The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Watch the Sugar, Sugar!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Watch the Sugar, Sugar!

You can find sugar in practically every food your child eats except meats.  That's why eating foods with added sugar can overload a young system.  Here are the naturally occurring sugars:
  • Sucrose, which is common table or white sugar, is found naturally in sugar cane, sugar beets and, in smaller amounts, in some fruits.
  • Fructose, the sweetest sugar, which combines with glucose to form sucrose. This is found in fruits.
  • Glucose, which is slightly less sweet than sucrose.This is found in starches.
  • Lactose, or milk sugar. 
So, you can see that if a child has a bowl of sweetened cereal with milk, strawberries, and a glass of orange juice for breakfast, he is overloaded on all kinds of sugar.  Eliminate added sugar from the cereal and you have decreased the amount of sugar somewhat, but not by much.  What can you feed your child instead?  Add a protein - peanut butter, eggs, or cheese.

Why is so much sugar bad for your child in the morning?  Because simple carbohydrates like refined sugars give your child a shot of energy, but then his body slows down by mid-morning.  In addition to adding protein, give your child complex carbohydrates, which will keep him going all morning long, such as whole wheat toast, bran cereal, and oatmeal.

Contrary to popular belief, too much sugar does not cause hyperactivity.  However, it does lead to obesity and the potential for diabetes.  If you want the best food for your child, cut out as much simple sugars as possible and add more complex carbohydrates.   Having a good breakfast has also been proven to prevent lead poisoning!

This would be a good breakfast for your child:
Strawberry smoothie made with frozen yogurt
Hard boiled egg
Whole wheat toast with peanut butter 


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