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Sweet success: the sugar-free way

Written by
26th February 2020

Since Dr Asif Chatoo’s time at dental school, several friends have gone on to do amazing things. Amongst them is James Goolnik, who has recently launched a charity called The Rewards Project, aiming to inspire parents and teachers to give children sugar-free rewards.

The trigger for James was a trip to the hairdresser with his young daughter, who was given a lollipop as a reward for sitting still – just about the worst kind of treat for a child’s teeth, any dentist would agree.

The campaign aims to remind people that children do not need motivating with sugar and the website lists alternative rewards for children to replace sweets, such as:

  • Notes or stickers
  • Puzzles or quizzes
  • Access to a rewards box with special toys
  • A trip
  • Watching a video
  • An outing to the cinema
  • Their favourite food (without added sugar).

Choosing low-sugar food

Food is habit-forming, so a person’s taste often depends on what they are exposed to in their first few years of life. If a child is not given sugar at a young age, their favourite foods will most likely be savoury. The Rewards Project has also published some easy, low-sugar recipes on the campaign website, as well as created a new recipe book, as another part of the campaign aims to help people permanently reduce the sugar in their diet. Kick Sugar is a cookery book jointly written by James, nutritionist Jenny Phillips and chefs Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi.

The recipe book acts as a guide, with recipes to help readers regain control of their diets in a society where sugar is everywhere.

The book examines:

  • The history of our addiction to sugar
  • What sugar does to your body
  • Where sugar hides in food
  • How to reward yourself with things other than sugar

The Caldesi family are also friends of Dr Chatoo and the clinic, and their Marylebone cookery school is just around the corner from us! Their involvement in The Rewards Project was inspired by Giancarlo’s personal experience.

Nearly 10 years ago, Giancarlo discovered he was suffering from Type 2 diabetes. Consequently, he dramatically changed his diet,  excluding refined sugar completely, going wheat-free and reducing his carbohydrate intake. He successfully lost a lot of weight and the diabetes went into remission – you can read his story here with Diabetes UK.

At The London Lingual Orthodontic Clinic, we support The Reward Project’s campaign to help people reduce their sugar intake. We believe there are so many other ways than sweets or biscuits to reward good behaviour. To coin a new phrase, success or achievement does not need to taste sweet, it is by its nature sweet.

If you’re looking for more inspiration around healthy or low-sugar recipes, click here to view our recipes in partnership with nutritionist, Farzanah Nasser.


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