Negative Effects of Refined Sugar in Children

It’s not news though that sugar is bad for kids. What is eye-opening is just how unhealthy it is – and how much of it children actually eat and drink, despite the health warnings.

This is how sugar impacts your child’s health:

  • It causes health conditions such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer.
  • Tooth decay and gum disease are common “side effects” of too much sugar.
  • It can cause cold-like symptoms that are often misdiagnosed as allergies.
  • Too much sugar can alter the balance between good and bad bacteria and weaken your child’s immune system.

For children 2 and up, a healthy balanced diet should include 50% to 60% of calories consumed coming from carbohydrates. The key is to make sure that the majority of these carbohydrates come from good sources and that added refined sugar in their diet is limited.

A typical day diet for a pre-schooler should look something like this:

  • Breakfast:
    • A bowl of fruit and yoghurt OR a Banana Smoothie
  • Lunch:
    • Vegetarian Wrap OR a Greek Pasta salad
  • Snack:
    • Small packet of pretzels OR rice-cakes with a healthy spread
  • Dinner:
    • Chicken strips with roasted cauliflower OR Meaty pasta with Asparagus

Surprising foods to cut down on:

  • Fruit juice. The natural sugars in juice can add up quickly. Rather serve milk or water. If you’re serving juice, stick to 100 -200ml for kids under the age of seven, and to no more than 230-350ml for older kids and teens.
  • Low fat or non-fat yoghurt. These are loaded with sugar to make them taste better!
  • Many cereals aimed at kids are high in sugar. Look for cereals with less than 5 grams of sugar.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines released by the USDA in 2015 recommend that all sugary drinks be removed from schools across the nation and that the consumption of these drinks should be greatly reduced in Americans’ diets.

If you need some help explaining the negative impact of sugar to your children, this video is great – especially for older kids:

Via YouTube

Please SHARE to help raise awareness.

Hayley Malan

Hayley Malan is a full time working Mom and freelance writer. She gets her inspiration from her own experiences as a mother.

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