Sugar: What’s really ok for kids?

Published: 29th July 2018

There’s so much to think about when it comes to planning meals for your one year old child. If you spend any amount of time on the internet you’ll know that while one person might recommend one thing, another person will have the opposite opinion. In other words, it gets mighty confusing!

Most of us already know to begin by introducing solids with iron-rich foods, such as pureed vegetables, meats and iron-fortified cereals followed by fruit and dairy products. But what are the rules when it comes to sugar?

How much sugar should a child eat a day?

Australian dietary guidelines recommend that by 12 months of age your child should be eating meals with your family. At this age, small amounts of sugar in food that is otherwise healthy are recommended as being fine in moderation.

But the guidelines suggest your one year old should be having less than 10 percent of their energy intake from sugar (maximum six teaspoons of sugar per day).

To say your child will never taste sugar is something that will most likely never happen! You can keep sugary foods out of your house during your child's earlier years, but what happens when they go to a birthday party and they’re handed a piece of sugary cake with lashings of icing on top?

Nutritional health coach Jayta Szpitalak agrees that 1 year olds should not have more than six teaspoons per day, which is also the measurement recommended by the World Health Organisation.

But Szpitalak believes if you take too much of a hard-line stance about sugar, it might cause anxiety as you’re setting yourself a very difficult standard. Also, completely avoiding sugar in your child’s diet means he/she will be missing out when it comes to parties and other celebrations.

So, the longer you can refrain from adding sugar to the food your child eats, the better – they won’t develop any sugary cravings. But a little bit is okay too.

Can babies eat sugar?

The American Academy of Paediatrics claims developing a sweet tooth at a young age is not good for babies because it sets the stage for their food expectations for the rest of their lives. Added sugar is an acquired craving and one that can start in infancy. If you limit sugar in early childhood and put an emphasis on healthy eating habits, you can avoid some of the negative health repercussions and desire for sugary foods in the future.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines also recommend avoiding ‘party foods’ until the age of two and only in moderation – one party food per week between the ages of 2-3.

Here’s a recipe for a sweet treat your little one will love:

Cornflake, sultana and cranberry biscuits! (No added sugar!)

Ingredients:

 1/4 cup oats

1 cup crushed cornflakes

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

1/4 cup plain flour

1/4 cup sultanas

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp plain yoghurt

Method:

  •  Preheat oven to 180°C conventional (or 160°C fan-forced). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  •  Scatter oats on the tray and dry roast in the oven for 3 minutes, remove and leave to cool.
  •  Place oats in a bowl and add crushed cornflakes, salt, cinnamon powder, baking powder, flour, cranberries and sultanas and mix well. Pour in the butter and honey and stir all the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Now add yoghurt a little at a time until the mixture binds together. You probably won’t need the full tablespoon. Roll 2cm balls – place on the baking tray and flatten them with the back of a spoon.
  • Put the biscuits into the oven for around 15-20 minutes or until they turn golden brown on top. Leave on the tray for around 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Maxbella loves

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