Sugar – how much is too much ?

 Sugar - How much is enough blog post











So having celebrated Easter not so long ago and knowing how OTT I always go, I thought I’d do a little research because I have never had issues with my kids having a few sweets, but I am hearing more and more from parents about the fact that their kids can’t focus or sit still at school and how kids are being diagnosed with ADD and ADHD left, right and centre !!! Why is it that suddenly there are so many kids being bombarded with awful drugs ???

I have only delved a tiny bit into ADD and ADHD and from what I have read, what we are feeding our kidlets is making a significant contribution towards their behaviour. The reason being, that we are becoming lazier and lazier as a society so we are eating more and more processed food, which contains loads of added sugars and preservatives and colorants.

So even though my kids have a few sweets during the week, we do not add sugar in anything they eat. By add I mean we do not sweeten any of their breakfasts cereals or tea with sugar, we use honey and only on the very odd occasion. The only fizzy cold drinks my kids drink is a bit of Grapetiser and the odd bit of lemonade on special occasions and they  are 6 years old so I thought we were doing ok.

Then I read an article on what the recommended amount of sugar is for adults is and was keen to find out what the recommendation for kids was.

So according to the World Health organisation, it recommends consuming no more than 10% of your daily kilojoules in sugar. Using this rule, and based on an 8 000 kilojoule-per-day diet, sugar consumption should be no more than 800 kilojoules per day, or approximately 50 grams of sugar for an adult.

If one teaspoon of sugar equals four grams, this means your total sugar intake per day should be no more than 12 teaspoons of sugar. This may sound generous enough, but if you think that one can of soda alone already equals 40 grams (or 10 teaspoons of sugar) or one cup of your favourite cereal could contain up to 20 grams (or 5 teaspoons of sugar), you don’t really have much to work with.

(Taken from the following link,62734.asp)

I have done a heap of reading and the calculations vary quite a lot so I thought I would go with the American Heart Association for kids  :

Preschoolers 1 – 3 years              –  1,200 to 1,400 calories per day                – about 4 tsps  per day.

Children 4-8 years                            –  1,600 to 1,800 calories per day                – about 3 tsps per day.

(In order to accommodate all the nutritional requirements for this age group, there are fewer calories available for discretionary allowances like sugar.)

As your child grows into his pre-teen and teen years, and his caloric range increases to 1,800 to 2,000 a day, the maximum amount of added sugar included in his daily diet should be 5 to 8 teaspoons.

My baby is 3 years old so she falls into the 4 tsps per day and in my mind she is not getting any “added” sugar because we don’t add sugar to anything we cook or eat….right….WRONG…..and then I looked into the total sugar she gets in her diet, because it’s not just about actual sugar added to their food it’s about the sugars are broken down from the carbohydrates and fruit etc that they eat.

For starters she is not a great breakfast eater so she’ll usually have a slice of toast with dairy free margarine and Bovril which is fine but if she has cereal, the only thing I can get her to eat are about 30grams of Coco Pop Crunchers and even such a tiny bit of cereal equates to 10 grams of sugar. So that is already 2,5 tsps of sugar out of the 4 tsps that are recommended….hellz bellz. My 6 year olds have at least double that amount of cereal so they will have had 5 tsps of added sugar just to start the day, which is absolutely frightening.

Some of examples of cereals we feed our kids :

  • Pronutro                              – 25g of cereal    = 5.6 grams of sugar (1.4 tsps of sugar)
  • Strawberry pops              – 30g of cereal    = 10 grams of sugar (2,5 tsps of sugar)
  • Weetbix                               – 1 biscuit             = 0.35grams of sugar (0.08 tsps of sugar)

My logic of not feeding my kids too much bread has definitely flown out of the window because according to the packaging the total amount of sugar they will get in a slice of bread is 1.25grams  which is a quarter of a teaspoon of sugar, which already makes so much more sense.

My kids also don’t get anything but 100% fruit juice which I water down half/half so in my mind it’s definitely the healthier option and it is but we just need to keep an eye on how much sugar they are getting from the juice. The juice we drink at home a mere 250ml of juice contains 31.3 grams of sugar. Granted this is not added processed sugar but when they say there should be no more than 4 tsp of sugar in your child’s diet they are talking about total sugar. So one bottle of juice = 7.8g tsp of sugar.

A few other examples of things I feed my kids :

1 x Safari Fruit stick                                                                         – 16.3g of sugar

1 x Woolworths 80g Bouncy berry burst yoghurt              – 7.8g of sugar

1 x 30g serving of Cheese                                                               – 1.1g of sugar

So on that cheerful note, if you are looking for a Sugar free alternative for your kiddies, go and visit Caring Candies ( and get some of their Allergen free chocolate and sweets!!!

Happy Sugar free shopping !!!

Chat soon


About Bonnie

I run my own Event Management business and am busy organising a Celebrity Golf day in aid of Red Cross Children's Hospital !!!!

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