Reducing that sugar intake during the holidays

The school holidays especially being long and filled with family and holiday gatherings create a cheeky way for children to consume much more sugar than needed. It’s hard to keep track of their sugar intake but it’s also hard to deny because well Santa. Am I right?
Now whilst it’s all well and good to turn a blind eye, overindulgence can be a bit tricky down the track. We’ve all heard of a ‘sugar rush’, that’s where the hyperactivity comes into play. Then there are the obvious health issues it creates for the child and their wellbeing. Now there’s also the negative effect it could have on their sleep patterns.
But how do you reduce sugar in the holidays when it’s everywhere?
Now, there should only ever be one Grinch at Christmas time so you don’t want to deny your children of all sugar and fun. But what you can do is offer treats and sugar in moderation. Limit the access that children have to the snacks. Try adjusting the portions or sizes of the treats offered at Christmas. At the end of the day cutting it out completely isn’t going to solve the problem. They’re just going to want it more, so moderation is key.
You can get carried away in the sweets and candies that are around, but what about what’s in the drinks? Soft drinks can also add to that sugar intake. Where possible, try to promote water as the alternative. You can jazz it up to seem more enticing by placing sliced fruit in the water like lemon or strawberries. This will also give it that hint of flavour and trick them into thinking they’re drinking a flavoured drink. Why not jazz up the cups they’re drinking out of too! If there are Christmas themed cups or even just colourful cups around that’ll do the trick.
If you’re baking the treats yourself, look into some alternatives that can be used in the recipe. Sometimes you can half the portion altogether, for instance in cookies, the sugar can be halved. Whilst, in other recipes that require that sweetness, try opting for a more natural alternative. Things like maple syrup, honey or agave are a great way to introduce a new substitute for sugar.
Get outside! It may be to burn off that extra sugar consumption they sneaked behind your back or simply to distract them from the snacks. Take a walk together around the neighbourhood, you might even see some Christmas lights while you’re at it! To make sure they want to get outside and exercise why not opt for some presents that promote time outdoors. Maybe it’s a pool or beach toy or some new sporting equipment. Not only will this reduce the sugar intake but also get them off the couch!
And if all else fails, remember it’s Christmas. So treat yourself and your family, but if you can, try an apple between sweets.