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Children under two years of age should not consume foods or drinks with added sugar. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association (AHA) note that Added sugar consumption has negative consequences for the health of children.
The problem is not the sugars that are naturally found in foods like fruits and dairy products. It is the natural or artificial added sugars that should be eliminated or limited in the diet of young children.
Many foods or beverages have additional sugar and syrups added when they are processed or prepared. They can be natural sugars, like honey, or artificial sweeteners, like high fructose corn syrup.
There are many products on the market that are promoted for children and contain added sugar. yogurts, baby snacks, fruit drinks, and sweets are the most common sources of added sugars in the diet of infants and young children.
The APP suggests opting for fresh products and limiting processed and packaged products. At home Giving honey to infants younger than 12 months is also not recommended due to the risk of infant botulism.
Don’t add sugar to baby food
Health experts recommend preparing foods for young children without adding sugar. Establishing healthy eating patterns at a young age can help children maintain a healthy weight and avoid chronic diseases.
Nutritional and perinatal epidemiologist Lisa Bodnar notes that diet from birth to 24 months determines long-term food preferences. “Children can learn to accept nutrient-dense, bitter foods, such as vegetables, if offered repeatedly in early childhood.”
In addition, Bodnar explains through The Conversation that children under 24 months eat relatively small amounts and need to consume nutrient-dense foods and beveragesdo not fill up on products loaded with sugar.
Negative effects of added sugar in children
Children with a high intake of sugar are more likely to experience negative health effects as they develop, such as childhood obesity, cardiovascular disease and dental caries.
The AAP notes that children who consume more than 10% of their daily calories from added sugars are more likely to have abnormal cholesterol levels and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The AAP notes that children under the age of two should not consume added sugar. He suggests that children two years and older consume less than 25 grams (about 6 teaspoons) of added sugar per day.
Fruit juice should not be given to children under one year of age.
Children should be served milk and water. The AAP recommends do not give fruit juice to children under one year and limit to no more than 4 ounces of 100% fruit juice per day for children ages 1 to 3. Although it is natural sugar, juice has more sugar per serving than whole fruit. Instead of juices, pediatricians prefer that children consume the fruit.
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