AUSTRALIAN children under two should not have cakes, lollies ice cream or any food with added sugars in line with new dietary guidelines introduced overseas, a veteran paediatric dietitian and board member of Nutrition Australia has warned.

The Australian government recommends no sugary foods or added sugars for babies under one but the experts say toddlers are becoming more exposed to birthday parties, lolly bags and sweets from older siblings and the heavy exposure to sugar is causing fussy eating, obesity, health problems and tooth decay.

This week the US introduced a sugar clampdown for the first two years of life.

"Australia often follows countries like the US in their research and I would like to see this recommendation here sooner rather than later. I have been working in this area for 21 years and have seen a decline in the health of young children and the longer we can reduce sugar intake the better," Kate Di Prima from Brisbane said.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that 23 per cent of Australian children aged two to four are overweight or obese.

Dietitian Kate di Prima. Picture: Liam Kidston
Dietitian Kate di Prima. Picture: Liam Kidston

"A child can have a birthday cake for its second birthday but it's better if it's home made using natural sugars. It is not easy keeping toddlers away from sweets and ice cream that is being eaten by older siblings but parents will find that the longer the child is kept on a low sugar diet the better it is in the long run," Ms Di Prima said.

"When a child gets its first sugary treat like ice cream the tastebuds go wow. This can mean when they taste their healthy core foods they are underwhelmed and long for the sweet taste. They can become fussy eaters. Kids who are exposed to healthy foods early are more likely to enjoy them as they turn three, four and upwards," the dietitian said.

 

Henry Carter, 3, and Mia Thomson, 3, like their fruit and veggies. Picture: Adam Head
Henry Carter, 3, and Mia Thomson, 3, like their fruit and veggies. Picture: Adam Head

 

 

Dietary guidelines are set based on scientific evidence to promote good health.

Reading labels on foods is vital for monitoring the levels of added sugars.

"Never mind cakes and biscuits, sugar is hidden in many every day foods and it's important to check the levels," she said.

The expert recommends a child one to two years old sticks to the core food groups with serves of fruit, vegetables, cereals and protein.

 

 

DAILY FOODS FOR ONE TO TWO YEAR OLDS

½ serve of fruit

2-3 serves veggies

1-1 1/2 serves dairy

1 serve lean meat/eggs/legumes

Lots of water to drink

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Kids should be banned from cake, lollies, ice cream



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