The child and the sugar

Images Nursery Nascht Luxembourg Article Sucre | A child hides his eyes with two donuts

The child acquires his eating habits very early and keeps them throughout his life. Should we then ban sugar, which has been much criticized in recent times, from our children's diets?


First of all, it is important to distinguish between the different types of sugars, which are natural sugars and free sugars.
Natural sugars consist of:

  • Simple carbohydrates (or fast sugars) contained in refined white sugar, milk and certain dairy products and in fruits.
  • Complex carbohydrates (or slow sugars) present in certain cereals, certain fresh and dried vegetables.


Free sugars are naturally present in certain foods such as honey, syrups (maple, agave) and fruit juices. But they are also added by manufacturers in the food industry. They are the ones who are implicated when we talk about the harm caused by sugar and the illnesses it causes.


What are the harmful effects on the body of too much sugar consumption?

  • Appearance of dental caries
  • Weight gain, overweight or obesity
  • Mood disorders, hyperexcitability
  • Memory problems, reduced concentration
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Digestive disorders
  • Increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes


To avoid the appearance of these disorders, here are some suggestions:

  • Vary and diversify your child's diet as much as possible from an early age. He will thus adopt good eating habits from the start and will have no reluctance to taste everything.
  • Start food diversification with vegetables and not fruits. This will allow your child to get used to a taste other than sweet.
  • Serve only water at the table and limit sugary drinks to festive occasions.
  • Prefer, for breakfast, the traditional butter/jam sandwich or with a little cheese rather than cereals or cakes.
  • Offer a chocolate bar (milk or dark) between 2 slices of bread at snack time rather than industrial cakes (much richer in quick sugars and less satiating).
  • Preferably give a small candy or sweet with dessert rather than away from meals to avoid excessive insulin secretion.
  • Prefer homemade meals, so you know what you're putting in and avoid hidden sugars.
  • Limit the availability of sweet products at home to avoid temptations.