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Tips to Reduce Sugar in Your Child's Diet

tips to reduce sugar in child's diet - dr. schwartz - toronto children's dentist

Sugary snacks jeopardize your child's oral health, especially when consumed in large amounts. Without restrictions, it can be easy for children to get carried away and consume tons of sugar. Of course, having a treat every now and then is completely acceptable, but here are some tips to ensure that the consumption is kept to a healthy minimum.

Read Labels

Be aware of how much sugar is exactly in everything your family consumes.The recommended daily allowance for carbohydrates is 130g/day for both adults and children. Especially keep an eye out for added sugars (e.g. corn syrup) as they have worse effects on teeth than naturally occurring sugars found in milk and fruit.

Skip the Juice

While juice might seem like a healthy alternative to soda, it is not always the case, as it is packed with sugar and calories. For kids aged 1-6, no more than 1 juice box a day is recommended. Any more allows a buildup of cavity-causing bacteria. The American Academy of Pediatrics even suggests completely eliminating juice from the diet of children under the age of one, and opt instead for milk or water.

Limit Sticky Snacks

The only thing worse than sugar is sugar that sticks to your teeth. Many parents expect gummy fruit snacks to be a healthy snack option. However, most of them are closer to candy than fruit, made even worse by residue sticking to teeth, causing prolonged damage.

Cut Back on Cereal

Most kids start their day with some form of sugary cereal, packed with artificial sweeteners and flavours. Oats are a great and delicious alternative to provide sustenance for your child throughout the day.

"Fat-Free" ? Healthy

Many times, parents will buy things advertised as fat-free. While helpful, this does not guarantee sugar-free. In fact, many fat-free yogurts are packed with tons of sugar!

Cook at Home

This can be difficult to achieve with a busy schedule, but when possible, cook at home. This allows you the most control over how much sugar is actually added into your child's meal.