If you want to raise healthy kids, then you have to teach them healthy habits from the start. A recent study from Elsivier claims that just over 60% of infants and an estimated 98% of toddlers are consuming added sugar every day. Every. Single. Day. The majority of the added sugar comes from things with healthy-ish claims: fruit juice, cereal, and yogurt.
Why does this matter? Unhealthy eating habits can start young. Infants as young as 6 months old are consuming added sugar, and they aren't even in control of what they eat. It's not a secret that consuming added sugar can lead to troubling health conditions later on. If you are feeding your child added sugar, you are potentially setting them up for an unhealthy life.
I'm not condemning the occasional sweet treat. It's okay to celebrate sometimes. However, I truly feel like kids overdo it. Processed sweet treats should be kept to a minimum or eliminated altogether. I get it though. I'm a teacher, and I know that kids love to bring in treats to share with their classmates on birthdays and other special occasions. However, the amount of food dyes and rancid vegetable oils in these treats is just as concerning as the amount of sugar in them.
What really needs to change is the education around so-called healthier options. GoGurt, Frosted Flakes and Sunny Delight are not great choices. But parents don't really understand this. Sunny D is still slightly better than orange soda. Frosted Flakes claim to be fortified with essential vitamins and minerals (insert *eye roll* here). GoGurt is a way for parents to get their kids to consume calcium and whatever small amount of probiotics the sugary yogurt contains. Some parents use these yogurt tubes as a replacement for other unhealthy dessert options. But does your kid need dessert at all? If you have to bribe your kid with sweets post-meal just to get them to eat their broccoli, then your kid may have already developed poor eating habits. Fortunately, it's never too late to reverse these habits. It's just takes some patience and cooperation on both you and your child's part.