According to the American Heart Association, children between 2 and 18 years old should have less than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) of processed sugar daily. Kids should be eating natural sugar from healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and avoid ‘processed sugar’ which is sugar that has been taken out of something natural, stripped of anything other than the sweetness, and put into other foods for taste. If you are interested in learning more about low sugar swaps you can purchase our new book No Sugar in Me here.
Below we list 5 popular foods for kids that are high in processed sugar and provide easy swaps to help reduce sugar from your kid's diet!
Low-fat yogurt cup can have up to 45 grams of sugar
Swap with plain unsweetened Greek yogurt. You can mix Stevia into the Greek yogurt for added sweetness and top with fresh fruit, cinnamon, seeds, and homemade granola. Plain unsweetened Greek yogurt is a great snack because it is high in protein and can take on so many different flavour combinations with healthy toppings!
Leading kids’ nutrition bar has 10 grams of sugar
Swap with No Sugar Company’s Kids Snack Trax. These bars are a brand-new innovation and are available in two delicious flavours - Ivy’s Yummy Chocolate Chip or Summer’s Double Fudge Brownie. The bars have 0 grams of sugar, 5 grams of whole grain oats, 3 grams of protein, are school safe, and taste amazing! Fun fact: the bars were named after our CEO’s daughters who hand-selected their favourite flavours after hundreds of tests!
Pasta sauce has 16 grams of sugar
Swap with an easy homemade tomato sauce that is made of fresh, wholesome ingredients with no additives. A homemade sauce can take as little as 15 minutes to whip up and has no added sugars! Pasta sauce combinations are limitless, but our personal favourite is a simple Italian tomato sauce made of Roma tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, basil, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Yum!
Leading salad dressing has 3 to 5 grams of sugar
Swap with a simple homemade oil and vinegar dressing. It is so important to know what is going into your salad dressings as they are often full of unnecessary additives and sugar. There are so many different variations, try adding Dijon mustard, fresh garlic, a squeeze of lemon, and salt and pepper!
One can of soda has 39 grams of sugar
Swap with homemade iced tea or ice water with fruit. You can fill a pitcher of water and add your favourite tea bags to steep overnight. Sweeten with stevia and add fresh fruits such as sliced lemon, lime, orange, and frozen berries (more flavour than ice!). Do not forget the most refreshing ingredient, fresh mint!