If you’re worried about how much sugar your foster kids eat, you’re probably right to be concerned. Children ages 2 to 18 should consume less than 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of added sugar daily, according to the American Heart Association. Meanwhile, the average child is eating close to 35 teaspoons.
This excess sugar creates many health hazards. That includes overweight and obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, and heart conditions. As a foster parent, you can help your family eat healthier:
Changing What Your Foster Kids Eat:
Sugary drinks are one of the biggest sources of excessive sugar for both children and adults. While soda is an obvious culprit, you may want to take another look at juice too. Eating whole fruit provides more fiber and far fewer calories. Overall, a diet high in whole food will provide more nutrients and less sugar. Focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins. Limit your intake of ultraprocessed foods like candy and snack cakes.
Changing How Your Foster Kids Eat:
Maybe one good thing can come out of the pandemic if you use it as an opportunity to dine in. Home cooked meals usually have less sugar and calories than restaurant fare. Plus, family meals give you a chance to bond and talk. It may also help to monitor screen time. Watch for advertising aimed at children encouraging fast food and sugary snacks. Invite your foster kids to join you in watching cooking shows that may give you ideas for healthy meals to prepare together. Overall, as a foster parent, you can provide a role model for having a positive relationship with food. Keep the focus on eating to be fit and strong, rather than just on losing weight.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, contact us at TFI Texas. We are a private nonprofit organization that provides quality care and services for children in foster care and foster/adopt families.