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Socker till barn – fakta och råd av barnläkare

Barn och mamma äter glass med socker tillsammans

Fakta och råd om socker till barn. Direkt av barnläkare. Föräldrar vill förstås att deras barn ska äta nyttigt, och sockret är utsett till en av de största hälsobovarna i vår tid. Förskolor är sockerfria och glassen förbjuden från skolorna. Men hur farligt är socker egentligen för barn?

What do children need to eat?

Vi har skrivit flera inlägg om vad barn behöver äta och hur man kan ge dem det på bästa sätt.  Sammanfattningsvis behöver barn frukost, mellanmål, lunch, mellanmål, middag och eventuellt ett mellanmål till varje dag. Barnen behöver ungefär en tredjedel frukt/grönsaker, en tredjedel kolhydrater och en tredjedel protein samt en liten mängd nyttigt fett.

Sugar is the body's fuel

All cells in the body need sugar as fuel. Some may also use fat, or ketone bodies, or make sugars from protein. Carbohydrates consist of sugar molecules in different long chains. The shorter the chain, the less the body has to work to use the sugar as fuel. And the faster the fuel runs out.

For a healthy, normal weight child it is not necessary to eat carbohydrates in the form of sugar. It is generally better to choose longer types of carbohydrates, such as in flour, vegetables, rice, grains and bread. It is best to choose long carbohydrates that are carefully packed in grains, such as whole wheat bread, wheat, food grains, oatmeal, whole grain rice. Then both the body gets to work to get out the carbohydrates, they last a long time, and in addition, the grains' membranes contain minerals and vitamins.

Sugar is good

There are certainly some of you who have stopped eating sugar and do not think it is good anymore. Congratulations in that case! But for most of us, and definitely for most of our children, sugar is good. Sugar is not the only thing that is good, but almost everyone thinks that sugar is good.

Sugar causes holes in the teeth

It is very well coated that the more sugar a person eats, and above all the more often you eat sugar, the more holes in your teeth you get. The origin of that knowledge was one of the shame spots of research history, the Vipeholmsstudien. In the Vipeholms study, Swedish researchers allowed people with developmental disabilities living in a home (Vipeholm) to receive different amounts of tough sugary caramel. Some had to brush their teeth with floss toothpaste, some didn't. Seriously unethical, since not the people the research was conducted on, or their families, were given the opportunity to refuse to have holes in their teeth. But after all these studies, we have responded in white to the fact that sugar gives teeth.

Where is sugar?

Sugar is not only found in packages labeled powdered sugar (so easy it would have been then). Sugar is found in fruit, in dried fruit like raisins there is a lot of sugar. Much sugar is also found in juice, soda, juice, cakes, buns, sweets, ice cream. There are breakfast cereals that are as sugary as sweets, and chocolate spreads, jams and marmalades also contain a lot of sugar.

There are two ways to find out if a product in the store contains a lot of sugar. Reading the table of contents is more difficult. It says "carbohydrates, including sugars" per 100 grams. The easy way is to look for the green keyhole. There are no products with too much sugar.

Sugar from fruit

Fruit contains a lot of sugar, but also many other substances that are very good for the body. Fruit is a good snack or dessert for normally important children. A normal-weight child also eats a lot of fruit and can continue with the same amount no matter how much it is.

En del överviktiga barn äter väldigt mycket frukt. Är ditt barn överviktigt kan det vara en bra regel att begränsa fruktintaget till en frukt om dagen.

Drinks with a lot of sugar

Juices, juices and soft drinks are drinks with a lot of sugar. Juice and soda contains nothing that is good for the body. If your child likes it, I suggest that the child (and yourself) drink a glass of juice or soda for the weekend. Juice also contains substances that are good for the body (just like fruit), but are really bad for the teeth.

Overweight children should only drink juice at most a glass once a weekend. Normal-weight children can drink more, but then always in connection with a meal, and no more than a glass a day, to clean their teeth. Underweight children may like to drink juice to increase energy intake.

Sugar from cookies and sweets

Kakor och godis ger mycket energi, men väldigt lite ämnen som är bra för kroppen. Sockret i kakorna och godiset ger risk för hål i tänderna. Därför bör både barn och vuxna äta kakor och godis i begränsad mängd. Lördagsgodis är bra!

