Policy Disclosure / Fav Links / Free Site Listing

Sep 28, 2008

How to Help Someone Eat Less Sugar and Make Better Food Choices

We all know people who eat too much sweets and we can see the impact that diet has on their health. Keep reading for ideas on how to educate those with poor diets and look for family friendly nutritional plans that will have everyone in the home eating better.

    Understand that people eat candy and sweets for different reasons.
           Some people go to sweets as a comfort food to ease the pain of other problems going on in their lives.
           Some people are ignorant of the workings of the human body and the role of nutrition.
           Some people such as those trying to quit smoking may start consuming large amounts of candy for the oral fixation they crave as they recover from nicotine addiction.
           Some people may have their sweets limited throughout the year so on certain holidays they tend to binge eat sweets.
    Understand a diet high in sugar and low in exercise can bring about rapid weight gain.
    Have them keep a dietary journal and write down all food and beverage intake for several days. This includes small snacks, gum, candy, etc. Have them list the size of the portions. Once the diary has been handed over you should try to calculate the daily intake of sugar, calories, proteins and other essential nutritional amounts.
           Explain what the extra calories is doing to their overall weight. For example, someone would need to run 2 miles to burn off the calories in one sweetened soda or a small bag of M&M's.
           Help them replace the empty calories they got from sugar with nutritious options.
    Explain to the person the negative effects that sugar has on tooth enamel. Encourage a trip to the dentist to fix any decay.
    Don't be a part of the problem. If you do grocery shopping for anyone eating to much sugar you should take a step back a refocus. You can't attack one member of the household when the bad foods are purchased and brought in on a weekly basis. Start shopping healthy for the whole family. Don't by fruity or high sugar cereals and opt for Special K or other health cereals. Don't by candy, flavored drink mixes or anything with lots of sugar, or high frutose corn syrup as an ingredient.
           Empty the cubbords, throw out all the candy, poptarts, sweet foods, sugar drinks and mixes. Buy everyone a water bottle. Get sugar free sweeteners like stevia or use honey to sweeten teas and cereals. Eliminate all sodas and avoid the diet versions of sodas. They may not have sugar but the are loaded with harmful chemicals. It's best to look for more natural diet options.
    Talk to a nutritional specialist. Most schools have a nutritionist on hand and they can help you help your children while at school for the day. They can help your child make smart ordering decisions and discuss the benefits of eating better. See if the assistance is available for your student.
    Look outside the school for information on nutrition and good health. Your local YMCA, community center, diabetics association or hospital may offer a class.
    Take control. If there are no appropriate and healthy options available as a student meal parents should complain to the school boards. In the mean time parents and families should work to make sure the student is eating as much food from home as possible. Instead of eating a cinnamon roll for breakfast at school they should take a packed breakfast from home or eat breakfast at home.
    Try to have students take a class about nutrition if it is available.
   Sign the family up for competitive sports, dancing, weight training after school or after work activities to help them better understand the importance of good nutrition and how combining it with exercise makes you leaner and healthier.

     Keep healthy, low sugar, low fat snacks available at all times.
     Keep a grocery list and don't take the kids with you.
     Tell your family you'll have a cleaning out the pantry day. Let them eat what they must the night before but of a set date donate all your food in the cabinet to a local food bank.
     Clean all the food from the cabinets, candy dishes, freezer and refrigerator and start fresh. Go to the grocery story and stay away from pre-processed foods and foods with sugar.
     Reach out to a friend who eats healthy. You'd be shocked how healthy eaters want to help unhealthy eaters. Ask, they may be willing to help you clean out those cabinets and make that first healthy trip to the grocery store.
     Eating well isn't enough. Turn off the TV and the computers and plan something active. Take everyone to a park and walk a few miles. Plan an evening walk every night after dinner.
     See what health classes are available at your local health center. These often offer classes at reduced costs or even no cost depending on your situation. Many offer swimming, yoga, dance, basketball or other indoor sports, etc.
     Keep a calendar and track your family progress. Give out rewards for giving up sodas, drinking all water, no fried foods, no sugary snacks, keeping their calories consistent with a healthy diet, etc.
     Instead of spending a fortune on expensive holiday or birthday gifts you can give work out shoes, work out clothes, sock and a trial gym membership or a certificate to take a few classes.
     Many health insurance companies may offer you a consultation with a nutritionist or wellness expert as part of a plan to keep everyone healthy. Call and ask what services like that are available. You may also discover discounts to gyms, and discounts on your premiums if you attend.
     Make good health and nutrition the goal of your whole family. Track your results throughout the year. Reward a year of hard work with a family vacation. Maybe go to the beach where everyone can show off their new leaner figures.
     If meetings at work are catered with doughnuts and other unhealthy breakfast foods you should speak to who places the order. Instead ask for a fruit platter and bring in some healthy low fat yogurt.
     Keep herbal teas in your desk. When you crave a soda brew up some tea and pour it over ice. Bring a jug of iced green tea and stick it in the refrigerator at work.
     Replace the candy in the dish on your desk with almonds or other healthy nibble.
     Surround yourself with people that will encourage you to be strong and make the right decisions.

     Get the advice of your doctor and see a nutritionist. Make sure you understand the caloric needs for your family members.