Food Issues

Food Issues

S3:E1: What Are Added Sugars?

August 17, 2021

Whether it’s homemade chocolate chip cookies or a trip to your favorite ice cream spot, we all love to give our kids a sweet treat. Yet research shows ‘treats’ have become an everyday thing, and most kids, including babies and toddlers, are getting way too much sugar in their diets. While natural sugars like those found in fruit are nutritious because they also have vitamins, minerals, and fiber, it’s the added sugars kids are consuming that are linked to childhood obesity, chronic diseases, and risk factors for heart disease, among others. Filling up on foods with added sugars also displaces the nutritious foods kids need and fosters preferences for sweetened foods and drinks.
In this episode, I sat down with Melissa Halas, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, and nationally recognized plant-based and pediatric nutrition expert. Halas is also the founder of SuperKidsNutrition, the first nutrition mega-site for kids’ and family nutrition.
We talk about what added sugars are, the sneaky places they show up, and how to spot them on food labels. We also answer the common question, does sugar make kids hyper? and explore easy, delicious ways to offer something sweet without going overboard.
5:30 We all know sugar isn’t good for us, but why do we need to limit it in our kids’ diets?
13:33 Can too much sugar affect kids’ food preferences and eating habits throughout their lives?
18:08 Can sugar make your kids hyper?
21:50 What are added sugars?
23:23 What about natural sugars like honey and agave—are they really natural or can they be considered added sugars too? 
25:29 Can our tastebuds tell the difference between the two?
26:24 What are the recommendations for added sugars in our kids’ diets?
33:35  Where are added sugars showing up?  
38:43 What are easy, practical ways we can limit added sugars?
43:25 What are tips for parents to allow their kids to enjoy some treats without going overboard? 

Melissa talks about this 2018 study which found that  99% of toddlers surveyed consumed an average of 7 teaspoons on any given day—more than what’s in a Snicker’s bar.  
Melissa talks about the American Heart Association’s recommended daily limit for added sugars.
Melissa mentions MyMenu USA & The Supercrew
Learn more about Melissa Halas on 
Purchase the Super Crew books.
Follow Melissa Halas on Instagram and Facebook. 


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