Kids love sugar, and sometimes too much! But as parents, we need to be more informed and empowered to make good decisions to reduce sugars in our children’s diets. It’s essential for us to take care of our diet, especially on the sugar intake per day. I personally think that it’s best to start them young, and keep your kids off added sugars as long as possible so the taste for sugars does not get in the way of them enjoying more nutritious foods such as vegetables and fruits.
Do you know how much sugar your children consume in a day? I believe most of the parents can’t answer this simple question. There are many types of added sugar in foods and even milk too, hence it’s time for us parents to learn how to read labels.
Thanks to our Ministry of Health, all the foods in the market come with a clear ingredients list. However, the amount for most sugars fall under the carbohydrate amount hence making it difficult to differentiate between natural sugars and added sugars. As a rule, ingredients that are listed first are in the highest volume. So if you recognize added sugars in the first few lines of the ingredients list, alarm bells should go off! Added sugars come in many names which makes it trickier to identify them. Look out for brown sugar, corn syrup solid, dextrose, fructose, glucose, glucose syrup solid, maltose, maltodextrin, and white sugar. If you see any of these names in the label, it indicates that the product has added sugars.
When a kid has excessive added sugars per day, it will increase the likelihood of obesity, develop a sweet tooth which is hard to quit and increase risk of dental cavities. In fact, Malaysian Dietary Guidelines (MDG) for Children and Adolescents 2013 recommends that children who are 2 to 6 years old should have no more than 3 teaspoons of added sugars per day.
For more information on reading labels and identifying Added Sugar, please go to www.anmum.com.my/happenings/added-sugars
Both my 3 year-old and 7 year-old are still drinking growing up milk everyday hence I make sure their milk does not contain added sugars. Anmum Essential is a growing up milk with all the important nutrients, but no added sugars.
How do I gain my knowledge? I found a very interesting Curious Kid Video from Anmum Essential which I would love to share with you all.
As you see, if Adam can ask these questions, you can start asking too! Parents, let’s start reading food labels to make sure we only give the best nutrition without added sugars to our kids. As for me, I am certain that my daughters are getting enough nutrients for their growing needs, without added sugars!