Sugar swaps for a healthier lifestyle

Parents and carers in Liverpool are being urged to make simple swaps to reduce their children’s sugar intake.

Public Health Liverpool at Liverpool City Council are supporting the national Change4Life campaign locally. They are calling on families to sign up for ‘Sugar Swaps’ this January and make simple food and drink swaps at key occasions throughout the day.

In 2011-12, around 27 percent of children in Reception Year (aged 4-5) in Liverpool were measured as overweight or obese, rising to 38 percent among children in Year 6 (aged 10-11).

In addition, among the big ‘core’ cities, Liverpool is ranked second highest for the number of children aged five with decayed, missing or filled (DMF) teeth.

Councillor Helen Casstles, Assistant Cabinet member for public health, said: “This is not about asking people to take dramatic action and cut sugar out of their family’s diet altogether, but about swapping some foods for alternatives.

“It’s surprising how much sugar there is in some of the things that we give our children throughout the day, from the cereal they have for breakfast, the drinks they have during the day, the snacks they have after school and the puddings after a meal.

“We wouldn’t let our kids eat sugar straight from the sugar bowl. But we tend not to think about the sugar in the other things they eat and drink

“All you need to do is to sign up to https://sugarswaps.change4life.co.uk to make one easy swap to cut back on sugar – like swapping sugary drinks to water, lower-fat milks or sugar free, diet, no added sugar drinks.

“It’s important because children who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop illnesses such as type 2 diabetes , go onto experience weight and health problems in adolescence, and are more likely to become overweight or obese adults.”

Public Health Liverpool Community Ambassadors are holding a series of community events are being held over the next month where the Sugar Swap campaign will be promoted. They are:

Wednesday 7th January – Bridge Community Centre, Norris Green
Wednesday 14th January – Lee Valley Millennium Centre, Childwall Valley Road, Belle Vale
Friday 23rd January – Wellington Ave, Methodist Church, Wavertree
Thursday 5th February – Stoneycroft Children’s Centre, Scotia Road

There will be free fruit and soup bags at the events and the Liverpool Community Health Community Foods team will be holding talks around the difference small changes can make with visual aids to demonstrate fat and its effects and visitors to the events will also be able to take part in an exercise class.

To find out how to reduce your family’s sugar intake and to receive your FREE pack full of tips and money-off vouchers, search Change4Life online and sign up here today.

SUGAR SWAP IDEAS

Drink swap: Swap fizzy drinks, sugary drinks or sugary squash to water, lower-fat milks, sugar free, no added sugar or diet drinks

Breakfast swap: Swap sugary cereal to plain cereal such as plain porridge, plain wholewheat biscuits or plain shredded whole grain

After school snack swap: Swap sugary snacks such as muffins, cakes, croissants or pastries, biscuits, chocolate, cereal bars, sugary breakfast cereal, puddings and sweets to fruit – fresh or tinned (in juice), fruit salad – fresh or tinned (in juice), cut up vegetables such as carrot or cucumber sticks, plains rice cakes, toast or bagel with low-fat spreads or reduced fat hummus, plain wholewheat biscuits, breakfast cereals, plain unsalted nuts or fruited tea cake

Pudding swap: Swap chilled desserts, puddings, cakes, ice cream or yoghurt to fruit – fresh or tinned (in juice), fruit salad – fresh or tinned (in juice), low-fat, lower sugar yoghurt or sugar-free jelly

Food label swap: Try to go for more greens and ambers than reds