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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Is Your Kid's Cereal Popular? (part 3)

Sugar Baby

According to this study, one serving of cereal equated to 11 percent of daily limit of added sugar for active boys, aged 14 to 18 years old, and astounding 92 percent of the daily intake for sedentary girls aged 9 to 13. The problem with feeding your child foods high in added sugar is twofold -- they contain little in terms of vitamins and minerals, and the calories they contain are not made up of important micronutrients needed for health and growth.

Reducing sugar intake should be on the top of your list regardless of whether your child is currently overweight or not, because it's been proven over and over that sugar increases insulin levels, which can lead to:

  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Premature aging, and more
In fact, sugar is bad for your health in so many ways. Having said that, completely eliminating sugar from your child's diet is probably not reasonable, or even necessary. While it clearly will decrease your child's health, sugar in moderation is likely not going to cause any significant damage.

What is moderation?

Well, something on the order of five pounds a year. This is considerably less than the average amount Americans consume, which is closer to 175 pounds per year. (That's a lot) Taking a close look at the sugar content of your child's cereal, which is consumed on daily basis, is therefore necessary. Just how much sugar are you feeding your child each day?

On 2005 study that analyzed the daily intake of 5,000 toddlers ranging in age from 2 to 5, found that, on average, 2 to 3 year olds consumed around 14 teaspoons of added sugar a day. This number jumped to 17 teaspoons daily among 4 to 5 year olds.

However,you should take things one step further than simply switching for a brand with lower sugar content. Why?

Because of the grain.


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Life of Ours Author

Mrs. Cheers, Keystone USA

"I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations. I have a continuing program of research (What mother doesn't?) in the laboratory and in the field (normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my Masters, (the whole darned family) and already have five credits (four sons & one daughter, 1 joined the working community, 4 are being educated @ home ). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities (any mother care to disagree?), and I often work 14 hours a day (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers, and the rewards are more of a satisfaction than just money."

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