Talking to Your Kids About Limiting Sugar

Ever since my husband and I started following the Keto lifestyle and completely eliminating sugar from our life, the one thing people always ask us is, “what about your kids?”. My answer has always been that they do not follow the Keto diet. I feel that for kids, it is way to hard for them to eliminate sugar, etc. I truly believe, and have seen, that when you try to tell your kids “no candy” or “no pop”, they will sneak it or overeat it any chance they get. That completely defeats what you are trying to do. Instead, we talked with our kids about the importance of limiting sugar.

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limiting sugar

The Talk – Limiting Sugar

When I made the decision to talk to my kids about limiting sugar, I wanted to really think about my words. The last thing I wanted was to create some unnecessary relationship with food for them. As a teen and young adult, I dealt with many eating disorder issues. That is something I hope neither of my kids ever have to deal with. Since my husband and I have spent the last year and a half really focusing on what we put in our bodies, and sharing with others about our new lifestyle, I knew that it would not come as a shock to my kids when we sat them down to have a discussion.

Pro tip…get your kids in the habit of drinking water and staying hydrated. We like this water bottle.

Nalgene On The Fly Water Bottle (Clear with Orange/White Cap),20-OunceNalgene On The Fly Water Bottle (Clear with Orange/White Cap),20-Ounce

Since I knew the idea of eliminating sugar altogether would be a bad one, I wanted to make sure they understood that as well. We talked about the things they saw us do over the course of the year. They paid a lot more attention than I thought they did! They knew that we do not eat any sugar or grains and that most of our daily carb intake comes from vegetables and fruit was our candy.

Don’t Drink Your Sugar

I was never a mom that bought fruit juices. My kids drank it at their grandparents house and that was basically it. When we were at a restaurant, I would let them get Sprite. Without evening thinking about it, they would sometimes drink several glasses. So we talked about how we would much rather eat something with sugar than drink it. They both agreed. A couple times since our conversation, we were out and they got Sprite to drink. When the waitress asked if they would like a refill, they responded, all on their own, “may I please have water?”! I call that a success!

Counting Carbs and Calories

No. No. No. No. This is not something I want my kids worrying about; thinking about; or doing. With that said, they aren’t stupid. They see what we eat and don’t eat. Bella knows that bread for sandwiches has a fair amount of carbs in it. She asked me if I would get her YUMBOX Bento Lunch Box. Rather than have a traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich, she would like to have meat and cheese roll ups, broccoli and ranch, and Goldfish crackers or a cookie. In her eyes, just like wasting sugar on Sprite, why waste it on bread when she doesn’t really care if she has it. She’d rather have crackers or a cookie.

Limiting Sugar Success!

Ladies and gentleman, this is what I wanted to happen. I wanted my kids to be able to make decisions on what to eat that are healthy and in moderation, without me saying “no don’t eat that” or “that has too many carbs”, etc. By doing it this way, they are making a choice based on the healthy choices in the house. Do I buy cookies? Not all the time. Do I have Goldfish crackers available as a snack option? Of course. Are they portioned out in little baggies for easy on the go snacks AND to prevent them sitting down with the box and eating it all? Yes.

When it comes to talking to your kids about limiting their sugar, it’s all about how you approach it. If you give them little bits of information and allow them to make the decisions for themselves, then you are setting them up to be able to make good choices without feeling like they are doing something wrong when they do drink a glass of Sprite or eat a cookie. And remember, YOU are the one that does the shopping. If you don’t bring the food in the house, they won’t have it to eat. Just remember though, you don’t want your kitchen to be so strict that the first chance they get, they go hog wild somewhere else.

Comments

  1. It’s so hard having food discussions because you don’t want kids to get eating disorders (which can often emanate from the mom’s view of her body. So I think it’s easier to talk about health impacts like decayed teeth, long term health issues, and alternatives. Sounds like you have a great approach.

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