Some parents eat sweets or cakes themselves, but deny the children the same thing. As long as the babies are so small that they do not want to taste their parents' food, I think it is perfectly ok, but when the children want to taste I do not think it is nice to refuse. Limit your own intake to a level that you think is ok for the kids. And invite the kids when you eat yourself. It's what you eat every day that matters, not what you rarely eat.

Sugar for sick children

Sick children usually lose their appetite. They have to absorb fluid every day, and it is good if they get energy to avoid breaking down fat and muscle in their own body. For many children it is easier to drink sweetened beverages. The sugar then also provides energy to the body, which the body needs. Therefore, I think that belly sick or feverish children who have completely lost their appetite should be given a drink or ice cream with sugar in. If your child likes to eat fruits or smoothies during the period of illness, it is not worse, rather better. But if you as a parent are unable to cut delicious fruit salads and mix healthy yet good smoothies for your sick child then you are in good company. The juice and ice cream are good enough!

Sugar and underweight children

Om BVC eller skolhälsovården konstaterat att ditt barn är underviktigt behöver barnet få i sig mer energi. Socker innehåller mycket energi och de allra flesta tycker att det är gott. Många barn som är underviktiga är petiga i maten. Om ditt underviktiga barn gillar sockrade produkter, så låt barnet få det. Inte bara förstås, barnet behöver protein och fett (mycket fett, för det ger också energi!) och långa kolhydrater också, och gärna grönsaker och frukt. Men till ett underviktigt barn som petar i maten kan socker vara en stor hjälp.


After all, there are lots of products that are not sweetened with sugar, but with sweeteners, in our stores. The sweeteners that are approved in Swedish food production are, as far as we know, harmless to eat. They do not contain energy that sugar does, but also nothing the body needs.

If you want to reduce the sugar content of your child's food but the child offers a lot of resistance, maybe sweetened products may be in place. Especially if your child is overweight and really needs to reduce their energy intake. If, on the other hand, you can reduce your child's sugar consumption without major hassles or conflicts, I think it is better for the family to get used to unsweetened products.

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Socker till barn – fakta och råd av barnläkare

22 thoughts on “<trp-post-container data-trp-post-id="1426">Socker till barn – fakta och råd av barnläkare</trp-post-container>”

  1. "Juice and soft drinks contain nothing good for the body," the text says. It may be worth noting that both of these products contain fluid, and that fluid is good for the body. A little hip and tense: 90 percent of what juice contains (water) is great for all people. 10% of the content (sugar) is bad for most people in the rich parts of the world, but at the same time quite good for some groups. For example, I have a thin one-year-old who hates drinking water, but loves juice. So when it is 30 degrees hot today, juice is excellent even though it is not weekend, and it is much cheaper than baby juices "without added sugar" and other things the market offers.

  2. I wonder how you look at ready-made smoothies that are available from 6 months. How should I think that they contain a lot of sugar. Does the fruit rule apply to them as well or just fresh fruit?

    1. Think of smoothie as juice, provided it does not contain extra added sugar, in which case it will be as a mixture between juice and juice and often milk.

      We don't buy ready-made smoothies, but it's probably mostly because I'm skinny. A banana is so much cheaper when it is not mashed and packed in plastic.

  3. I have grandchildren to parents who are divorced .. Where one parent is a fanatical exercise addict or cohabitant with an undernourished also exercise addict. There are chickpeas, salmon, salad and soup at the dinner table. There, it screams right out if the kids eat a cake and drink. Juice. The second parent is a parent who thinks that children should be children, to have coffee with juice and buns sometimes, eat pizza sometime, bake pancakes, eat meatballs and macaroni, spaghetti and meat sauce. There are constant disputes between what is right or wrong. The children are normally important and both practice hockey and football. Can add that the children often go home to one parent o are constantly hungry… My wonder is where the border goes. Should the children be hard-pressed or can they offer the children some juice and buns sometimes when none of them suffer from obesity?

    1. What I get worried about for these kids is not their parents' different eating habits, but their conflicts about food.

      Children do not feel bad that two separated parents have different habits, but they feel bad that parents have open conflicts around them.

      The best thing you can do as a grandmother is to try to downplay the importance of different eating habits. Gather both parents and ask what should apply when you meet the children. Try to be open, and if you know you have been harsh on any of them before, apologize.

      Grandchildren need their grandparents as human beings. If they eat ice cream or fruit at the grandparents, I think the parents can decide.

