Sugar mummy

While you might be worried about your kids’ eating too much sugar, research suggests it’s actually adults who are the main over indulgers when it comes to sweet treats.

While 74 per cent of parents claim they monitor their children’s sugar intake, parents are now more likely to reach for these ‘forbidden’ sugary drink or sweet treats themselves, according to the study.

A third of parents admit to munched through their children’s sweets, and35 per cent confessed to have swiped treats from their kids’ Christmas confectionery and selection boxes and 30 per cent of parents also admits to eating birthday cake from their child’s party bags.

Overtired parents also admitted they turn to sugar to keep their own energy levels up – with 36 per cent of mums and 28 per cent of dads admitting they believe their sugar intake has increased since parenthood.

The biggest adult ‘sugar triggers’ have been identified as boredom, habit & routine, low energy and lack of sleep and stress, as well as ready availability at home – as parents are often more likely to have sweet treats in the house.

Dietitian Sarah Schenker commented: “With parents under increasing pressure to monitor their children’s nutrition and sugar habits, it’s easy to see how the ‘forbidden’ sugary drinks and snacks end up being consumed by mum and dad.

A number of new parents admit they put so much focus on their children’s nutrition, they don’t have time to properly plan their own balanced meals – with avocado for the baby, and just a cup of lukewarm tea and a biscuit for mum or dad - so it’s easy to see how these habits can form early on during parenthood, becoming harder and harder to shake as the years go by.”

The key to breaking a bad, sugary habit is to identify it and put something else in its place. So if your bad habit is a chocolate bar on the way home, keep something sugar-free at hand, such as sugar-free Ricola Herbal Caramel sweets, and keep your mind occupied – tune into a podcast or an audio book.”