The best way to encourage your kids to not get hooked on the sugar is to start them young. Don't let them get into it, and then you won't have the massive challenge of trying to wean them off the sugar teat. Easier said than done, you think to yourself, and it is. But depending on the child's degree of addiction and the type of sugar preference, all hope is not lost. Getting your child(ren) to hop on the veggie wagon does not have to be that hard if you are consistent and show the child that you are in it with him/her.
Don't Get into Bad Habits
After school I would go and take our daughter grocery shopping - we were out and about anyway, and it was a task that we could both accomplish together before the store got too busy. I'd ritually go to the U.K. foods section and score a "Crunchie" bar. It's delicious. Honeycomb covered in Cadbury's chocolate. And we'd split it right there and then in the store. They stopped carrying them and so we broke the ritual and got a similar bar from Australia called a "Violet Crumble." The addiction was getting more deeply ingrained.
Set A Good Example
I started one a slow-carb diet in order to lose 10 lbs in 14 days (which I did - more on this in another post). We went to the store and my daughter got her half candy bar as usual but asked why I wasn't having mine. I told her that Daddy wasn't going to be eating the candy anymore as it was bad for him. Oh, and he didn't want green skin like the Wicked Witch of the West. She got the second half as a reward for spending time in the bank with me after school a couple of days later. Since then she hasn't asked to perform the ritual and that was three weeks ago. This is where setting an example can work for your kids AND for you.
Remove the Cause
After the Easter fiasco of sugar overload, we needed to tone it down. If your child has candida, a parasitic fungal overgrowth of the large intestine, they are not going to be responsible for sugar cravings. Get a strong (5 - 10 billions CFU's), enteric-coated probiotic and have your child take it daily, preferably before bed. The gut flora will become balanced and then the cravings will stop.
Use sugar as a special treat only, and phase it out, replacing candy with fruit snacks and even a spoonful of raw, unheated manuka honey. It's great for your child's health, even though it's fructose, and you are satisfying their demands with a controlled dose of something that isn't going to rot their teeth or their brain. Continue this with positive incentives and uptalk on the veggie consumption at night and slowly accustom your child to what they can handle in terms of veggies.
It's not easy, but it's really, really simple.