Children love sweet treats, and we love to reward a child’s good behavior with sugary treats. However, eating high amounts of added sugar can lead to obesity. So, the key thing to know is, how can you manage your child’s sugar intake and ensure that you provide a wholesome nutrition for kids.
What is Added Sugar
Extra sugar is added to many food products during processing. These added sugars could be white sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses, raw sugar, dextrose, fructose, glucose, sucrose, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar syrup, malt syrup, and maltose.
Recommendations from the National Institute of Nutrition suggests that no more than 10% of a child's daily food energy should be obtained from added sugar.
Long-term issues: Children who consume more than 10% of their daily calories from added sugar are more likely to have abnormal cholesterol levels and lower HDL (good cholesterol) later in life. Added sugars also increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. It can also lead to serious dental problems.
As a mom, you need to be cognizant about this. You need to limit sugar intake and keep a close watch on the intake of added sugar. Here’s how you can do it
- Opt for fresh foods and drinks and limit processed food: The best kind of foods are made from fresh ingredients, and mostly made at home.
- Spot the hidden sugar: Remember to read the nutrition label on packaged foods. Many food products mention added sugar separately.
- Avoid packaged juice: Packed fruit juice has more sugar per serving than the whole fruit. It’s better to give a whole fruit to a child.
- Replace sweet treats with healthier options: Sugary treats like ice-cream, chocolates, cakes can be replaced with fruit salads, frozen curd topped with fruits, homemade smoothies.
Children end up consuming a lot of sugar every day, more than their required dietary allowance. So it is important to track the sugar intake consciously. Do a bit of research and watch out for added sugar (sucrose) on the pack.