The Truth About Added Sugars

Added sugars are found in many of the foods we love to eat, especially the foods our children enjoy. As a parent, learn how to stay ahead of the game by avoiding the added sugar pitfalls. Added sugars are sugars or syrups added when the food product is made.  Natural sugars, like the sugars found in milk and fruit are not considered added sugars.

Added sugars add calories without any nutritional benefit.  Children who eat large amounts of added sugar are at risk for obesity and other health problems.  Become a parent in-the-know and look out for added sugars!

Added sugars are found in different products such as:
  • Soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Cookies, cakes, and pies
  • Candy
  • Ice cream
  • Baked goods and donuts
  • Jelly and jam
  • Pre-made fruit like applesauce and fruit cups in heavy syrup
  • Fruit drinks like fruit punch
  • Toppings or sauces like ketchup
Instead, offer your child choices like whole grains, fresh fruit, and veggies as part of meals and snacks.
  • Try whole grain cereal choices and oatmeal at breakfast with fresh fruit.
  • Stick to water and low-fat milk when possible.
  • Limit items like cookies, ice cream, candy, and other sweets.
  • Choose 100% fruit juice with no added sugar.  Limit to one serving a day.
  • Pack fresh fruits or veggies like apple slices or baby carrots in lunches.  If using fruit cups, make sure that they are packing in water or their own juice.
Have fun in the kitchen with a fresh idea your child will love!  Let your child help make a Breakfast Banana Split!

Breakfast Banana Split
Serves 2

1 banana peeled and cut in half
1 cup low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup whole grain cereal (your choice)
1/2 cup berries, washed

1.  In two small bowls, put 1 banana half in each bowl.
2.  Spoon yogurt equally over bananas.
3.  Sprinkle half of the cereal and half of the berries on top of each banana in the bowl.
4.  Enjoy!

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall