Play Every Day: The Truth about Sugar

March 22, 2021

thread recognizes National Nutrition Month each March as an effort to boost health awareness with Alaska’s families. The following nutritional blog was published by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services on March 19, 2021.

Starting at a very early age, a lot of sugar can sneak in — even when we have the best of intentions to keep foods and drinks healthy.

When little kids try new drinks, they may get added sugar in toddler milks, powdered and liquid fruit drinks, and chocolate milk. When new foods are introduced, toddlers can eat sugar in cereals, yogurts and squeezable fruit pouches.

Cutting out sugary drinks and serving water, plain cow’s milk or unsweetened soy milk instead is one of the best ways to cut out sugar for children. But what about other sources of sugar?

“National dietary surveys are clear: Sugary drinks are the top source of added sugars for toddlers through adults,” said Diane Peck, registered dietitian and Early Care and Education Coordinator for Alaska’s Physical Activity and Nutrition program. “But there are many other foods that come with added sugar and empty calories — or calories with no nutritional value.”

Added sugars are those that are added during processing and not found naturally in a food. Natural sugars include those in whole fruit and plain white milk. Foods and drinks with added sugars often contain calories with few, if any, nutrients.

Read the entire Play Every Day blog here.