Most children love sweets. Cakes, chocolates, caramels, muffins, ice creams and jelly beans are on his favorite food list. And everything seems to indicate that it is not a simple preference related to sweet taste. But that there is a stronger biological reason.
Why do children love sweets?
Researchers from the University of Washington and the Monell Center wondered why in all cultures, children prefer much sweeter foods than adults. It is a taste that tends to diminish in adolescence and fade considerably at maturity. To find an answer, they analyzed 143 children between the ages of 11 and 15.
The problem is not sugar, but its excessive consumption
Sugar is an immediate energy source that the child’s body needs and uses very well. Breast milk contains more than 200 complex sugars called oligosaccharides, which act as prebiotics by feeding the “good bacteria” in the baby’s intestine.
The problem begins when children consume too much sugar since the body does not use it for energy, but that excess is stored as fat. Then the sugar ends up being harmful and can cause obesity and diabetes, in addition to affecting oral health.
In the long term, excessive consumption of sugar in childhood can even shorten life expectancy since its consequences accompany us during the adult stage, increasing the risk of developing different chronic diseases.
The number of adipocytes we will have is determined during the first years of life. So, if we get too fat, we could develop adipocyte hyperplasia. It means that we will have more cells with the capacity to store fat. We will be more prone to being overweight and obese.
The key lies in the measure
The American Heart Association has stated that “consuming small amounts of sugar as part of a healthy diet is safe. ” However, to avoid harm to health, parents should ensure that children consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. It would be the equivalent of 6 teaspoons and recommend avoiding added sugar in children under the age of two.
This means that it is important for parents to start looking at the amount of added sugar that they add to their children’s diet since it is not only about the lumps that are added to milk, but the hidden sugar found in different foods. The World Health Organization recommends that as a general rule, the consumption of free sugars represents less than 5% of the total caloric intake.
So parents need to find delicious but low-sugar options, like Mininolas, a line of sugar-free treats with 40% fewer calories. They are allergen-free sweets (they do not contain eggs, gluten, milk, nuts or lactose) and there are also veggie-friendly jelly beans.
With this brand, the fun continues even though the jelly beans have been finished. Inside the children’s packages, children will find a sticker. They can scan using the free MONSTRUFLIPA application and they will see the monsters in augmented reality moving in a fun way.
Parents need to remember that completely banning treats or locking them up can have the opposite effect: feeding an unhealthy desire for sugar in children. Instead, children need to learn to self-regulate and understand that an occasional treat can be part of a balanced diet, provided it is consumed in small amounts and moderation.