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Having a child with a sweet tooth, is not necessarily a problem, if you handle it well; the secret is to handle sweets, chocolate and all things sugary not as a rare treat, a reward or something exciting, but instead treat it as something just like all the other food groups you offer your child.
- To start with, introduce your baby/toddler to unsweetened foods and postpone offering sweets until they are older. Offer sweet fruits and yoghurt for dessert rather than sugary things.
- Sweeten food with honey or fruit.
- If your child is old enough for sweets, and if a relative comes round to visit with a bag of sweets, allow them to have one or two and save the rest for later. Try not to allow them to eat them all.
- Keep a note of how much sugar your little ones has in a day. It should be no more than 1-2 teaspoons each day and this includes all sugar in foods.
- Read the labels on prepared food - even toddler food. There is often a great deal of sugar in pre-prepared meals.
- Talk about sugar and the harm it can do if eaten in excess. Talk about fruit, vegetables and other great tasting foods that are also so good for you!
- Allow your child to choose which fruit and vegetable to buy at the shop.
- Drink water before bed and never sugary drinks.
- Try not to use sweets as a bribe.
- Lead by example and avoid snacking on sweet things yourself...