What sugars can do to children’s teeth
Babies who are given sweet foods or drinks are more likely to get a taste for sweet foods than babies who are not. Giving babies food with added sugar can cause serious problems, such as:
- Tooth decay of their deciduous teeth very quickly, especially with sugary drinks that are held in their mouths for prolonged periods of time.
- Giving your baby a sweet tooth also means that they are more likely to keep pestering and crying for sugary things!
- Chocolate bars
- Ice cream
- Sugared or toffee popcorn
Try these instead:
- Canned fruit: toddlers love peach, pear and pineapple slices. Make sure it is in its own juice and not syrup.
- Fresh fruit: look out for fruit that's in season.
- Yoghurt: make sure it's unsweetened, and then add fruit.
- Frozen yoghurt: make sure it's unsweetened.
- Frozen fruit: defrost slices of fruit and veg.
- Rice pudding
- Bread rolls or toasted bread, bagels, potato cakes or rice cakes.
- Dry cereal without added sugar.
- Some sugars are found in food and drinks that many people think are healthy, so keep an eye on the sugar content of food and drink you give to your child. Examples are rusks, dried fruit, baked beans, tinned soups, some baby food, and drinks such as sweetened fruit juice, cordial, milk shakes and flavoured water can actually contain lots of sugar.
Ideal option for children
- Unsweetened fruit juice is a healthier option when it's been diluted, but better served with a meal as it's still high in sugar.
- Milk (although not cow’s milk as a drink until 12 months) and water are the best drinks for children and things like fruit, toast, and rice cakes are a much better option instead of sugary snacks.