Avoiding Hidden Sugars - Food for the Brain

Sugar hides in your child’s diet both at home and in nurseries. One example is the average little kids fromage frais contains as much as one teaspoon of sugar. That’s a third of their recommended daily allowance.

Sugar affects brain function, blood sugar, weight, and energy Levels

Sugar is ADDICTIVE, so starting on high sugar diets sets bad habits.

What is the right amount for your child?

Children under 2 shouldn’t be consuming any sugar.

Where is sugar hiding?

Spoon -full

As an example, here are a couple of commonly used early years foods and drinks that are high in sugar.

1 teaspoon = 5 grams

             SUGAR                % RDA child over 2  years                    
Fromage Frais6.1g SUGAR per potChild -40 44%
Baby egg custard with rice8.8g SUGAR per 125g potChild -60 58%
Custard11.5g SUGAR per 100g servingChild -80 76%
Cereal bar15g SUGAR per barChild -100 100%
Blackberry squash30.24g SUGAR per 288ml cartonChild -100Child -100 200%
Coca Cola39g SUGAR per 355 ml canChild -100Child -100Child -60  260%

We cannot differentiate in every item, which types of sugars the ingredients contain. However sugar can come in many forms such as the following: 

Fructose, Galactose, Glucose, Lactose: Maltose, Sucrose, Xylose, Beet sugar, Blackstrap molasses, Brown sugar, Buttered syrup, Cane juice crystals, Cane sugar, Caramel, Carob syrup, Castor sugar, Coconut sugar, Confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar), Date sugar, Demerara sugar, Evaporated cane juice, Fruit juice, Fruit juice concentrate, Golden syrup, Grape concentrate, Honey, Icing sugar, Invert sugar, Maple syrup, Molasses, Muscovado sugar, Refiner’s syrup, Sorghum syrup, Sucanat, Treacle sugar. 

By law, food manufacturers are required to list ingredients by order of amount, which is why many use a variety of different types of sugars, so that they can squeeze larger amounts in without appearing to do so. 

TOP TIP

Reduce the sugar in your child’s diet. Look at the label and where sugar comes, if it tastes sweet, the chances are it has added sugar in it! 

If you have a child who has a taste for highly processed, sugary foods they won’t want to give them up. So the earlier you start the better.

The key is to reduce the sugar slowly and over time so they get use to less sweetness without noticing.