The American Academy of Pediatrics says that too much sugar can lead to a number of health concerns including decreased bone density, teeth decay, headaches, anxiety, and loss of sleep. This alone is a great reason to put your family on a sugar diet. While according to WebMD, sugar addiction is not just proven — it is a real possibility. It turns out sugar alters brain dopamine in the same way as street drugs. You may not get the shakes when you quit sugar, but you may have to fight some pretty hardcore cravings. There are, however, simple ways to cut back and get your entire family on a healthier life long diet.

Substitute Water

We don't need sugar drinks, especially soda, in our lives. These beverages don't hydrate us and they can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Drink water instead. You'll feel better and you're skin will look great too.

Buy Fruit

Fruit has sugar, but not the refined, white sugar that gets so many of us in trouble. Buy a rainbow of colors including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, watermelon, apples, pears, and oranges. Wash them up and make a fruit salad out of the berries and melon as soon as you get home. This will make them easily accessible so that when a sugar craving hits, you have an option ready to go. Place some fruit salad or sliced apples, pears, and oranges on the table and you'll be surprised at how your children will start eating it all up without you even saying a word.

Slice Up the Veggies

Veggies are fun to eat too. Rather than loading up your dinner plate with carbs, make most of the food on your plate veggies. Raw or steamed, veggies will keep you full and healthy. If your children aren't into peas or other cooked veggies, just slice up some carrots or cucumbers to get them started on the right track.

Avoid the Culprits

Even if they're on sale and you have a coupon, you don't need the treats. If you do buy some, place them away and out of reach. Try to save them for a special occasion. Or, keep them out of your home altogether and head to the ice cream shop when it's time to celebrate.

Watch Your Carbs

Read the ingredients on any of the carbs you buy, like pasta. Many of them are hiding simple carbohydrates. Eat those in moderation.

Distract Yourself

When you do feel a sugar craving coming on and you find yourself rummaging through your pantry for a snack when you aren't even hungry, find a way to distract yourself. Take your kids for a walk. Sit down and play a board game. Do something fun and healthy and before you know it, your mind will be off of sugar.

Your children will follow your lead and if you don't supply them with sweets, they won't really have access to them. These simple changes to your life will help you all live longer and healthier.