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.