Ask the Nutritionist: Sugar & Your Kid


Health and Nutrition experts from The American Heart Association (AHA) recently recommended that children ages two to 18 consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar a day.

That’s about 100 calories, or 25 grams of sugar.

So how can you help curb your child’s sweet tooth? Sharon Hawks, registered dietitian, licensed nutritionist and certified diabetes educator answers your questions for Our Children Magazine.

How much sugar should my child consume?

 Kids who are four to six months old shouldn’t have sugar so much at all. But when they’re older, keep it somewhere between three and six teaspoons of sugar as a maximum for the day. That seems like a lot but it’s really not when you consider that one can of soda has 10 grams of sugar.

Is it okay for my child to drink juice?

Somewhere around no more than six to eight ounces a day for kids is okay. But in reality, there’s as much sugar in juice as if they were drinking a soda.

How can I make doing the math for my child’s sugar intake less overwhelming?

 The key is just to keep it low. I talk a lot to parents about instead of thinking about teaspoons of sugar, think about the goal of getting them not used to sugar so they don’t have to have it all the time.

But how can I satisfy my child’s sweet tooth without going overboard?

Instead of having regular sweets that have a candy base, try to have sweets that have a more fruit base to it. If they’re doing dessert, then you can serve an apple pie or a dessert that has berries in it.

Want more help to satisfy your child’s sweet tooth for the holidays? Get more sensible tips from Sharon Hawks and other parents.

Alexis A. Goring is a writer who loves helping people through the art of storytelling.

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