«How to wean a child to eat a lot of sweets»

In our section «Ask an expert a question», reader Sara asks:

«My 6-year-old daughter can’t go without sweets. This is already some kind of addiction. We try not to buy sweets and cookies anymore. But if something sweet does appear in the house, eats it in one day – it can’t stop. How to wean a child from sweets?»

— Do not intimidate the child and in any case do not form a sense of guilt for eating «nasty things». Such tactics can only increase emotional dependence on sweets. It is best to treat sweets calmly and leave them freely available. But of course, you need to monitor the amount of sugar consumed, it is important to stop in time.

It is very important not to give sweets with meals. Protein together with sugar blocks the growth and development of the body, and fats with sugars give an oxidative process.

Frequent consumption of even a small dose of sweets leads to the release of the hunger hormone. The child becomes hyperactive, restless, aggressive. Subsequently, uncontrolled consumption of sweets can lead to overstrain, nervous breakdowns, obesity and diabetes.

If the child does not want to eat anything except sweets, it means it’s time to start fighting this habit. After all, if this is not done in time, then the child can earn serious health problems.

Find the cause of increased sugar cravings
Experts believe that an excessive need for sweets hides digestive problems or an emotional component. So, if a baby can’t give up sweets and throws tantrums when trying to reduce the amount of sugar in the diet, then perhaps there is a vitamin deficiency in the body.

— If a child has dehydration, vitamin C, B12 deficiency, anemia, hypothyroidism, then the child is drawn to sweets not only for pleasure, but also to provide the body with energy. In addition, there may be pathogenic organisms in the intestine, because the craving for a certain product is dictated by the microbiota. The emotional state of the child is also important: perhaps there are stresses, or the baby is just bored because of the daily monotony.

Children with low energy resources feel an increased need for fast carbohydrates. It is worth seeing a doctor to exclude various deficits. Don’t forget how important personal example is. If you deprive your child of sweets, then you yourself should not sit and drink tea with sweets and cakes.

Which foods are more energizing than fast carbs:


fats — omega 3, lecithin, coenzyme Q10 (fish, avocado, butter and olive oil);

slow carbohydrates — whole oat flakes, rice, buckwheat, chickpeas.

Review your child’s diet
Before you start reducing the amount of sweets, pay attention to the water regime. 2 weeks before you start weaning your child from sweets, organize a drinking regime and increase the child’s consumption of clean water.

It is impossible to abruptly cancel sugar, you need to act gradually. Within 2-3 weeks, you need to give up cakes, pastries, sweets. Then start removing other sugar-containing products.

In order for the child to stay full longer, breakfast should consist of proteins, fats, fiber and complex carbohydrates.

Gradually replace traditional sweets with healthy products. Ideally, over time, get away from added sugars completely. But be careful with fructose and other sweeteners — they are also not useful, like regular sugar. Among dried fruits, dates should be avoided: they have an unfavorable insulin and glycemic index.

What useful products can replace sweets:

fresh fruit;

dried fruits;

fruit snacks;

fruit chips, sticks;

dried fruits;

pastille of fruit puree without sugar;

fruit marmalade without sugar.

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