Children and sweets: are they harmful?

Baby Health, Baby Nutrition Add comments

200265640-001.jpgCarbohydrates are not only sugar …

Sugar plays an important role in children’s food. After all it is a known source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are a group of food substances in which they allocate simple carbohydrates and compound carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates (glucose, fructose, maltose, sucrose) are mainly sweet substances which we receive from fruits, honey, sweets. Compound carbohydrates — mainly unsweetened substances arriving to us with vegetables, porridges, bread. Getting to an organism, they are split under the influence of a saliva in a mouth and stomach, and definitively processed and soaked up in small intestines.

So-called indigestible compound carbohydrates (food fibres) are not acquired. They promote normal work of intestines, help deducing cholesterol, heavy metals and alien substances possessing ability to cause oncological diseases.

Sources of food fibres in food for children younger age (till 3 years) are fruits, vegetables, groats, and after 3-4 years bread of a rough grinding (with bran) is added to them. The End-product of carbohydrates splitting is glucose, widely known for everyone. In the pure state it is contained in fruits, and the sweeter fruit is, the more glucose it contains. Glucose is a universal energy source and one of appetite stimulators. At decrease of its level in blood a feeling of hunger appears. There are three basic directions of glucose use in an organism:

1.               It is a “fuel” for work of all organs.
2.               It is put by in liver cells and muscles.
3.               It turns to fat when the quantity of its receipt is superfluous.

Carbohydrates are necessary to a child not only as suppliers of energy, but also as sources of vitamins (vitamin C, beta carotin, folic acid), some mineral salts (potassium, iron), food fibres (which have preventive effect against constipations in children), organic acids improving the process of digestion. A preschool child should receive 300 g vegetables and 150 g fruits per day.

Sugar does not carry food value in itself, having thus high caloric content. The share of carbohydrates in a food allowance of children substantially depends on age. At children of the first year of life their maintenance makes 40 percent. And after a year increases to 60 percent, of which no more than 10 percent makes sugar, including sugar containing in confectionery products.

When and how should you give delicacies?

Love for sweets is put in a child at genetic level. The first food in a baby’s life is breast milk, which is sweet due to milk sugar — lactose. At artificial feeding a child receives lactose and maltose with formula. Feeding up introduction expands assortment of carbohydrates sources — fruit and vegetable juice, mashed potatoes, porridges, which completely cover requirements of a children’s organism for carbohydrates. As a rule, they do not contain some table sugar — sucrose, and desire of some parents to sweeten this or that dish to the taste that a child would eat more, is absolutely inadmissible. Such behaviour of adults can lead to a distortion of flavouring sensations in a child, refusal of unsweetened dishes and as consequence — overeating, overweight.

After 1 year parents can enter a small amount of table sugar, and also sweets in allowance. For children from 1 year till 3 years the quantity of sugar makes 40 g a day, from 3 till 6 years — 50 g. You can start acquaintance to sweets with various mousses, cooked on a berry-fruit basis (from fresh and frozen berries and fruits). Then it is possible to try zephyr, fruit candy, and also various kinds of jams.

From 3-4 years (not earlier) it is possible to offer a grown up kid pies and cakes, which do not contain creams on a fatty basis, and low-fat grades of ice-cream. Quantity of sweets is regulated: from 1 year till 3 years — 10 g a  day, and from 3 till 6 years — 15 g.  Their use should not have a character of encouragement for a child and, of course, you should give them after a basic food intake or for a mid-morning snack.

Before 4-year age it is impossible to give children caramel and sugar candies, as there is a risk to choke. As to chocolate and cocoa, and also marshmallow in chocolate and so on, before three-year age it is better for a child not to face them . Chocolate contains a lot of fat and creates loading for stomach fermentative system and pancreas. At all it is not recommended to use it small аллергикам and to children with the changed functions of a pancreas. If there are no contra-indications since three years it is possible to give a little white and a milk chocolate, and from 5-6 years — its other kinds.

