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Sugar Intake for Kids: All Your FAQs Answered

We all know that we shouldn’t feed our kids too much sugar, and you’ve likely seen firsthand the effects of too much sugar on a little one — bouncing off the walls typically followed by a temper tantrum/meltdown. But considering sugar is in so many foods and drinks, there are a lot of questions left unanswered when it comes to sugar intake and your kids. Keep reading to get those questions answered.

Is Sugar Bad for Kids?

Eating a moderate amount of sugar won’t harm your kids. The CDC and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans both recommend that kids age 1 and older should get less than 10 percent of their daily calories from sugar. That’s the same recommended level for adults. (So, put the cookie down, mom!) However, the average child gets much more than the recommended limit. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 17 percent of calories in children's diets come from sugar — half of that comes from drinks with added sugar.  

Does Sugar Make You Hyper?

The science may actually debunk one of the longest-standing old wives’ tales in the books: the sugar hyperactivity myth. There is no substantial evidence that shows that sugar causes hyperactivity in kids. But too much sugar does cause other problems for kids. Some of the conditions and diseases caused by excessive sugar intake include:

- Diabetes
- Fatty liver
- High cholesterol
- Increased risk of obesity
- Cavities and other dental problems
- Lowered concentration
- Immune system suppression
- Increased risk of asthma

How Does Sugar Affect Children’s Attention Spans?

Though we debunked the myth of sugar causing hyperactivity, the science concludes that sugar can affect a child’s concentration. But it doesn’t stop there. Increased sugar levels increase insulin resistance — a hormone vital for brain functioning via blood sugar control. Studies show that extreme amounts of sugar for kids can interfere with neurotransmitters that keep moods stable. This interference can cause depression and anxiety in kids.

Sugar and Aggressive Behavior

We know that the effects of sugar on children vary. But does sugar make kids aggressive? The science confirms this is also a myth.

What Is a Normal Blood Sugar Level for a Child?

Glucose (sugar) travels in the bloodstream to get to different cells along with other nutrients. So, child’s blood sugar levels after eating should be:

- Kids under 6: about 180
- Kids 6–12: Up to 140
- Kids 13–19: Up to 140

Checking your child’s blood sugar levels is the most effective way to tell how well your child is balancing their insulin and sugar from food and exercise.

Effects of Sugar on Toddlers vs. Effects of Sugar on Children

You may be wondering if your older kids can eat more sugar than your tots. As we mentioned, the sugar intake recommendations for kids and adults are the same. That means big brother, little brother, and even mom and dad should all not exceed consuming 10 percent of their calories from sugar.

The effects of sugar in toddlers and older children are virtually the same, and sugar can increase your risk of health-related issues no matter how old you are.

Natural Drinks Without Sugar

It’s important to keep your kids’ sugar levels in check. But we all know how challenging it is to find tasty drinks without sugar. That’s where True Lemon steps in with our lines of low-sugar drinks and no-sugar drinks.

If you’re looking for the best low-sugar drinks that your kids will love, take a look at our True Lemon Kids line.

True Lemon Kids drink mixes feature kid-approved flavors made with parent-approved ingredients. These drink mixes are available in a variety of delicious flavors kids love: Blue Raspberry, Pink Lemonade, Fruit Punch, Crisp Apple, Strawberry Banana, Groovy Grape and Wild Watermelon.

What Kind of Sugar Is in True Lemon Kids?

True Lemon Kids drink mixes have no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or flavors. Even our colors are natural and come from fruits and vegetables. What's more, there are only 2 grams of sugar per 8 oz serving of True Lemon Kids drinks — that’s 92 percent less sugar than many other popular kids’ beverages (like juices and sodas)!