As parents of two boys, we think we know all about their growing up milk. After all, Josiah is 7 and Jordan is 4, we have at least 7 years’ experience about what kind of milk they need. However, recently, I began to realise one thing, I began to wonder about the sugar in their diet. Sure, as adults we are pretty careful about limiting our own sugar intake. I don’t even add sugar to my morning coffee at work and I certainly don’t use sugar in my cooking. How about the kids? Sure, I don’t even give them sweets or soda, but sugar can be found hidden in many other things. The last place I thought added sugar can be hidden is in their daily milk, but guess what, not all growing up milk has no added sugar in them like Anmum Essential’s. So, I’m here to tell all parents out there to be picky and choosy and to learn how to identify if the milk you opt for indeed has no added sugar with other names in them, and I’m not talking about naturally occuring sugars such as those found in milk and fruits.
First of all, what are these so called added sugars? They are basically sugars and syrups that are added to the food when the food is being processed. (source)
We know that commonly, added sugars are found in those bottled sweet drinks like soda and even sports and energy drinks. Even cereal that seems healthy contains lots of added sugar. When I was dieting, my dietitian also asked me not to take chilli sauce as it contains high sugar too. Fruits are great, but not when they are canned and dried! So many things already contain sugar in our diet, we really should be careful not to have additional sugar intake especially in milk!
Can we be curious as kids like Adam once again whenever we go shopping for food with packaging, particular our kids’ milk? Watch this cute video of this curious kid telling us how we all should know what’s in our milk. Adam is quite a pro actor by the way, I so love his expressions! Adam is so smart, he knows that No Sucrose means there will still be added sugar in his milk. Take his advise and carefully check the labels!
2 Easy Steps To Detect Added Sugar In Your Food
1, Read The Labels
Identifying added sugar is pretty easy, just check the ingredients section on the product label.
Even Josiah knows how to read the label now, it’s good to start them young in identifying sugar in their food.
2) Identify the names
Looking at the ingredients might be quite a fuss for some but really, we only need to know the names of sugar in order to strike them out. Some of the names could be Brown Sugar, white sugar, dextrose, sucrose, fructose, corn syrup solids, glucose syrup solids maltose, maltodextrin, or even golden syrup. However, to be really safe, make sure the packaging also says clearly, NO SUGAR ADDED.
Check out the packaging of my kids’ growing up milk, it shows TIADA GULA TAMBAHAN which is BM for NO ADDED SUGAR.
3) Taste It
Some things don’t come with packaging, how will you know? Well, just trust your taste buds. Personally, I find that once I eliminate taking a lot of sugar, I become very sensitive to sugar in food, meaning I can’t take it when the food is too sweet when usually it doesn’t taste that sweet when I was consuming a lot of sugar. Also, one common thing that happens when eating added sugar food is that your mouth will feel a prolonged sweet aftertaste for some time, this usually will make me rush to get my teeth brushed immediately after consuming such junk.
Do you know that Malaysian Dietary Guidelines for Children & Adolescents 2013 recommends that kids aged 2 – 6 years old should have no more than 3 teaspoons of added sugars per day? Yet the average preschooler consumes 7.6 teaspoons of sugar daily!! Is that not horrifying? I am not surprised though as I see kids eating lots of sweets and soda when I pick up my boys from school, I really can’t imagine the amount of sugar going inside them.
Why Should We Lessen Sugar?
Sugar is sweet but the after effects are pretty bitter. Excessive sugar is so bad for our health, it increases the risk of obesity in kids, and makes us have a sweet tooth where we just prefer food that is sweet overall. Furthermore, it also increases the risk of dental cavities!
Be smart, be curious, be like Josiah and choose milk with NO ADDED SUGAR!
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