Sugar Consumption With Kids | Healthathon



3. How Much Sugar Is Too Much Sugar?


Amy Roskelley:   Super Healthy Kids

There is never a need for added sugar. Natural sugars from fruit are sweet enough for kids whose taste buds have not become addicted to intensely sweet foods. Not saying we don’t eat sugar, because we definitely like to make treats, but we don’t need it!

Mandi Turner:   Cardon Children’s Medical Center

Try not to add additional sugar onto foods since they usually contain sugar in them already.

Dana Stannard:  Cocoa Kids

I believe that every food is ok in moderation. I think it’s not just what you have at one serving but also how much has been consumed throughout the day. But for every treat or unhealthy snack they eat, they must have one healthy snack first.


Hallie: The Princess And the Pump

That’s tricky! Because to a type 1 diabetic, sugar is medicine. I carry juice boxes, Smarties, and Starburst with me everywhere I go. They are stashed in my glove box. They are hiding in linen closets. They are in purses and pockets… Because when her blood sugar is too low, she needs that sugar – the fast acting carbohydrate – to bring her blood sugar up to a healthy level. When her blood sugar is dropping, she needs that sugar FAST. We don’t have time to spare. Because if blood sugar drops too low, this can result in losing consciousness, coma, or even death. Sugar is medicine. Sugar saves lives.


However, we do have to find that balance between enough sugar to bring her blood sugar up but not so much that it then goes up too high! It’s a balancing act! Now, just because she has type 1 diabetes that does not mean that she can’t eat sugar. She can. And she does. In moderation.


We try to make it very clear to Avery that she can eat ANYTHING she wants. She can eat candy. She can eat cake. In moderation. She CAN eat that stuff – every now and then. We do not make any food “off limits”. We feel that this will lead to problems down the road. Sneaking food can be very dangerous for a diabetic! If she really wants something, she can have it. If everyone else is eating birthday cake, she can too.


Do I try to steer clear of certain things? Yes. I really don’t want her eating pixie sticks or candy like that. I really don’t want her eating sugar cereal or pop tarts or chips or other junk food. I try to offer other things in it’s place. For instance, she really likes Cheetos. We have found that the Natural Cheetos are quite good and fairly low in carbs. This is good trade off. However – if she really wants something, a little is fine.


We try to make certain that she understands the concept of moderation. And that eating healthy is important for EVERYONE. That it’s not because she has diabetes. Eating healthy makes you healthy and that’s important for all of us.




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  1. My children have severe food allergies so I have a hard time not policing what they eat. Although I do my best to provide the healthiest, lowest-sugar meals possible, I also feel it is important to allow them control over moderating their intake. If I remove ALL sugar and “snack” food, they only want it MORE (which is the opposite of what I’m trying to teach). Instead, they are allowed all “safe” foods in moderation and I notice they are becoming very good at listening to and respecting their body’s signals of fullness and satiety… and they will choose fruit or cheese over a sugary snack when given the choice!
    I have unresolved issues with blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and I am only now learning how and when to eat to keep myself in balance. If I can teach my kids NOW, they are much better off!

  2. Thanks for your story JanaC2, I think one of the major problems is all the marketing these big companies do with these sugary snacks. Your kids see them on TV, in magazines etc and they start wanting to have them.