Usually between 12-18 months kids develop a sweet tooth tendency. During this time they get addicted to sweet things and do not eat anything which is not sweet, at all. At this time it is very important to control their desire. Eating too much sweet can harm their teeth, gums, throat, and lungs.
Setting the limits
It is very important to decide, when to put the foot down and stop the kid from eating more sweets. At this tender age they should not get into a habit of hogging sweets. It is best to stop them early instead of repenting later.
A small bar of chocolate, little scoop of ice cream or two sweet biscuits are enough sweet for a day, for a child this age. If you are giving an entire meal that is sweet than try and give the other meals without sweet, they should be salty. For e.g., If you are feeding Halva or pancakes in breakfast then lunch and dinner should not have anything sweet it should be normal food like rice, roti, pulses or a vegetable.
Helping the child deal with the cravings
It is completely normal for kids to have this phase in their lives. At this point of time the parents have to deal with the situation wisely rather than abstaining them completely. Give them little portions of desserts after the meals. Rice crackers, banana or any other fruit of her choice can be offered as desserts.
Never ever portray sweets as a reward or punishment. If you eat the broccoli you can have a cake later, or if you do not pick up your toys you will not be given the chocolate. The kid thinks that sweets are very good things and are important that is why, the world is revolving around sweets. This will enhance the cravings.
Convince the kid not to eat everything in a single day and eat little portions every day. Once she achieves her limit then make her understand that she can have it tomorrow. You can render a promise for the same.
Substitute not so good sweets with nutritious options;
If the kid is persistent on nothing but sweets, at that point we can use the following food options as their sweet substitutes;
- A bowl of cereal topped with brown sugar or maple syrup.
- Toast a bread, spread a little butter/margarine/jam and top it with some sugar and cinnamon powder. It tastes very nice and kids love it.
- Yogurt with mixed fruits is very nutritious.
- Spread out little cream cheese on rice cake or wheat rotis.
- Sun dry the fruits like apples, prunes, pears or apricots. They can be given as healthy snacks.
- Make the smoothies from fresh fruit juice, yogurt or milk instead of artificial flavored syrups.
Make sure to clean the mouth properly post these meals, as it can cause tooth decay.