No Snakes at Half Time – Why Not?
Many parents realise that sugar is not their ally when it comes to raising happy, healthy children. However when a sports day rolls around, this ideal seems to fly out the window, and out comes the bags of lollies, chocolate and junk food at half time. So why change your habits? And why is there a belief that sugary snacks will help your children during the game?
Childhood obesity and the accompanying health hazard of childhood diabetes are serious, and often life long health concerns.
Sugary foods with empty calories should be avoided at all costs not only daily, but especially during footy games and competitions. Chewy lollies, sugar drops, chocolate, soft drinks, sports drinks and anything generally labelled as ‘junk food' will have the opposite effect on energy levels as blood sugar levels initially rise, but then plummet far below what they were originally – sending your child into a downward energy
The good news is that modifications can be easily made. Though they may initially be met with limited success (the body craves fast energy once it has become use to frequent sugar and carbohydrate ‘hits'), it can be done.
If children (or adults) consume too many high-sugar (and high-glycaemic index) foods, they trick their bodies into expecting fast, intense energy. This energy doesn't last, and causes unhealthy insulin spiking. This can create destructive imbalances in insulin and stress hormones, as well as contributing to obesity and
During sports days, it is better to eat small amounts of protein rich, slow-burning foods. Your child doesn't want anything too heavy in their stomach, so stick to light and healthy snacks. At half time, instead of lollies, give them some pre-mixed protein drink, or a healthy banana.
You will find that your child will be more energetic for longer – they won't need the immediate sugar rush that lollies bring, and their tummies will stay fuller for longer. Fill your cupboards and sports food bag with fruit, protein snacks, even natural popcorn and nuts so you won't be tempted to reach for the lolly bag.
To support diet improvements and reduce your child's sugar craving, there are natural supplements that can improve insulin sensitivity and function, while reducing the body's craving for those quickly digested sugars.