According to the US dietary guidelines, it is recommended that children consume less than 10% of daily calories from added sugars. This would mean that for a moderately active child between the ages of 4-8 years old, they should consume 33g of sugar per day. This is around 8 teaspoons of sugar per day. However, since children are born with a craving for sugar, this makes cutting back on consumption even more difficult. To reduce sugar consumption in children, here are a few tips.
Don’t deprive your child of sweets – If you deprive your child of sugar, they will have a tendency to overindulge when they get an opportunity. Therefore teach your children to enjoy healthy food and treats. When offering your child a treat, choose lower sugar options such as yogurt, fruit, and low sugar biscuits.
Don’t restrict portions – Restricting portions will only make your child crave more and cause an argument. Instead, if you are offering your child a treat, give them a small quantity in a plate or bowl. This behavior will help your child learn how to understand their internal satiety cues and help them avoid overeating later in life.
Keep fruit drinks, soda, and sugary beverages out of the house – There is no nutritional benefit of drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. Offer your child an alternative by mixing unsweetened juice and soda water.