Apian delicacy

Let’s speak about honey. It possesses not only high nutritional value ( at the expense of easily acquired sugars — glucose and fructose, its caloric content reaches 335 kcal/100g), but also curative properties. Flower honey influences digestive organs favorably, improving secretory and impellent activity of a stomach and other bodies, stimulates appetite and renders some relaxative action on a digestive tract.
Besides, honey possesses antimicrobic properties concerning a number of the bacteria causing infringement of intestinal microflora, raises stability of an organism to some viruses, renders anti-inflammatory and expectorant effect at diseases of respiratory ways.

However, honey use in a food of preschool children is limited by its high allergenicity. Till 3 years the honey use as an independent product is inexpedient. It can enter into various products of a children’s food of industrial production (porridges or cookies), but its quantity there is insignificant. After 3 years it is possible to enter honey into a food of children, but occasionally, no more than 1-2 teaspoons, adding it in some dishes, as a delicacy. If a child suffers an allergy, it is possible to use a natural delicacy only after additional consultation of the attending physician.

Bitter consequences of a sweet life

Treating a child with various sweets, it is necessary to remember that their superfluous consumption can lead to a number of diseases. For example, to caries — progressing destruction of firm fabrics of a tooth with formation of defect in the form of a cavity. Scientists proved that sucrose possesses the expressed ability to cause this illness. Low frequency of caries at children is observed in that case when the sugar consumption level makes nearby 30 g per day, what approximately corresponds to physiological norm of its consumption.

Another problem is adiposity caused by superfluous food intake in comparison with level of power expenditure, so-called alimentary adiposity. Thus a child’s body weight exceeds normal values for the given age on 20 percents and more. Such children have functional changes of the central nervous system, endocrine glands, immunity decreases, risk of development of a diabetes and cardiovascular diseases raises. There are also psychological consequences of adiposity: it often reduces a child’s self-estimation, leads to depression.

How to live without sugar?

The problem of obesity and diabetes forced scientists to be engaged in a search of sweet substances which could replace sugar and possess low caloric content or a total absence of calories. Such substances are divided in sugar substitutes (fructose, xylitol, sorbite) and intensive sweeteners (saccharin, aspartame, cyclamate, sucralose, acesulfame).

Sugar substitutes:

·    Fructose — natural fruit sugar. It is 1,7 times sweeter than usual sugar. On caloric content it is comparable to it, however owing to the fact that fructose is sweeter, quantity of its use is lower. Besides , it is acquired by cells, without demanding an insulin hormone and consequently is used in dietary food, including food for sick with diabetes.

·     Sorbite. It is contained in apples, pears, peaches. Can cause abdominal distension and diarrhoeia, what interferes with its wide use in food.

·      Ksilit (Е 967). It is applied as sweetener in a chewing gum.

Intensive sweeteners — substances of not sugar nature. As for sweet, they exceed sugar in some hundreds times. Thus have zero caloric content. This is especially favourable in drink manufacture.

ООН incorporated committee recommends their safe daily doses, depending on nature of intensive sweeteners:

·   Aspartam — 40mg/kg.
·   Saccharin — 5 mg/kg.
·   Tsiklamaty — 11 mg/kg.
·   Sukraloza — 18 mg/kg.
·   Atsesulfam To — 8 mg/kg.

As for intensive sweeteners, despite of recommended safe norms of their consumption, a child under 7 years should better avoid products which structure includes them. Especially this concerns aerated drinks. Naturally, parents do not accustom their children to sweets meaningly. Irrational nutrition starts with attempts to solve a small appetite problem. Children, unlike adults, have no a habit to eat regularly. Their appetite can differ every day. This distinction can be connected with physical activity.

Pediatrists consider that there is no necessity to persuade or force child to eat. There are no voluntary starving children. However, it is not necessary to give in to a myth that a child himself chooses the food necessary for him instinctively. Parents can (and should!) generate their love to a correct diet in the early childhood. A kid needs to impart taste to vegetables, fruits, soups and porridges. And finally, it is impossible to follow a chuld’s tastes, offering him sweets and confectionery products, if he refuses meal.

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