Artificial Sweeteners: Are They Safe For Children?
It is true that children like sweet things. You may be wondering if artificial sweeteners are a good alternative for your children. According to some nutrition experts, children are consuming artificial sweeteners at a rate that is alarming. Artificial sweeteners include saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame, among others.
Fake or non-nutritive sweeteners can be found in a wide range of highly processed and pre-packaged foods. Low-calorie drinks, crackers, and cookies, as well as other foods labelled as low-calorie, are some examples
It should be known that there is a limited amount that a child can safely consume based on their body weight. That limit usually is many times more than the average child will ever eat. For example, a 40-pound child would need to eat 24 packets of aspartame or drink four 12-ounce cans of diet soda every day to reach this level.
What are the negative health effects of sweeteners on children?
Recent research suggests possible links between non-nutritive sweeteners and changes in appetite and taste preferences in children. This, in turn, could affect weight and health. Other research is looking into whether these sweeteners cause changes in the gut microbiome―which is made up of “friendly” bacteria–and may affect blood sugar levels and lead to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
Parents are advised to make sure they’re offering a wide variety of fruits for kids to satisfy their sweet cravings. For instance, sweeten plain yogurt with berries and add chopped fruit to hot or cold cereal. Make a homemade trail mix with a combination of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds.
Here are some fruity recipes to try:
Grilled Fruit Kebabs
Breakfast Bulgur with Fruit and Nuts
Tropical Fruit Yogurt Smoothie
Apple Pie Fruit Leather
Whole-Grain Fruit and Nut Dessert Bars
Cranberry-Almond Breakfast Cereal
Baked Bananas in an Orange-Cinnamon Sauce
Rainbow Yogurt Trifle Cups
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