Sweet taste is associated in people with childhood and happy memories. Sugar has a stimulating effect and improves mood. It activates the pleasure and reward center in the brain and increases the amount of so-called happiness hormones, including known dopamine, endorphin and serotonin. But the picture is actually not so rosy. And it is advisable to limit the amount of sugar in kids daily diet.
Euphoria, however, does not last long, and too much sugar consumption can lead to bad health consequences. This contributes to the development of caries, overweight, appetite disorders and constipation, cause the development of such diseases as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, psychomotor disorders or even cancer.
When we need to avoid sugar in kids diet
It is best to limit the amount of sugar given to the child already during pregnancy. Excessive sugar consumption by pregnant mothers can lead to future health problems for their children. Eating sweet foods while breastfeeding is also not recommended.
Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should replace sweets with fruits (including dried ones without adding sugar) or nuts. They should definitely exclude from their diet sweet carbonated drinks and limit the amount of sugar added to porridge or tea.
The diet of pregnant or breastfeeding woman affects the child’s future eating habits. Dishes that mom prepares during pregnancy and breastfeeding will be the preferred choice of her children. Therefore, it is better not to form abnormal eating habits of the child from his first days. Avoid sweet and especially sugar-containing products, so as not to accustom the baby to this taste.
Safe sugar amount in kids diet
The world health organization recommends reducing sugar intake to less than 10% of total caloric intake. Limiting it to 5% will provide health benefits in future. This applies to sugar in kids and adult healthy diet.
The WHO’s recommendations for total amount of sugar in kids and adult diet apply to all so-called free sugars. That is, the specified amount should fit the consumption of both the usual sugar and disaccharides of honey, syrups and fruit juices.
How much sugar do we actually give to children
It is absolutely necessary to limit the presence of sugars in kids diet. You’d be surprised how much parents actually give their child sugar without even knowing it.
Children’s drinks, confectionery, ready-made sauces, milk desserts, sweet breakfast cereals and sweets – all this contains sugar and is especially harmful to children’s health.
Experts recommend at least 50% of energy to be get from carbs, including 20% of simple carbohydrates. In the standard diet 2000 kcal – 1200 kcal – is carbohydrates (300 g), of which 60 g can be simple carbohydrates (mono-and disaccharides).
In orange juice, the average sugar content is 9.1 g per 100 ml of juice. 100% orange juice contains only natural sugars from fruits: glucose (about 25%), fructose (about 27%) and sucrose (about 42%). One glass (200 ml) of orange juice contains about 18 g of natural sugar.
Thus, the recommended glass of juice, which is most often drunk by consumers – half the allowable amount of sugar in kids diet. The little juice pack is also about 200 ml and has the same amount of sugar. So you better leave it on the store shelf.
It is better to give the child food (and drinks) with age-marked on the package, because such products are more strictly controlled and must meet more strict standards, and also contain the appropriate composition of nutrients specified on the package.
From generation to generation
In this situation, with the large amount of sugar in kids diet and subsequent childhood obesity, as well as with formed unhealthy eating habits, acting in adult life, there is nothing surprising. Children only repeat after their parents and have to adapt to their eating habits.
Parents don’t set a good example. We are told that the existing consumption of sugar is normal. All celebrating events, especially children’s, are always accompanied by sweet treats. Consuming large amounts of sugar has already become a family tradition in most countries.
And one of the most common mistakes made in the expansion of the child’s diet is to sweeten the food for the little kids. Parents reward children with sweet surprises, although it has been proven long time ago that it is wrong to treat food in terms of reward or punishment. It only enlarge amount of sugar in kids diet and brings health risks.
This problem, unfortunately, does not disaacppear with age, with independent nutrition of the child, because food habits have already been formed. Remember that they are largely produced during the first 1000 days of baby’s life and have a significant impact on the quality of health and life of the child, both now and in future.