fruit kebabs, selecting and chopping their own fruit and making fruit lolly pops.
Cooking sauces: As you will see from our recipe section, Karen makes all our cooking sauces from scratch. Whilst it can be tempting to reach for a jar of sauce, these often contain a high amount of sugar. Cooking sauces from our recipe section can be made in advance and frozen for those busy tea times.
Yoghurts: Commercial yoghurts can contain a lot of sugar. It is a good idea to check the labels and buy brands with the lower sugar content. As a great alternative you can make your own yoghurt by mixing fruit into plain yoghurt. Some of our favourites are blueberries, banana and tinned peaches.
Reduced sugar options: There are so many easy low sugar swaps that support children’s diet, opting for low sugar tins of beans, spaghetti hoops, biscuits and jams are easy ways to reduce children’s sugar intake.
Hidden sugars: to avoid hidden sugars try the food scanner app from change4life which can be found in the App Store (available on android and apple.)