It is already time to the new school year… and with it, the preparation of daily snacks or “goûters” for the kids… but how to avoid too much sugar in kids’ snacks?
Excessive sugars intake is a public health issue and the World Health Organization recommends limiting the consumption of added or free sugars to a maximum of 10% of the daily calories in both children and adults.
A recent review analyzed the data from several European countries on sugar consumption and sources of sugar intakes in children’s diet. It reveals that added sugars contribute 11 to 17% of children’s total energy intake.
The major contributors to children’s consumption of added sugars are sweet products with confectionery, chocolates, cakes, biscuits, sugar, jam and sweetened beverages, while dairy products, fruits and vegetables contribute little.
More recently, a report from the French health agency ANSES (Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail) warned against excessive sugars intake in children aged 4 to 17. It focused on the two main sources of total and free sugars in children’s diet : “sweetened beverages” and “pastries/cookies” mainly given as snacks or “goûter” after school. The agency recommends to swap those products by more nutrient-dense products such as plain dairies, fresh fruits or whole grains.
Swapping a sweet snack for a plain yogurt or a fruit is a great way to give kids a healthy and nutrient-dense snack while reducing their daily total sugars intake.
ANSES, 2019, Repères alimentaires pour les populations spécifiques : Enfants, femmes enceintes & allaitantes, personnes âgées, Dossier de presse.
Azaïs-Braesco V et al., A review of total & added sugar intakes and dietary sources in Europe, Nutr J 2017 Jan; 16(1):6.