KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — We all know it’s important to encourage children to eat healthy foods, but what about the drinks they consume?
Over time, too much liquid sugar can lead to problems with weight gain and even chronic diseases such as diabetes. Recent studies show children may be getting more calories from sugar in beverages like soda and sports drinks than in the food they eat.
East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Clinical Dietitian Janet Buck tells us more about limiting your child’s sugary drink intake.
How much is too much?
- The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests anything over 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day is too much for kids.
What’s a better option?
- Water and milk are best. Sports drinks should only be used when you are practicing high impact sports and very sparingly, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 1 should have no fruit juice at all.
Tips for limiting the amount of sugar in your child’s diet.
- Read labels, paying close attention to portion size and how much added sugar there is. Remember, once you have hit that 25 gram mark you have reached the limit.
- Opt for reduced sugar options of your child’s favorites to slowly wean them off the sugar.
- Satisfy your child’s sweet tooth with whole fruit instead of juices.
- Limit even 100% fruit juices to no more than 4 to 6 ounces depending on the age of your child.