All babies are born with a sweet tooth, the reason being that mother’s milk is high in sugar lactose and they become so used to it. If we were to take a walk down history, we would realize that ancient cavemen, associated a sweet taste with food that was safe to eat.

However, in our modern lifestyle, not everything sweet is good for you. Over the last few years, the used of refined sweeteners has sky rocketed and it is known that more that 16% of calories in a child’s diet comes from added sugars. Refined sugars do not offer any nutrition and are just additional calories, which your children do not need.

When children eat sweets, their stomachs are filled up and they hardly have any room left for food that is nutritious such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and low fat dairy products.

Children’s teeth do not react very well to sweets too. In fact, over exposure to foods that are sugary all through the day can cause tooth decay. Below listed are a few ideas that can help you build good sugar habits in your children, it helps you and your kids identify, how much is too much and eat sugar in moderation.

Know when to stop
According to the American Heart Association, the daily limit should be about six to nine teaspoons of sugar, which is about 24 – 36 grams. This level adds up indeed quickly as a single can of a soft drink that as been sweetened using artificial sugars adds up 9 ounces which is about 40 grams of sugar, more than the prescribed limit itself.

Learn how to distinguish between Natural and Added Sugars
Unprocessed and whole foods such as fruits, some vegetables and even milk contains natural sugars and the remaining of the sugar in our food supply comes from artificial sugars. Added sugars are the various sweeteners that are added to processed foods and beverages. Labels on container will not a lot of good as they do no list down artificial sweeteners separately. For instance, one cup of milk has 12 grams of lactose, and chocolate milk that is packaged will have 23 grams of sugar, which means that 11 grams are from added sugars.

A cup of fat free Greek yogurt is known to have about 9 grams of sugars that are natural. If a label on a juice can says 100% fruit or vegetable, it means that the sugar is occurring naturally, however, whole fruits can contain very high amounts of concentrated sugar and one must limit one’s consumption to about four to eight ounces daily.

Hidden Sugars
Processed foods have high concentrations of added sugar. You may not realize it, but there are a source of hidden sugar, which is not really great for one’s health. Barbecue sauce, spaghetti, salad dressing, ketchup, and various other unassuming delicacies are racked up with added sugars, and you are not even aware of it.

Identify harmful sugars
Processed food manufacturers are aware of the fact that people are averse to the term sugar and therefore, they use different words, all of which correspond to added or artificial sweeteners. Keep an eye out for terms like corn syrup, sweetener, high fructose, brown sugar, honey, invert sugar, fruit juice concentrates or corn sweetener. The position of sugar on the list can also indicate the level of sugar in the food, higher in the list means, higher the level of sugar in the processed food that you are about to purchase.

How can you enjoy these sugars?
Well, you cannot avoid them altogether; by you can definitely allocate yourself and your family a ‘added sugar budget’. The best was you can enjoy these sugars is by using then to enhance other healthy foods.

So, go ahead and create a great diet for you and your entire family. Meet with a Registered Holistic Nutritionist to find out how much is too much and how little is too little when it comes to sugar for your growing child. A nutritionist will help you prepare a diet that is healthy and contains the ideal amount of sugar for a healthy life. You can also speak with a homeopath to gain an insight into herbal alternatives for sugars.