Sugar is lurking in most of the food and drink we consume. In fact, it can be hard to avoid if you don’t know where to look as many products that are marketed as healthy actually contain surprising amounts of sugar. If you want to make some positive changes to support your family’s health, here are some quick and simple tips to help you eat healthily.
1. Cook more homemade meals
Try to cook more things from scratch then you’ll know exactly what ingredients are going into your dishes. Aim for a good variety of fruits and vegetables – the more colourful your plates the better. There are lots of sugar substitutes, such as honey and stevia, out there if you fancy baking, too.
2. Save fizzy for Fridays
Switch to lighter versions of your family’s favourite fizzy pop or make a 50/50 mix of sparkling water with a no-added sugar cordial. Even cutting back by introducing some new rules, such as only having fizzy drinks on weekends, can make a difference.
3. Ditch sugar in tea and coffee
Those sugars you add to your daily brews can really add to your overall intake. Especially if you’re having several cups a day. Try to reduce the amount of sugar you have gradually or if you really can’t manage without it, switch to a low-calorie sweetener instead.
4. Be less refined
Refined sugars are those found in processed foods such as white bread, cakes, biscuits, even fruit juices. Stick to wholegrain varieties where possible and eat whole, fresh fruits rather than in the form of juice or smoothies which will help you feel fuller for longer.
5. Stock up on healthy snacks
Making sure you have cupboards full of healthier snacks will help you avoid reaching for quick fixes that contain high amounts of sugar. Swap snack bars for plain rice cakes, biscuits for a slice of malt loaf and ice-cream for sugar-free jelly.
Sheffield is Sweet Enough is a campaign run by Sheffield City Council alongside local parents, students, nutritionists and business owners to help us all eat less sugar.
You’ll find more advice on how to spot hidden sugar, recommended guideline amounts, great ideas on low-sugar swaps and recipes on this website. There are also free resources to download, including a ‘Feed your family for less’ booklet for healthy meal planning tips on a budget.