Your child’s first meal of the day: a sugar bomb?

Earlier today I was talking to an entrepreneur that invented a wonderful app to motivate children to eat well. i.e. vegetables, fruits, etc.

Then during the conversation the topic of breakfast came up – I had to say I don’t really understand how can parents give cereals to their own children. Probably – hopefully! – because they are unaware of their nutritional information.

It’s easy? yep. It’s convenient? yep. It’s cheap? oh yeah.

But I always say: if you don’t pay now, on healthy, organic, real food, you’ll pay later, just that it will be spent on medicine.

Let’s look at some labels:

Notice the amount of sodium (300 mg) and sugar (4 gr) per serving, which is 28gr or 42gr. We should always look at the 100gr, which all foods should have, in order to be able to compare like for like. So, if we take 100gr of these, we’d have 900 mg sodium and 12 gr sugar.

According to this article from BBC Good Food:

  • Four to six years old – 19g (5 teaspoons)
  • Seven to 10 years – 24g (6 teaspoons)
  • From 11 years – 30g (7 teaspoons)

Is we compare both pieces of information, a 4-6 year old child would have nearly ALL the daily sugar amount in the breakfast alone.

According to this article from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention:

“Most sodium children in the US eat is in the form of salt, as a part of processed foods. A high sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Lowering sodium in children’s diets today can help prevent heart disease tomorrow, especially for those who are overweight. The taste for salt is established through diet at a young age. Parents can help lower sodium by influencing the way foods are produced, sold, prepared, and served.

I’d add that parents can also choose wisely what types of food they buy and give to their children 😉

Now, let’s have a quick look at packaged juices:

Goya Mango Nectar Juice

This example has 37 grams of sugar – in one single juice!! Over the maximum recommended for any child.

Again, if you believe giving juices to your child is healthy…. Think again!


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