The importance of sugar in a diet for kids is more than you may think. It can actually help to control the number of calories and fat that a child consumes. However, it is also important to be aware of the amount of sugar that a child consumes so that they do not get too much. Most kids want sugary foods and will not be satisfied if their diet does not include many of these foods.
Many children have favorite foods such as candy or other forms of sweet treats. While this may be alright sometimes, it is important to limit the amount of sugar that a child consumes because it is not healthy to the extent that it can cause health problems. It is important to understand how much sugar is present in the diet so that a parent can decide what amount is appropriate. Even though most children do not need a strict diet to follow, it is still important to set limits on the amount of sugar that a child consumes so that they do not exceed that amount and become overweight or obese.1
Another way that the importance of sugar in a diet for kids can be beneficial is that it can be used as a reward for good behavior. If a child is praised for doing a good deed or if they are rewarded for helping out around the house then they are likely to feel encouraged. This means that a parent may need to find alternative rewards for good behaviors rather than simply telling a child that they have received a treat. In the long run, the child will begin to look forward to their meals and will eat less of the sugary foods that they are used to and at the same time be able to see the importance of the foods that they are eating.
What Happens When Your Child Eats Too Much Sugar?
What happens when your child eats too much sugar? It affects their body to such an extent that it becomes diabetic. Children who eat excessively tend to have weight problems. Overweight children tend to have more serious health problems, including diabetes. Excessive overconsumption of sugar may also lead to hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder in children.
If the sugar addiction remains, then the child has to be treated by a dietitian who can help in understanding the problem and come up with an appropriate diet and exercise program for the child. Parents should keep track of the amount of food and drinks consumed by their children and try to control the overconsumption of sugar. It is important to make sure that you do not introduce artificial sweeteners in children because it may increase the risk of allergies, asthma, and chronic tooth decay.
Recommended Sugar Intake for a Child
Sugar intake in children is generally not a major cause of health issues but it can be problematic, nonetheless. For one thing, it can raise the risk for type two diabetes. There are several other types of diseases that sugar consumption may provoke and these include heart disease and cancer. Children who have abnormally low blood sugar levels are at a greater risk of heart disease and certain cancers and should have their sugar intake under control. It is especially important for school-aged children to get their recommended sugar intake for a child.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that sugar can affect children’s weight gain more than their growth or development. Because they tend to consume more sugary foods, children can easily gain weight and become obese.2 There are also studies out there that indicate children who have a sugar-rich diet are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, which can result in unwanted pregnancies and infections. Children’s sugar intake should be closely watched so that they don’t fall prey to bad habits.3
One way to keep children’s sugar intake in check is by feeding them foods that are high in natural sugars like honey, fruits, and vegetables. Natural sugar is absorbed much better by the body and is less likely to cause a surge in blood sugar.4 As a parent, you can also look at making your own sweetened beverages like juice and put the sugar through the pureed fruits before adding it to water to make it drinkable. In fact, the recommended sugar intake for a child is one serving of fruit per day.
Negative Impacts of Overcompensation of Sugar for Children
There are many negative impacts of overcompensation of sugar for children. Overweight children often have symptoms of both diabetes and allergies. The negative impacts of overcompensation of sugar for children can lead to serious health problems and even death if left untreated. These health problems and reactions may appear to be relatively harmless, but sugar overnutrition can cause serious negative impacts on your child’s health. It is important to identify the symptoms of overcompensation of sugar for children and seek treatment when you see these symptoms.5
One of the major negative impacts of overcompensation of sugar for children occurs when a child’s blood glucose levels become unstable. This is because the child’s body is not able to absorb all of the sugar that they are eating.6 In addition, as their body cannot break down the extra sugar in their diet as it should, it tends to store this sugar as fat cells. Over time, this sugar accumulation can lead to very serious health problems for a child.
The other major negative impacts of overfeeding sugar in a child’s diet can come from the development of Type 2 diabetes. Children who have their blood glucose levels stay too high for extended periods of time are more likely to develop insulin resistance than those who keep their glucose levels under control. As their bodies are unable to break down the sugar, it builds up and eventually turns into fat cells. In order to reverse this process, children need to follow a proper diet plan and increase the amount of physical exercise that they get.7
There are also other negative impacts of overcompensation of sugar for children. Like adults, when a child’s sugar intake is too high, their body often goes into panic mode and begins to store fat to make up for the lost sugar. Because of this, they may gain weight instead of losing weight. This sugar overload can also cause their teeth to grow at an accelerated rate. While most kids chew on their sugars during meals, teenagers tend to eat them right out of their hands.
Not only do these negative impacts of overcompensation of sugar for children exist but also the effects are far worse for overweight children. Because their body is burning off more food than it can handle, they become even more hungry and gain weight instead of losing it. If you are overweight and struggling with your weight, you already know how serious it can be to try and lose weight without putting a stop to your sugar cravings. The best way to do this is by cutting out sweets altogether or at least severely limiting the number of sugary snacks that you eat.8
It is absolutely crucial that you teach your children healthy eating habits if you hope to alleviate the negative impacts of overcompensation of sugar for children. In addition to the obvious benefits of eating healthier, you will also be giving them a well-rounded meal. While they will still need some form of sweetened sugar in the future, you will have introduced them to healthier options. They will also grow up with good eating habits that will help them in the long run. You can feel good about knowing that you are doing what you can as a parent to protect your child’s health.
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1 “Sugar vs. Sugars – The Sugar Association.” https://www.sugar.org/sugar/sugars/ Accessed 30 Aug. 2021.
2 “HealthyChildren.org – From the American Academy of Pediatrics.” https://www.healthychildren.org/ Accessed 30 Aug. 2021.
3 “Daily Intake of Sugar — How Much Sugar Should You Eat Per Day?.” https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-sugar-per-day Accessed 30 Aug. 2021.
4 “How much sugar is too much? | American Heart Association.” https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/how-much-sugar-is-too-much Accessed 30 Aug. 2021.
5 “14 Negative Effects of Sugar on Kids and How to Avoid It.” https://goodparentingbrighterchildren.com/negative-effects-of-sugar/ Accessed 30 Aug. 2021.
6 “You Know Sugar is Bad for Your Kids. Here’s What You Can Do A.” 1 Jan. 2021, https://news.usc.edu/trojan-family/help-kids-eat-less-sugar-usc-pediatrician-tips/ Accessed 30 Aug. 2021.
7 “Too Much Sugar Can Cause Health Problems in Kids.” 7 Oct. 2020, https://www.verywellfamily.com/is-too-much-sugar-harmful-to-kids-22337 Accessed 30 Aug. 2021.
8 “Balancing Blood Sugar – The Holistic Health Approach.” 1 Aug. 2021, https://www.theholistichealthapproach.com/blog/balancing-blood-sugar Accessed 30 Aug. 2021.