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Today children consume a large amount of refined or white sugar, not only to sweeten milk, juices or smoothies, but also in industrialized products.
The high intake of white sugar has a negative effect on health, since due to its caloric intake it carries the risk of overweight and obesity in children, causes bone demineralization and therefore risk of fractures, and also, to assimilate sugar it is necessary of B complex vitamins which can cause fatigue in the child. Therefore, it would be convenient to go little by little replacing this type of sugar with other natural sweeteners.
Stevia: it is a natural sweetener that comes from a bush, you get the sweet taste of green leaves.
- It is caloric, which prevents childhood overweight and obesity.
- Prevents the formation of cavities.
- Does not raise blood glucose.
- Contains nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, vitamins A and C.
- It has antioxidant, healing and bactericidal properties.
- It is advisable to use fresh or dried leaves.
- Although stevia has no contraindications, there are still no studies that show any complications in consumption in children, it is recommended to consume it in moderation and thus avoid mainly the consumption of refined sugar.
Honey- Another natural sweetener that sweetens 25 times more than refined sugar.
- Contains vitamins A, C, D, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6; and minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sodium, and manganese.
- Strengthens the immune system.
- Ideal for colds, sore throats and flu.
- Contains tryptophan, an amino acid that reaches the brain and stimulates the release of melatonin that helps you relax and sleep better.
- Honey is a sweetener whose absorption is very fast, increasing blood glucose.
- It contains almost the same calories as sugar, therefore it must be consumed in moderation.
- DO NOT give to children before 2 years of age, since at this age children have not yet developed the digestive system to eliminate the bacteria that honey has, which can cause botulism.
Agave Syrup: the syrup is extracted from the sap of the agave, it looks like honey, although it is thicker.
- Contains iron, potassium and magnesium.
- Prevents bone demineralization, avoiding bone fractures.
- It is low glycemic index, this is because it contains fructose and prevents blood sugar from rising rapidly.
- Contains the same calories as refined sugar, consume in moderation.
- By containing fructose, excessive consumption can cause cavities.
- Avoid consuming the heated syrup because it loses its nutritional properties.
Dried dehydrated fruits like dates, raisins, figs.
- They contain potassium, B vitamins, vitamin E and fibers.
- It has almost the same calories as refined sugar.
- It is ideal for sweetening desserts, cookies, they can also be eaten pureed or processed and added to all kinds of preparations.
There are many more varieties of natural sweeteners that we can incorporate into our diet and that provide us with, in addition to the sweet taste, nutrients that accompany a varied diet, but it is also advisable to teach children to enjoy the taste as they are found in the foods of naturally, in this way they can appreciate the diversity of flavors.
You can read more articles similar to Natural sweeteners for children, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.