Let’s admit it – we are eating far too much sugar every day – and our children are definitely no exception. An occasional sweet treat will not likely do any harm, but many kids eat far too much sugar which unfortunately sets them up for various health problems now and in the near future. A survey found that there are about five kinds of food and drinks from which children tend to get too much amounts of sugar every day. These include non-juice drinks like soda, fruit drinks (including those 100% fruit juice), grain-based sweets like cookies, dairy desserts like puddings, and candies.
4 Ways Sugar Can Affect Your Child’s Health
Excessive consumption of sugar does not only result in tooth decay, hyperactivity, and the increased risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes among children. Experts have discovered that too much sugar can also cause a wide range of chronic – although avoidable – health issues like the ones below:
- Cold, cough, and Allergies. Some of the very common effects of sugar consumption among children are manifestations of cold-like symptoms. These include persistent runny nose, excessive mucus production, cough, and sinus infections. Some children also tend to be diagnosed with allergies.
- Croup and acid reflux. Due to excessive sugar intake, children can also suffer from persistent episodes of what seems like croup. These kids go to bed looking fine and healthy, but wake up in the middle of the night having trouble breathing and with a barking cough.
- Weakened immune system. Our microbiome consists of trillions of good bacteria that produce vitamins, digest food, and protect our body from germs and diseases. However, when children eat too much sugar, it can alter the balance between good and bad bacteria; thus, weakening their immunity. As you all know, weak immune system can result in the body to become more susceptible to a wide range of ailments.
- Malnutrition. Despite the fact that lots of kids who consume disproportionate amounts of sugar are quite overweight, they may still be malnourished. Remember that foods high in sugars only provide empty calories which provide little to no nutritional value. Kids who fill up on these are likely to miss essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which would be available through nutrient-rich meals.
Simple Ways to Reduce Sugar in Your Kid’s Diet
There are some ways to keep your child from consuming too much sugar. These include eliminating or drastically reducing their intake of sugary drinks like sodas, lemonade, energy drinks, and fruit juices, as well as encouraging them to eat whole foods then avoid the processed ones. In addition, it also helps a lot if you serve your children more fruits and veggies on the table, if you cook more frequently at home, and if you pack their snacks ahead of time since it lets you gain more control over the foods they eat.