Reducing Added Sugar for Kids and Teens
Perhaps you are working on reducing added sugar consumption for your family. That is a great healthy habit to develop, especially with kids and teens. Too much added sugar can lead to weight gain, and excessive weight can lead to many health problems. Added sugars can be particularly tempting to kids and teens, so here are 3 ways to cut back.
Reducing Added Sugar #1 – What do kids need?
According to the American Heart Association, kids ages 2- 18 should have less than 25 grams of added sugars daily for a healthy heart. This is less than 6 teaspoons of sugar daily. Added sugars are found in foods such as soft drinks, candy, cookies, dairy desserts and ice cream, fruit drinks such as fruit punch, and grains such as cereals and waffles. Added sugars are not the naturally occurring sugars found in fruit.
Reducing Added Sugar #2 – Replace the Sweet Stuff
Whole fruit is sweet, a great source of fiber and other nutrients, and free of added sugar. Replace dessert with fruit to start cutting down on added sugars in your kids’ diets. You can use frozen or canned fruit- just look for no sugar added.
Reducing Added Sugar #3 – Cut Back on Soda
Soda is a major source of added sugar, and kids do not need soda in their diets. Focus on water as a primary beverage. Kids can also have milk or a non-dairy substitute with no sugar added. Still craving flavor? Add lemon or lime to regular water or offer flavored seltzer with no sugar added as a special treat.
Establishing a diet low in added sugar will set your children up for a healthy diet for life. While these changes might be difficult to make, know that they are much easier for children to make before lifelong eating habits are established. If you need more support, KareBoost Health is here to help. Contact us to find out how our health coaches can help your family be healthier through our FREE Consultation with Dr. Karen Leibowitz.
Karen L. Leibowitz, MD
Health and Medical Coach