Experts warn: This is the maximum amount of sugar children should consume in a day 3 years ago

Experts warn: This is the maximum amount of sugar children should consume in a day

With tomorrow's Easter egg bonanza looming, you might be alarmed to know that experts have now weighed in on what the maximum amount of sugar children should consume in a day really is.

The answer: Not a whole lot.

Which, you know – is a bit of a problem when the Easter Bunny, granny and old aunt Margaret and your third cousins removed are all buying your kids chocolate eggs for Easter. Yikes.

We all know that sugar is bad for you, for your teeth, for your weight and, really, for your health in general – but how much is the actual maximum amount of sugar we ought to let our kids get away with – and how soon do we need to intervene?

Maximum amount of sugar

The problem? While cutting back is great, the fact is that sugar is lurking in so many things, even items you wouldn't think have sugar in them, very often do. The problem? It all adds up.

This especially becomes a problem when you realize that most children are consuming far much sugar per day than they should – despite you thinking you are being good in avoiding giving them treats left, right and centre, and limiting sugar added to things.

Avoiding the temptation to buy a large-sized egg is the first step on making sure your kids don't overdo it on the sugar this Easter, and asking other family members to buy non-edible Easter gifts, explained Joana da Silva, spokesperson for Safefood Ireland, to the Independent.

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“We certainly don’t want to take the fun out of Easter for children, and we recognise that Easter eggs are very much part of the tradition at this time of year,” she added.

“But at the same time we are concerned at the huge size of some of the eggs in the supermarkets, and also how much earlier Easter eggs are appearing on the shelves of shops every year."

Unfortunately, according to new recommendations from the American Heart Association, it often isn't enough to just try and cut back on the sugar your children eat. Their recommendations are that children from two to 18 should not consume anymore than three teaspoons of sugar per day and taking this limit seriously is "an important public health target."

This limit equates about 12,5 grams, and the recommendations, which were published in the journal Circulation, explain the long-term impact that overindulging in sugar as a child can have later in life. This is what lead author of the paper and associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Dr. Miriam Vos, had to say:

"A diet high in added sugars is strongly associated with weight gain, obesity, insulin resistance, abnormal cholesterol, and fatty liver disease in children and all of these increase future cardiovascular risk. How much sugar is OK for kids has been a confusing issue for parents and this statement provides a target that parents can understand and that will make a huge difference for the health of children."

Meaning, that before parents can make really informed choices regarding their children's diet, they need to be aware how much sugar is in the food they are serving up. Cereals, for instance, can be a minefield, with some types containing more sugar in one serving than is recommended as a maximum limit for an entire day's worth of food.

How strict are YOU with sugar when it comes to your kids (and yourself)? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @Herfamilydotie