Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How Much Sugar Should Children Take A Day?

Children love sugary foods and there is sugar in most processed or packaged food that our children eat. Sugar intake is on the rise and this can have  serious health consequences for children as they become adults, including obesity and high blood pressure. But sugar is unavoidable. So how much can children consume?

Added sugar is defined as any sugar or syrup that is added to foods during processing or preparation, and sugar or syrup that is added at the table during meal times.  Added sugar includes - sugar, glucose, dextrose, fructose, and sucrose, "syrup" such as corn syrup (corn syrup solids), glucose syrup (glucose syrup solids), high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, corn sweetener and honey or  honey powder. Sugar can also be added during food production or preparation through a variety of different ingredients.
Child Obesity, details about overweight kids and how to determine if your child is overweight, the risks, how to help, how to create a weight loss/control plan and more
Natural sugars are found in whole, unprocessed foods, such as milk, fruit, and some vegetables. The most common natural sugars are glucose and fructose which are found in fruits, some vegetables and honey; and lactose which is found in milk products. Foods that contain only natural sugars are usually better for our diets as they tend to be at lower levels as well as providing other nutrients as well.


Women should consume no more than 100 calories, and men no more than 150 calories, of added sugar, which is about 6 to 9 teaspoons, or 25 to 37.5 grams, of sugar a day.

Preschoolers with a daily caloric intake of 1,200 to 1,400 calories shouldn't consume any more than 170 calories, or about 4 teaspoons, of added sugar a day.

Children ages 4-8 with a daily caloric intake of 1,600 calories should consume no more than 130 calories, or about 3 teaspoons a day.

Pre-teen and teen years, caloric intake ranges increases to 1,800 to 2,000 a day, the maximum amount of added sugar included in daily diet should be 5 to 8 teaspoons.

What’s Happening now
A study conducted by the AHA found children as young as 1-3 years already bypass the daily recommendations, and typically consume around 12 teaspoons of sugar a day.

By the time a child is 4-8 years old, his sugar consumption skyrockets to an average of 21 teaspoons a day.
The same study found 14-18 year old children intake the most sugar on a daily basis, averaging about 34.3 teaspoons!.

These are almost triple the recommended amount.

Soft drinks and sweetened beverages are the number-one culprit - with one can of soda containing 8 teaspoons or almost 130 calories of sugar.

Many brands of children's favorite foods, such as yogurt, cereal, and fruit juice also contain added sugar, which usually make them high in calories and low in nutrition.

How To Deal With Child Obesity: A Parent's Guide to a Active, Trim, And Happy ChildThe long-term effects of consuming sugar can be complex.  But we know that  anyone, including children, who consume too much added sugars may be taking in too many calories – possibly more than the person actually uses. Over a long period, this may cause problems such as weight gain or obesity, which is linked to various other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Limiting added sugar consumption is also recommended for preventing tooth decay.

So how can you curb your child's sugar intake without cutting out all his favorite foods?

1.  Offer naturally sweet and healthy snacks like fruit or raisins.

2. Replacing soda and sweetened beverages with low-fat milk (whole milk for children under 2) or water.
3. Offer small servings of 100% fruit juice. Although 100% fruit juice does have some health benefits, it is important to note that while it doesn't have any added sugar, the natural sugars it contains can still make it a high-calorie drink. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting juice intake to 4 to 6 ounces for children under 7, and 8 to 12 ounces for older children and teens.
4. If your child has a sweet tooth, try offering him one of the following naturally sweet and healthy snacks: Choose a nutrient-rich sweet snack like yogurt or a sugar-sweetened whole grain cereal. Although they  have added sugar, they also have essential nutrients, unlike a piece of candy.
5. Start Young
Instill good eating habits from young. Tell them that its bad for them or introduce only the good.

6. Read the label
This goes without saying. Read the label to find out the amount of sugars and carbohydrates

7. Have lots of snacks
Avoid the temptation to munch on sweets and such. Stock the fridge with fresh fruit, granola, dried fruits and so on.

8. Talk  to the children
Education through shopping trips, showing pictures of unhealthy children and so on

9. Monkey see Monkey do
We parents should do the same too!

How To Make Weight Loss Fun For Kids: Put Yourself, Your Child, And Your Whole Family In A Far Superior Place With New Health, New Vigor, And A Healthier Mindset! AAA+++

Happy Teaching and Cooking!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Magic of Mangoes

Mangoes are a great fruit. Juicy, beautiful scent, colour, sweet and extremely appealing.  As like any other fruit, mangoes are a brilliant health food. And there are simple recipes that you could get your kids to prepare.

The Nutritional facts about mango:

1 cup sliced mango (about 1/2 medium-size mango) is only 107 calories

Low fat
Saturated fat-free
Very low sodium
High in vitamin A and vitamin C

One easy and common recipe is mango lassi:


1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped mango (peeled and stone removed)
4 teaspoons sugar, to taste (i omit the sugar - its healthier and get the kids used to natural taste of fruit)


Put mango, yogurt, milk, sugar into a blender and blend for 2 minutes, then pour into individual glasses, and serve. You can put in some crushed ice.

Another is Mango Chutney.  You can keep it in the refrigerator and have a little with your food. To give it a little zing!
These are some great home made brands that you could get for a small cost.

KFI Achari Mango Chutney Sauce, 18.5-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 3)Stonewall Kitchen Mango ChutneyPataks Hot Mango Pickle 10oz

Happy Cooking and Teaching!