As a mum of a young toddler there is always something to worry about – a constant stream of concern. Are they playing outside enough, are they learning appropriate social skills, are they sleeping properly? Another common concern for a lot of mums is about their child’s diet.
They’re a tricky kind, toddlers. Their newly found sense of adventure and independence can mean that mum and dad are left wondering whether their bodies are being fuelled by the right things; making sure they’re eating enough veggies and consuming enough calcium. Are they having too much sugar? Well, when it comes to sugar, not all sugars are the same, and it’s important to understand exactly what they are and why we should know the differences.
Sugar and the body.
Better Health Channel Victoria explains that sugar is a form of carbohydrate which the body breaks down and converts to glucose. Glucose is then used by the body as a form of energy, being transported through the blood to all the cells of the body. Our bodies need sugar, but too much of it (and the wrong kinds) may have a negative impact to our health, and the health of our toddlers.
Different kinds? Isn’t sugar, sugar?
Short answer, no. Not all sugars are the same.
Generally speaking, there are naturally occurring sugars and added sugars in our foods - and it’s the difference between the two which is what matters when talking about toddlers.
What is naturally occurring sugar v added sugar?
Naturally occurring sugars are sugars which funnily enough, occur naturally within our food. I’m talking about things like fruit, which contains fructose, and items like milk which have naturally occurring lactose. These foods also include other nutritional benefits.
Added sugars are those which don’t occur naturally in the food but are instead added during the processing or preparation of the food. This is done to make food more appealing, and it can also act as a preservative.
SA Health explains that ‘sugar’ can come in many forms depending on where it has come from. Sucrose, glucose, corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, raw sugar, cane sugar, malt extract and molasses are all forms of added sugar that you might see on a food label.
According to Health Direct, the body does require some form of sugar for energy, and it’s important that parents include a wide variety of nutritious foods such as fruit, vegetables, dairy and wholegrains in their children’s diet to fuel those busy little bodies.
It’s the added sugars that we should be wary of. For parents, that means educating ourselves on food labelling and knowing that sugars may have different names. By knowing how to identify added sugars in our foods we are then better equipped to make smarter choices when it comes to what we feed our kids.
So what does this mean for us as parents?
Recent media coverage would have us believe that all sugars are bad, when in fact, this information is incorrect. Sugar is an important source of fuel for the body and is very much needed, in the right forms. Sugar is an important source of fuel for the body and is very much needed, Better Health Channel Victoria states that a small amount of sugar in the diet is acceptable but too much sugar can lead to adverse health complications.
S-26 GOLD® TODDLER is a trusted name in toddler nutrition and can be a good choice for parents of toddlers. This nutritious supplementary milk drink does not contain added sucrose, and contains age-appropriate vitamins and minerals to help assist toddlers growth and development. This can assist when they are not getting the energy and nutrients they need from their normal diet.
How do you ensure your kids get the right nutrition? Tell us in the comments section below.
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner S-26 Gold Toddler.
S-26 Gold Toddler is a nutritious milk drink for toddlers aged 1 year and over containing age appropriate vitamins and minerals to help support growth and development. These assist when dietary intakes of energy and nutrients may be inadequate. S-26 GOLD TODDLER does not contain sucrose or any artificial colours or preservatives.