  4. Hey! What a great article! I have a small 6-month baby and have had a lot of tastings sent home, gruel and porridge and such. When I looked at the table of contents I saw that many products say that they contain a lot more than the 5 grams of sugars per 100 grams that you write about in your text and I wondered a little about this. Tex on Nestle whole grain swelling from 8 months it says it is 22 grams. And at Havregröt with the banana and mango the value is 25. Is it everyday food? And how do you think about mullet and porridge products with added dried fruit?

    Greetings Kajsa

    1. Mango powder and banana powder in porridge powder are a kind of way to add fruit sugar can be said, as well as added dried fruit. But to be able to answer the question more fully I would have to look at the content myself, which I would gladly do someday when the spirit falls on. And compare with other products on the market. So put on the post list, but it may take a while before I get the opportunity to do that review.

    2. Thanks for your reply. I was surprised and wondered what in the sugar-free oatmeal it is that makes it so much sugar…

  5. Hello,
    Somewhat confused at first. You write what children need (1/3 carbohydrates, 1/3 fruit / vegetables & 1/3 protein, and some fat). It feels very tricky to mix nutrients (eg carbohydrates) and foods (eg fruits). Of course, fruit in itself consists largely of carbohydrates, which contradicts what you write, as only 1/3 would consist of carbohydrates. 1/3 carbohydrates plus 1/3 carbohydrate-rich foods, after all, is significantly more than a 1/3. It's like writing: 1/3 should consist of protein and 1/3 of eggs / fish.

    Comments on it?

    Otherwise many interesting thoughts!
    / M

    1. I understand your reasoning. For me, however, it helps to think that way in everyday life. There is also plenty of science behind the fact that fruits and vegetables should play an important part in a diet that is good for the body and that they cannot be replaced with other sources of carbohydrate.

      What do you guys think? Annoying inaccurate or a practical help in everyday life?

  6. I would love to read about childhood diabetes. I am a teacher and I often meet children with diabetes. At what age do you think it is reasonable that the children themselves can take responsibility for medicine and food during the school day? How much should we push for good food at lunch? And how dangerous is it if the child fixes and compensates with insulin?

  7. Nice with something balanced! sometimes I think, who is also a pediatrician and mother of 4 gold cucumbers, that as a parent you should put your energy into the right things. Taking a conflict about a small Ballerina or some small club seems to make it very difficult for them. At least if you don't have overweight children!

  8. I do not give the twins things with added sugar (except fruit puree when we are away as it is difficult to get hold of without added sugar and those where the small jars are practical to carry). Have the same problems that surely many others have, that the older generation almost dies of the desire to fill them with cookies and candies ... So far I have managed to avoid it. If you have never tasted cream, cakes, candies and more, there is also nothing you miss, so why create a "need" or "suck" unnecessarily. They will eat enough of this over the years anyway.
    What I call natural sugar (ie what is in fruit for example) gets them so clear.

    How early do you think you can start with juice? Remember that, for example, orange can be a little "strong" for the stomach. So far the girls only drink water, but since Matilde weighs very little so it might be good for her to get juice instead for one meal a day, if she is not too small for it yet ...

  9. Great post. It's a tricky question. We let the two-year-old get coffee and the like when we eat it, fully natural and at home only once a week. The problem arises in the in-laws where they have to fix sweets twice a day and a sweet dessert. It would not be a big problem if we didn't live well apart so when we go there we are often there for a bunch of days. It should also be trough. How to think and do so as not to hurt anyone (eg overweight mother-in-law)? Tips are gratefully received!

    1. How many days do you spend with your in-laws in total a year? If it is less than five weeks, then it is less than ten percent of all days of the year. Then you can give the children your sugar level ninety percent of the weeks / days of the year which is quite enough. That's what kids eat often that matters!

  10. I have some memory of reading something about larger amounts of aspartame linked to some form of tumor (think it was in adults though), don't remember where I read it and have no idea whether this was scientifically substantiated or not. Do you know anything about this?

    1. You are welcome to do a literature search and send the references. Often, married is a matter of dose. If that is true, what are the larger quantities?

  11. Great article besides a detail. Sweeteners keep the sugars alive and stimulate, among other things, appetite which is particularly bad for overweight. Weaning from the sweet is recommended.

    1. Do not let the best become the enemy of the good! In some families in certain periods, a deviation from the sweet is not possible. If there are strong reasons to reduce energy intake, I think sweeteners can have a place

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