Reducing treats and sugary drinks for kids #asksafefood

A few weeks ago we held a live Q + A chat on Facebook on reducing treats and sugary drinks for children. Those who took part asked some great questions. We would like to thank them and to share some of the key questions. Here they are...

Coloured Q and A letters in a blog style

Q. What can I give for drinks?

Thanks for joining us. We recommend water as the best first option and then milk depending on their age as milk is important for their bones and growth.

Q. Hi, is orange/apple juice that is 'not from concentrate' ok, or should it be diluted with water? (for a 5year old)

Juice whilst from the fruits can be part of a healthy diet should be kept to max 100mls in the day and should be diluted 5 parts water to one part juice. The reason being that it can affect children’s teeth if they drink too much. Also if they get used to drinking too much juice between meals it can out them off their meals. Ideally if you are giving juice, there’s nothing like the juice from the real orange, 1 large orange would give you approx.100mls.

Q. Are the Innocent brand of kids' smoothies as 'healthy' & good for them as we're led to believe?

Juice is a healthy option but it’s about portion control. Often smoothies can come in very large quantities and because fruit is healthy we think drinking 300-500mls must be. Eating the fruit is the healthier option for parents and kids as it provides fibre to keep you full and help to keep the tummy regular.

Q. How do I say no in the supermarket? My child always throws a hissy fit if I do and it is easier to let them have what they want!

Good question! The best thing is to establish rules or boundaries with your children, that you stick to and that they understand. It will be difficult to makes the changes at first, but only in the short term. The parents we have spoken to that have already made changes say that their kids adapt fairly quickly.

If I can add here that a key recipe for disaster in the supermarket is to go shopping when you are hungry or tired or your children are. So try and plan your supermarket trip when you are energised and able to set boundaries. When we are hungry or tired we tend to want the wrong foods.

Q. Can u suggest a plan of action for seriously cutting down my child's treats, without him hating me? He has gotten used to getting way too many & now when I say no he accuses me of not liking him, says I'm not his mum anymore, etc...!!!

Children are great at making us feel bad but they will keep pushing until you set a firm boundary which I know is hard when one is tired which is usually when they try it on! Perhaps consider sitting down and setting family rules around meals and treats etc., children do like to be involved in decision making.

Q. I limit the amount of treats I give to my children during the week but when they visit their cousins it’s a free for all and they end up eating so much junk. I am finding this very hard to control. What can I do?

Yes this is a common problem for many parents who try and manage the treats at home but it’s hard out of the home. It can be difficult to bring it up with the in-laws or the grandparents but it’s important to maybe discuss with them what kind of treat foods they are allowed and how much in the week so the grandparents can work with you on it.



Posted: 29/11/2013 12:21:37 by Aileen McGloin
Filed under: Childhood obesity, Drinks, Facebook, Portion sizes, Sugar, Treats

About Me

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Aileen McGloin
Hi, my name is Aileen McGloin and I am the Director of Marketing and Communications, at safefood. I trained as a public health nutritionist originally and am passionate about changing food-related behaviour. I have a particular interest in using digital technology to promote health. At home, I love books, am in a book club and married to a crime writer. I’m a fiend for all things fashion and like walking, swimming and TV that is so bad it’s good. I live in Co. Wicklow with my husband and 10 year old daughter.