As a nurse I’m embarrassed to admit this, but my kids consume way too much sugar. I finally decided to do something about it, so I made a sugar chart. Surprisingly, it worked really well– so well that my kids rarely ask for candy or cookies anymore. Here’s what I did:
- I figured out a sugar goal for my kids for the day. The number I picked was higher than the pediatrician-recommended max, but I had to be realistic for my family.
- I copied pictures of their favorite sugary items onto a Word document.
- I made a column on poster board for each kid and divided it into squares (each square = 5 g of sugar on my chart) *make sure the poster board is thin enough for magnets to work through*
- I made the food item pictures the right size according to how much sugar they had — since my kids’ serving size of light syrup is 10 g of sugar, the picture is the size of 2 squares. (This took some trial and error and several printings to get everything right).
- I glued the pictures onto thin magnets (the kind you get with some ads, like from real estate agents)
- Every time my kids ate something with added sugar, they’d find the item on the fridge door and add it to their chart. When their chart was getting full and they asked for something, I’d tell them to check to make sure there was room on the chart. If not, they knew they couldn’t have it.
- After a few weeks, we didn’t even need the chart anymore.