Sugar consumption in children anything but sweet

As a parent the battle with sugary foods is a difficult one, let’s face it a large majority of products that are marketed towards your child’s age group uses popular characters and colourful labelling to hide the fact that the dietary content is unproductive to a healthy diet.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has recommend that Pre Schoolers have no more than 3-4 teaspoons or 16 grams of sugar a day however concerning studies by the AHA have shown that the average sugar consumption of a 1-3 year old is 12 teaspoons a day. That is more than three times the recommended daily limit, which raises some big concerns.

In a study the Dietitians Associations of Australia (DAA) has recognised that dental issues in children link directly to high sugar diets with 48.7% of Australian 5 – 6 year olds suffering dental decay, a problem that follows them and gets much worse going into adulthood.

“Between 1985 and 1995 the rate of childhood overweight doubled and obesity tripled in Australia. Unfortunately, overweight and obesity in Australia remains on the rise. Results from the 2007-2008 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey indicated that one in four children aged 5-17 years are now overweight or obese”- DAA

The percentage of childhood obesity has been increasing at an alarming rate in Australia. With the numbers constantly going up it’s important to implement a healthy diet with your child early in their development and educate them to encourage a healthy lifestyle in adulthood.

“One can of Coke has 33 grams of sugar, twice the dietary sugar requirement of a child.”

There are some steps you can take towards making sure your children are getting the right amount of daily sugar:

• Check Labelling: Now knowing your child cannot have more than 16 grams of sugar a day it’s important to read the label on the back of products and make sure the sugar content is low.

• Don’t be fooled by product packing: Often products high in sugar will put “Low in fat” or “Gluten free” on their products in order to cover up high sugar content, don’t take packaging at its word.

• Cereal is a major source of children’s sugar intake: Most cereals are overloaded with sugar, on average most cereals use up half of your child’s sugar allowance for the day. Substitute cereal with other breakfast alternatives.

• Fruit or sweet drinks: Most fruit drinks and sweet drinks are high in sugar and effect your child’s behaviour in a negative way, water is the best drink for children to ensure a healthy diet and proper hydration throughout the day.

• Introduce your kids to a healthy lifestyle early: Getting your children used to eating fruits and vegetables from a young age and avoiding fatty, sugary foods will help them.

Of course having the right nutrition during the day at your child’s childcare is important which is why Kool Kidz has in-house experienced cooks who prepare fresh nutritious meals. With a weekly rotating menu made up of breakfast, morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack as well as healthy snack boxes located in all rooms we understand the importance of a healthy diet to your child’s development.

For more information about a Kool Kidz Service near you call 1800 KOOL KIDZ (566 554)