Cutting sugar

lump-sugar-549096_640At Little Houghton Day Nursery we have always been careful to keep processed sugar to a minimum, for example by reducing the amount we put in our homemade cakes and desserts. But current guidelines from the NHS suggests 19g per day is suitable for 4-6 year olds, less for our little ones. That’s just over 4 teaspoons! When you take into account the fact that a mini-box of raisins contains the equivalent of 3 teaspoons and 100ml apple juice contains 2 teaspoons, you can see what a task we have ahead of us!

Ella, our cookThese are some of the “rules” we follow:

  • No fruit juice is served at all, only milk and water
  • Dried fruit is used in cooking, but not served as a snack on its own.
  • We minimise the amount of manufactured food we serve.
  • Where possible, we use a mix of wholewheat and white rice, pasta, flour and bread. This will help to release energy more slowly and keep those little tummies fuller for longer.
  • We only serve breakfast cereals which contain less than 10g of sugar per 100g.
  • Where possible, we serve natural yogurts and fromage frais over those which have added sugar.

Here are some more of the guidelines  with which we design our menus:

  • Lean red meat (beef, lamb and pork) are served twice a week.White fish is served once a week.
  • Oily fish (sardines, salmon, pilchards) are served once a week.
  • Artificial colourings, additives and preservatives are kept to a minimum.No fewer than 4 fruits or vegetables are served over the course of a day

There’s a great little Sugar Smart App which will help you pick out the worst culprits when you are in the supermarket. It gets a bit frightening when you flash it at processed jars of pasta sauce, though!

Cutting sugar
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