What Parents Need To Know About Sugar Consumption For Kids
Busy parents not only manage families, but careers, relationships and their own personal lives, so it’s easy to understand why when the kids get hungry, grabbing a pre-packaged, store bought granola bar or on-the-go snack is incredibly convenient. (Hey, there’s no shame in that game! We’ve all been there before, so no judgement). Many of us don’t have the time to bake up a batch of handcrafted, wholesome snacks that are free of all added sugars and sweeteners and that’s okay, but it is important to be aware of the adverse effects of consuming too much sugar, especially in your children's meals and snacks.
What is Sugar
First things first. What is sugar? Whether it’s granulated, regular or table sugar, these are all sweet crystallized substances obtained from various plants such as sugar beet or sugar cane. Translation? Sugar is sucrose and if you want to get super sciencey, sucrose is essentially two molecules: fructose and glucose. Chemically speaking, these molecules are considered monosaccharides and are the building blocks of carbohydrates. Many of us are familiar with sugar as it is widely used as a sweetener in a variety of beverages and foods including:
- Bottled beverages including some bottled waters, soda, sports beverages and vitamin waters
- Pantry items like canned goods, cereal, crackers and instant oatmeal
- Salad dressings and sauces
Sugar is most commonly used as a preservative in many of these foods, which is why it is so prevalent in packaged and processed foods including easy to grab kids beverages and snacks.
The Adverse Effects of Consuming Too Much Sugar
It may be easy to grab fruit juice, processed snacks or soda, but sugar is prevalent in many of these options, which is why it’s paramount to reconsider your children’s choices. It’s important to remember sugar itself is not the problem. Sugar in moderation is not inherently toxic, but rather, excess sugar consumption can negatively impact multiple facets of health and can contribute to diabetes, fatty liver disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and weight gain. (Yikes!)
Since the adverse effects from too much sugar can negatively impact health in both adults and children, it's important to monitor you, and your family’s, intake of added sugar and either cut back entirely or avoid it all together. An easy way to do this is by avoiding pre-packaged foods and store bought snacks that contain added sugar. That means carefully reading food labels and reviewing ingredients.
Another simple way to avoid sugar in your children’s diet, and your own, is by choosing beverages and foods that do not use any artificial sweeteners and sugars. One place to start is by replacing sugary juices, sodas, sports drinks and vitamin waters for healthy beverages like plain water or better yet - flavored water with fiber.
Fiber and Water
Water is fundamental to health, especially for growing kids who are active and always on the go. Water not only aids in almost every function of our body, but when you add fiber and flavor to it, you have water that not only keeps you and your family hydrated, but satiated.
Fiber is a natural way to reduce even the biggest appetites and most people, including kids, don’t get enough of it in their daily diets. By including fiber in our fresh flavored, fiber infused water, you and your kids will feel fuller for long, which potentially means less snacking on sugar laden beverages and foods. It’s water that works and it’s kid-friendly.
Flavored Water for Kids
At hellowater®, we don’t pretend to be good for you and then pack our product full of questionable ingredients like additives and sweeteners. Instead, we believe in sourcing high quality ingredients, which is why we include a subtle touch of sweetness to our fiber infused water from the best source possible - Mother Nature.
Unlike other flavored fruit waters and sports beverages, who add sugar to enhance and preserve their fruity flavors, we only use ingredients that are 100% good for you. We believe you are what you eat and drink, which is why we naturally sweeten our fiber water with zero calorie stevia and erythritol.
Easy Ways to Consume Less Sugar
We know it may sound silly, but we believe you and your little ones are sweet enough already, so there’s no need to add more sugar to daily meals and snacks, but we also know part of life is savoring a slice of birthday cake or a scoop of ice cream on a hot summer’s day. These are some of the beautiful little moments life has to offer and children should enjoy them and so should you! It’s one of the fun parts about being a kid, but just like with adults, these cheeky sweet treats should be experienced in moderation and remain sweet surprises, not everyday occurrences.
Whether you are a parent of young children, preteens or teenagers, here are some super simple ways you can cut down on sugar consumption in your kids’ daily beverage and food choices:
- Choose satiatiating snacks that contain complex carbohydrates, fiber, high quality fats or protein. Some great options include avocado on grain-free toast, a small handful of nuts or seeds or a homemade smoothie with a scoop of high quality protein.
- Plan on-the-go beverages and snacks ahead of time to avoid grabbing a convenient, sugar laden option later on.
- Purchase unsweetened beverages and foods so your home is always stocked with quality options.
- Swap soda, sports drinks and vitamin waters for fruit flavored water and other gut healthy drinks.
- Use fresh fruit to add sweetness to snacks and meals.
The next time your kids, or you, want something sweet, make a simple swap out with a refreshing flavor of hellowater® and feel good knowing your family is enjoying fiber, hydration and a sugar-free natural flavor all in one bottle.
Remember, wellness doesn’t have to be complicated. Making small changes, like reducing the amount of sugar you and your kids consume, is a simple step to creating a happier and healthier lifestyle for you and your entire family.