Consuming high levels of sugar can have negative effects on our health, including our oral health. To prevent this, we can reduce our sugar consumption by swapping out sugary foods and beverages for ones lower in sugar or drinking water. Here we provide some easy food and beverage swaps you can make in you and your child’s meals to reduce sugar consumption.
Sugary cereals and sweet pastries may seem like a delicious breakfast, especially to children, but they are often high in sugar which is damaging to our teeth. Instead, why not try these alternatives:
- Swap chocolate cereals for wholewheat biscuit cereal
- Try shredded whole-grain cereal instead of frosted flakes
- Sugary cereal bars can be swapped out for fruit such as bananas or berries
- Use reduced sugar jam or fruit spread instead of high sugar jams
Lunchtime is another opportunity to swap out sugary foods and beverages for ones lower in sugar or sugar-free in your lunchbox. Here are some simple ways to reduce levels of sugar consumed at lunchtime:
- Split pot yoghurts and pudding pots can be high in sugar. Swap them out for lower-sugar fromage frais or plain natural yoghurt.
- Rather than putting cakes, muffins or chocolate in our lunchboxes, try including sugar-free jelly, a slice of malt loaf or fresh/tinned fruit, in juice not syrup instead.
The beverages we drink can also contain high levels of sugar. Take a look at these easy swaps to make to reduce your sugar intake whilst still enjoying what you drink:
- Sugary juice pouches can be replaced with no-added-sugar squash diluted with water
- Water with chopped fruit such as berries and apples are a good alternative to sugary squash
- Try diet or no-added-sugar drinks instead of sugary fizzy drinks
Although fruit juice, like apple juice, and smoothies can provide one of your 5 a day, they should be limited to 150ml a day because of the free sugars they contain.
If you want to know more about sugar and its effects, then visit our resources page here: https://www.acffglobal.org/resources/for-your-patients/looking-after-teeth/