Do you know how much added sugar is in your child’s diet? According to a recent statement from the American Heart Association, children should eat less than 25 grams of added sugar daily (about 100 calories’ worth). That means six teaspoons of added sugars consumed via food or beverages is the upper limit, according to information published in the journal, Circulation.
Foods that are high in added sugars are linked to health risk factors such as heart disease, an increased risk of obesity and elevated blood pressure in children and young adults, according to the AHA’s press release.
What are added sugars?
Added sugars are any sugars–including table sugar, fructose and honey–either used in processing and preparing foods or beverages, added to foods at the table or eaten separately. Starting in July 2018, the amount of added sugars will be on the Nutrition Facts Panel, making it much easier to follow the recommendations.
To make sure your family isn’t getting too many added sugars, serve mostly foods that are high in nutrition, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meat, poultry and fish, and to limit foods with little nutritional value,” said Miriam Vos, M.D., lead author, nutrition scientist and associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, in the AHA press release. Look for juice boxes that say “no added sugar,” or better yet, give your kids water to drink whenever possible. Scan the labels of your favorite types of fruit snacks and sweet treats to make sure they don’t have added sugars, and that there is no sugar listed in the ingredients, such as Crispy Green’s Crispy Fruit snacks (www.crispygreen.com).
For more healthy snack ideas for your family, check out these snacks for hiking, or pack stash these dairy-free snacks in your kids’ lunchboxes.
– By Diana Kelly