Looking for one reason to avoid sugar in your little one’s diet? I will give you SIX!
Hello there! Hope you all are doing well in your parenting journey and enjoying every bit of it! I am loving it too but I must admit that giving the right kinds of foods to Noddy is a very challenging task. I often spend my time researching on do’s and don’ts of introducing foods to babies . The most important rule I followed in the first year of Noddy’s life was a strict no to salt and sugar in his diet.
Infants and children are dependent on adults to choose the foods that will be best for them. Both eating habits and body weight track from childhood into adulthood, so getting off to the right start is crucial.
These are some reasons , backed by solid scientific evidence, why free sugar , the form which is found in table sugar, honey, fruit juices and concentrates ( not fruits) is not so good for our little ones
1.Makes your child prone to tooth decay. You probably already know this one, but keep reading on for more facts below, which are so alarming about sugar consumption that it took me by surprise.
2.excess consumption of sugar-containing beverages/free sugars can result in poor nutrient supply and reduced dietary diversity, which results in low immunity
3. Early animal studies have found that the effect of brain on excess drinking sugar is similar to that of exposure to early life stress among children. This affects the growth and development of children by causing disturbances at the genetic level.
4) Because sweetness can induce reward and craving similar to that seen in drug addiction, some researchers have proposed that the concept of addiction could apply to the intake of sweet foods.
5) Many toddler foods, especially convenience snacks, have added sugar, and often the form is a concentrated juice, which may be interpreted as a healthful part of the food. Since toddlers are exposed to foods that have an unnecessarily high content of salt and sugar, this could lead them to develop a desire for these tastes for the rest of their lives. The continued consumption of foods with high sodium and sugar content places children at risk for obesity and heart diseases.
6) Meta-analyses suggest that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is related to the risk of diabetes, the metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.
What can be done to protect our children?
Sugar should preferably be consumed as part of a main meal and in a natural form as human milk, milk, unsweetened dairy products, and fresh fruits, rather than as SSBs, fruit juices, smoothies, and/or sweetened milk products.
The best way to avoid added sugars in your child’s diet is to serve mostly foods that are high in nutrition, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meat, poultry and fish, and to limit foods with little nutritional value.
How much sugar is okay for your child?
The AHA has made three recommendations:
🔶Children over age 2 years should consume no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar each day.
🔶Children should not drink more than one 8-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage per week.
🔶Children under 2 years should avoid consuming any added sugar since they need nutrient-rich diets and are developing taste preferences.
The AHA recommends parents watch food labels for added sugar in the form of fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, glucose, honey, lactose and sucrose.
Hope you found this post useful. I would love to know any tips from parents reading this article as to what they do to discourage consumption of sweet foods in their children
Until then, take care!