Sugar Consumption in Children


These days, sugar is everywhere and almost in everything. Whether found in juices, candies, baked goods, or even condiments, sugar in its many forms is addicting to both adults and children. Although sugar is safe and healthy in moderation, the negative mental and physical effects of excess sugar in children can contribute to feeling moody, tired, irritable, and jittery. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) sugar consumption can increase the chance of high cholesterol Type II Diabetes among children.

Consider these following tips when managing your child’s sugar consumption:

  1. Read food labels for sugar quantity when grocery shopping. The AAP recommends no more than 25 grams of sugar per day for children less than 2 years of age.
  2. Consider substituting water for juice. The AAP recommends no more than 8 ounces of juice per day (approximately 1 glass) for children over 7 years of age.
  3. Offer whole fruits in their natural form in lieu of sweets. Fruits are full of natural sugars that are a great alternative to processed sugars found in candies, chocolates, and baked goods.
  4. For holidays that are centered around sugar consumption such as Halloween, encourage rationing candy and talk to your child about eating a few pieces each day instead of all at once.

It’s always important to talk to your child about the realities of sugar consumption and offer limits on and alternatives for sugar without creating unhealthy food restrictions. For more information on overall healthy eating for children, click here.

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