Sugar is a natural carbohydrate and can be found in natural foods like fruits and dairy. However it is often added into processed sugary foods (sweet AND savoury) to improve taste and texture. It’s highly addictive!
Sugar provides us with lots of energy, but only for a short amount of time and without providing us will any significant vitamins and minerals. However, not all foods that contain sugar should be avoided. Foods that naturally contain higher amounts of sugar, like fruit, also provide you with a lot of good nutrients.
Processed food and drink (cakes, soft drinks etc.) contain large amounts of added sugar. Because of their short bursts of energy and the addicting qualities, these foods are commonly over consumed. This also means that, processed sugary foods are likely to be consumed in replacement of food with natural sugars.
Foods with added sugar are easy to overindulge in. Here are some tips to limit the amount of sugar in your child’s diet:
- Reduce use of sugary syrups added to foods like cake, and replace them with a natural alternative, such as honey (often you won’t even notice a difference in taste!)
- Always ensure you have a fridge full of fruit and encourage these to be eaten rather than sugary snacks.
- Check the nutritional information panel – you might be surprised at how many foods contain added sugar!
- Don’t be fooled by “low-fat” products – the fat is being replaced with added sugar.
- Make water the drink of choice (add fresh fruit to improve flavour).
- Choose full-fat milk over skim or low-fat.
(Source: Healthy Kids | Added sugar in food https://healthy-kids.com.au/food-nutrition/position-statements/added-sugar-in-food/)
(Source: Better Health | Sugar https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/sugar)