Sugars. Wow just the thought itself is mouthwatering. We crave for sugary foods all the time. Some kids (like me ;)) are happy having it even early in the morning as their first meal. We are so tempted to eat sugars that we generally eat whatever is available, be it a candy, a chocolate, a pie, a doughnut, ice-cream, cupcakes and what not? So much so that we keep a box full of chocolates or toffees to reward our child whenever she accomplishes something substantial or for that matter whenever she is feeling low and the child in turn gets more and more motivated to do anything for a piece of cake. Isn’t it? I call it a SUGAR CASCADE.
As per World Health Organization, adults and children should consume less than 10 percent of their total daily calories as free sugars, and suggests a further reduction to less than 5 percent of total calories consumed as free sugars.
The American Heart Association also recommends that children limit their intake of added sugars to 3 to 4 teaspoons a day during early childhood, and between 5 and 8 teaspoons during adolescence.
A child generally eats whatever is kept on his/her plate (probably a younger one) and what he/she is exposed to (for the grown ones). How about rewarding a child with a fruit or a fruity bar with loads of natural sugar for whatever good work he does? Not only will this inculcate good habits from early on but will also prevent excessive consumption of refined and artificial sugars. Which brings us to the next question.
Have you ever wondered what is the kind of sugar we are eating or giving to our kids? Are they eating natural sugars or being exposed to artificial stuff!! Well I feel all the wonderful parents reading this blog are quite aware of the ill effects of excess of artificial sugars I guess!!
To begin with, why should we give natural sugars when the other ones are so tempting, delicious and easily available. Well, the answer to this is simple. Natural sugars like fructose (commonly found in fruits) and lactose (milk sugar) occurs naturally in foods providing abundant of nutrients to build up our body and prevent diseases whereas added sugar in simple terms means something that is added artificially during processing or preparation to increase the shelf life of food and act as a preservative. Also the way body metabolizes these sugars is entirely different. Refined sugars are rapidly broken down into glucose and has a tendency to increase our blood sugars rapidly to the levels of skyrocket (I am quite sure everyone wants to reach that level but not this way), and provides our body with too much calories resulting in overweight/obesity with further chronic degenerative diseases, whereas natural sugars are metabolized by body differently. A Study from University of California indicates that sugar is believed to result in hyperactivity (ADHD- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in children resulting in restlessness in class, impatience, distractibility resulting in poor class performance.
I am not here to discuss how a fruit is superior to any other product but the magic natural sugars can do over added ones.
But that doesn’t mean sugars are bad or toxic or life threatening. Practicing moderation is the key. Sweeteners like honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and molasses are less processed than the other sugars and far beneficial but do watch out the portion of granulated sugar consumed. I remember as a kid my mom used to treat me with all these substitutes more than refined sugars.
Why not load our kids with natural sugars with abundant vitamins and minerals rather than emptying them with refined/added sugars. Let’s make it a habit!! Haven’t we heard of the famous saying ‘Eating an Apple a day, keeps the doctor away” (it probably doesn’t only keep the doctor away, but also the disease treated by the doctor).
All Natural snacks such as Happy Tummys bars therefore come to rescue. Go and read the labels carefully. It’s full of natural sugars as it’s chiefly made up of fruits which give sweetness such as bananas, dates, and raisins. Fruits are the second largest ingredients we have used after oats with no preservatives. Our mission is to incorporate traditional and healthy alternatives for kids in today’s world.
Would you go toward HIDDEN THIEVES (added sugars) or a NURTURER (natural sugars) to remain healthy? Decision is yours!!!