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Help Your Kids Fight Sugar Cravings with a Little Understanding

“Dad, can we get McDonald’s?”

“Mom, can I have a cone from the ice cream truck?”

“Can we get pizza for dinner?”

“I want the Super Sugar Sweetpuff cereal!”

Sound familiar? The demands for junk and sweets are much too familiar for most households with kids.

fight sugar cravings

We expect that, tolerate it, even give into it more than we should. Because the secret of all parents is that when our kids ask for something we generally want it too. That or we just want the cries and begging to stop.

Food cravings are natural and normal, but that doesn’t mean you have to give in to them. In fact, your body might be craving a totally different nutrient and you don’t even know it.

What Your Cravings Really Mean

When You’re Craving Sugar

Perhaps the most persistent and insidious craving we experience is sugar. The brain reacts almost violently to the introduction of glucose into our system. It even lights up in ways similar to drug addiction!

It all comes down to the way our body converts food into energy. Sugar is a very efficient resource, which our brain loves to use. So when we are tired, irritable or just want to activate the pleasure center of our mind, our brain says, “Sugar, please! Donuts, ice cream, candy bars, oh my!”

But certain foods in that category may point to other causes, as well. Chocolate could mean you are low on magnesium. Just wanting sugar all the time could point to you needing more tryptophan, chromium, sulfur or phosphorous. Even the desire for soft drinks has been linked to calcium and sodium deficiencies in some cases.

kids nutrition

When You’re Craving Salt

Did you know that people on low carb or ketogenic diets often suffer from serious sodium deficits? It can cause a condition known as “keto flu”, where the electrolytes plummet as the body flushes out glucose to prepare to use fat as a fuel source. To get past that hurdle they are recommended to add salt to their food and to drink bone broth any time they get headaches, feel tired or get irritable.

The body needs salt, which is often why it craves it. If you have been running yourself ragged, spent a lot of time in the heat or have been active your salt is probably low. Stress can also cause this, as can hormonal swings (the ladies will recognize this one from their menstrual cycle). In some cases you could be short on chloride.

A Well Balanced Diet Kills Cravings Dead

Your family can beat their cravings with a well balanced, nutritious diet filled with all the nutrients they need to keep going. It may even help overcome some of the struggles your child has been experiencing. Food is amazing!

Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones is a Writer. Blogger. Communicator. As a happily married father with two amazing kids, he is always learning helpful ways to keep a family active, healthy and happy. Kevin's areas of focus include: health and fitness for all ages, a love of researching family fitness, nutrition, and how to fit workouts into the busy lives we have. Kevin works with multiple fitness companies and organizations such as NordicTrack. Feel free to connect with Kevin on: LinkedIn | Twitter

8 comments

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  • Fortunately, in Denmark things like McDonald’s, ice cream. and pizza are strictly for special occasions. I was shocked when I first moved here by the lack of junk food and later by my stepson’s mature eating habits… I’m the household culprit when it comes to junk food. It’s my American upbringing ; -)

  • Aaah… sugar! I think it’s not only a problem for kids but adults as well, and in return, kids pick it up haha. But indeed, all the tips you listed here are so helpful! I’ll surely be sharing it with my sister.

  • You mean to tell me there is a scientific explanation as to why I’m eating sugary foods? This post can go a long way with me. I have noticed salt cravings though. Usually when my leg or foot goes to sleep, taking a dash or two of salt seems to take the numbness away.

  • I am thankful that my son has a few bad habbits but it doesn’t revolve around sugar. He still needs to learn to eat his veggies and fruits without fuss but sugar isn’t one think I have to worry about thankfully. Even I am not a big fan of sugar…

  • We believe every thing in moderation. Sticking to more healthy choices like more fruits and vegetables is not only better for you but fills you up so you’re not feeling hungry. Not getting kids started on fast food is also a big help.

  • Bad food habits in kids can stem from adults. I am not saying kids cant indulge from time to time but the frequency can be controlled by parents. There needs to be balance and find some really healthy and yummy snack options for kids as well.

  • Sugar is one of my biggest weaknesses, expecially when I’m trying to keep it out of my daily diet. I usually crave chocolate when it is around that time of the month. I don’t think I ever crave salty foods.

  • Fortunately, in Denmark things like McDonald’s, ice cream. and pizza are strictly for special occasions. I was shocked when I first moved here by the lack of junk food and later by my stepson’s mature eating habits… I’m the household culprit when it comes to junk food. It’s my American upbringing ; -)

About Author

Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones is a Writer. Blogger. Communicator. As a happily married father with two amazing kids, he is always learning helpful ways to keep a family active, healthy and happy. Kevin's areas of focus include: health and fitness for all ages, a love of researching family fitness, nutrition, and how to fit workouts into the busy lives we have. Kevin works with multiple fitness companies and organizations such as NordicTrack. Feel free to connect with Kevin on: LinkedIn | Twitter