Why You Shouldn’t Give Kids Sugar
Sugar is difficult to give up, but the consequences of doing so will force you to reconsider your choice. Kids love sweets; giving them one is an easy way to calm them down. The question here is how much is too much. Sugar is important to eat, but how much should be known?
Sugar is a white substance scientifically known as sucrose, a compound composed of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. According to studies, sugar accounts for 10% of a day’s energy. In this case, the recommended sugar intake for children should be at most 5% regularly. Regarding sugar intake in children, 6-10 spoons are more than enough for a girl child aged 5-7 years. 8-12 spoons of added sugar should be enough if the child is a boy.
Sugar can be obtained in a variety of forms, including:
- White Table Sugar
This is the most popular type of sugar found in almost every home. This type of sugar is derived from the sugarcane plant, which is widely grown worldwide for its naturally occurring sweetening properties.
Honey is a type of sugar obtained from beehives. This sugar is considered a healthy sweetener and is recommended for people on a diet or who prefer to consume a beneficial sweetening agent.
- Maple Syrup
Sucrose is the compound found in high concentrations of maple sugar. This is the type of sugar obtained from the sap of maple trees. It has a distinct flavor and is commonly used to sweeten waffles, pancakes, and oatmeal.
- Brown Sugar
This is a sugar that is a combination of white sugar and molasses. Brown sugar is naturally moist because molasses is hygroscopic, and for this reason, this sugar is referred to as “soft.”
Is Eating Sugar Bad for Kids?
Consuming sugar in moderation is not harmful, but excessive consumption can harm their health. Furthermore, the type of sugar chosen impacts a child’s health. When sugar consumption reaches a certain limit, it can harm a child’s overall health.
Sugar in Fruits VS Sugar in Other Food Items
Sugar contains calories whether it comes from fruit or another food entity. On the other hand, the sugar in fruits is known as “natural” sugar, a combination of fructose, sucrose, and glucose. Fruits contain sugar but in small amounts. However, other foods contain “free” sugar, which can significantly impact one’s health.
According to studies, foods containing free sugar can cause tooth decay or obesity in children and should therefore be avoided to some extent. This is because the sugar in other food entities has been extracted from its natural source and is thus sweeter. Fruits, preferably, should be served to children because they not only keep them hydrated but also help them develop good eating habits.
Effects of Overeating Sugar on Kids
Sugar is harmful in excess. Some of the negative consequences of children consuming too much sugar include the following:
Your child may feel full after consuming sugar. This is because sugar increases blood glucose levels, reducing hunger cravings. As a result, it is recommended that you limit your children’s consumption of sweets, as this may keep them from eating a proper and nutritious diet, which is necessary for their mental and physical development.
Excess sugar consumption by your children can lead to obesity due to fat deposition and empty calorie consumption. Furthermore, it is critical to remember that not only should sugary foods be avoided, but also beverage consumption should be limited.
3. Skin Issues
Sugar can cause flaky skin, roughness, itching, and damage to hair follicles in children, making them more prone to dandruff, acne, and even rosacea. When the body is constantly fed sugary foods, it becomes insulin resistant, leading to excessive hair growth and even dark patches on the skin. Sugar also causes skin inflammation and wrinkles, which can be challenging to treat.
Bacteria exist in the mouth, and when children consume sugary foods, the sugar reacts with the bacteria to produce acid, which causes tooth decay or cavities. Too much sugar causes cavities, and the sugar-saliva-bacteria combination causes plaque on the teeth.
The link between sugar and childhood obesity has already been discussed. When children are given too much sugar, they are more likely to develop serious diseases such as diabetes. However, diabetes, particularly Type 2 diabetes, is linked to obesity.
Ways to Get Kids off Sugar
Here are some suggestions to help kids avoid the harmful effects of sugar.
It is possible to replace free sugar with natural sugar. Instead of pies and chocolates, serve fresh yogurt and juices to children.
2. Modify the Juice
Even if you are trying to serve processed or artificial juices to your children, try adding freshly cut fruits or cucumber to reduce the sugar content.
3. Prefer a Gradual Change
Refrain from forcing your children to reduce their sugar consumption all at once. Instead, take it slowly. Begin slowly and gradually reduce sugary foods.
A child’s health is essential, and encouraging good eating habits from an early age can help him stay healthy and fit in the long run. When consumed in excess, sugar can be harmful, so limit your child’s sugar intake.