However to be realistic sooner or later children will be given sweets or will buy them with their own pocket money. So parents need a strategy to limit the damage that sweets will cause, particularly to the soft enamel of growing teeth. Two possible strategies are (1) to ban completely the consumption of sweets and chocolate until, say, their 16th birthday, or (2) to give each child a sweet tin into which all sweets bought or given are put, and which the children may open only at occasional set times such as Sunday afternoons.
Or course, when your children are old enough you will have to explain to them why you are limiting their consumption of sweets and chocolates, and why it is so important to avoid any food and drink that contains added sugar. At the same time you yourself must practise what you preach.
The limited use of non-sugar sweeteners could be employed if necessary, although the long-term effects of using these regularly are difficult to ascertain. 'Sweetly' stevia (http://sweetlystevia.com/) is a natural, sustainable product of the stevia root that is not extracted using alcohol and leaves no bitter aftertaste. However it is currently far more expensive than common table sugar (sucrose), and in my opinion it is better to learn to enjoy food and drink in its natural unsweetened condition.
'Twenty-First Century Nutrition and Family Health' will give you all the ammunition you need in your family's fight against sugar. It covers all the health problems listed at the beginning of this article, as well as mentioning other problems for children that can directly be caused by sugar consumption, such as hyperactivity, difficulty in concentration, general bad temper, anxiety, drowsiness, decreased activity and eczema.