Fat has often been the target of health experts who aim to inform families of nutritional pitfalls. However, sugar too can prove dangerous to the diets of children. You might already monitor the amount of candy or ice cream that your child eats, but sugar can be found in many seemingly healthy food choices. Sunrise Children’s Hospital can help you learn about how sugar can help or harm nutrition.
Understanding Sugar Differences
The body uses sugar as energy. As a result, it’s essential that your child consume carbohydrates, the nutritional element that contains sugar, each day. Yet not all carbohydrates can provide the same health benefits for children. Whole grain products, such as brown rice and whole wheat bread, contain complex carbohydrates that slowly break down in the digestive tract, allowing the body to keep its blood glucose levels steady . Other foods, including white bread, sweetened fruit juices, and candy bars, contain simple carbohydrates, which quickly enter the bloodstream and destabilize blood glucose amounts.
Choosing Healthy Sugar Options
Because simple carbohydrates can wreak havoc on the metabolic processes of the body, health experts recommend that parents provide children with complex carbohydrate alternatives. For instance, when preparing your child’s lunch, make their sandwich with whole wheat bread instead of its white and refined counterpart. Simple carbohydrates can be acceptable in some circumstances, though, as when found in fruit. Because of its fiber content, fruit is processed more slowly through the body. If your child requests a dessert after dinner, give them a bowl of strawberries instead of a bag of gummy treats. Even when you purchase healthier sugar options, though, monitor the quantities you give to your child. Reading food labels on the products you purchase can prove instrumental to keeping your child’s overall daily sugar intake between approximately 12 and 32 grams.
Sunrise Children’s Hospital can help you gain control over your family’s nutrition. If you have concerns about your child’s eating habits, we can help. Call our Las Vegas area children’s hospital at (702) 731-5437 to speak with a nurse at our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line about your diet questions.