How Much Sugar Should Your Toddler Eat? Sugar can seem almost impossible to avoid, considering it is anywhere and everywhere you take your kids. Think about all the cupcakes and goodies at school celebrations, birthday parties, get togethers, and even at the banks and barber shops that put out the little bowl of lollipops that your kid never seems to miss. Sweets are so commonplace in American culture that we’ve all become a little desensitized to how sugar can impact our kids’ health. We might somehow think our kids will be alright because “kids will burn it off.” Yes, active kids might be running around burning calories, but now is the time to develop good dietary habits and train their taste buds for the right kind of foods.
How Much Sugar Are Toddlers Consuming On Average? What Can Happen When Your Child Consumes Too Much Sugar?
Even before children reach toddler age, they’re already consuming an average of more than 7 teaspoons of added sugar daily. This is more than the recommended amount for adults. A diet high in processed sugars has been linked to a number of diseases and medical conditions in both adults and children. Remember, it’s not just cavities you have to worry about, but also obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
How Much Sugar Should We Be Consuming? How Can You Get Your Child to Stop Eating So Much Added Sugar?
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar for children ages 2 to 19 and adult women. For adult men, 9 teaspoons should be the max.
Cutting down on sugar is, of course, easier said than done. You could start by transitioning your child into eating more fruit to satisfy their sweet cravings. Although there is no hard evidence showing any major differences between natural and processed sugars, foods with processed sugars typically have a higher, more concentrated amount of sugar compared to a serving of fruit. For instance, one cupcake contains 20 grams of sugar, while a whole cup of strawberries only contains 7 grams of sugar. By eating fruit instead of a cupcake or lollipop, your child will also be gaining all the benefits and vitamins from the fruit that they wouldn’t be getting from eating processed foods.