Granulated sugar improves mood, gives energy and strength, charges with positive energy and improves brain activity. But sugary foods in the diet should be in moderation, since excessive consumption leads to various complications.
Medical specialists do not recommend giving sugar to children under the age of three, and after 3 years it is allowed to use only a limited amount - not more than a teaspoon per day.
How to replace sugar for a child? This question interests many parents whose children due to certain diseases - diabetes, allergies, cannot consume sugar. Now there are many substitutes, but their safety is questionable and the harm may exceed the apparent benefits.
Let's consider why harmful sweets for babies, and which sweeteners for children can be used?
Harm of Sugar
A growing body needs carbohydrates, it is extremely necessary for glucose to help develop normally, but not sugar. This is due to the fact that the potential benefits of sugar are extremely low, but the probability of negative consequences is high.
Sugar adversely affects the state of the gastrointestinal tract, contributes to the imbalance of the normal microflora. Beneficial microbes die, resulting in an increased activity of conditionally pathogenic microflora, which provokes the development of dysbacteriosis, increased gas formation, and liquid stool.
Sweets destructively affect the unformed central nervous system, which leads to a change in the behavior of the baby. He becomes too excitable, irritable, often hysterics, and sometimes aggression. Over time, the baby will not ask for, but demand sweets, refusing normal food because of the “disturbed” perception of food.
The harm of sugar in childhood:
- Excess sugar in the diet leads to excess weight, it can provoke diabetes, diathesis and even "allergies";
- Early loss of teeth, which leads to the emergence of abnormal bite in the future;
- Reducing the barrier functions of the body, weakening the immune system;
- Metabolic and metabolic processes in the body are impaired, calcium is washed out, which is essential for a growing baby.
If you give the child sweets, then there is a rapid addiction, which can transform into psychological and physiological dependence.
Pediatricians believe that giving sugar to a child in the first year of life is a big mistake for all parents. As a rule, the reason for this is one - children refuse to eat. Over time, sweet food becomes the norm in the diet, which does not allow the child to adapt to the natural taste of products - a sweet tooth is revealed, which is hard to get rid of in adulthood.
If the child is diabetic, then sugar should be excluded from the diet for health reasons. But completely without sweet is not an option, therefore many try to change it for sweeteners.
In search of sugar substitutes and parents of allergies. Medical practice rejects the likelihood of an allergic reaction directly. But sugar is not only powder in a sugar bowl, but also a substance found in many foods.
When the sweet component enters the body with some product, the allergic reaction is manifested in a protein or other substance, and sugar acts as a catalyst, which contributes to its strengthening. It also provokes fermentation and rotting processes in the intestines, leading to various symptoms.
Numerous studies have confirmed that if a one-year-old child is allergic to anything and is given sugar, the latter component will increase the clinical manifestations of an allergic reaction.
The etiology of allergy to sweetness in childhood is based on individual factors and their combinations:
- Genetic predisposition.
- A woman during pregnancy was overly fond of cakes, pies and sweets.
- Systematic feeding your baby with sweet cereals and other dishes.
- Bad environmental situation.
- Parasitic diseases, intestinal dysbiosis.
- Hormonal imbalance on the background of puberty.
If sugar cannot be completely excluded, it should be replaced with sweetener, which is not able to act as a catalyst for allergies.
Natural sugar substitutes
As an alternative to regular granulated sugar, natural sweeteners can be used, but they are high in calories. They are used in the food industry for the manufacture of pastries, sweets, juices, jams.
Glucose is a fast carbohydrate. Its many in raspberries, strawberries, bananas, grapes and grape seeds. The tool comes in the form of a solution and a pill form, can be purchased at the pharmacy. Not recommended for feeding babies.
Brown sugar is an unrefined product that has a specific taste and smell. It is made from sugar cane.
Since the cleaning of the product at work is minimal, certain mineral components are preserved in it:
The cane sugar contains vitamins of group B. The presence of vitamins and minerals is the only advantage of the powder. Argued that this option does not contribute to weight gain, but it is not. Its caloric content is more than 350 kilocalories per 100 g. The composition of cane sugar does not guarantee the complete absence of harmful chemical components, often its consumption provokes allergic reactions in children.
Fructose is extracted from berries and fruits, it has several advantages over white sugar:
- Does not lead to an increase in blood sugar.
- To assimilate the product, insulin is not needed, respectively, there is no load on the pancreas.
- Fructose tends to be broken down into glucose, which replenishes the energy supply in the body and the glycogen that accumulates in the liver - if carbohydrate deficiency is detected, it compensates for their deficiency.
- It is characterized by a sweeter and more pronounced taste.
- Reduces the risk of dental problems by 25%.
Fructose is a good alternative to regular sugar, but with moderate and irregular use for children.
With the systematic sweetening of the child’s food, the child is addicted to sweets.
On the shelves you can find a lot of artificial sweeteners. These are Sladis, Fit Parade, Erythritol, Sucralose, Saccharin, etc. Their popularity is gaining momentum every day, which is due to the sweet taste in the absence of calorie content.
All these funds are allowed to consume children, if they have a history of diabetes. For feeding a child who has no health problems, the use is strictly prohibited. On the packaging of almost every drug written contraindication - children's age.
In some situations there is no alternative - natural substitutes are not suitable for various reasons, therefore a synthetic agent is required to satisfy the need for sweet foods.
Only a pediatrician can recommend a particular sweetener, taking into account the characteristics of a particular child. You can only use from time to time, and the dosage for the baby is three times less than for an adult.
What to replace sugar for children?
The hardest thing to protect the child from sweets, if he attends kindergarten. At this point, grandmothers / grandfathers are "attacked" with candy and chocolates. And in kindergarten is difficult to resist the candy that offers the other child.
The safest replacement for the child will be Oriental sweets. These include kozinaki, halva, Turkish delight. It is allowed to give children oatmeal and sweet cookies, and it is better to cook it yourself at home, replacing sugar with dried fruits.
In the children's menu, you can include such dried fruits: figs, raisins, prunes, dried apricots. If the history of the baby is allergic, then this recommendation is not appropriate. In the diagnosis of diabetes, the body’s response to the consumption of one or another dried fruit must be traced.
What else can replace sugar for a child? It is allowed to give the following:
- Homemade pastries with the addition of fruits and berries. If you wrap the finished product in a bright wrapper, it will look even better than a purchased candy;
- Self-made fruit jelly without sugar. It has a bright color and natural taste, does not harm the body. In such jelly add whole berries, nuts - cedar, almonds, etc .;
- You can make homemade marmalade or candy with fresh apples - a wonderful and healthy substitute for purchased sweets and chocolates;
- Cottage cheese casserole with a small amount of cane sugar.
In any case, it is impossible to completely save the baby from the consumption of granulated sugar, since all food products contain one or another amount of this component. It can be found in curds, yogurt, carbonated drinks.
It is not recommended to give artificial sugar substitutes to children, their effects on the body have not been studied, so they can lead to various consequences. It is also worth considering that synthetic sweeteners are used to make various products. Therefore, you need to carefully read the composition on the package before giving the child.
About the dangers of sugar described in the video in this article.