Cancer loves sugar. So do diabetes, heart disease, ADHD and a laundry list of other diseases and disorders. But for some reason, parents continue to buy and serve their children near-lethal doses of sugar on a daily basis.
If you aren’t quite sure if your child consumes too much sugar, check the list below. If you can relate to just one of the topics below, it’s time to get serious about your child’s health.
One additional note: According to the American Heart Association children should only have 12 grams of added sugar a day. A can of Sprite contains 40 grams of sugar – almost four times the allotted daily amount.
Most kids exceed their daily allotment of sugar in beverages alone. So read your food and beverage labels. Foods and beverages marketed for kids are some of the unhealthiest foods parents get suckered into buying.
TIP: How to understand “grams of sugar” on food labels: Four grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoons of sugar. So 24 grams of sugar = 6 teaspoons of sugar, 40 grams of sugar = 10 teaspoons of sugar, and so on.
3 Signs Your Child Eats Too Much Sugar
- Cavities – Sugar is the #1 cause of cavities. Dentist Peter Shay says, “No matter how well a child brushes his or her teeth, if they consume sugar on a daily basis they will get cavities. Sugary beverages like fruit juice and sodas grab on to a child’s tooth and destroy the enamel before they have a chance to brush.” Children who consume little or no sugar in their diets rarely have cavities.
- When your child is thirsty, does he ask for water….or something sugary like fruit juice, sodas, sports drinks or chocolate milk? Sugar is a very addictive substance. Children develop cravings for sugar at a very early age – and a big source of their “sugar fix” comes in the form of beverages. Children who are not addicted to sugar typically ask for water when they are thirsty.
- Have you ever said, “When my child eats something sugary, I don’t see any difference in their behavior”? In many children, their bodies have built up such a high tolerance for junk food that their behavior doesn’t alter. Sugar is to kids what alcohol can be to adults. There are adults who are affected by one sip of alcohol, and other adults who are regular drinkers with a high tolerance where one beer won’t affect them. If your child drinks a can of soda and you don’t see a behavioral change, this is a big sign that she consumes too much sugar.
14 low sugar alternative snacks, beverages and foods:
- Water, water, water instead of anything else
- White milk instead of chocolate milk
- Fresh fruit instead of canned fruit
- Fresh fruit instead of fruit roll-ups, fruit snacks or anything misleading with ‘fruit’ in the title
- Kashi brand cereal – it’s lower in sugar
- Skip granola bars – they are no better than a candy bar. Try whole grain crackers with hummus instead.
- Skip cookies and crackers – try carrot sticks or apple slices with a bit of peanut butter instead
- Make a fruit smoothie by blending a mix of fresh fruits and veggies instead of popsicles or ice cream
- Small cheese cubes with whole grain crackers
- Greek yogurt – high in protein and lower in sugar than regular yogurt
- Check your peanut butter and make sure there is no added sugar in it
- Hummus with pita break or carrots
- Rice cakes
- Popcorn (not sweetened, not buttered)
Small changes can make a big difference. Pick one sugary addiction your child has and start eliminating it today. They will thank you in the future.
What non-sugary snacks do your children enjoy? What tricks have you tried to get your kids off sugar? Share below!
If you found this article helpful, share with your friends!
Photo by Pexels