With Halloween only days away, many parents are wondering how much sugar is OK for children to eat in a day? Here’s what you need to know:
Kids are eating and drinking nearly 20 teaspoons —about 320 calories — worth of added sugar every day. While the fall holidays — Halloween through Christmas, are the biggest sugar-consuming time of year, now is a great time to review how much sugar is OK in your child’s diet.
According to recent research, excess sugar increases risk for heart disease, obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and liver disease. Excessive sugar intake appears to be metabolically harmful for children (as well as adults).
How much is OK? The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that children consume no more than 6 teaspoons or 100 calories’ worth of added sugar. And, the association recommends that children under age two get no added sugar on any given day. According to the AHA, children are currently enjoy about 80 grams (19 teaspoons) of the sweet stuff every day.
The number 1 source of sugar in kids’ diets is sugar-sweetened beverages so by simply removing any sugar-sweetened beverage from your child’s diet will have the biggest payoff. From there, candy, baked goods, ice cream and other dairy desserts, sweetened yogurt and cereals. Keep tabs on these foods in order to ensure that you child doesn’t get too much sugar in her diet.